Category Archives: Uncategorized

16 – Sharon ShareAlike

This month on Shelf Understanding (where you can really learn to understand yourshelf), hosts Danny Rice and Marion Archer talk with Sharon ShareAlike, a nationally known drag queen, entrepreneur and emcee.  Join us as we talk about the upcoming local “Miss Gay Illinois USofA” drag pageant, Sharon’s businesses and their future, and how she and her work have been featured on shows like “Ellen” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race”.


15 – eSports

On this month’s episode of Shelf Understanding (where you can really learn to understand yourshelf), host Marion Archer (and even our Unofficial Sound Engineer Rob, for a bit!) sit down with Callum Fletcher and Andrew Reddington of Illinois Wesleyan University’s new eSports program!

Collegiate sports have always been a staple of the college experience, so it only makes sense to expand that to the world of competitive video gaming.  Callum and Andrew walk us through the ins and outs of how this program will work, as well as their vision for how eSports will continue to grow into the future.

Also, BONUS CONTENT!  The last 25 minutes or so of this episode is officially considered bonus content, as Unofficial Sound Engineer Rob gets into the mix and asks some very specific questions about the inner workings of the gaming itself.  If you’re a die-hard gamer, you won’t want to miss this extra content!

14 – The Art of Tattooing

On this month’s episode, host Marion Archer interviews local tattoo artist Ricky Sturdivant of 33 Tattoos and Art about the art of tattooing.  We’ll talk about the history of tattooing, how Ricky has used tattoos to help those stricken with cancer, and the future of tattoos, including the use of bioreactive ink!  Did you ever want to know how tattoo artists practice their craft before tattooing an actual person (hint: it’s kinda gross)?  Listen to find out!

Danny is off this month due to a brand new bambino in his household, but he’ll be back next month to resume his duties as co-host!

Find 33 Tattoos and Art on facebook at, or at

13 – Canoeing the Mississippi River (with The Current Situation)

On this month’s episode of Shelf Understanding (where you can really learn to understand yourshelf), co-hosts Danny Rice, Marion Archer, and Rhonda Massie interview Travis and Carrie Mack (also known as “The Current Situation”), who recently canoed the length of the Mississippi River.  Join us as Travis and Carrie answer the questions we all want to know: how many paddle strokes did you all have (almost literally 1 million EACH), how they bathed and used the restroom, and how many times they listened to the soundtrack to Hamilton.

Visit The Current Situation’s Facebook Page here:

12 – Retro Gaming

This month, co-hosts Danny Rice and Marion Archer (and even Unofficial Sound Engineer Rob, at one point!) talk with a few local business owners and experts about different types of, “Retro Gaming”.  Whether this means classic arcade games, tabletop and/or card games, or pinball, we wanted to better understand why these gaming styles are experiencing a resurgence in our modern, technologically-oriented world.

Joining us are Jason Pacey (owner of 8 Bit Arcade), Jamie Mathy (owner of Red Raccoon Games), and Marion herself (who is the member of a pinball league in Chicago!).

8 Bit Arcade: 236 E Front St, Bloomington, IL

Red Raccoon Games: 309 N Main St, Bloomington, IL

11 – Zoos and Wildlife Conservation

This month’s episode of Shelf Understanding focuses on efforts by two local organizations who care for both exotic and native animals.  Host Danny Rice and this month’s co-host Marion Archer talk to Adrienne Bauer of Wildlife Prairie Park and Jay Tetzloff of the Miller Park Zoo.  We’ll learn about conservation efforts at both locations and how the zoo’s snow leopards get along (spoiler alert: surprisingly well).  Ever wanted to know what a spider monkey does when handed a lime?  Listen to find out!

Related websites:


10 – Cyber Security

On this month’s episode of Shelf Understanding (where you can really learn to understand yourshelf), host/librarian Danny Rice talks with cyber security guru Craig Yarbrough about the primary types of malware, how you can protect yourself from “Bad Guys”, and how emerging technologies will also lead to additional vulnerabilities.  But fear not!  Because we will also help you arm yourself against those trying to compromise your information.

09 – The West Bloomington Revitalization Project

This month on Shelf Understanding, librarian/host Danny Rice talks with Deborah Halperin and Karen Schmidt from the West Bloomington Revitalization Project about all of the wonderful things that the WBRP is doing in our community.  From the Tool Library, Book Bike, and Veggie Oasis to the Bed/Bench Blitz and Home Restoration Project, the WBRP is certainly making a splash.

08 – Comics & Graphic Novels

Do you think Comics and Graphic Novels are just for nerds?  Do you think they’re just for little kids?  Do you think people who enjoy books with illustrations are bad at reading?  Well, join host Danny Rice this month as we buck all of the stereotypes surrounding this genre of literature.  Danny talks with “nearly professional” comic author/artist Andrew Lorenzi and Librarian/huge comic fan Jesse Wyer about the joys, stigmas, and future of Comics and Graphic Novels, and Unofficial Sound Engineer Rob even chimes in once or twice!

07 – Erik Larson Interview

Bloomington (IL) Public Library is bringing New York Times bestselling author Erik Larson to Bloomington on April 12, 2017, to discuss his book, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed Americaduring a free author presentation at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

This month on Shelf Understanding, host Danny Rice and Larson go over Larson’s methods and his inspiration via telephone. We learn that a stumbled-upon footnote noting the debut of Juicy Fruit Gum during the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 inspired Larson to write The Devil in the White City which highlights the true tales of two men at the time of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Interwoven in the book’s pages is the story of Daniel Burnham, the architect who is charged with constructing the fairgrounds and all its buildings, as well as the story of H.H. Holmes, a serial killer who used the backdrop of the fair to lure people to their deaths.

And though he’s not a fan of heights, Larson assures us that he would have found a way to ride the very first Ferris Wheel which debuted at the 1893 Fair as “competition” to the Eiffel Tower which was unveiled at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. One must understand that this is not today’s Ferris Wheel; this Ferris Wheel could carry 2,160 people per rotation.