Talk of Iowa

Weekdays at 10 a.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One and 9 p.m. on IPR News

Talk of Iowa brings a mix of regular guests and a range of experts to the microphone to discuss what’s happening in Iowa and what makes this a special place to live. Guests include wildlife expert Jim Pease and the Hort Gang on Fridays.

Talk of Iowa is hosted by Charity Nebbe @CharityNebbe. It’s produced by Dennis Reese, Emily Woodbury @EmilyWoodbury, Lindsey Moon @lindseysmoon and Katelyn Harrop @KatelynHarrop. Our Executive Producer is Katherine Perkins. Our theme music is by The River Monks.

Virginia Daffron

The end of the growing season is in sight, but there's still time to add more plants to your landscape!

 

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Aaron Steil, Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens in Ames, and Patrick O'Malley, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist, about late season planting and unusual fruit crops.

 

We usually think of spring when we think of adding new foliage to our gardens, but there are a number of factors that make fall a great time of year for planting, too.

 

greeblie / Flickr

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Patricia O'Connor, the author of Woe is I, about new words that have been added to the dictionary in 2018. 

The host of Snap Judgment, Glynn Washington, has a way of catching people’s attention and not letting go. He draws listeners deep into an idea or a story and leads the audience toward unlikely conclusions.

Every episode of the public radio show and podcast is different from every other episode, but great storytelling is at the heart of it all.

Courtesy of Brian Hull

Puppeteers from all over the country are traveling to Iowa for the Great Plains Puppet Train, a regional puppet festival in West Liberty.

The events begin Thursday, September 13 and run through Sunday the 16th. On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe visits with some of the artists who will be performing, including Brian Hull of Nashville.

Leonardo da Vinci was a certifiable genius, but historical evidence suggests that he was something of a late bloomer. Mike Lankford, author of the biography Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo da Vinci,  uses archival details and a lot of imagination to bring the legend to life.

David Nunn

The Earth’s fossil record shows that the planet has been through several periods of mass extinction. The Fifth Extinction was the one that ended the dinosaurs, and many people believe that we are now in the midst of the Sixth Extinction, driven this time not by an asteroid, but by pressures created by humans.

Mid-Prairie Home School Assistance Program

In the 1980's the home schooling movement was driven by evangelical Christians, who wanted to incorporate their religious beliefs into their children's education. But today, a broad range of Iowa families are choosing to teach their children at home.

Iowa Conservation Education Coalition

This summer we’ve seen below average temperatures, above average temperatures, very dry conditions, and flooding. The weather has been stressing a lot of people out and it’s taken a toll on some trees.

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Jeff Iles, professor and chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University, and Mark Vistosh, DNR forester, about how to identify when your trees might be struggling.

Carlos Diaz

 

Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, recipient of the 2018 Astrid Lindgren memorial Award and the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award. She's the author of two new books.

 

“The Day You Begin,” illustrated by Rafael Lopez is a picture book that’s perfect for any child or adult who has felt nervous or different in school,and “Harbor Me,” a middle grade novel, shares the stories of a diverse group of Brooklyn 5th graders.  

 

Rodney Nelson / Courtesy of the Exhibit Team

As we are experiencing the largest refugee crisis in human history, millions of people are being forced to flee their homes. It can be hard to remember that each refugee is a human being with an individual story to tell. 

Stuart Seeger / StuSeeger / Flickr

There aren't as many high school football and volleyball players as there were ten years ago. 

That's according to Iowa High School Athletic Association Communications Director Chris Cuellar. He says the number of high school football players dropped from 22,000 to 16,000 during the 10 year period from 2007 to 2017. 

"According to our data which is 9th through 12th graders, boys participating in 11 player football has dropped 25% since 2007," he says. "Buoying it is slow growth in cross country and soccer." 

m01229 / Flickr

Mollie Tibbetts was many things, a Hawkeye, a daughter, a volunteer and much more. She was also a runner who never came home.

In the wake of her murder many women are questioning themselves as they lace up their shoes. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, we’ll talk about what Mollie Tibbetts’ murder tells us about our culture, the risks girls and women face and what we can and should do to make our world a safer place.  

Phil Roeder

Long-time Iowa City resident and retired teacher Mark D. Wilson never expected to write a book about his hero Nile Kinnick, but when someone mentioned to him that this year is the 100th anniversary of the renowned football player's birth, he felt he had to do it. The result is the newly published The Way of Nile C. Kinnick, Jr: Insights, Images, and Stories of Iowa's 1939 Heisman Trophy Winner

Pixabay

If you’ve been struggling with a patchy lawn all summer, the time to act is now. 

 

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Iowa State University Extension turf grass specialist Adam Thoms about seeding, re-seeding, core aeration, and other late summer tasks.

 

Thoms says that Mid-August through mid-September is the ideal time to seed your lawn because the fall weather makes it hard for weeds to germinate.

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Fuller

During this Talk of Iowa interview, host Charity Nebbe talks with Andrew Fuller, the artist and founder of Guy Meets Cake. 

Fuller has recently been getting national attention for his newest macabre creations, "people pot pies," which are inspired by his love of Halloween and horror and his fascination with artistic hyperrealism. 

As a child raised in Dubuque during the 80s, Luke Stoffel was often told by his mother to stay outside until he found his own version of fun. That, his mother Joyce says, pushed him to be inventive.

“Allowing some of that to happen in kid’s life, their boredom will eventually work into creativity,” she explains.

Makedocreative / Wikimedia Commons

Trying to slow down floods or filter out pollution? Hoping to capture more water for agriculture? Worried about erosion or wildfire? It turns out that one creature can help with all these problems and more - the beaver. 

According to Ben Goldfarb, the author of a new book about beavers, the beaver is as useful of an animal as it is interesting. The beaver's iconic tail, for example, has many purposes. 

"A beaver's tail, it's a fat storage mechanism. Like bears put on fat for the winter, beavers put on fat in their tail," says Goldfarb. 

Vladimir Kulikov / Wikimedia Commons

Investing money, time and effort into getting a PhD used to almost guarantee a position at a college or a university somewhere, but times have changed. The job market for academics has gotten a lot tighter, the competition stiffer and the future less certain. 

Rusty Gates is a history professor at Bradley University in Peoria, and while he feels incredibly lucky to be working in his field, he does sometimes wish he could find a job closer to home. He lives in Iowa City, where his wife, who is also a professor, works at the University of Iowa. 

Photo Courtesy of Amber Rowley

Linden is a town of about 200 people, and Bagley is not much bigger with a population of just around 300 in west-central Iowa. The last two weeks, however, have been like Christmas in August for both small town libraries. 

Late Summer and Fall Planting

Aug 17, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

 

The signs of fall are starting to surface: shorter days, school supply shopping, and flowers dimming. But despite these signs, there is still time to plant vegetables and prepare for the impending cooler weather. On this Horticulture Day, DNR Forester Mark Vitosh and Iowa State University Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron talk with Charity Nebbe about what to plant at this time of year.

YMCA Camp Wapsie

YMCA Camp Wapsie has just wrapped up summer camp, for the 100th time. The Eastern Iowa camp is celebrating its centennial year of bringing youth outdoors for a week of adventure, fun and friendship.

To get a sense of how Wapsie has been successful in establishing a camp culture that transforms generations of campers into counselors and staff, we asked Maxwell Meyer and Sami Therme, both of Iowa City, to keep audio diaries of their experiences as counselors for some of the oldest and youngest campers.

John Pemble

 

 

Corn dogs, baby ducks, and a butter cow to boot!

 

The Iowa State Fair is a time-honored tradition for many Iowans, and has gained a reputation for being one of the largest fairs in the nation.

 

Do you remember your first fair? 

Tony Potter

 

Church can be a place of solitude, reflection, and community. For Joe Jennison, writer and director of the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group, the Catholic Church provided that space, but could also be unwelcoming at times.

His experience as a gay man in the church led him to write the one-man show Confessions of a Gay Catholic.

Randy Everette / Wikimedia Commons

 

Gazebos are a great place to comfortably enjoy some much needed shade in the garden. Their iconic geometric shape also adds elegance to otherwise bare spaces. They may look complicated to build on your own, but home improvement expert Bill McAnnally encourages the DIY'er fans of home improvement day that the process is manageable. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, he talks with host Charity Nebbe.

McAnnally recommends cedar wood and patience for the building process.

Courtesy of Allison Engel

With plenty of fast fashion outlets and cheap clothing available, Americans are purchasing, and discarding, clothing items at a rate never seen before. Allison Engel, co-author of second-hand shopping guide, "Thrift Style," says used clothign stores often provide cheaper, high-qualilty clothing options, while decreasing textile waste.

Flickr - The U.S. National Archives

 

While her peers were renting their first post-grad apartments, Kari Grindberg was moving into a different residence -- a senior living community in Pella, Iowa. She's a recent Central College graduate who is spending her summer fostering relationships with Iowans much, much older than she is.

On this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe explores the benefits of intergenerational relationship building, both for senior communities, and young people alike.

 

Photo Courtesy of Iowa State University Extension

Iowa has a new invasive species, the jumping worm, and it spells bad news for soil health. According to Iowa State University extension entomologist Donald Lewis, the worms have been in New England for a decade. They are also found in Iowa's border states, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. 

Stefan Maurer / Creative Commons

Wolves are a keystone species, but they haven’t lived in Iowa for years. Their successful reintroduction into the upper midwest and the Yellowstone National Park shows us the incredible impact wolves have on the ecosystem they live in.

For example, wildlife biologist Jim Pease says the wolves make sure there aren't too many elk and other grazing animals around. He points out some of the changes that resulted in Yellowstone National Park when the wolves returned.

 

Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan

This summer, the University of Iowa’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Iowan, celebrates 150 years serving the Iowa City community.

“It doesn’t matter how you deliver a story; if it’s a great story people will read it. College students at The Daily Iowan have been writing great stories for 150 years, and they will be for a long time,” says Bill Casey, publisher of the Daily Iowan from 1976 to 2016. He oversaw tremendous growth at the paper, received a number of awards for his work, and mentored many students. 

 

This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. He was an activist, a revolutionary, a political leader, philanthropist, and a role model for many global leaders. He fought apartheid in South Africa and spent 27 years in prison before emerging to lead his country as South Africa’s first black head of state, and the first head of state to be elected in a fully representative democracy. Mandela was also awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and his ideals and words have inspired millions.

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