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.

Courtesy of Sustainable Driftless, Inc.

The glaciers that once covered Iowa provided rich topsoil and a land welcoming to farmers, but in the northeast corner of the state, there is wild, beautiful land untamed by glaciers.

This edition of Talk of Iowa focuses on the Driftless region in Minnesota, Wisconsin, northwestern Illinois, and northeastern Iowa. Charity Nebbe talks with Tim Jacobson and George Howe, the filmmakers behind the new documentary, Decoding the Driftless.

Nick Spanos

Tank and the Bangas, an American funk and soul music group from New Orleans won 2017’s Tiny Desk Contest by unanimous vote, wowing NPR’s music desk with their unique spoken word inspired style. During this Talk of Iowa conversation, Tarriona "Tank" Ball,  who is  lead vocalist for the band, talks with host Charity Nebbe. 

Tank and her band are headlining a Halloween show on Tuesday, October 30 at Codfish Hollow in Maquoketa. 

Wildlife Day: All About Loons

Oct 10, 2018
Michael Meetz

The aquatic bird, the loon, doesn’t spend a lot of time in Iowa, but loons do pass through twice a year as they migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to northern waters and back again.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with wildlife biologist Jim Pease and longtime loon watcher Mike Meetz about these remarkable creatures and what they can tell us about our changing planet.

Fouquier/Flickr

There is an ever growing conversation about consent in our culture. How do you get consent? Isn’t it awkward to ask for permission in the heat of the moment? Is the conversation about consent about more than just sex?

According to Alison Oliver, a lecturer in the school of social work at the University of Iowa, these are all great questions to consider. She offers this definition: 

HarperCollins

Fantasy author Sarah Prineas of Iowa City has a new book for middle-grade readers, "The Lost Books." (HarperCollins)  The book came out this summer and launches an exciting new series from Prineas, the author of the acclaimed "Magic Thief" series. 

Charity speaks with Prineas during this segment and the author reads some passages from "The Lost Books" as well.  We find out the powerful "Lost Books" at the palace library are infesting people with an evil magic and two unlikely friends must figure out who, or what, is controlling the books and their power. 

Schenectadyhistory.org

One hundred years ago, more than 93,000 Iowans came down with what was at first a mysterious malady.  Eventually 6,116 died from what became known as the Spanish Influenza, although historian and Iowa native Michael Luick-Thrams says the pandemic actually originated in Kansas.  It went on to kill about fifty million people worldwide that year.

Working the night shift takes a serious toll. In fact, there’s even a term for it - “shift work disorder.”

But many overnight jobs are critical for keeping communities safe, and there’s no doubt they play an important part in the economy. Working overnights can be a way to get your foot in the door career-wise, the pay is sometimes better, and a lot of parents turn to shift work to avoid paying for daycare. 

On this “Iowa Week: After Dark” edition of Talk of Iowa, we explore some unique activities that are made possible by the dark of night. 

First, we drop in on a workshop for people who want to learn to breathe fire, led by fire dancer Brittney Marine.

Next, producer Emily Woodbury talks with a group of cyclists who prefer to bike Iowa’s gravel roads by the dark of night. Charity Nebbe talks with Andrea Cohen, who works for World of Bikes in Iowa City and organizes these gravel road, night time rides. 

Maurício Mascaro/Pexels

 

Whether it’s a cocktail under city lights or a beer and darts in your local watering hole, it’s Friday night, and Talk of Iowa is ready to hit the town.

On this special Iowa After Dark episode of Talk of Iowa, we’re taking a look at nightlife across Iowa. We start in Des Moines' oldest gay bar, The Blazing Saddle, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this weekend, before hitting downtown Iowa City with the nation’s first Nighttime Mayor, Angela Winnike.

 

Ryan Hallock/Flickr

We're living in a world that increasingly operates 24 hours a day, due to forces of globalization. What does that mean for us and our working hours? Our leisure time? 

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, we talk about the reasons we're working more hours than ever before and when and why we started to see businesses open all night long. 

To start the show, Cynthia Freidhoff, whose father founded Ross' Restaurant in Bettendorf, one of the first 24 hour diners in the state, joins host Charity Nebbe. 

USFWS/Ann Froschauer

 

Feel like braving the dark? Those who head outside after nightfall are sure to be rewarded with natural sights and sounds unlike anything available during daylight hours.

 

Tim Sackton/flickr

With the changing leaves and the cooling temperatures, it’s time to start harvesting late season produce.

It can be difficult to know when to harvest crops like sweet potatoes and winter squash, but Iowa State University Horticulturist Ajay Nair recommends paying close attention to the recommended harvest dates when you plant. He also says it’s very important to prepare your produce for storage.

Red Earth Running Company

 

Red Earth Running Company is an athletic outfitter, local race sponsor, and Iowa-based company. But more than that, Red Earth Running Company may very well be the first business of its kind geared at supporting indigenous runners.

Dirk Whitebreast, a member of the Meskwaki Nation, created Red Earth Running Company after noticing a distinct lack of representation for indigenous identity in the national running community and in the outfitting and advertising materials that support the sport.

U.S. Department of Education / https://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofed/9606640865/in/photolist-fCUxD4-mzySji-5xgdNT-2bgTqCU-6c5pDL-dXNEZw-dd2He2-b87js8-rLg67-f2QRhF-8KA9Kd-c3mZUo-bbJYkR-5Paz1h-f35VUW-dynUK-fRMKG-bnehn8-ftPooe-8Kx3UV-pMMmYa-8KzWRA-dyopP-8KzziW-fCX9K2-f31Pru-8KA2AC-

 

People often choose to group up with others they relate to in gender, race, and other demographics; but research shows that increasing diversity and inclusion in workplace and educational settings can lead to more creative, productive outcomes.

 

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.

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