Talk of Iowa

Darwin Day to Focus on Youth Action toward Climate Change

Feb 20, 2018
Iowa City Darwin Day

February 12 was the 209th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution. To celebrate his contributions to science and humanity, Darwin Day will be recognized in Iowa City February 23-24 with a series of conversations about topics in science, education, and climate change.

Christopher Gannon

A new fashion exhibit at Iowa State University explores an area of fashion often stereotyped or misunderstood.

In this Talk of Iowa segment, Charity Nebbe talks to the woman behind “Queer Fashion and Style: Stories from the Heartland," Kelly Reddy-Best, assistant professor in Apparel, Merchandising & Design at Iowa State University.

John Pemble

Many symphony orchestras are branching out in an effort to attract new music fans. Even if someone has never been to a orchestra concert before, they might want to go to Harry Potter Night at the Des Moines Symphony or enjoy an evening of “A Night of Symphonic Rock” as interpreted by Orchestra Iowa.

“I think it’s wonderful,” says Des Moines Symphony music director Joseph Giunta. “I think it’s a great way to expand audiences, and I think it’s a great way to stay in touch with your community.”

Andrew Fogg

Orchids are beautiful, fragile, and extremely popular. As appealing as they are, the idea of growing orchids can be a bit intimidating. Proper watering is key. Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens, recommends against ice cube irrigation.

"If ice is always on the plant or if there's a lot of ice on the plant a lot of the time, that medium is never allowed to dry out completely," Steil says. It is important for orchids to get as dry as possible, without becoming bone dry, before watering again.

Photographer Mike Weber on the Iowa Music Scene

Feb 16, 2018
Mike Weber

Photographer Mike Weber has been photographing Iowa musicians at live shows for the last eight years. During this Talk of Iowa interview, host Charity Nebbe talks to Weber about his photography, the Iowa music scene, and his upcoming exhibit at Raygun in Cedar Rapids March 1-8.

Weber is passionate about providing an accurate representation of Iowa’s music culture through his photography. He wants to see more photographers coming out to local shows.

The Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was founded in 1997 in Arnold’s Park, Iowa. Just over 10 years old, the hall has named a number of prominent Iowa musicians, music lovers and promoters to be a part of its legacy. Every year, there is a vote to induct people who have made a significant contribution to music in Iowa.

Stepan Mazurov

This Valentine’s Day, while many humans woo potential mates with chocolate, flowers or other tokens, there are a number of other species that are also in the mood for love. Eagles are nesting, barn owls are calling, cardinals are singing, and love is in the air.

On this hour of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe sits down with wildlife biologist Jim Pease to talk about mating calls and other wooing habits of the animal kingdom. 

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe goes behind the scenes to get to know some personalities behind the news and discussions on Iowa Public Radio.

Nebbe talks with statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell, producer and host Dennis Reese, and River to River host Ben Kieffer about how they got into public radio, some of the most valuable experiences in their careers, and how they have seen radio change.

Photo Courtesy of Karen Forsling

Long time Iowa broadcaster and public radio pioneer Don Forsling passed away February 6th at the age of 80.  

He had a radio career that spanned more than 50 years. Nearly forty of those years were spent at WOI radio in Ames, now part of the Iowa Public Radio network. Forsling held a number of different positions at WOI including station manager, but he is best known as the original host of Talk of Iowa and a morning variety show called, The Morning Report.

Gage Skidmore

In the process of inventing a fantasy world, sometimes characters need a whole new language. And that language can bring so much more to the story than just acoustic flavor.

"The moment you create a word, it assumes so much about the world where this language is spoken," says David Peterson, the linguist who developed the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for HBO's Game of Thrones.

Andrew Marinkovich / 7 S MGMT

For Nate Staniforth, a coin trick was his gateway to magic. He was 9-years-old and living in Ames.

"I just was captivated by the idea that I could perfect this and make it look like I made a coin disappear. That's all I wanted."

So, he did the trick on the playground. "The kids didn't laugh. They didn't clap. They just started shrieking and ran away."

Photo Courtesy of Karen Forsling

Long time Iowa broadcaster and public radio pioneer Don Forsling passed away this week.  

“I like my coffee black, like my soul.”

That was one of Don Forsling’s favorite one liners. Radio listeners loved him for his wry sense of humor and deadpan delivery.  He had a radio career that spanned more than 50 years, nearly forty of those years were spent at WOI radio in Ames, now part of the Iowa Public Radio network. 

Saving International Adoption: Mark Montgomery and Irene Powell

Feb 8, 2018
Photo Courtesy or Mark Montgomer and Tinker Powell

International adoption hit an all time low in 2o15, with adoption rates down by more than half since 2004. Yet around the world, millions of orphaned and vulnerable children need permanent homes, and thousands of American and European families are eager to take them in. Why is the current system of international adoption collapsing?

Photo by Amy Mayer / Iowa Public Radio

The average American farmer is 60 years old. That means that in the next decade, a lot of land in the country is going to be changing hands.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Graham Merriweather, director of a new documentary called Farmers for America, which features more than 20 farmers across the country. 

Killer Choice: Tom Hunt

Feb 6, 2018
Killer Choice by Tom Hunt book cover

Imagine that the love of your life will certainly die soon from an aggressive cancerous brain tumor. There is a experimental treatment that has a good chance of treating it, but it's far too expensive. A strange man contacts you and says he will give you all the money you need. You just have to agree to kill a person that he wants dead.

Author Tom Hunt's main character in Killer Choice, Gary Foster, must make this decision. Even in the process of trying to decide whether to do it, he has to make other choices, and some of them require deception.

The Adventures of Team Super Tubie: Iowan Pens a Book for Kids with Feeding Tubes

Feb 6, 2018
Photo Courtesy of Kristin Meyer

When Kristin Meyer’s son Camden was two years old, he had a feeding tube inserted to make sure that he could get the nutrition he needed to survive and thrive.

To help Camden and his three brothers to understand the tube, Meyer embraced the term "super tubie," which is a term the pediatric medical community uses to refer to kids with feeding tubes.

This also gave Meyer an idea.

Photo Courtesty of Timothy LeDuc

Timothy LeDuc of Cedar Rapids has been dreaming of skating in the Olympics since he was a little kid. He says he used to tape U.S. Olympic figure skating on his VCR.  He would re-watch it with his younger sister Leah until the tapes wore out. This year, he is an alternate for the U.S. figure skating pairs team with his partner, Ashley Cain. 

During this Talk of Iowa interview, LeDuc talks with host Charity Nebbe about how he got his start skating in Iowa and his decision to speak out in support of other gay athletes in the run up to the 2018 Olympic games. 

Dean Borg

More cut flowers are purchased on Valentine’s Day than on any other day of the year, in spite of the fact that the holiday falls in the dead of winter. When buying a bouquet, it can be hard to determine how best to care for cut flowers and make them last.

Cindy Haynes, a horticulturalist from Iowa State University, has some tips for selecting cut flowers.

“We like roses that are fairly tight in bud that are showing good color,” Haynes says. “Red roses and some of the darker colored roses don’t show that damage quite as much as something like a white rose.”

Emily Woodbury

Kevin "B.F." Burt of Coralville has been performing the blues for more than 20 years. He's beloved in Iowa, and has performed around the world.

This month, he won three first place awards at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Burt about his humble solo performance origins at Baldy's Wraps in Iowa City, what it's like to be discovered after his performance in Memphis, and where he's focusing his energy next. 

Remaking the Music of Fred Rogers

Jan 31, 2018
American Libraries / — https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode

A few years ago, jazz vocalist Keri Johnsrud was talking with another musician about the role of music in children's television programs. 

"We started talking about Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, and how the music in that program was so integral to the advancement of the stories and messages that he was telling on the program. And how jazz was especially was an important part of the show," she says.

During this Talk of Iowa interview, host Charity Nebbe talks with romance novelist Hector Lareau about his Newsroom Romance series.

Lareau, a novelist and lawyer based in Davenport, draws on his experience in a Des Moines newsroom for his books Love, Local, Latebreaking, and Traffick Report. The high pressure newsroom environment inspired him to write romance. 

Nick Brincks

Majd Abdulghani spent two years recording her life, and eventually her story was edited into “Majd’s Diary: Two Years in the Life of a Saudi Girl,” which recently received the Best Documentary Silver award at the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

“I want to prove that being a Muslim, Saudi woman who wears a head scarf doesn’t stop me from being a scientist,” Abdulghani says in the piece.

Our Lady of the Prairie: Thisbe Nissen

Jan 30, 2018

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe is joined by author Thisbe Nissen. Her latest book is Our Lady of the Prairie.  

Thisbe is originally from New York, and she lived in Iowa for eleven years. Although she changes most of the place names, Iowans will likely recognize several eastern Iowa places and communities. It also includes the story of a wedding day tornado.

Karsten Moran / Redux Pictures

New York Times Magazine Staff Writer Nikole Hannah-Jones is no stranger to hard conversations about race. She grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, being bused to a school across town that was mostly white, compared to her majority black neighborhood. She says she grew up spending about two hours on the bus each day. 

Gisela Giardino/Flickr

"Wine is to women as duck tape is to men: it fixes everything. " "I make wine disappear, what's your super power?" "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, but if the white runs out, I'll drink red."

These are supposed to be jokes, but they may also be indicative of a growing problem. During this hour on Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Ann Dowsett-Johnson, author of "Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol," about women's relationship with drinking culture. 

Minnesota Historical Society Press

 This program originally aired June 9, 2016.

The "Big Marsh" was a source of bounty for wildlife, native people and settlers.  When it was drained it offered up fertile soil, but what was lost?  This hour, we talk to Cheri Register, author of the new book, "The Big Marsh; the Story of a Lost Landscape" (Minnesota Historical Society Press).

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez

Last January, actor Woody Harrelson wrote, directed, and starred in a live feature film called Lost in London. The movie was shot in London and broadcast live into American theaters, with audiences watching the film in real time.

The movie is inspired by real life events, and while it is a comedy, it takes places entirely in what Harrelson describes as the worst night of his life: a 2002 incident when he was arrested for getting into a fight with a cab driver just days after a night of infidelity was exposed by a tabloid.

Michael Leland/IPR

John Naughton has been covering sports at the Des Moines Register for over 30 years. He has been to football, basketball, track and field, wrestling, baseball, and many other events across the state. On this Talk of Iowa, Host Charity Nebbe talks with Naughton about what the job has meant to him and what changes he has seen.

He says that it is important for sports reporters to remember that they are writing about real people that deserve respect. He says that one aspect of the work that has kept him doing it is that there are triumphant stories and interesting people.

flash.pro/Flickr

Watching the local evening news on television was once routine in nearly every household. Increasingly, that is no longer the case according to a study by the Pew Research Center. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with KCRG-TV's News Director Adam Carros about how his newsroom is handling a decline in viewership. 

He says many networks are working to cut deals with streaming services like Apple TV, Roku, Hulu and Netflix. 

Pat Blank / Iowa Public Radio

It's not quite time to start sowing seeds, but it is time to get ready. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Horticulturalists Jauron and Linda Naeve of Iowa State University Extension about selecting and starting seeds, decoding the gardening jargon found in seed catalogs, and knowing when to plant. 

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