Talk of Iowa

Food Bank of Iowa

Around the holidays, there are a lot of organizations hosting food drives, collecting canned and non-perishable foods to send to food banks and pantries across the state. That's a worthy effort, and those donations are appreciated by food banks. But food banks want people to also consider that they have more purchasing power for a dollar than you do. 

During this segment of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Michelle Book, who is CEO of the Food Bank of Iowa. Book says her organization distributes one million pounds of food a month to more than 75,000 Iowans. 

benjamin sTone/flickr

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been dubbed #GivingTuesday, and in light of that fairly recent development, many end-of-year fundraising campaigns are getting a boost. This hour on Talk of Iowa, we hear from a few community foundations in Iowa about the work they are doing. 

"Community foundations serve a specific geographic area. In the state of Iowa, we have at least one, and sometimes more than one in each of our ninety-nine counties," explains Kari McCann Boutell, who is president of the Iowa Council of Foundations. 

Didriks / Flickr

For many, listening to StoryCorps on Friday mornings has become routine—a few minutes to listen, learn, reflect, and often shed a few tears.

When StoryCorps debuted in 2003, it sounded unlike anything else on public radio.  They were stories not driven by news or cultural events, and they were stories that didn’t feature news-makers. These were stories of normal people sharing their memories. We quickly learned that those normal people were extraordinary, and that we all have stories to share.

Earlier this month, six Iowa veterans told their stories at a live event in Iowa City.  The event was "Roll Call: Veterans Share Their True Stories" presented by Iowa Watch and hosted by Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe.  It took place on November 9th at Old Brick in Iowa City.  In the link above, hear these veterans' stories:

robertsharp

We go through life surrounded by other people, but for many people, the isolation of the modern world takes a serious toll on health and happiness. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about what he sees as an epidemic of loneliness in the U.S. 

"If you're not lonely, and you're listening to this radio segment, there are people around you who are," he says.

Emily Woodbury

If you're looking to update your reading list or need gift suggestions for friends & family, this annual holiday book show has got you covered.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Jan Weismiller and Tim Budd of Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City and Hunter Gillum of Beaverdale Books in Des Moines. They share their top picks for fiction and non-fiction books released this year.

TIM BUDD’S BEST OF FICTION:

Artemis by Andy Weir

Photo Courtesty of Chris Weaver / Instagram

It's been a big year for Iowans on the NBC reality singing competition "The Voice." Chris Weaver, who attended college in Pella at Central College and lived in Des Moines for the better part of a decade working as a workshop leader for Lutheran Church of Hope, is one of them. During this hour he talks with host Charity Nebbe about how he got started singing, and how he's made a career for himself working as both a workshop leader and as a performer. His drag character is named Nedra Belle. 

Protecting Your Winter Garden

Nov 17, 2017
Artem Vasev

It’s mid-November, and winter weather is already upon us. Many Iowans want to know how to prepare their yard and garden for winter. Winter garden care involves covering strawberries, prepping roses, and getting ready to fend off hungry rabbits. Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens in Ames has advice for those who want to protect their strawberries.

Ocean Biology Processing Group at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr, Creative Commons

When Martin Luther King Jr. gave his most famous speech, he did not say "I have a problem." A growing environmental movement called #EarthOptimism is taking that idea and painting a vision for a brighter future.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Nancy Knowlton, who is chair of marine science at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian and founder of the earth optimism movement, and Connie Mutel, who is a senior science writer at the University of Iowa. 

kedarie johnson
Facebook

The murder of a gender fluid teenage in Burlington has brought attention to the treatment and resources available for transgender students and their friends and teachers in Iowa. Iowa Safe Schools is hosting the first Transgender Education Summit in Iowa on November 17th in Des Moines, and Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools Nate Monson says that its hard to get an estimate on how many trans students are attending public school in Iowa. 

Bird Feeding 101

Nov 14, 2017
Image courtesy of Paul Brennan

Winter can be a wonderful time to see wildlife, and for some of the best viewing, you don’t even have to get cold. Wildlife Biologist Jim Pease talks about the natural intimacy of attracting winter birds to your bird feeder.

Kid's Music Can Actually Be Good

Nov 14, 2017
Camera Eye Photography / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Stefan Shepherd remembers listening to ABBA and Herb Alpert as a kid; he did not grow up with "kids music." But now he has kids and he started reviewing kid's music on his blog, Zooglobble. In this segment of Talk of Iowa, Shepherd joins host Charity Nebbe to present a few options for good music for kids.

Here are three examples with some thoughts about the music from Shepherd.

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, "Paletero Man" from the album Out of LA.

The first seven years of Dekow Sagar’s life in Somalia were happy. Rural Somalia was beautiful, he had plenty of brothers, sisters and friends to play with, and the family farm provided what they needed. However, Sagar’s pleasant rural life was shattered by terrible violence and civil war.

The Importance of Kids Music

Nov 9, 2017
Image courtesy of IPTV

Music is a powerful medium, allowing us to access and experience an entire spectrum of feelings. For children, music is an important educational tool as well, and all too often, children's music has a tendency to become bland. Host of IPTV's Kids Club Dan Wardell and musician Jim Sieck are on a mission to create interesting kids music, while also teaching them valuable lessons. One song in particular teaches kids about the alphabet.

Image courtesy of Iowa History Camp

In its third year, History Camp Iowa is a daylong series of presentations from a mix of professional and amateur historians who share their expertise with history buffs from all over the state. History Camp Iowa features more than 30 distinct presentations, behind-the-scenes access to the State Historical Museum, and opportunities to meet authors and learn about history organizations.

Not a Sound: Author Heather Gudenkauf

Nov 8, 2017
Charity Nebbe/IPR

When New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf gets writer's block, she takes her dog, Lolo, on a hike at the Mines of Spain, a vastly wooded recreation area just south of Dubuque. This area is where the inspiration for Gudenkauf's latest novel, Not a Sound, emerged.

John Pemble

The opioid addiction epidemic started in Southern Ohio and seems to be moving west. Experts expect the crisis to peak in Iowa in about three years; but already people are dying, families are being torn apart, and law enforcement and medical professionals are overwhelmed.

As policymakers try to respond, one of the people they depend on for information is Deborah Thompson, a policy advisor and legislative liaison for the Iowa Department of Public Health.

 

It got cold last week, and suddenly the world outside is insect-free. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with her guests about how insects survive the winter, and why they show up so quickly when the warmth returns. 

Guests are Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron, ISU Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis, DNR District Forester Mark Vitosh, and ISU Professor of Horticulture and organic specialist Kathleen Delate. 

Photo submitted

Michelle Droe is the music teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Cedar Falls, Iowa. For a long time her students and colleagues have known that she’s a remarkable teacher, but now she’s receiving national recognition for her work. She’s a semi-finalist for a music educator Grammy award.

One special exercise Droe does involves sixth grade students pretending to be street musicians.  They work with a partner or come up with a performance on their own. 

New Society Publishers

  

Benjamin Vogt is an author and owner of Monarch Gardens LLC, a prairie garden design firm in Nebraska.  This hour, Vogt discusses his latest book, "A New Garden Ethic; Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future." (New Society Publishers)  In it he writes: "While it's our presence in the form of gardens that brings nature to our urban lives, it's the wake or echo of our beliefs that reverberates the longest."

Lucas Cranach the Elder - The Bridgeman Art Library, Object 13642 / Wikimedia Commons

Five hundred years ago, a rebellious German monk named Martin Luther, who was disgusted with what he saw as corruption in the Catholic Church, started a movement that dramatically changed the face of Christianity. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Ray Mentzer, professor of religious studies at the University of Iowa, and Greg Prickman, who is head of special collections at the University of Iowa. 

Mentzer says that while Martin Luther did write letters to the Catholic Church, he did not nail them to the door to declare his grievances. 

Household Horrors and Home Improvement

Oct 30, 2017
Flickr

From black mold to crumbling foundations, some household horrors can lead to serious expense and even catastrophe.

On this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with home improvement expert Bill McAnally about some of the scariest things that can happen to your home.

Reflecting on the Growing Season

Oct 27, 2017

With the impending frost Iowa is about to receive, the growing season has come to an end. The season ending means that astute gardeners should take this time of year to reflect on what did and didn't work in their gardens. Chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University Jeff Iles reflects on the diversity of plants outside his home.

How and Why Language Changes Over Time

Oct 25, 2017
Image courtesy of M. Adiputra

It might seem as though the definitions of words are etched in stone, never to be changed. But language is fluid.  On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with language expert Patricia O’Conner about linguistic quirks, including differences between "can" and "may."

Image courtesy of Gary Kelley

Gary Kelley is an illustrator and painter based in Iowa who works have been published in Time Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly and Rolling Stone. His latest project, illustrating the book Next Year: Hope in the Dust by Ruth Vander Zee, centers around the Dust Bowl, the catastrophic wind storms in the 1930s which displaced native prairie protecting the soil of the Great Plains from wind erosion.

Pokey Spears

Surveys and studies show that 10 percent of adults in Iowa were sexually abused as children, and experts have reason to believe the rate is even higher.

"I think we still have a hard time talking about sex, and we need to be able to talk about this better," says Liz Cox Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Iowa.

Image courtesy of Michael Leland

With the cold winter months just around the corner, many Iowa gardeners are wondering how to best prepare their plants for the impending frosty weather. In order to prevent the deaths of numerous different plants, precautions must be taken, and Ajay Nair of Iowa State University Extension has advice for gardeners to resist soil erosion during the winter.

Jessica Spengler / Flickr

Do you know anybody who can’t sit still? What about someone who doesn't ever seem to want to do anything? Turns out, we are genetically predisposed to be couch potatoes, or not. During this half hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with J. Timothy Lightfoot, director of the Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A & M and an Omar Smith Endowed Professor of Kinesiology. 

Lightfoot says he started looking into the question because he is a person who can't sit still. 

Image by Rob Holysz

Hari Kondabolu, a New Yorker and first-generation American of Indian descent, is an awarded comedian who has a problem with the negative stereotypes of southeast Asians and Indian people in the media. He explores that frustration in his new documentary “The Problem with Apu,” which highlights the effect of the character on his life growing up. 

Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

Dyslexia is a condition in the brain that makes it hard to read, write, and spell. It's the most common learning disability in children, but it can be difficult to diagnose and manage. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, dyslexia affects anywhere from 5-20 percent of the population depending on the severity of definitions. 

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