More than 50,000 -- or 16 percent -- of Iowa's children ages 10 to 17 are considered obese, according to data released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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How can today's artists say something new and helpful about the Holocaust? For Minnesota composer Stephen Paulus and poet Michael Dennis Brown, the key was to focus on children. In their multimedia oratorio “To Be Certain Of The Dawn,” the pair took inspiration from Roman Vishniac's photographs of Jewish children in pre-Shoah Europe. Brown, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, says the “children’s faces are the sun, moon and stars of this work.”
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One might assume that the quiet religious current in the music of Hiss Golden Messenger is due to the Durham, North Carolina based band being from the southern United States. Actually, songwriter and frontman M.C. Taylor is originally from Irvine, California. Of course, they also have religion in Irvine, along with hardcore punk bands like Ex-Ignota. Taylor was a member of that group.