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Mysteries large and small: the origins of gold in the universe and Iowa’s little-known 'quiet title' law

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

How is gold made? How did gold get on earth? And, why is gold rarer than so many other metals? These all seem like questions we should have answered long ago. But it took a young scientist from Iowa to settle the long-standing questions about the origin of gold and other heavy elements in the universe. Theoretical astrophysicist Brian Metzger joins River to River to share how he helped solve one of the mysteries of the universe.

Then: imagine scrolling through Zillow and finding your house — the one you own — listed for sale by someone else. This was the reality for a Marshalltown family who almost lost their home without their knowledge. Experts tell the Midwest Newsroom that shortcomings in the way Iowa’s quiet title law is written include vague language that defines how someone can argue that the property belongs to them. Another is the way people are notified – or, as in Natalia’s case, not notified – that there’s a dispute about ownership of their property. Host Ben Kieffer speaks with then-IPR reporter Kassidy Arena about her reporting on this case in Marshalltown and the Iowa law that allowed a house title to be changed over to a stranger.

Find the full episodes here and here.

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Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa