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 Clare Roth @ClareAliceRoth.  Our Executive Producer is Katherine Perkins.  Our theme music is by The River Monks.

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Do you have a young bookworm on your Christmas list?

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For the seasoned gardener, seed catalogs have already begun to arrive in the mail.

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

Do you have a favorite Christmas song? For many of us, our favorite songs have memories associated with them.

Jason Parks

Finding a trustworthy and affordable child care provider is one of the biggest challenges working parents face. At the same time, providers are asked to do demanding and important work for little pay.

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to that problem, says infant and toddler consultant Beth Walling.

"It's like trying to tackle poverty," she says.

Walling is especially concerned, since studies show there's an achievement gap that exists at 10 months of age.

"A 3-year-old’s vocabulary can predict their third grade reading level."

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

If book-buying is on your to-do list this season, Jan Weismiller and Paul Ingram of Prairie Lights Books are here to help.

courtesy of Clark Kidder

Thousands of orphan came to Iowa and other Midwestern states by train. A documentary premiering on Iowa Public Television tonight chronicles their stories.

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There are foods in every family that have to make it to the Thanksgiving table. If you want to experiment with traditional dishes, where do you start?

Photo Courtesy of Greg Johnson

According to the 2012 Census, the average size of an American home is 2,598 square feet. 

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

Do you have a tattoo? Why did you get it, and what does it mean to you? 

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Poinsettia are beautiful holiday plants, but if you’re given one as a host or hostess or pick up one in the store, how do you care for it after the holidays?  

L.C. Nøttaasen / Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr

The profound words of another can have a profound impact on our lives.  JFK inspired a generation with, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."

South Dakota Historical Society Press

Laura Ingalls Wilder completed the original draft of her autobiography, Pioneer Girl, in the spring of 1930. It was never published, but it led to one of the most beloved series of books of all time.

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography is finally in print. Editor Pamela Smith Hill has painstakingly researched that original draft, sharing light on the events that Wilder wrote about, and painting a picture about a remarkable family that lived through momentous times.

Jim Pease

Jaguars don’t roam the prairies and Hyacinth Macaws don’t perch in our oak trees, but today on Talk of Iowa we learn about the wild creatures of Brazil with wildlife biologist, Jim Pease.

Big cats, small primates, colorful birds, and rodents of unusual size. We also find out why the biodiversity of the Amazon matters here in Iowa.

"While we still celebrate the wildlife that we have here in Iowa, I think we need to remember how diverse it once was," says Pease. "Visiting places that are these 'mega-diversity' places is important for a number of reasons."

Richard Lem

Do you know a teenager who plays video games as if it is his or her job? Well, some of those gamers are going pro - playing games in front of an audience and occasionally, getting paid.

Monika Schnell / IPR Listener, Iowa City

If you look closely at the trees right now, you can see things previous hidden, like the nests of bald-faced hornets.

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Billy Collins has been called "America's favorite poet," and the former Poet Laureate will be visiting Iowa.

Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

When Otty Schmakal left Austria at the beginning of World War II, she left behind her homeland and a fiancé who was training to be a doctor. 

Clayton Parker / Flickr

The first snow fell last night and Iowa homes are starting to show where drafts and cold sneak in. 

Kenneth Mertes

Many scientists believe that Earth is in the midst of a sixth great extinction. On this edition of Talk of Iowa, threats to biodiversity in the Midwest.

There's a great deal of history to be found on most university campuses--but not just in the buildings and the libraries.

Kansas State Historical Society

Six years before the Civil War officially began, shots were fired in the Kansas Territory in the fight between pro-slavery settlers and free staters.

Courtesy of Charles Notis

Charles Notis created one of the most prominent commercial weather forecasting groups in the state with Harvey Freese.

Iowa Public Radio

Six Iowa chefs will compete Thursday at West End Salvage in Des Moines for the second annual Iowa Public Radio Battle of the Chefs. They're all out to win. 

Terry Ballard

Mark Twain was an incredibly prolific writer. He published more than 30 books and pamphlets, and thousands of newspaper and magazine articles.

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Have you started getting your garden ready for winter? 

Haunted Iowa

Oct 30, 2014
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Looking for a haunted house to visit this Halloween? 

Halloween can almost generate a dictionary of its own.

wader / Flickr

When you stand in front of the mirror and look at your image can you see yourself as you really are?

Diana Thomas / Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa

One day, while out on a run, Molly Barker had a breakthrough. Ten years later, “Girls on the Run” is a nationally known after school program for girls. 

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

When her husband died, Brenda, an Iowa City resident, struggled to explain the death to her four sons. So she turned to a person who handles death for a living: her husband’s funeral director.

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