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.

Courtesy of Tenor Madness

Iowa’s music scene is known for names like Glenn Miller, Slipknot, and Greg Brown, but we don’t often don’t think of the people who make their careers possible: the instrument builders.

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If you’re a fan of electronica, you’ve got several Iowans to thank.

Steev Hise

Iowa is a destination for many aspiring writers from around the world, but the state has also been the origin of many gifted authors.

Kepper66 / Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve spent any time in Iowa then you’ve heard the name ‘Amana’ thrown around. But what about ‘Icarian’?

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We give insects credit for pollination, but we often take their other work for granted. 

Dolan H / flickr

The winter months are a great time to work on some of those indoor projects you’ve been putting off and right now is a great time to make your plans.

In this Talk of Iowa interview, home improvement expert Bill McAnally talks about planning your winter basement remodeling project.

Christiane Tas / Wikimedia Commons

Inheritance of any family business is a sticky issue. But when that family business doubles as your childhood home, emotions run even higher.

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

Reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books is a rite of passage for millions of children. 

Rev. Superinteressante / Wikimedia Commons

Science often runs in the family. And while the Albert Einstein we all know studied particle physics, his first son, Hans Albert Einstein, studied rivers.

And just like that… suddenly it’s Fall (or feels like it).  On this Horticulture Day, Denny Schrock, Iowa Master Gardener Coordinator is here along with Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron.  We talk about bulbs, spring blooming and fall blooming bulbs.  Just in time for some possible frost that might hit northern Iowa tonight.

For years Bruce Kindig of Davenport did his best to keep the history of the Civil War alive as a re-enactor and a history teacher. 

Courtesy of Pecha Kucha Des Moines

We're seeing a rebirth of the lecture. TED talks go viral on YouTube regularly. Now Pecha Kucha is popping up all over Iowa.

Feuerstein46 / Wikimedia Commons

What game birds have you seen this summer?

Daniel Rehn

When University of Iowa associate professor Kembrew McLeod wrote in protest of the university's pink locker room, he expected some hate-mail, but he was not prepared for how much the comments would hurt.

Responses like "I speak for the state of Iowa in saying that we detest you at a molecular level" and "Honestly, I do hope this guy gets beat up" can really "wear on one’s psyche," he says.

Noah Sussman / Flickr

Like it or not, summer is nearly gone. But you don’t have to say goodbye to summer produce.

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When did your parents first talk to you about sex? What did they say? 

In her latest book, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf shows how one small mistake can have life-altering consequences.

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Joe Michaud was a border guard for the US Army working along the East/West border in Germany starting in 1959.

Courtesy of Dan Treadman

People associate Iowa with  "The Bridges of Madison County" and "Field of Dreams." But what movies are being shot in Iowa today?

gabontour / flickr

Over the next few weeks the green in our fields will turn to gold and the leaves on the trees will begin to change.

Julie Lesnik

Iowa State University primatologist Jill Pruetz introduced the world to the spear-wielding Savannah chimpanzees of Senegal. She's just returned to Iowa from her summer in that country; and this hour, host Charity Nebbe talks with with her about her discoveries.

And later in the hour, an update on the Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative in Des Moines, from the organization's president and staff scientist, Bill Hopkins.

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We’ve all been asked for letters of recommendation. At the end of the day, what’s the point? 

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Iowa is nestled in the center of America’s breadbasket; one of our most precious resources is beneath our feet. But it’s a resource in jeopardy.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

For Phil Cummings, Iowa Farm Bureau Cook Off State Fair Barbeque Grand Champion, barbecuing is a family affair. 

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There have been reports of dragonfly swarms in certain parts of the state this summer. 

Jim Tittle

When a silica sand mining company bought 160 acres near his mother’s home in Eastern Minnesota, Jim Tittle had lots of questions.

Former Iowa State lawmaker John Wittneben has more than 4,000 assembled puzzles in his home, and he’s not the only one.

Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

Wallace Winkie taught generations of Belle Plaine teenagers how to drive. Now, his wife, Bev Winkie, has collected their stories in the book "Park It!" How much has changed in driving education since Winkie's heyday in the 50s?

Larry Johnson, coordinator for the Des Moines Public Schools' driving education, says one answer is the amount of time they're trained. Where driving education used to be taught over several months, now, some students can finish their instruction in as little as 4 weeks. 

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

When Pamela Crouch, a writer, underwent cancer treatments, she developed aphasia--the inability to remember the names of things. So she decided to create in a different way--painting birdhouses for other newly diagnosed cancer patients. 

"I was always taught that if you do something for someone else, you can't really feel sorry for yourself, it takes that pain away and you think outward."

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How does your lawn look?  If the answer is, “not so good,” now is the time to do something about it.

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