Living in a cabin in the woods with other kids, fighting mosquitoes, singing songs around a campfire--going to summer camp can be a powerful rite of passage. This hour, we'll talk about the summer camp experience with Steve Baskin, President of the American Camp Association; Abbie Parker of the Iowa 4-H Center; and James Martinson, of Camp Fire USA Heart of the Hawkeye Council.

Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with the 2011 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Professor Dan Shechtman.  We’ll hear the story behind his discovery of a type of crystal so unusual at the time that it upended the scientific world and about his reaction to the moment he was given the news of his Nobel Prize.  Dan Shechtman is a professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State University, a research scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, and the Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.

There are movie lines so iconic that not only does almost everyone instantly recognize them, but they’ve actually become a part of our lexicon. Today, Charity talks with English Language expert and Iowa native Patricia O’Conner about the movie lines that endure and shape our language. O'Conner is the author of a number of popular word books, including "Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English; Words Fail Me, and others.

Expanding Safe Haven

Feb 22, 2012

Fourteen lives… It’s not often you can quantify the effects of a state law in such concrete terms.  But in Iowa, 14 newborns have been delivered safely to health care facilities, and then successfully adopted to families under the “Safe Haven” law.  Host Ben Kieffer talks about a bill that would expand the law to cover babies up to one year of age, and other approaches to expanding the reach of a well-intentioned law, as well as the concerns raised by any such expansion.  Guests include Missouri State Senator Eric Schmitt, Iowa State Representative Mark Smith, Stephen Scott of Prevent Child

Between 1854 and 1929 more than 200,000 orphaned and abandoned children boarded trains on the East coast and headed west to find new homes. About 8,000 to 10,000 of these children were taken in by Iowans. On today's Talk of Iowa, we'll find out about the history of the orphan trains and the children who rode them. Guests are Sue Sutton of the National Orphan Train Complex; Mary McLain, a former newspaper reporter and daughter of an Iowa Orphan Train rider; and Jim Phillips of Mason City, whose father, J.

Politics Day

Feb 21, 2012

The latest polls show Mitt Romney retaking the lead in Michigan, although the race for the republican presidential nomination is still extremely tight.  Join host Ben Kieffer as we talk about that race and the lead up to Super Tuesday.  We’ll also discuss the controversy over requiring insurance coverage for contraception and now, some prenatal testing, and how it’s impacting the discussion of faith in the campaign.

The Vets in Our Lives

Feb 20, 2012

It's been said the best doctor in the world is a veterinarian--she can't ask her patients what's the matter, she's got to just know. This hour, we look into the worlds of four Iowa vets, whose patients run the spectrum from kittens to giraffes. We'll find out why each chose the job for their life's work and how the profession has changed of late. Charity speaks to: Dr. June Olds, Blank Park Zoo vet; Dr. Loras Wilgenbusch, retired large animal vet from Victor, IA; Dr. Kirk Heisterkamp, equine vet from Cedar Rapids; and small animal vet, Dr. Ryan Steen of Cedar Rapids.

Open enrollment allows parents to register their children in any Iowa school district.  Join host Ben Kieffer as we talk about how two Iowa school districts are poised to take advantage of open enrollment by offering a solely on-line virtual education.  Ben will talk with the superintendent of one of those school districts and with a state senator who has concerns about virtual schools.