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 offers a mix of regular guests, newsmakers and interesting Iowans to talk about the arts, culture, humanities and lifestyle of our state. This IPR original brings a range of experts to the microphone to discuss a myriad of topics. Guests include Jim Pease for the Wildlife Program and of course, the Hort Gang on Fridays. Join us for smart, friendly conversation about what's happening in Iowa and what makes this a special place to live.

During the show, contact us at 1-866-780-9100, IPRTalk on Twitter, our Facebook page, or email us at Our theme music is by The River Monks.

Want to share an idea for a future show? Contact one of our producers:
Ben Kieffer:
Charity Nebbe: Twitter: @CharityNebbe
Clare Roth: Twitter: @ClareAliceRoth
Dennis Reese:
Emily Woodbury: Twitter: @EmilyWoodbury
Katherine Perkins:
Lindsey Moon: Twitter: @lindseysmoon

Composer ID: 


3:30 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Iowa's Century Farms

Gene Wiese with several generations of the Wiese family
Wiese & Sons

One family, farming the same land generation after generation - this is a dream many farmers share, but not an easy one to realize.

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1:15 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Asking Major World Leaders to Sign Along the Laces

Joel Dinda via Flickr

What was Margaret Thatcher's response to being asked to sign a baseball? 

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Home Improvement
1:50 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

How to Put Up a New Shed This Spring

Tonniedixon via Wikimedia Commons

There are many different ways to approach putting up a new shed, from buying one prefab to building your own.

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Summer Camp
4:00 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

School Start Date Debate Affects Summer Camps

postcards sent to campers from counselors
Katherine Perkins Iowa Public Radio

Summer Program Director at the Des Moines YMCA Camp Alex Kretzinger says its difficult to develop schedules for summer camp not knowing when school will start next fall.

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Iowa Life
3:33 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Life on the Line: Between Abled and Disabled

Courtesy of Veronica Hamly

Veronica Hamly has lived her entire life between categories.

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3:00 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Lisa Uhl Aims for Rio in 2016

Courtesy of Lisa Uhl

Fort Dodge native and professional runner Lisa Uhl is hoping to make her mark in the marathon in the next Olympic games.

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12:15 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

How to Get a Jump on Your Gardening Season - Even in the Winter

Dennis Brown via Wikimedia Commons

Temperatures outside have been frigid, but there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy gardening and prepare for the spring.

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2:17 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Engineering A Better Birth Control

Jonathan Eig's book focuses on how the birth control pill came into popular use.
UCI UC Irvine Flickr

When the birth control pill was introduced in 1960, it gave women the power to prevent pregnancy. With that option came freedom. 

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7:50 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Dan Gable on his sister’s murder and his Olympic wrestling career

Dan Gable after winning gold at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany
Courtesy of UI Athletics

Many in Iowa know Dan Gable’s name as a part of wrestling legend. How much do we know about the man himself?  

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4:24 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Even if Love is Colorblind, Kids Aren’t

Vox Efx Flickr

In Iowa, there are around 6,000 kids in the foster care system. While many of those are children of color, foster parents are mostly white. How much does it matter?

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5:04 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

The Science of Love

Science may hold the key to the beginnings and the ends of our relationships.
Brent Moore Flickr

This Valentine's Day weekend, along with chocolate and flowers, you can add one more tool to your arsenal: science.

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3:03 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Alton Brown Takes His Show on the Road

GracinhaMarco Abundo Wikimedia Commons

Alton Brown won’t disclose the restaurants he’s going to sample in Iowa next week, but he says they have been chosen.

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2:13 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

How Much Do You Know About Where Your Food Comes From?

Iowa Nice Guy Scott Siepker
Screen Shot

How much do you really know about where you food comes from? Could you grow enough food to sustain yourself and your family in a garden?

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4:28 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Wiggling in the Classroom--Movement's Role in Learning

Something as simple as chair design could help elementary school students learn.
Judy Baxter Flickr

For years the common wisdom was that kids need to sit still and listen in order to concentrate. New research suggests that's not the case.

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Talk of Iowa
2:20 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Iowa State's Home Management Houses

"Baby Ned" and his caregivers, from the scrapbook created during his first year, spent on the Iowa State campus in 1938-1939

For the first year of his life, John Reichard lived in a house where university students cared for him. They called him "Baby Ned."

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Talk of Iowa
3:20 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Cedar Rapids Dog Finds Owner at Hospital

A Miniature Schnauzer named Sissy traveled 20 blocks to find her owner at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids. Pictured: Sissy (left) and Barney (right)

A persistent pooch named Sissy snuck out of her Cedar Rapids home on Friday morning, in a quest to find her owner.

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1:01 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Where Do Valentine's Day Flowers Come From?

Liz West Flickr

Most flowers travel thousands of miles each year  before being sold for Valentine’s Day.

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4:24 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

ISU Professor: Men and Women Not So Different After All

Wikimedia Commons

The book “Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus” popularized the idea that men and women are as different as night and day. But Iowa State University Psychologist Zlatan Krizan says we’re a lot more alike than different.

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Wildlife Day
2:40 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Wildlife Day: Creating Habitat to Increase Biodiversity

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Jasper County, Iowa
Rachel Gardner

The groundhog predicted six weeks of winter, and that means six more weeks to plan for spring.

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4:05 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Mark Bittman on the Importance of Cooking

Mark Bittman
Sally Stein

Cooking can be intimidating, especially in an era of triumphant food photos on Instagram, Pinterest, and blogs.

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2:59 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

How Have Cell Phones Changed Our Behavior?

Clare Roth browses the internet on her phone while talking with friends.
Pam Keller Courtesy of Clare Roth

Cell phones have undeniably changed the way we communicate with one another.

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Talk of Iowa
3:54 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Darwin Day

Statue of Charles Darwin at the Natural History Museum in London
CGP Grey / flickr

Charles Darwin has a birthday next month, and science lovers all over the world will take time to celebrate the man who unraveled so many of the mysteries surrounding our origins, and those of our fellow animals.

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Arts and Culture
4:01 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

How to Cuss "Politely"

Maybe cartoons do it best

Euphemisms can be used for many purposes, but perhaps none more useful than substituting for swear words.

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11:49 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple

book cover
Courtesy of Robert Waggoner

In his new book, author Robert Waggoner argues that lucid dreaming is not only useful, but also simple to learn.

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Arts and Culture
3:29 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

The 2015 Wapsipinicon Almanac

The 2015 Wapsipinicon Almanac is now available. Publisher Tim Fay of Anamosa says that even after 21 issues, there has been no shortage of material to write about. 

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1:50 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Stop and Smell the Orchids

Just because its January, doesn't mean there aren't flowers in bloom. 

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4:20 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

The Ten Commandments' Prevalence Today

Ten Commandments Monument at Courthouse Square in Mount Vernon, Indiana
J. Stephen Conn

While many see the Ten Commandments as a simple and powerful set of laws to live by; they are also a lightning rod for controversy in this country.

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Arts and Culture
9:41 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Exploring Mississippi River Towns

Iowa Sunrise along the Mississippi River
Gayle Harper

When a raindrop falls into the headwaters of the Mississippi River, it spends the next 90 days making its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

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Home Improvement Day
4:59 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Facts and Fictions of Home Improvement Shows

Home improvement television shows are fun to watch, but how much can they teach us?
Jill Flickr

A radical home makeover makes for great tv, but the projects on home improvement shows aren’t always what they seem.  

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5:19 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Friendship Through World Travel: "All it takes is one person to open your eyes to the world"

Janna Graber and Melanie Zepeda
Courtesy of Janna Graber

Janna Graber never considered international travel until she met Iowa native, Melanie Zepeda.

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