We all had toys that we loved as children, do you remember your favorite?

Eastern Iowa Coalition of Reason

Our country is very much identified as "one nation under God," however, the number of non-religious Americans has risen dramatically.

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Public Radio

For Veterans Day, join host Ben Kieffer as he travels to Washington D.C. with more than 80 Iowa veterans.

Iowa State University

Diane Rasmussen, who lives in Omaha, can't make impromptu trips to Arlington, Virginia, where her son Deric is buried. Now, if she wants to feel close to him, she can visit Gold Star Hall in ISU's Memorial Union.

Keturah Stickann

False death reports, spaghetti growing on trees, and more than one discovery of evidence that proves that a mythical creature is real… we’ve all learned to be a little skeptical on April 1st.

Today on April Fool's day - the art of the prank.

Host Charity Nebbe explores our rich history of hoaxes and practical jokes with Kembrew McLeod, author of Pranksters and University of Iowa Associate Professor of Communication Studies. She also sits down with Leo Landis, from the State Historical Museum of Iowa, to discuss Iowa's role in the hoax of the Cardiff Giant.

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Public Radio

Is winter almost over?  And how has the long, harsh season affect Iowa's waterways and aquatic life?  Also, the latest Quinnipiac poll, 2014's Cancer in Iowa report, Iowa's new tourism ad campaign and Pi Day at the Science Center of Iowa.

Colin Charles

After seemingly long weeks and short days full of shoveling, snow-blowing, icy cold and blustery winds, many of us are ready to complain and dream of summer. But there is hope for happiness during the dark winter season.

On this segment of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with two Danish visitors working at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. They share the Danish secret to winter happiness - it's called "hygge." There is no direct translation, but it is often described as a feeling of coziness... a homey feeling, often with candle light, family, and friends.

puuikibeach / flickr

Every year on New Year’s Day a lot of people make resolutions: to lose weight, to save money, to be more organized.  Sadly, most of those resolutions fail.    Join host Charity Nebbe for this talk about making resolutions you can keep and that will actually enhance your life.  Guests include Mitch Horowitz, author of One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life, and Kevin Krumvieda, Clinical Psychologist in private practice in North Liberty. 

Tinsel Tales Two

Dec 25, 2013
Jelene Morris

Continuing with the tradition of the first "Tinsel Tales," host Lynn Neary brings another hour of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season.

Ho, Ho, Huh?

Dec 25, 2013
Albert Herring

Authors Ron Carlson, Frank O'Connor and George Shephard each present a different side of the Christmas experience. Also humorist Calvin Trillin reads a Christmas poem.

American Public Media

The perfect Christmas music continues December 25th  on IPR Classical with: Chanticleer at 8AM; the St. Olaf Christmas Festival at 9AM; Stile Antico singing luminous Elizabethan music of Thomas Tallis and Willian Byrd at 11, followed by Chicago’s Music of the Baroque at noon with glorious music not just from the Baroque but also from modern Estonia and England. Then, at 2PM, hear a complete Handel “Messiah” from Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society led by Harry Christophers.

Tinsel Tales One

Dec 24, 2013
Dinner Series

Christmas is a time of traditions, and over the years, NPR has created a few traditions of its own. In this hour-long special: Wistfulness, joy, doubt, hope, all the emotions we feel at this time of year, are all summoned up in memorable stories from the NPR broadcast archives in “Tinsel Tales.”

David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk — these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. It may be you'll remember these tales fondly, or it may be you'll fall in love with them for the first time.  Lynn Neary hosts.

"A Christmas Carol," read by Doug Brown

Dec 24, 2013
Heritage Auction Gallery

Beloved by Iowa Public Radio listeners for decades, the late WOI classical music host Doug Brown reads the entirety of the ultimate Christmas classic, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

Morehouse College

At 10AM, hear this year's "Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols" live from King's College, Cambridge on IPR Classical. Then, at 11 AM, the Tallis Scholars - celebrating their 40th anniversary - present a beautiful concert from Boston. At noon, hear this year's Christmas at Luther, recorded in Decorah. But wait, there's more!

Noah Henscheid, from

Join us Monday at 7PM as Jason Weinberger and the wcfsymphony perform Christmas (and other) music of Bach, Handel, and Marc-Antoine Charpentier. The Bach includes selections from his cantatas and his Christmas Oratorio, plus the Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 with Kathleen Sihler and Ute Brandenburg on violas. Music from Handel's Messiah and Charpentier's Noëls round out the festivities. Guest vocalists include Jeff Brich, Elizabeth Bieber, and Kaethe Henning.

amber e/ Love Nest

The holidays bring families together and sometimes that can cause stress.  In fact, navigating family togetherness when hurt and dysfunction abounds can seem impossible.

Holiday Travel

Dec 11, 2013
Jonathan Frazier

Holiday travel can be daunting. Travel writer Jennifer Wilson suggests great Iowa holiday destinations, gives tips for snowy road trips and has a game plan for airport hiccups.

Sarah Boden / Iowa Public Radio

There is no place like home for the holidays, and that’s why pianist and composer Dan Knight is coming home.  Dan joins host Charity Nebbe for one of our favorite holiday traditions.  You tell us a story about your favorite holiday song and Dan Knight will play it. 

Christmas cactus, Norfolk Island pine, amaryllis bulbs and of course, poinsettia... plants make popular gifts.  But caring for those plants and getting them to bloom can be challenging.  Host Emily Woodbury talks with horticulturists Richard Jauron and Cindy Haynes of Iowa State University Extension about how to get these seasonal plants blooming for the season.  They also offer some gift ideas for gardeners.

Nicholas Jones

We’ve made it through Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, but the ads keep coming and will continue for the next three weeks. For many, this emphasis on the material aspects of the holiday season can become overwhelming and may even overshadow the joy and fun of this special time of year.

Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

Dave Stoufer tells stories about listening to kid's gift wishes, having his beard pulled, and other funny and heartfelt moments over his 40 years as Santa's helper. Stoufer has also recently written his memoirs with Santa stories.  

Hanukkah Lights 2013

Nov 29, 2013
Skyco / flickr

This special program aired in place of 'Talk of Iowa' November 29, 2013:

A perennial NPR favorite, Hanukkah Lights features Hanukkah stories and memoirs written by acclaimed authors expressly for the show, as read by NPR's Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. 

Here is a link to the program:

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

After first gaining popularity in New Orleans, the Turducken—that’s a chicken stuffed inside a duck inside a turkey-- has made its way onto some of the more adventurous Thanksgiving tables in Iowa. For two restaurant owners in Oxford, it’s a way to share the cuisine of a city they left years ago. Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports.    

Jason Mrachina

According to regional food coordinators, there is no local food network like the one in Iowa. The connection between farmers and distributors is very strong, and the network continues to grow larger every year. Even so, about 80% of the food Iowans consume is from out of state.

Casey Fleser / Flickr

Garrison Keillor once said, “A book is a gift you can open again and again.”  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Jan Weismiller and Paul Ingram of Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City, and Mollie Loughlin of The Book Vine in Cherokee about the best books to give as gifts this year.  We've compiled the list below, along with what our reviewers had to say about each book.

Paul Ingram - Fiction

Christmas Trees

Nov 22, 2013
Soil Science at NC State

Every year at this time, people like to venture out to cut their own Christmas Trees.  Join host Charity Nebbe for her talk with Forester Mark Vitosh about selection and maintenance of live Christmas trees.  Iowa State University Horticulturist Richard Jauron also answers your lawn and garden questions.

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Public Radio

For Veterans Day, join host Ben Kieffer as he travels to Washington D.C. with more than 80 Iowa veterans.   The Eastern Iowa Honor Flight sent veterans of World War Two and the Korean War to the nation's capital to visit memorials and to get a tour of the city.  Hear ceremonies, sounds, and stories—emotional and lighthearted.

In Uniform

Nov 11, 2013

In war or in peace, thousands of Iowans have served in the armed forces.  With both archival audio and original interviews, "In Uniform" honors and remembers Iowa veterans who sacrificed and served the country since the Civil War all the way up to the War on Terror.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

James Yee spent nearly a year as a military chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was appalled by the conditions he saw there, including what he describes as humiliating interrogation methods which he says often targeted prisoners' religion.

On his way home in 2003, Yee was detained by the U.S. military and accused of spying. He was held in solitary confinement for 76 days before ultimately being released, cleared of all charges, and honorably discharged.

Mike Hiatt

Story County's county attorney decided that the use of deadly force in this week's shooting of a chase suspect was justified.  Nevertheless, the chase resulted in the death of a young man and raises many questions.

Host Ben Kieffer discusses the facts of the deadly high-speed chase in Ames with IPR's Joyce Russell.  Also, ISU and Ames Laboratory engineers have recently developed real-time, 3-D conferencing technology.