Monday, November 10, 2008

Jazz To The World - Dennis

More than 300 people helped us kick off the holiday season at Jazz To The World Nov. 29 at the Englert in Iowa City. Dan Knight led a great quintet, with guest vocalists including Betsy Hickok.

A kids chorus performed two holiday-themed sketches. The first, a funny take on "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch," in which a "Scroogey" piano teacher gets his comeuppance. Then, the story of a very special singing of "Silent Night" during World War I.

Santa was't there. But Mrs. Claus was. And what an appearance it was!

If you missed the concert, it will be a part of our Christmas special December 24.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

ISU Solar Decathlon Team - George

As part of a Clean Up Your Act feature, I recently met with members of the Iowa State University team that will compete in the 2009 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. Twenty collegiate teams are competing to design homes powered entirely by the sun.

There are many challenges involved in addition to coming up with a successful solar design. Judging is also based on the attractiveness of the homes. The homes have to be constructed in a way that they can be taken apart, trucked to the nation's capitol and re-constructed on the National Mall. The ISU team is also incorporating other green practices into its home, including the recycling of gray water. The competition is not only a learning experience for participants but is also used as a tool to help inform the public about solar houses. And, of course, fundraising -- always a major undertaking -- is involved.

My interview with IT Coordinator Eric Berkson, Project Engineer Tim Lentz, Team Co-Leader Keiand Fundraising Leader Chelsey Olsen is available as a podcast.

The U.S. Department of Energy competition will be held in the fall of 2009.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Check Out the Podcasts - George

Are you a fan of Talking Pictures but sometimes miss it when it's aired? Or do you want to find out what's happening this weekend but you didn't catch the Culture Crawl? Well, all you have to do is listen to the Podcasts on our web site. It's as easy as clicking "On the Air" in the menu bar and scrolling down to "Podcasts and Downloads." Got a Minute and Clean Up Your Act archives are also found there as well as a long list of interviews we've done with jazz musicians who have performed in this area. You can also subscribe to the Podcasts and have them automatically downloaded to your computer.