Random Acts of Knowledge-logo

Random Acts of Knowledge

Education Podcasts >

Heartland Community College presents Random Acts of Knowledge, a podcast where we explore the worlds of continuing education. The goal of each episode is to learn something new. No matter the topic, we'll pick up some random knowledge from experts who can give us a short and interesting lesson about their field.

Heartland Community College presents Random Acts of Knowledge, a podcast where we explore the worlds of continuing education. The goal of each episode is to learn something new. No matter the topic, we'll pick up some random knowledge from experts who can give us a short and interesting lesson about their field.
More Information


United States


Heartland Community College presents Random Acts of Knowledge, a podcast where we explore the worlds of continuing education. The goal of each episode is to learn something new. No matter the topic, we'll pick up some random knowledge from experts who can give us a short and interesting lesson about their field.






21: The resurrection of the alligator snapping turtle

With their spiny backs and powerful jaws, alligator snapping turtles appear menacing. But these prehistoric-looking reptiles have been dwindling in number in the Midwest for decades. With the help of an Illinois biology teacher and a network of classroom foster parents, the alligator snapping turtle is being reintroduced into the food chain of Midwestern waterways.


20: Thinking about what you buy (and how you buy it)

It’s never been easier to buy things. Global trade has flooded markets with a number of inexpensive products. Online retailers now can deliver goods to someone’s home in as little as a day. But with the increased ease of consuming, is there an increased responsibility? Ashlee Sang discusses how conscious consumerism can improve the health and welfare of individuals and the larger world.


19: Helping writers find perspective

Most writers will say that creative writing isn’t easy. No matter how many ideas someone may have, getting those ideas on the page is the real trick. Amanda L. Webster, author of ‘DIY High’ and ‘Valley of the Bees’ discusses how writers can find a perspective beyond their own experience and learn to get their point across.


18: What we've forgotten about Lincoln's death

The shape of American history was changed when President Abraham Lincoln was shot. In the chaotic days following the infamous shooting at Ford's Theater, rumors swirled while the President's assassin fled justice. How many were involved? Were there a foreign agents behind the attack? Christina Lea Smith tells some of the lesser-known stories surrounding Lincoln's assassination.


17: Apollo 11 and a return to the Moon

On July 20, 1969 humans first set foot on Earth’s moon. By the end of 1972, the Apollo program’s firsthand exploration of the Moon would be over. At the Challenger Learning Center, missions to the Moon or Mars are planned every day… in simulation. A Challenger Learning Center Flight Director talks about what it took to get to the Moon 50 years ago, what it will take to get back.


16: The growing workplace of aerial drones

From search and rescue to wedding photography, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are being used to do more jobs than ever before. A professional drone pilot discusses the growing list of jobs that a used to be done by a team of people that are now done by a drone and a drone operator.


15: Caring touch for cancer

Family members of those who are undergoing cancer treatment might feel powerless to help with a loved one's recovery. Oncology Massage Therapist Cindy Teremuende says that we underestimate the power of touch in helping with cancer recovery.


14: A Safe Zone for LGBTQ+ students

Members of the LGBTQ+ communities can face prejudice that can extend from unjustified assumptions to active bullying. Not all behavior that is dismissive of LGBTQ+ persons is malicious or even active, but education can create more awareness to prevent even unintentional marginalization. Emily Rosenquist and Jessica Depke from Heartland Community College discuss their efforts to provide a “safe zone” for students and staff to learn.


13: The Global Art Project

Can art build bridges where language and even diplomacy fail? The Global Art Project is a worldwide effort of artists who are breaking through barriers of culture, language and geography. Art professor Jane Camp discusses the grass-roots effort to promote global peace by exchanging artwork with strangers from around the planet.


12: Training Therapy Dogs

Does your pooch have what it takes to be a therapy dog? Dog trainer Tina Zimmerman talks about canines that are pressed into service for therapeutic purposes. Zimmerman outlines the differences between therapy dogs and service dogs, the kind of training involved and what type of animals are best suited for helping humans. She also tells stories of the difference she has seen therapy dogs make in people's lives.


11: Poems found and typed

There is poetry for the eye and poetry for the ear. And there is both. Two unique approaches to poetry highlight how poetry can be discovered -- and understood in a new way -- by mixing things up. In celebration of National Poetry Month, Heartland Community College is presenting a mix of poems and typewriters. The College is also presenting a "blackout" poetry workshop, where poems can be "found."


10: Poems from the La Brea Tar Pits

It all started with a box of bones hidden under a bed. The La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles have preserved the bones of animals trapped there centuries before. Poet Cathy Gilbert says that learning about a personal connection with the Tar Pits inspired her work. Gilbert discusses volunteering to clean artifacts at the La Brea Tar Pits and excavating her own family's history.


9: Demystifying your tax questions

Unless you are a tax professional you might complete the annual task of completing and filing your return each year and be left with some questions. Did I maximize my number of deductions? Did I forget something? Should I have paid someone else to do this? Taxes can be complicated. And there are plenty of changes every year in the tax code. Accounting professor Paul Kelson digs into some common tax scenarios and says the wisest approach may be thinking about your taxes long before you...


8: Turbine Talk - Powering a College with wind

One of the first thing people notice about Heartland College's campus is the towering 1.65 megawatt wind turbine. Not only does this turbine provide over 40% of the College's power, it is a research site. But how do these things work? And what does it take to keep them running? And do they kill birds? Administration, faculty and staff involved with the Heartland wind turbine weigh in.


7: Mini Therapy Horses

Few people expect to go to the library or the classroom and see a horse. Yet, it really happens. Deb Murphy brings her miniature therapy horses to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and even parking lots. They always draw a crowd. The horses are full grown, yet the tallest of them measures less than collarbone high. She discusses the impact these animals have had on the lives of those who have struggled with disability or suffered trauma.


6: Spring Break after the hurricane

The term “spring break” evokes images of beaches, bikinis and beer bashes. But for one group of Heartland Community College students spring break is something very different. Instead of getting rest in the sun these students tore out walls and sorted ruined electronics. And they learned the human impact of a natural disaster.


5: Getting a handle on your life on paper

Sometimes we keep secrets without even knowing we are doing it. This can be the case with important records that we don't use every day... and information that we use every day but don't share. Sonja Reece discusses the importance of organizing personal documents and information to make your life easier today and to help anyone else who might need to find out what you've been keeping to yourself.


4: The secrets of truck driving

What's the hardest part of driving a big rig? What can drivers see that you don't know about? Is it harder to haul flammable material or a trailer full of cows? Dave Keim teaches students the finer points of truck driving, including parallel parking with a 53-foot trailer. Keim fills us in on what truckers want you to know while they are on the road... and what they don't tell you about bathroom breaks.


3: It's a bird, it's a plane.... no, it's a bird

Birdwatching is more than just watching. Dave Weth teaches people to be birders, even just by ear. Weth talks about how he identifies birds, how migration of birds has changed in the midwest, and some of the surprises he has found.


1: The death of Viola Liuzzo

Viola Liuzzo left her middle class life as a homemaker in suburban Detroit to join the civil rights movement. Less than a year later, the white mother of four died at the hands of the KKK in Alabama. And the FBI protected her murderer. We talk with criminal justice professor Dewhitt Bingham about his book "Viola Liuzzo, a True Martyr."