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'Life with Lola' and Darwin at Alki

Megan Sukys/Dave Beck

Charles Darwin was born 200 years ago today. This hour, we look at two different aspects of Darwin's work: his abolitionist beliefs and his connection to his children. We also learn about the gypsy culture of Seattle. Then, Amanda Wilde has a tune that sounds familiar.

At 2:05 p.m. – Olympics Countdown

Today is a big day in Vancouver and Whistler, BC. February twelfth marks exactly one year to go to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Organizers are justifiably proud of completing the competition venues well in advance. But now the world economic crisis threatens the corporate sponsorships which underpin the sports extravaganza. Correspondent Tom Banse has this status check from Vancouver.

At 2:10 p.m. – Carol Miller – Lola's Luck

Seattle's Belltown neighborhood looked totally different in the late 60's. Families of gypsies ran palm–reading parlors in the storefronts that are now expensive boutiques and restaurants. Carol Miller wanted to study these families. So she did two things most upper–class housewives never did. She took her two kids and left her successful husband. And she went to the University of Washington to become an anthropologist. The gypsies rejected her for an entire year. Then one afternoon she met Lola. Carol eventually wrote a book called Lola's Luck about their unlikely friendship. KUOW's Jeannie Yandel sat down with Carol to find out what Lola meant to her.

At 2:30 p.m. – Sounds Familiar

Amanda Wilde is the host of the Swing Years and Beyond heard Saturday evenings on KUOW. Every month we get a visit from Amanda introducing us to the history behind songs we didn't know we knew so well. Amanda talks with KUOW's Dave Beck about another tune that sounds familiar.

At 2:40 p.m. – Darwin the Abolitionist

Two–hundred years after his birth, a new biography sets out to portray Charles Darwin as a passionate moralist engaged in a scientific war on the prevailing racism of the day. James Moore, author of "Darwin's Sacred Cause," talks with Living on Earth guest host Bruce Gellerman about how the scream of a tortured slave drove Darwin to develop his theory of evolution and helped discount the scientifically–accepted belief that blacks and whites belonged to different species.

At 2:50 p.m. – Darwin at Alki

Charles Darwin never visited West Seattle. But today, on Darwin's 200th birthday, we can apply his scientific vision to our local landscape. Lyanda Lynn Haupt is a master birder and the author of "Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin's Lost Notebooks." She says that Darwin inspires her to find a continuity between the indoors and outdoors — or the city and nature. KUOW's Jeremy Richards joins Lyanda Lynn Haupt at Seattle's Alki Beach.

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