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Sound Focus

Classic Romantic Comedies, Obama and Lincoln, and Tending Monkeys

Megan Sukys
02/13/2009

Today, Seattle based film critic Warren Etheredge celebrates three romantic comedies with realistic romance and dark comedy. We also discover the similarities between Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln. Plus: How a laid–off tech worker found a new calling tending monkeys.

At 2:05 p.m. – Communities Prepare to be More Self–Reliant

Three Northwest cities have latched on to an environmental bandwagon that started a few years ago in Britain. Ashland, Oregon, and Ketchum and Sandpoint, Idaho, are among 130 so–called transition towns around the world. Those are communities that work to become more self–reliant and less susceptible to the vagaries of climate change and volatile energy prices. Correspondent Doug Nadvornick reports on the start of the transition initiative in Sandpoint, Idaho.

At 2:10 p.m. – Making Ends Meet

Michael Delaney is bucking some major economic trends. Instead of losing jobs, he's landing them. It wasn't always this way for Michael. In the 90s, he lived comfortably in Silicon Valley, then the dot com bubble burst. At that time, Michael could not have imagined the jobs that would follow: monkey keeper, deli counter attendant, hardware store clerk ... Eventually, Michael ended up back at a desk job, but this time everything is different.

At 2:20 p.m. – Obama and Lincoln

Historian Orville Vernon Burton tells Jim Fleming about the parallels between Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama. He thinks the men and their times have a lot in common. Burton is the author of "The Age of Lincoln."

At 2:30 p.m. – Erica Bauermeister

Dungeness crab is at its peak during the winter. When it comes to cooking them, a short bath in boiling water usually does the trick. But Seattle author Erica Bauermeister learned a different technique at a local cooking class. Erica had just returned from living in Italy, where she developed a relationship to food and cooking that went beyond using recipes. The combination of Italian slow–food philosophy and Northwest Dungeness crabs inspired her first novel, "The School of Essential Ingredients." Megan Sukys sat down with Erica and asked her what she did to the crabs.

At 2:40 p.m. – Romantic Comedies That Don't Suck

This Valentine's Day, you may be in the mood for a good romantic comedy. The problem is, most of them feature the same tired formulas with predictable and tidy endings. Seattle based film critic Warren Etheredge prefers more realistic romance and darker comedy. Jeremy Richards talks with Warren about three romantic comedies that don't suck.

At 2:50 p.m. – Sign Language in Bangalah

Bangalah, a tiny village in the mountains of Bali, is an unusual place to visit. The local language there isn't spoken, it's signed. All 2,400 people in the village use sign language to communicate. From World Vision Report, Dyssia Hayat takes us there.

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