SPidge Tales

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A couple random interesting and totally unrelated links

I have a confession to make. Actually, it's more of statement; a sad admittance. Earlier this week, Barbaro died. In case you are drawing a blank, it should be noted that Barbaro is a racehorse. He is not just any racehorse--he won the Kentucky Derby last year. All the horseracing people talked about how he was going to win the triple crown. Tragically, he fractured his leg in a later race, and we have spent the past year being bombarded in the sports pages with stories of Barbaro's on-going surgeries, his strong willed rehabilitation attempts, and the debates over whether he was nearing the point where they would have to euthanize him. Unfortunately, there were no interviews with the horse himself, so they statements about his bravery are only conjecture.

With all this talk in the sports world about Barbaro's recovery attempts, one would think that horse racing is still a popular sport that people care about, like in the 40's and 50's when the big three were baseball, boxing, and horse racing. Sadly, Barbaro just died, and those insensitive people in charge of the Super Bowl will allow the game to go on during what should be a period of national mourning. The NFL cancelled games when Kennedy was shot and after 9/11, so why not now?

Maybe the Super Bowl organizers are right. Maybe we honor Barbaro best by moving on with our lives. I know that you, dear reader, are sad, but I will go back to normal living. I found a couple of interesting stories on the internet, one funny and one serious. The first is a photo-essay of media day at the Super Bowl by ESPN's Bill Simmons (his story is also the place where I learned of Barbaro's tragic death): http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/mediaday07/part1 . The second link is to a very serious article. It is about the stem-cell research issue and controversy (I know, really random and strange transition). The essay is by a professor or neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah. It is in First Things Journal. Yes, First Things comes from the conservative perspective, but the article is good. It raises questions about whether embryonic stem-cell research, regardless of the moral and ethical issues in play, really does hold any realistic hope of finding cures: http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=5420 .


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