UCLA is in the Final Four
UCLA is going to back-to-back Final Fours, bringing its total Final Four appearances to 17 (well, sort of).
The game against Kansas was unique. There were a lot of turnovers, but as Bob Ryan said on ESPN Sunday morning, they weren't unforced turnovers--the teams were playing such aggressive defense and were taking the ball away. Early on Kansas looked way too athletic for the Bruins, but the consistently smothering Bruin defense, and Arron Afflalo's masterful shooting performance, carried the Bruins to what eventually seemed like an easy win.
Now they're back in the Final Four to play Florida, who spanked the Bruins in last year's championship game. All I remember from that game is Gator guards consistently penetrating the lane and dishing to Gator posts for easy dunks and layups. But I think this year's Bruin team is better equipped to prevent such an explosion. This Bruin team seems less likely to get pasted than last year's team. It will be a fun Saturday night.
The Sound of Silence: the Vikings and David Carr
I've heard NOTHING about David Carr and Minnesota. My brother and father pointed out the absurdity of Brad Childress's claim that he doesn't want Carr because he can't make all the throws--Childress started Brad Johnson for 14 games in 2006. Either Childress is more willing to learn from his mistakes than fans and writers give him credit for, or he's full of inconsistent bullshit. IF the Vikings don't go after Carr, Childress has only himself to blame if the team loses 10 or more games in 2007 and he gets fired. He went most of a season with a QB that CLEARLY couldn't make MOST of the throws; now he wants to avoid David Carr. Bleh.
Day Job: Animal Research
I'm further along toward crystallizing my ideas on using animals for medical research. I don't eat meat because it is unnecessary--at this point in human history, if we eat meat it is for our pleasure, not our survival. But medical research on animals may not fit the category of unnecessary--it may save human lives. So I'm willing to accept animal research as ethical within certain conditions: that it is necessary (that the research is used to save or extend human lives), that there are no alternatives (that study on animals is the only feasible method of discovery in a particular area), and that animal suffering is limited as much as possible (that as few animals as possible are used, and that they are treated well--not only prevented from unnecessary pain, but given room and time for exercise, play, and companionship).
Still, I have qualms based on what Harold Herzog calls "the E.T. dilemma." To summarize, we claim that as the superior species, we have the right to use inferior species to advance ourselves. By that logic, superior alien species would be morally justified in capturing humans and doing whatever painful experiments they wish in order to advance their species. The logic is pretty flawless; we have to accept that our own ethic on animal research is based more on utilitarian pragmatism than consistent moral code.
It's a messy life we live, no matter how hard we try to clean it up. But rather than throw our hands up and say "Screw it, it's a mess," I think it worth our effort to attempt to clean.
Coming soon: a Peter King cliche chronicle!