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Raves/Rants about the goings-on on a little blue inconsequential planet in a small and relatively uninspiring solar system which is on the far end of a small and wholly unspectacular galaxy in the large universe.

The Rundown

Category: , , , By Satchal
Alright, so a couple of things I've been mulling over the past couple of weeks...

For those who haven't discovered it yet, check out Olivia Judson's "The Wild Side" blog on NYTimes. She makes recent scientific research and breakthroughs accessible to the science newbie, and keeps us science nerds in the loop on new publications. The post that caught my eye was her May 20th post on "cybrids" - human-animal fusion embryos that may allow scientists to overcome a fundamental problem in embryonic stem cell research, namely getting sufficient embryos to conduct experiments to harvest these cells. What I found incredible was the bill to allow this research ended up being passed by British lawmakers - an impressive feat in itself. American scientists haven't had the leeway to conduct these experiments because Bush Jr. has seen fit to veto every significant embryonic stem cell research bill, primarily because he believes some "mad" scientist will create an army of clones running around or fields of babies to harvest these cells.

Also check out Roger Cohen's Op-Ed column about emerging energy superpowers. I particularly found interesting his support of sugarcane ethanol, an idea that had been slammed as recently as this article by TIME. Certainly, more recent counter-arguments suggest sugarcane ethanol might be a more viable alternative over corn ethanol. Whether or not the US lifts the tariff to allow what Cohen calls the "right" ethanol in remains a question.

Finally, my take on the finals tonight. Traditionally, the team with the best player and better coach usually win the NBA title. The Lakers have a huge advantage over the Celtics in both regards, possessing an all-time great player in his absolute prime and a coach on the precipice of becoming the all-time leader in NBA championships won. However...the Celtics may not have the best player, but they have 3 All-Stars who play off each other tremendously well, an underrated yet experienced bench, excellent team defense as well as the defensive player of the year, and players who can get hot and dominate for stretches. If Doc Rivers' can stay out of his team's way, then the Celtics not only have a shot, they should be able to win. Other than the Mamba and Phil Jackson, the Celtics have decisive advantages across the board, play well when they're ahead, and feed off their home crowd like perhaps no other team in the league. While I hate to pick against Bryant and Jackson - two of my favorites - I have to go with Celtics in 7.

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