- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 7, 2001

Nobles: The creators, and installers of the AbioCor, the first fully totally implantable artificial heart.
Earlier this week, surgeons placed the AbioCor into an individual whose death was imminent. With his new heart, the unidentified patient is expected to live at least 60 days, and perhaps as long as 6 months, possibly enough time to receive a transplant, thus prolonging his life indefinitely.
This miracle of extended lifespan was brought about through a mixture of private investment and public oversight, of perseverance through disappointment of the ill-working Jarvik-7, and of pushed technological limits. The AbioCor took more than 20 years to develop, and for good reason. About the size of a grapefruit, it is powered by an internal battery which can be recharged through a wireless energy transfer from an external battery pack. Abiomed, the company that developed the heart, believes that it could help up to 100,000 Americans.
Even if the AbioCor is not a panacea for those with a loved one dying of a diseased heart, it offers the precious gift of prolonged life. As Longfellow reminded us in his poem, "The Psalm of Life" "Art is long and time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still like muffled drums are beating Funeral marches to the grave."
For extending that march for even one individual, the creators of the AbioCor are the nobles of the week.
Knaves: The members of Earth Liberation Front and other environmental terrorists, bent on destroying lives and livelihoods because of their fear and hatred of technology.
It's possible that the members of the Earth Liberation Front were simply force-fed far too many veggies when they were growing up. Or maybe they simply never learned to program their VCRs, or got stuck behind an SUV in traffic one to many times.
If the latter, they acted as typically angry liberals they got even by destroying property while throwing a self-justifying, self-aggrandizing hissy fit. Specifically, a few eco-terrorists set a blaze which destroyed 30 Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans at a family owned car dealership in Eugene, Oregon last week. The knaves then sent an anonymous note blaming the rich for "leaving a wasteland behind in their tire tracks."
This mad, thundering missive was e-mailed to ELF's press office, not surprisingly, since ELF's web site offers a guide for setting fires with electrical timers. On the same web site, ELF claims credit for causing over $40 million in damage in North America since 1997.
Such actions bespeak a far earlier, barbaric age, in which lives were capriciously cut by cruelty or disease.
For attempting to extinguish the flames of technological hope that they one day may be warmed by, the ecoterrorists of ELF are the knaves of the week.

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