- The Washington Times - Friday, March 12, 2004

Nobles: The Hubble Space Telescope, for seeing deeper into space and time than any instrument devised by man.

Since its early ocular trouble, the Hubble has assumed nearly iconic status for its ability to see into the heavens. It has now seen almost to the opening of space and the dawn of time, thanks to the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) exposure, which was released earlier this week.

Light travels at a finite speed, and so looking deep into the universe is also looking back in time. The light in the HUDF started traveling far before the earth was formed — the galaxies it shows formed just 700 million years after the Big Bang happened roughly 13.7 billion years ago. Those structures of the young universe are distorted and ungainly, interacting in ways that astronomers cannot yet identify.

It took the Hubble 1 million seconds and 400 orbits to take the images. Seeing back much further will require the James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled for launch in 2011.

Amazing as its imagery is, the Hubble is also a showcase of its designers, ingenious enough to devise a device that illuminates though light billions of years old.

For an incredible sight of ancient light, the Hubble Space Telescope is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: NHL forward Todd Bertuzzi, for a barbaric blindside.

In professional sports, the line between aggressive play and personal assaults can sometimes be as narrow as the sharpened blade of a skate. But the lines are bright nonetheless, established by both rules of the game and informal codes of conduct among players.

This week, Vancouver Canucks All-star forward Todd Bertuzzi chose to crash across those lines. Late into what became a 9-2 loss against Colorado, he assaulted Colorado’s Steve Moore in one of the cheapest shots in the history of the league. Skating up from behind, Bertuzzi gave Moore a vicious punch in the neck and then crushed him into the ice. Moore eventually left the ice on a stretcher. He was taken to the hospital where he received treatment for deep facial cuts, a concussion and a broken neck. Moore is in stable condition, but it will be some time before he returns to the game — if indeed he recovers fully.

Bertuzzi will not be returning to the ice for a while either. He has been suspended for the rest of the season, costing him at least $500,000 in salary. The NHL also laid a $250,000 fine on the Canucks. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has until the start of next season’s training camp to decide if Bertuzzi will play next year, and he might be facing hard time before then. Vancouver police are considering charging him with assault.

For a sucker punch and uncivilized conduct, Todd Bertuzzi is the knave of the week.

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