Winner: An important part of the distant past came to life this week. In the late 19th century, Alexander Graham Bell donated to the Smithsonian some early attempts he and colleagues had made at recording sound in the 1880s. They made these attempts magnetically, optically and with light, trying to record and reproduce sound using various tools. Unfortunately, no one has been able to play these recordings — until now, that is. Using high-resolution digital imagery and computer technology, scientists were able to play some of the samples in this collection for reporters this week. While, "Mary had a little lamb" may not be riveting audio, these are among the earliest voice recordings ever heard, which makes them exciting.
Loser: Provo police have a lot of explaining to do after they detained a 13-year-old Argentinian boy this week, then launched an investigation into reports from his aunt and uncle that he was missing without realizing they had him all along. It's still unclear why police took the boy from Centennial Middle School. He doesn't speak English and only recently had arrived to live with relatives. It is painfully clear, however, that police arrested the child and put him in a youth detention center without calling his guardians. Police need to assure the community that this isn't what awaits people who can't speak English in Provo.
Winner: In another part of the Wasatch Front, a police officer this week reminded everyone what great public service is all about. West Valley City officer Kevin Peck came upon a horrible bus-pedestrian accident that had pinned a woman in a small space beneath the bus and crushed her legs. He wedged himself beneath the bus, at some personal peril, and held the woman's hand, reassuring her until she could be safely removed. Peck said it reminded him of why he became a police officer. It reminded everyone else that compassionate human service is a priceless gift.
Winner: The greatest snow on earth and the best prices? The web site TripAdvisor this week ranked Salt Lake City as the most affordable ski destination in North America. The site compared the costs of lodging, food and ski tickets at 20 popular destinations in the United States and Canada. Salt Lake City finished just ahead of North Conway, N.H. and Taos, N.M. Colorado was judged the most expensive state for skiers, which ought to weigh on the decisions of people looking for a Rocky Mountain ski experience.