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The winners and the losers

Winner: It wasn't perfect. One news station reported the suspect was on I-80 heading toward San Diego, which, if successful, would have been a rather interesting story in itself. But the state's Amber Alert struck again this week, and it once again created a happy ending. The alert, about a suicidal father who had taken his own son and was likely to harm him, was triggered at 7:51 p.m. Wednesday and was immediately transmitted on the Internet, radio, television, pagers, cell phones and freeway signs. At 9:19 p.m., the suspect was taken into custody following sightings by two separate motorists. The boy was unharmed.

No one knows what might have happened otherwise. All that is known for sure is that Amber has become one of the most valuable tools ever against kidnapping.

Loser: Youth and energy tend to breed a feeling of invincibility, which explains a lot of crazy, extreme-sport type antics that have always perplexed older generations. But the practice of "car surfing" goes beyond the pale. This week, it led to a 15-year-old boy suffering severe injuries when he fell from the trunk of a car going about 50 mph in West Valley City. He apparently was standing on the trunk with a soft drink in his hand.

A lot of adults have memories of doing dangerous and foolish things. That's because they survived. Unfortunately, the truth — that youth is not invincible — is an unforgiving one that offers no second chances.