Livin' it up, American style

Thursday, October 12, 2006

CNN, Rep. Chris Shays, and Pandas

There were some enlightening articles on today. Well, maybe enlightening isn't the right word, because c'mon, it's CNN. CNN specializes in articles that you hit you emotionally, like child abuse, kitty cat stuck in well, Michael Jackson to marry Kevin Federline, Bush calls Ted Kennedy an Islamofacist. If you want articles with some substance and policy in them, you might want to read elsewhere.

But that doesn't mean their articles aren't interesting. Here's one- "Shays on Foley handling: At Least No One Died". Thank you Chris Shays(R-CT) for personally being responsible for giving your Democratic opponent for US Senate, Diane Farrell, a few more points in the polls. Hello? Do we only judge scandals by the body count? Cause I seem to remember a huge scandal, worthy of impeachment, surrounding a certain White House intern named Monica who is alive and well and hosting reality TV shows. And if body count is so important, where's the outrage over the ~45,000 dead Iraqis since the American invasion? See, Rep Shays was referring to Ted Kennedy and the infamous Chappaquiddick incident where his car went over a bridge and his passenger died. At least Hastert didn't kill anyone, Shays said. -3 points to Shays for insensitivity, especially when his opponent's own daughter had been a White House page a couple years back.

On a lighter note, CNN has deemed this topic worthy enough to go up on its list of top headlines- "Panda Cub Opens Eyes for First Time". The zoo veterinarian at the Atlanta Zoo says that the panda cub is "probably able to see now". No Way! So like, eyes are for seeing? And they work better if they're open? Wow, thanks CNN, I was kind of wondering if somehow panda's eyes were different from human's and maybe they like ate with their eyes or smelled with them, or something else all wacky.

But enough with the sarcasm, because pandas are really the cutest animals around. If I were an evil terrorist, I would totally kidnap Tai Shan, the baby panda at the National Zoo in DC. The Zoo has an excellent webpage about pandas, but for those who just want to gawk at pictures of baby Tai Shan, check this out.

Even though pandas are very popular, the 4 zoos in the US that have pandas are having a hard time affording them. These pandas are big pigs and eat up to 85 pounds of bamboo a day. In addition to food costs, the zoos have to pay 1 million dollars a year in rent per bear pair to the Chinese government, plus another million for conservation projects in China and America, and a one time fee of $600,000 for each cub born. The other zoos are in Atlanta, Memphis, and San Diego, and all 3 zoos say if they cannot renegotiate their contracts with China, the pandas will have to be returned. Sad.


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