Pandas stripped from the headlines

A reader forwarded the news about a new baby panda at the San Diego Zoo. Now, I know everybody expects to get their hot panda news here, but the video was basically unlinkable. So I started looking through the recent headlines about pandas.

The panda probers have been busy:

The panda cub born Aug. 5 at the San Diego Zoo is a boy, the institution's officials said yesterday.
After four weeks of waiting for the right moment, zookeepers were able to examine the newest panda, which now weighs 2.8 pounds.

Well, as we all know, no panda insemination can go unreported. Here’s a report from the LA Times:

We'll be the first to admit it: We didn't find Lin Ping, the giant panda cub born in late May at Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo, terribly cute at first.... But the cub recently hit a milestone -- 100 days of age -- and now, we're happy to say, she is so adorable it's almost painful to look at her.

Another giant baby panda (er…baby giant panda) was born in China:

"The recent baby boom indicates we have made some progress in pandas' semen collection and freezing as well as prenatal care," said Jin [Xuelin].

Oh, sure, they’re cute and cuddly when they’re tiny. But then they grow up to become drug lords:

What neighbors didn't know, but what federal authorities now allege, is that this family -- husband, wife and young son -- was hired in Mexico, given a car and directions to Joliet and paid to live there as part of an elaborate ploy to disguise the two-story home's true purpose. It was to serve as a stash house for a drug ring that allegedly raked in about $10 million a year selling cocaine, most recently under the leadership of a man named "Panda."

Even so, their role in international relations may be getting out of control:

China Caucus Welcomes Panda Slayers and Boosters in Congress

Nothing can beat the British penchant for constant government surveillance, now enhanced with panda power:

London-based artist Jason Bruges created an army of 100 collection-pot pandas, with thermal cameras causing the models to rotate to face passers-by.
"They look cute at first, but the movement and having them following you is quite unnerving. It forces you to think about climate change," he said.

OK, well maybe one thing can beat that – Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas tweeting about the coming panda apocalypse:

what if panda bears take over and say that from now on, the international currency is hugs.
maybe something horrible happens to the earth, we all die, and find out that life on earth isnt the big deal, but the new place is.
i like the panda theory, myself.

And you thought I was messed up.