Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Brilliant story on CNN this morning about a man wanting some cuddle time with a cute creature. The 20 year old student decided to hop a fence and get a nice, warm hug from a panda bear named Yang Yang.

"Yang Yang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him."

What's so wrong with that?

Well, most everything. The unnamed student was treated for bites and was saved after passers-by rushed to a "nearby refreshment stand" for assistance. Which begs the question of how refreshment stand workers deal with panda bears. Perhaps they lured dear Yang Yang away with freshly cooked bamboo?

The zoo isn't quite sure what to do next after this the third panda incident in China in the last few months. Zoo goers have been the catalyst for all the panda misdeeds as each attack has been the result of individuals hopping fences and trespassing in panda territory. The CNN caption to the article is a stern reminder that this is a bad idea:

"Don't be deceived. Pandas might look cute but they're not to be trifled with."

Well said. No trifling should take place near these creatures. Even still, the zoo is likely going to put up additional signage thereby increasing the number of asinine warnings on common sense activities. Will we get to a point where signs will read "Enter, please. Darwin's theory at practice?"

Photo from IndiaTimes

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Does the image excite anyone else? Click the link for a great before and after photo.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Roger Goodell and the No Fun League

I'm torn on Roger Goodell. I like how he handles drug testing - no messin' around. I dislike how he handles end zone celebrations - don't blink or 15 yard penalty. I watched part of the Titans-Jaguars game yesterday to see a Tennessee wide receiver score a touchdown, drop to his knees, and place his hands on his helmet. Next thing you see is a fireworks show with yellow flags flying form two separate referees. Upon watching the replay, I still didn't see anything particularly egregious. I suppose I don't like the idea that the outcome of a game could be decided because of a stupid endzone celebration, but I guess the players know that in advance. Eh.

Photo from

Sunday, November 16, 2008

President he is, racial magician he is not

I have written on the topic of racism a couple of times with stories from both personal experience as well as from the public, political spectrum. The root of the discussion when it comes to American history is founded in the African American slave trade in the 17 and 1800s that took centuries to combat and still lingers today. The part I find fascinating is that the mentality to fight racism was reverse racism and the bizarre standards and crazy expectations that consequently follow.

At the crux of this reflection was a recent CNN article on Barack Obama ascension to the Presidency of the United States. The gist of the piece was that blacks were generally more stunned that an African American could become President while whites were generally more casually interested in the historical significance of the recent election:

The poll also suggests a racial divide among people who thought a black candidate would be elected president in their lifetimes. Fifty-nine percent of white respondents said they thought a black president would be elected in their lifetime, but only 29 percent of black respondents agreed.

Certainly what happened on election night was a moment of historical importance, but the different perceptions among the different races is equally fascinating. The background and life experiences of those in each category suggested a different outcome to this election. So far so good with conclusions.

"Even in polls taken earlier this year, a majority of African-Americans said that a solution to the country's racial problems would never be found; now blacks and whites agree that racial tensions may end."

Ok, now this is a little silly. What changes prejudices are patience, tolerance, learning, experience, and most notably time. Barack Obama as President may mean a lot of things, but in a day and age where we still have the KKK making news headlines, a sudden end all be all to racial tensions is unreasonable. More likely is that this will be another life experience that may shape Americans to appreciate, understand, tolerate, and accept the differences of those that make up this country.

I'm excited for President Obama to begin his Presidency, and I hope good times follow for this country. Instantaneous racial harmony, though, is unrealistic and not something I foresee as a product of the next four years. Improvements, I'll agree with, but an ending of racial tensions is not something this country will see by 2012, if ever. I simply struggle with the perception that a single individual will solve all the problems in this arena. That's an expectation not fair to him or reasonable for Americans to place on President Obama. A smart man, great politician, African-American history maker, and our next President for sure. A racial tension end-er definitely not.

Photo from

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008