A Train Derailed in the Bronx, Killing and Maiming Passengers, Paul Walker Died in a Fiery Crash, but Look! A Baby Panda!

If you opened your eyes today, you know about the hideous train derailment in the Bronx that killed four people and injured 63. So let's focus on the baby panda.
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If you opened your eyes today, you know about the hideous train derailment in the Bronx that killed four people and injured 63. So let's focus on the baby panda.
baby panda dc

If you opened your eyes today, you know about the hideous train derailment in the Bronx that killed four people and injured 63. So let's focus on the baby panda.

The Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., announced Sunday that a name has been chosen for their currently very small giant panda born Aug. 23 (although the Chinese government owns the panda). Voters chose from five names for the wee bear, settling on “Bao Bao,” which means “precious” or “treasure” in Chinese.  (Side note: I wonder what the character for Bao Bao is, because I'm totally getting it tattooed on the small of my back.)

The announcement was made on Bao Bao's 100th day, which the Chinese consider an important milestone in a baby's life. Bao Bao's brethren, the giant pandas, are endangered; the only wild habitat in the world for them is in China. They evidently aren't super-great at breeding, and many of the pandas born in captivity have died within days, so people are very excited about Bao Bao's good health so far, not merely that she's an adorable baby panda.

Here is a video the White House released of First Lady Michelle Obama reading a script that she's clearly unfamiliar with about the U.S.'s baby-panda history with the Chinese. They really must have thrown this thing together quickly because they could've intercut adorable baby panda footage with Michelle Obama's Ronald Reaganlike stiff reading off the teleprompter but didn't. Then we could have enjoyed not only baby pandas, but it would've been less obvious that Obama barely appeared to know what she was saying if we had something else to look at.

But more entertaining are these pictures of the little black-and-white blob.

In other news today, actor Paul Walker, best known for his work in the 9 million Fast and Furious movies, died along with his friend Roger Rodus, who was driving a sports car that hit something and burst into flames (check out Banter writer Bryce Rudow's touching tribute here) . As crass and tasteless as I can be, it didn't occur to me to make judgy comments and snide remarks about the “incredible irony” of Walker dying in a car going fast when he made movies about cars going fast. But it occurred to many other people, who joked about the terrible accident on Facebook and debated on various websites whether Walker enjoyed racing cars in real life, seeming to imply that if so, he deserved to die.

Sorry for the finger-wagging, but do you really want to be That Person who makes fun of people who die in horrible accidents? Even if they were in stupid, cheesy movies? I never met Paul Walker, but a friend of mine knew him pretty well and said he was a really nice guy, helped out many people in his life financially and as he was the day he died, did a lot of philanthropic work. Did you ever see a video of Paul Walker snorting coke off the back of a hooker, screaming at door guys outside douchey LA night clubs or read of his plans to marry a Kardashian? No, you did not. So leave the guy alone, for Christ's sake. You never know if someone reading your unkind remarks on Facebook might know the dead person and take offense. I know many if not most of you reading this probably don't know me personally, but trust me, if I think your comments are tasteless and crass, it's a problem.