Saturday, November 22, 2008

When Pandas Attack

The following is by far my favorite news article of the week. It teaches us several valuable lessons about the dangers of unrestrained desires. And in addition it confirms once again that human stupidity is truly international.

Retrieved from CNN on 11/22/2008.

Panda bites student seeking a hug

BEIJING (AP) -- A college student in southern China was bitten by a panda after he broke into the bear's enclosure hoping to get a hug, state media and a park employee said Saturday. Don't be deceived. Pandas might look cute but they're not to be trifled with.

The student was visiting Qixing Park with classmates on Friday when he jumped the 6.5-foot (2-meter) high fence around the panda's habitat, said the park employee, who refused to give his name.

The park in Guilin, a popular tourist town in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, houses a small zoo and a panda exhibit. It was virtually deserted when the student scaled the fence surrounding the panda, named Yang Yang, the employee said.

He said the student was bitten on the arms and legs. Two foreign visitors who saw the attack ran to get help from workers at a nearby refreshment stand, who notified park officials, the employee said.

The student was pale as he was taken away by medics but appeared clear-headed, he said.

"Yang Yang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him. I didn't expect he would attack," the 20-year-old student, surnamed Liu, said in a local hospital, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Liu underwent surgery Friday evening and was out of danger, but will remain in the hospital for several days, Xinhua said.

Yang Yang, who was flown to Guilin last year from Sichuan province, was behaving normally on Saturday and did not seem to suffer any negative psychological effects, the park employee said.

He said it was not clear whether the facility would add more signs around the enclosure or put more fences up.

"We cannot make it like a prison. We already have signs up warning people not to climb in," he said. "There are no fences along roads but people know not to cross if there are cars. This is basic knowledge."

Pandas, which generally have a public image as cute, gentle creatures, are nonetheless wild animals that can be violent when provoked or startled.

Last year, a panda at the Beijing Zoo attacked a teenager, ripping chunks out of his legs, when he jumped a barrier while the bear was being fed.

The same panda was in the news in 2006 when he bit a drunk tourist who broke into his enclosure and tried to hug him while he was asleep. The tourist retaliated by biting the bear in the back.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rosebuds + Megafun

The Bottom Lounge | Chicago, IL

I must say, my new and sexy friend Alice dubbed these guys most aptly: "The Lumberjack Experiment." At one point on stage there were multiple cowbells in addition to a theremin. We found out later that one of the gentlemen happens to give incredible hugs.

And then came The Rosebuds!

The Rosebuds
The Bottom Lounge | Chicago, IL

There are very few bands that can still get my geriatric ass off the couch on a school night. Damn near midnight, at that. These guys however are different. There's something about their hard-driving pop full of hooks and spooky images that maks me crave them something crazy. Kind of like Chipotle. Except good for you. And not owned by McDonald's.

They played an awesome set covering many of the new songs off their la Life Like. And at the very end they unplugged, climbed down off the stage. and hung out with crowd singing a few more. Seriously, it felt like we were all just chilling at someone's house.

Naturally, as soon as it was over, I ran off and hid.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes I Did!

Chicago's 17th Precinct of Ward 25 reporting. At 6:15am the wait was approximately one hour with no visible problems aside from pen and donut shortages. I was briefly harrased by the Republican judge for taking a picture of my own ballot but all ended well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween 2008

Halloween 2008 | Day 1

Isadora Duncan was a 1920's modern dancer and flapped about the stage wrapped in scarves. She loved scarves. She also loved cars. Not a safe combo, as it turns out...

Halloween 2008 | Day 2

Koschei the Deathless and Baba Yaga reigned supreme at the AV-aerie on Saturday night.

However it was the Invisible Man who took home "The Scariest Costume" ribbon.