I'd hoped to ignite a real controversy with this Almanac. At the time of it's publication, the Chinese government had just announced that pandas would cost American zoos 10 million bucks a pop for a ten-year rental. I thought it was pretty steep, given how disappointing my visits to the panda enclosure at the National Zoo always turned out. The putative pandas, black & white carpet samples posed clumsily on a little hill, just sat there, fooling nobody except for the hordes of gullible tourists who oohed and aahed and snapped photos, pretending they were witness to one of Nature's own marvels.
But no controversy arose, and it's been at least eight years. So I'm assuming everybody secretly agrees with me about the over-ratedness of pandas. They just too scared to admit it.