Panda Pooper

On Wednesday two giant pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, made their public debut at Washington D.C.’s National Zoo. (Click here for photos.) They are on loan from China for 10 years at $1 million a year. Washingtonians are excited: The pandas’ outdoor exhibit area recently received a $1.8 million renovation, and earlier this week the Chinese Embassy hosted a performance of an original concert piece, “March of the Giant Pandas.” In 1999 Slate’s David Plotz ridiculed Washington’s obsession with its last two giant pandas, Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling, who “drove otherwise reasonable people barking mad.” Click here to read the article. And in this Thursday’s “Breakfast Table,” Plotz’s wife, Hanna Rosin, reports from the zoo’s panda debut. Click here to get her reaction.