The story

PANDA Source Analysis

PANDA Source Analysis



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In History at school we learnt the PANDA method to analyse sources, to test for bias and authenticity.

Purpose - What is the purpose for which the source was created? Was it to convert people to a specific way of thinking?

Author - What background is the author from? Could there be possible bias from the authors viewpoint as a result of their circumstances?

Nature - What form is the source in? (e.g. poster, map, photo, etc)

Date - When was it produced? Is it primary or secondary?

Audience - Who is the intended audience? (e.g. Aryans/Jews/male/female/etc)?

What are the advantages/shortcomings of this method as a quick & dirty guideline for analysis of sources?


As a community wiki answer:

  1. Authorial ignorance. It doesn't test the scope of knowledge of the author
  2. Authorial context. Similar texts produced in the similar time.
  3. General source context.
  4. Survival rate. Did only controversial idiocy survive in the libraries. Did this survive monastery burning because it was being used to insulate a bamboo wall?
  5. Reception context at time of authoring. Did everyone know that "relocated to the East" meant burnt in an execution camp.
  6. Internal purposes. Documents written for internal consumption (beer barrel receipts) are often more trustworthy about what they lie about than documents written for external consumption (all our monks are sober, the broadsheet bill)
  7. Transmission of the text. Forgery, reinvention, copying, selection for survival
  8. Language of text. SMSes from protestors in London are not going to sound like, "I have found a great and not very well protected big screen television store here at grid ref follow."
  9. Internal consistency, is this actually a single text? Is it a text of texts, is it a chapbook, Fred's favourite quotes, a hypertext of biblical references?
  10. Modern presentation of the text, is this presented in an undergraduate or highschool textbook as illustrative? Why? Which sources were excluded? Is it actually representative, or atypical?

11 Things You Might Not Know About Panda Express

Panda Express is the biggest Chinese fast food restaurant chain in the United States. Famous for its orange chicken and chow mein, it has over 1800 locations and 27,000 employees around the world.

1. IT ALL STARTED WITH A SIT-DOWN RESTAURANT CALLED PANDA INN.

In 1973, Chinese immigrant Andrew Cherng and his father Ming-Tsai Cherng used a loan from the Small Business Administration to open a Chinese restaurant in Pasadena, California. Called Panda Inn, the restaurant was so popular that it expanded to four more locations in southern California. The first Panda Express, a fast-food version of Panda Inn, opened in 1983 at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California.

2. PANDA EXPRESS IS STILL FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED.

Husband and wife co-founders Andrew and Peggy Cherng still own and run their privately-held company, The Panda Restaurant Group. No franchising is allowed, and the company owns and operates all the Panda Express stores (except for the stores inside universities, which are usually licensed to the university).

3. THE FOUNDERS WERE COLLEGE SWEETHEARTS.

Andrew and Peggy met at Baker University in Kansas, and they later got advanced degrees (Andrew in Applied Mathematics and Peggy in Electrical Engineering) at the University of Missouri in the 1970s. They got married in 1975, almost a decade before the first Panda Express location opened for business.

4. THEY SELL NEARLY 70 MILLION POUNDS OF ORANGE CHICKEN EACH YEAR.

Last year, customers bought 67.9 million pounds of orange chicken from Panda Express, making the sweet and tangy chicken dish the most popular item on the menu by far. First created in 1987, the orange chicken recipe is a closely guarded secret. What we do know is that each batch starts with frozen, breaded, boneless chicken nuggets that are deep fried before being dipped in the orange sauce.

5. PANDA EXPRESS WAS AN EARLY ADOPTER OF RESTAURANT-BASED TECHNOLOGY.

Peggy’s background in engineering and software design gave Panda Express a technological advantage. In the 1980s, the company was an early adopter of using computers to make ordering in stores easier and to collect data about the highest selling items at each store.

6. THE MENU IS CONSTANTLY BEING TESTED AND TWEAKED.

Andrew and Peggy’s daughter Andrea, Panda’s Chief Marketing Officer, helps oversee Panda’s Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, California. The purpose of the kitchen is to experiment with new dishes, design, and décor. Open to the public, the Innovation Kitchen offers intriguing menu items like a honey walnut shrimp wrap with papaya slaw, orange chicken salad, and scallion pancake wraps.

7. SELF-DEVELOPMENT IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE.

Thank you @LA_mag for your profile on our family-owned story. Learn about "The Tao of Panda:" http://t.co/wyMy6UbhGn pic.twitter.com/pqL56PLlKk

— Panda Express (@PandaExpress) April 21, 2015

Andrew and Peggy take an unusual approach to managing their employees. Panda Restaurant Group’s headquarters has motivational posters on the walls and Stephen Covey books on the desks, and the company gives its workers discounts on self-help and leadership books. Strongly encouraging everyone to enroll in “human potential seminars” like Dale Carnegie, Life Academy, and Landmark Education, Andrew hosts programs for his employees to do Zumba, hear motivational speeches, and learn self-defense skills. He also created a mandatory program for employees, The Panda Way, requiring a healthy lifestyle, continuous learning, and interpersonal relationship skills.

8. PANDA EXPRESS HAS A LESSER-KNOWN JAPANESE SIBLING.

The Panda Restaurant Group also owns and operates Hibachi-San, a Japanese fast food chain that serves teppanyaki and sushi at locations across the United States. According to Andrew and Peggy, they decided to start opening Hibachi-San in malls in 1992 as a defensive strategy to protect Panda Express from competition from Japanese fast food restaurants. Instead of trying to beat the competition, become the competition!

9. THE MENU IS GETTING HEALTHIER.

For fast food, Panda Express is surprisingly health-conscious. The menu offerings have no MSG added (either at Panda Express locations or by ingredient suppliers). Plus, the Panda Tea Bar is a new feature that’s cropping up at some Panda Express locations, allowing customers to order customizable teas and juices, with optional wholesome add-ins like aloe vera and chia seeds.

10. A FOOD COURT IN HAWAII IS THE MOST LUCRATIVE PANDA EXPRESS LOCATION.

The Panda Express at the Ala Moana Center food court in Honolulu, Hawaii is the company’s most successful location with more than $4 million in yearly revenue. That's a lot of fried rice!

11. PANDA HAS GIVEN ALMOST $50 MILLION TO CHARITY.

Started in 1999, Panda Cares is Panda Restaurant Group’s official philanthropic organization. By participating in food donation programs, asking customers for monetary donations in Panda Express stores, and giving employees the option to donate a portion of their paychecks (90 percent of employees opt in), Panda Cares has raised $48.5 million for children’s hospitals and disaster relief.


Why Google Created Panda

In 2010, the falling quality of Google&rsquos search results and the rise of the &ldquocontent farm&rdquo business model became a subject that was repeatedly making the rounds.

As Google&rsquos Amit Singhal later told Wired at TED, the &ldquoCaffeine&rdquo update of late 2009, which dramatically sped up Google&rsquos ability to index content rapidly, also introduced &ldquosome not so good&rdquo content into their index. Google&rsquos Matt Cutts told Wired this new content issue wasn&rsquot really a spam issue, but one of &ldquoWhat&rsquos the bare minimum that I can do that&rsquos not spam?&rdquo

&ldquoBy the end of [2009], two of these content farms &ndash Demand Media [of eHow infamy] and Answers.com &ndash were firmly established inside the top 20 Web properties in the U.S. as measured by comScore. Demand Media is the epitome of a content farm and by far the largest example of one, pumping out 7,000 pieces of content per day&hellipThe company operates based on a simple formula: create a ton of niche, mostly uninspired content targeted to search engines, then make it viral through social software and make lots of money through ads.&rdquo

In January 2011, Business Insider published a headline that says it all: &ldquoGoogle&rsquos Search Algorithm Has Been Ruined, Time To Move Back To Curation.&rdquo

&ldquoDemand [Media] is turning the cleverest trick by running a giant arbitrage of the Google ecosystem. Demand contracts with thousands of freelancers to produce hundreds of thousands of pieces of low-quality content, the topics for which are chosen according to their search value, most of which are driven by Google. Because Google&rsquos algorithm weights prolific and constant content over quality content, Google&rsquos algorithm places Demand content high on their search engine result pages.&rdquo

Undoubtedly, headlines like these were a major influence on Google, which responded by developing the Panda algorithm.


Contents

There are currently two editions of the book, the 1989 first edition edited by Charles Thaxton, a chemist who earned his PhD in physical chemistry from Iowa State University, and the 1993 second edition, which included a "Note to Teachers" by Mark D. Hartwig and Stephen C. Meyer. A third edition was retitled The Design of Life. Jon Buell, the president of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, said that the ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District that intelligent design was religious would make the textbook "radioactive" in public schools and would be "catastrophic" for the marketability of both the (then) present (second) edition and the (then) forthcoming third edition, citing possible losses of around US$500,000. The renaming of the book is viewed by some as way of mitigating this and at the same time distancing the book from past controversy. [12]

For the 1993 edition, Michael Behe wrote a chapter on blood clotting, presenting arguments which he later presented in very similar terms as "irreducible complexity" in a chapter in his 1996 book Darwin's Black Box. Behe later agreed that they were essentially the same when he defended intelligent design at the Dover trial. [13] [14] [15]

The book is published by the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE), a non-profit organization founded by ordained minister Jon Buell in Richardson, Texas, in 1980 as a tax-exempt charitable and educational organization, with articles of incorporation which stated that its purpose includes "proclaiming, publishing, preaching [and] teaching…the Christian Gospel and understanding of the Bible and the light it sheds on the academic and social issues of the day". In the original Internal Revenue Service tax-exemption submission, Buell described the foundation as a "Christian think-tank" and stated that the organization's first activity would be the editing of a book "showing the scientific evidence for creation". [16] Co-author Percival Davis later acknowledged that religious concerns underlay the writing of the book in a November 1994 interview with the Wall Street Journal, he commented: "Of course my motives were religious. There's no question about it." [17] [c]

Creation Biology Edit

In 1981, the FTE advertised in a creationist newspaper, seeking authors for a textbook that would be "sensitively written to present both evolution and creation". [19] Their first production was Unlocking the secrets: The Mystery of Life's Origin by creationist Charles Thaxton (a chemist), Walter L. Bradley, and Roger L. Olsen. [20] In this book, Thaxton presented arguments for "Special Creation by a creator beyond the cosmos", and described Special Creation as holding "that the source that produced life was intelligent". [21]

Thaxton approached Dean H. Kenyon to write the foreword. When Mystery was ready to go to the printers late in 1982, work began on the textbook, written by Kenyon and Percival Davis with Thaxton as editor. [22]

A draft dated 1983 was entitled Creation Biology Textbook Supplements, and was stated in the language of creationism, [23] including the following statement:

The basic metabolic pathways of nearly all organisms are the same. Is this because of descent from a common ancestor, or because only these pathways (and their variations) can sustain life? Evolutionists think the former is correct creationists because of all the evidence discussed in this book, conclude the latter is correct. [24]

A 1986 draft with the title Biology and Creation included a similar statement, and defined "creation" using the classic creationist concept of "abrupt appearance": [19]

Creation means that the various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc. [23]

A 1987 draft entitled Biology and Origins made only minor grammatical alterations to these statements. [23] [24] The FTE sought a publisher for the book, sending a Boston firm a prospectus which indicated that the draft had been sent to school districts for testing as well as to prospective publishers. [25] In the prospectus, Buell stated that a "new independent scientific poll. shows almost half of the nation's biology teachers include some creation in their view of biological origins. Many more who don't still believe it should be included in science curriculum." Additionally, he enclosed projections showing expected revenue of over $6.5 million in five years based upon "modest expectations for the market." If creationist teaching in schools was explicitly permitted by the Supreme Court of the United States in the Louisiana "Balanced Treatment Act" case that was then ongoing, the FTE's founder Jon Buell wrote that "you can throw out these projections, the nationwide market would be explosive!" [26] [27]

Pandas and "cdesign proponentsists" Edit

The Louisiana "Balanced Treatment Act" case – Edwards v. Aguillard – was decided by the Supreme Court in 1987. The court determined that teaching creationism in public schools violated the Establishment Clause of the United States constitution, but that alternative scientific theories could be taught. While the decision ruled out any return to teaching traditional Young Earth creationism in science classes, it did offer an opening for those willing to recast creationist doctrine in the language of science.

In 1987 a further draft of the book was produced with the new title Of Pandas and People, which still had the definition "creation means that various forms of life began abruptly", [23] and used the term "creationists":

The basic metabolic pathways (reaction chains) of nearly all organisms are the same. Is this because of descent from a common ancestor, or because only these pathways (and their variations) can sustain life? Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view. [24] [28]

The outcome of the case prompted significant editorial changes to the book. Dean H. Kenyon had presented an affidavit to the court in which he defined "creation science" as meaning "origin through abrupt appearance in complex form", which did "not include as essential parts. catastrophism, a world-wide flood, a recent inception of the earth or life. the concept of kinds, or any concepts from Genesis or other religious texts", [29] but this attempt to re-define creation science did not succeed in the Edwards case. Both authors had previously written young Earth creationist publications referring to biological design: a 1967 book co-written by Percival Davis referred to "design according to which basic organisms were created", and in a 1984 article as well as in his affidavit to Edwards v. Aguillard, Kenyon defended creation science by stating that "biomolecular systems require intelligent design and engineering know-how". [30] According to the Discovery Institute's account published in December 2005, Charles Thaxton as editor of the Pandas book needed a new term after the Supreme Court case, and found it in a phrase he "picked up from a NASA scientist – intelligent design". He thought: "That's just what I need, it's a good engineering term….. it seemed to jibe. And I went back through my old copies of Science magazine and found the term used occasionally." [22] In a new draft of Pandas prepared shortly after the 1987 Supreme Court ruling, approximately 150 uses of the root word "creation", such as "creationism" and "creationist", were systematically changed to refer to intelligent design. [31] The definition remained essentially the same, with "intelligent design" substituted for "creation", and "intelligent creator" changed to "intelligent agency":

Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, etc. [23]

The term "creationists" was changed to "design proponents", but in one case the beginning and end of the original word "creationists" were accidentally retained, so that "creationists" became "cdesign proponentsists". [25] [28]

The basic metabolic pathways (reaction chains) of nearly all organisms are the same. Is this because of descent from a common ancestor, or because only these pathways (and their variations) can sustain life? Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view. [24] [28]

FTE founder Jon Buell says that the word creationism was a "placeholder term" whose definition "changed to include a religious context after the draft was written, so the writers changed the word." [32] However, the proof that intelligent design was creationism re-labeled played a significant part in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, and "cdesign proponentsists" has been described as "the missing link between creationism and intelligent design." [33]

Publication and promotion Edit

Of Pandas and People was published in 1989 by "Haughton Publishing Co." This was the assumed name of a Mesquite, Texas, printing firm, Horticultural Printers, Inc., which mainly served the agricultural industry and had no other books in print, nor any in-house writers or science advisors. [16] (It should not be confused with the well-known children's and school textbook publisher, Houghton Mifflin). Printing costs were met by donations to the FTE, whose members were told in a December 1988 fundraising letter that donors would receive an enameled box with a panda on the lid as a gift. The box would "become a pleasant reminder to pray for our work", as Buell put it. [27]

Following the book's publication in 1989, the FTE embarked on a lengthy campaign to get the book into use in schools across the United States. Previous creationist efforts to dilute or overturn the teaching of evolutionary theory had relied largely on a "top-down" approach of pro-creationist legislators passing laws to regulate science education in schools. However, these had repeatedly failed to survive court challenges. The FTE took a "bottom-up" approach instead, mobilizing local Christian conservative groups to push school boards and individual teachers to adopt the book and also to get themselves elected to school boards and local educational committees.

Biology teachers are generally easy to contact, available for a meeting on short notice, and receptive. If you would like to be a part of this 'quiet army', please let us know right away. Those choosing not to enlist may wish to support those who do by their prayers.

The FTE provided publicity materials to its supporters to assist them in promoting the adoption of the book. These included a video of testimonials by pro-ID scientists and a promotional script, including "lines to take" on contentious issues.

For instance, on the controversial issue of ID's perceived overlap with religion, the FTE's suggested response read: [27]

I agree that personal beliefs should not be taught in science classrooms, but intelligent design is not a personal belief it is accepted science, a view that is held by many highly qualified scientists.

The FTE was aided in this effort by "traditional" creationist organizations such as the Institute for Creation Research, which sells Of Pandas and People through its own online shop and catalogue. The book was explicitly marketed by retailers as a creationist work in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case, donated copies of the book were accompanied by a catalog which listed Pandas under "creation science". [34]

Discovery Institute Senior Fellows William A. Dembski and Jonathan Wells are the listed authors of this edition, presented as a sequel. The preface of The Design of Life is by Jon A. Buell, president of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, which is the publisher of The Design of Life.

The book tries to address some novel areas. For example, it states that intelligent design does not require miracles or the supernatural, but still does not rely on "materialistic explanations". The book states that "Supernatural explanations invoke miracles and therefore are not properly part of science", and that "[e]xplanations that call on intelligent causes require no miracles but cannot be reduced to materialistic explanations." [35] It includes 100 pages of footnotes and notes. [35]

Also, the book tries to explain away the loss of intelligent design in the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision: "In the end, not any court rulings or public policies or Hollywood films, will decide the merit of intelligent design." [35]

A blog associated with the book [36] began on December 17, 2007. [37]

Reception Edit

Dembski wrote in his blog, Uncommondescent, that The Design of Life had 9 five star reviews, and only a single one star review on Amazon.com on December 5, 2007. [38] California State University emeritus professor Mark Perakh has written that he believes Dembski and his associates at the Discovery Institute are deceitfully manipulating the Amazon.com review system to promote their own work and denigrate the work of their adversaries. [39]

The Discovery Institute's blog, Evolution News and Views, also gave the book a positive. [35] Evolution News and Views says that The Design of Life describes how evolution cannot account for the necks of giraffes, how the transition from reptiles to mammals took place, how whales evolved from land animals, and how all evolutionary explanations of the bacterial flagellum are fallacious. In addition, the review asserts that this book exposes substantial holes in abiogenesis and common descent, as well as refuting SETI objections to intelligent design and discussions of the shortcomings of ocular design. [35]

Dembski was interviewed about the book by Focus on the Family's Citizenlink in December, 2007. [40] Dembski described the book as accessible, but noted that it also includes a CD and endnotes that delve deeper into the technical issues. Dembski said the book corrects many of the misrepresentations and biased descriptions of intelligent design that have appeared. Dembski also revealed that he believes that the "intelligent designer" is the Christian god. [40]

Many of the book's arguments are identical to those raised by creationists, which have been dismissed by the scientific community. [41] A comparison of an early draft of Of Pandas and People to a later 1987 draft showed how in hundreds of instances the word "creationism" had been replaced by "intelligent design" and "creationist" replaced by "intelligent design proponent", while "creator" was replaced by "agency" or "designer". [42] In his 2007 book Monkey Girl Edward Humes describes how this change was made after Edwards v. Aguillard settled that teaching "Creation Science" in public schools was unconstitutional. [43]

Scientific and education professional groups have strongly criticized Of Pandas and People and have opposed its use in schools. Science educator Gerald Skoog described it as "a vehicle to advance sectarian tenets and not to improve science education" and said "This book has no potential to improve science education and student understanding of the natural world." [44]

A review of Of Pandas and People by paleontologist Kevin Padian of the University of California at Berkeley for the National Center for Science Education's Bookwatch Reviews in 1989 called the book a "wholesale distortion of modern biology", and says that FTE's writers had misrepresented such topics as the Cambrian explosion, the history of birds, and the concept of homology. [45] Padian described the treatment of homology in Of Pandas and People as "shameful", citing:

They pretend that the Tasmanian wolf, a marsupial, would be placed [classified] with the placental wolf if evolutionists were not so hung up on the single character of their reproductive mode by which marsupials and placentals are traditionally separated. This is a complete falsehood, as anyone with access to the evidence knows. It is not a matter of a single reproductive character, but dozens of characters in the skull, teeth, post-cranial bones (including the marsupial pelvic bones), soft anatomy, and biochemistry, to say nothing of their respective fossil records, that separate the two mammals. About the closest similarity they have going for them is that they are both called "wolf" in English. The same criticism can be applied seriatim to the authors' mystifying discussion of the red and giant "pandas".

Padian's conclusion was: "It is hard to say what is worst in this book: the misconceptions of its sub-text, the intolerance for honest science, or the incompetence with which science is presented. In any case, teachers should be warned against using this book." [46]

The FTE's activist approach has produced heated controversies in several US states as Christian conservatives and school boards sought to adopt Of Pandas and People in public schools, against the opposition of mainstream scientists, educators and civil liberties organizations. This has caused several notable controversies, culminating in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case in Pennsylvania in which the contents and antecedents of the book came under scrutiny.

1989–1993 Edit

In Alabama, 11,800 people signed a petition which was presented to Alabama's school textbook committee, endorsing intelligent design and urging the adoption of Of Pandas and People as a class textbook. [27] In January 1990 the book was withdrawn from consideration by its publishers, the Haughton Publishing Co., who said that they "backed off because they weren't given [the] chance to defend [the] book." [47]

By 1990, a public campaign was mounted in Idaho to urge the state school board to adopt Of Pandas and People. However, the book was rejected by the board.

In March 1990, the school board in Pinellas County, Florida, rejected an appeal by a retired minister "to adopt the textbook Of Pandas and People that would offer a creationist's view". [48]

In January 1993, right-wing members of the school board of Vista, California, sought to include Of Pandas and People in the school science curriculum. A teachers' committee voted unanimously to reject the book saying it lacked scientific merit. [49] The board eventually backed away from plans to require creation science to be taught in science classes. [50]

1994–1998 Edit

In September 1994, residents of Louisville, Ohio, voted 121–2 to urge the local school board to adopt Of Pandas and People. [27] Creationism had been taught openly in district schools until a lawsuit forced a change of policy in 1993. In the wake of the decision, the district was given 150 copies of the book. [51]

In October 1994, school officials in St. Lucie County, Florida, distributed copies of the book to every high school and one middle school in the county to be reviewed by teachers and principals for use as a possible supplement for science classes. The response from teachers was negative but county school officials still planned to distribute the books to school libraries so teachers and students could use it as a resource. According to the local Civic, Business and Ministry Coalition, copies of the book were purchased by the Coalition from the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego, California, and were sent to school administrators on the grounds that it was "a good, science-based text appropriate for school children". The Coalition was reported to have met administrators on several occasions to promote creation science. However, the county school board did not find out about the matter until January 1995. [52]

The Wall Street Journal reported in November that according to the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, 22,500 copies of the book had been printed and teachers and curriculum buyers in 48 states had bought it. Fifteen school districts had ordered quantities large enough to indicate classroom use, but had not been identified "for fear of embroiling them in controversy". [27]

In January 1995, conservative members of the Plano, Texas, school trust proposed to adopt Of Pandas and People as a supplement to the existing curriculum course materials. [53] The district school board unanimously voted to bar the book's acquisition following an outcry from local residents, many of whom attended the board's meeting wearing buttons with a red "X" over a panda. [54] Two of the proponents of the book subsequently lost their seats on the Plano school board. [55]

In a 1996 Time magazine article it was reported that "school boards in Washington State and Ohio" were considering whether to adopt Of Pandas and People as a school textbook. [56]

In April 1997, the school board of Chesapeake, Virginia, purchased copies of the book for the libraries of each of the district's 15 high schools and middle schools. The acquisition was made on the recommendation of School Superintendent W. Randolph Nichols, but the board stated that the book was intended for use "as a resource book, not as a science book" and that it was not endorsing creationism. [57]

1999–2003 Edit

In June 1999, the school district in Burlington, Washington, approved a local science teacher's proposal to use extracts from Of Pandas and People in the classroom "so long as he balances it with enough support for teachings on evolution which he always included in his courses but about which he says he has doubts – especially in terms of the origin of the human race". The decision followed an earlier demand by the American Civil Liberties Union, that the teacher, Roger DeHart, should cease his years-long practice of teaching intelligent design in his classes. He stated that he needed to counterbalance the inclusion of information that was "at best wrong and at worst fraudulent" in the standard textbooks used in Burlington schools. [58]

That same year, another attempt to introduce Of Pandas and People into Idaho schools was reported to have been rejected by the state textbook committee. [59]

In March 2000, the science curriculum director of the Kanawha County, West Virginia, school district selected Of Pandas and People as a textbook "that presents Darwin's Theory of Evolution as theory, not fact" following pressure from the local community and teachers. A committee of science teachers unanimously voted to purchase copies of the book, but ultimately decided to abandon the idea for fear of litigation. A Christian conservative legal group, the Thomas More Law Center, offered to represent the county for free if any litigation arose but its offer was rejected. [60] A proposal to buy the book for school libraries was eventually rejected by the school board, though a conservative member of the board pledged to pay for at least 14 copies out of her own pocket. [61]

In August 1999, the local school board in Pratt, Kansas, voted to remove any mention of macroevolution, the age of the Earth, and the origin of the Universe from science curriculum, but rejected a bid to adopt Of Pandas and People for educational purposes. [62]

2004–2005: Dover, Pennsylvania Edit

Of Pandas and People became the focus of a litigation and controversy in Dover, Pennsylvania in 2004 after the Dover Area School Board endorsed it as a reference book. The ensuing court case was dubbed the "Panda Trial" by the media in an allusion to the famous "Monkey Trial" of 1925. [63]

Although the board did not actually purchase the book, 60 copies were donated to the district by an anonymous party. It was revealed in court that a school board member asked his church for donations for the purchase of those books [64] although that board member had denied all knowledge of the source of donation in an earlier deposition. [65] Amid an international controversy, the board also became the first in the US to promote the teaching of intelligent design in the classroom, sparking a lawsuit, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, by the American Civil Liberties Union and other plaintiffs.

The FTE became involved in the Dover controversy when it became clear that Of Pandas and People would be a major focus of litigation. The foundation filed a motion to join the defending side in June 2005, arguing that a finding that intelligent design was religious would destroy FTE's ability to market its textbooks within the district, and affect its ability to market the textbooks to any public school in the United States. [66] Had the motion been granted, the FTE would have become a co-defendant with the Dover Area School Board, and able to bring its own lawyers and expert witnesses to the case. However, William A. Dembski, co-author of the new Pandas edition, and the Discovery Institute withdrew from the case. The Judge told the defendants: "To me it looks like Mr. Dembski was dropped as an expert because he didn't want to produce, or because his employer didn't want to produce the manuscript [on subpoena to the court] of The Design of Life." [12]

In his decision on the motion, Judge John E. Jones III ruled that FTE was not entitled to intervene in the case because its motion to intervene was not timely, describing FTE's excuses for not trying to become involved earlier as "both unavailing and disingenuous". Judge Jones also held that FTE failed to demonstrate that it has "a significantly protectable interest in the litigation warranting intervention as a party" and that its interests will not be adequately represented by the defendants.

While FTE did not become a party, Jon A. Buell, the director of FTE testified on July 14, 2005, at the Dover Trial. Buell denied having known about actions of the Thomas More Law Center to which the Judge said it "strains credulity". [12]

In November 2005, eight of the nine members of the Dover school board were voted out of office and replaced with candidates who opposed the previous board's decision to introduce intelligent design and lay doubts on evolution.

On December 20, 2005, the US District Court ruled that intelligent design is not science and is essentially religious in nature, and the board's requirement endorsing intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in science classes, unconstitutional on the grounds that its inclusion violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The judge in the Dover trial specifically referred to Pandas in his decision, stating:

As Plaintiffs meticulously and effectively presented to the Court, Pandas went through many drafts, several of which were completed prior to and some after the Supreme Court's decision in Edwards, which held that the Constitution forbids teaching creationism as science. By comparing the pre and post Edwards drafts of Pandas, three astonishing points emerge: (1) the definition for creation science in early drafts is identical to the definition of ID (2) cognates of the word creation (creationism and creationist), which appeared approximately 150 times, were deliberately and systematically replaced with the phrase ID and (3) the changes occurred shortly after the Supreme Court held that creation science is religious and cannot be taught in public school science classes in Edwards. This word substitution is telling, significant, and reveals that a purposeful change of words was effected without any corresponding change in content . The weight of the evidence clearly demonstrates, as noted, that the systemic change from "creation" to "intelligent design" occurred sometime in 1987, after the Supreme Court's important Edwards decision.

The newly elected board unanimously rescinded the policy on January 3, 2006.


Andrew Cherng opens the first Panda Express at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California. Peggy Cherng customizes the restaurant's operating systems to assure the very best food and service.

Chef Andy Kao develops The Original Orange Chicken® entree for Panda Express. Inspired by the flavors of Hunan Province, the dish features crispy chicken bites in a sweet and spicy orange sauce. Since 2016, we have served 80 million pounds of The Original Orange Chicken.

We celebrate our 10th anniversary by opening our 100th location on the UCLA campus.

Our first two airport outlets open at Denver International to feed the appetites of hungry travelers.

We open our first drive-thru restaurant in Hesperia, California, making it possible for Panda fans on the go to order and receive their food without ever leaving their cars.

We open our first stadium location at Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. As the song goes, 'Buy me some peanuts and Orange Chicken!'

Committed to serving the communities in which we operate, we proudly launch Panda Cares. Our philanthropic arm is dedicated to providing food, funding and volunteer services to underserved children and disaster relief efforts.

We open our first theme park location at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, allowing thrill-seekers to treat themselves to Panda favorites in between roller coaster rides.

We introduce the Panda Kids Meal, offering guests with smaller appetites an entree, choice of noodles, rice or mixed veggies, a drink and a cookie.

Our founders Andrew and Peggy Cherng are inducted into the California Restaurant Association Hall of Fame.

We open our first military location at Edwards Air Force Base in Lancaster, California, as well as our 888th restaurant in Sacramento, California. Eight is considered the luckiest number in Chinese culture.

Guest love and enthusiasm propels us to open our 1,000th location in Pasadena, California and achieve $1 billion in revenue for the first time.

Beijing Beef® is born as we celebrate our 25th anniversary. This dish brings together crispy strips of marinated beef, bell peppers and onions in a tangy-sweet sauce.

We introduce health-minded Wok Smart™ selections, menu items that are 300 calories or less and have at least 8 grams of protein. Eating well at Panda has never been easier.

Honey Walnut Shrimp makes its debut. Our sweet and crispy creation is made with tempura shrimp wok-tossed in a honey sauce and topped with candied walnuts. It receives the MenuMasters Award for Best New Menu Item of the Year.

We open our first international restaurant in Mexico City, Mexico. Since then, we have expanded to Guam, Puerto Rico, Canada, South Korea and Dubai.

We launch our Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, California to serve as a living laboratory for exploring new menu items, new decor and new ways of serving our guests. We debut our online ordering system and mobile app, making it possible to place orders at the touch of a button or the swipe of a screen.

Our first Family Day helps to provide 10 million meals to Americans in need and celebrates our family-owned heritage.

We introduced the world to the Chork, an American Chinese original. The chopstick-fork-hybrid symbolized "a bridge between two cultures, an admission that chopstick mastery is for some, but rice should be for everyone,” said Jeremy Gordon, GQ.

We opened our 2,000th store at Broadway and 111th Street in Manhattan, New York. Our signature Original Orange Chicken™ celebrated its 30th birthday.

We released the Panda Expressed podcast to give associates exclusive access to leaders including co-founders and co-chief executive officers Andrew and Peggy Cherng.

Rooted in shared values and a commitment to serving others, we partnered with the Coca-Cola Company to begin serving sparkling soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, teas and waters in our restaurants.


PANDA Source Analysis - History

PANDA is an open-source Platform for Architecture-Neutral Dynamic Analysis. It is built upon the QEMU whole system emulator, and so analyses have access to all code executing in the guest and all data. PANDA adds the ability to record and replay executions, enabling iterative, deep, whole system analyses. Further, the replay log files are compact and shareable, allowing for repeatable experiments. A nine billion instruction boot of FreeBSD, e.g., is represented by only a few hundred MB. PANDA leverages QEMU's support of thirteen different CPU architectures to make analyses of those diverse instruction sets possible within the LLVM IR. In this way, PANDA can have a single dynamic taint analysis, for example, that precisely supports many CPUs. PANDA analyses are written in a simple plugin architecture which includes a mechanism to share functionality between plugins, increasing analysis code re-use and simplifying complex analysis development.

It is currently being developed in collaboration with MIT Lincoln Laboratory, NYU, and Northeastern University. PANDA is released under the GPLv2 license.

The latest version of PANDA's master branch is automatically built as a two docker images based on Ubuntu 20.04 and published to Docker Hub. Most users will want to use the panda container which has PANDA and PyPANDA installed along with their runtime dependencies, but no build artifacts or source code to reduce the size of the container. Developers interested in using Docker should use the pandadev container which has PANDA and PyPANDA installed, build and runtime dependencies for both, all build artifacts and source code and the contents of this repository in the /panda directory.

To use the panda container you can pull it from Docker Hub:

Or build from this repository:

To use the pandadev container, you can pull it from Docker Hub:

Or build from this repository:

The Python interface to PANDA (also known as pypanda) can be installed from PIP by running pip3 install pandare . This will install everything you need for python-based PANDA analyses, but not stand-alone PANDA binaries. This package is not automatically updated so it may fall behind the master branch of PANDA. The distributed binaries are only tested on 64-bit Ubuntu 18.04 and other architectures/versions are unlikely to work. You can also install pypanda by building PANDA and then running python3 setup.py install from the directory panda/panda/python/core .

Because PANDA has a few dependencies, we've encoded the build instructions into the install_ubuntu.sh. The script should work on the latest Debian stable/Ubuntu LTS versions. If you wish to build PANDA manually, you can also check the step-by-step instructions in the documentation directory.

We currently only vouch for buildability on the latest Debian stable/Ubuntu LTS, but we welcome pull requests to fix issues with other distros. For other distributions, it should be straightforward to translate the apt-get commands into whatever package manager your distribution uses.

Note that if you want to use our LLVM features (mainly the dynamic taint system), you will need to install LLVM 11 from OS packages or compiled from source. On Ubuntu this should happen automatically via install_ubuntu.sh . Additionally, it is strongly recommended that you only build PANDA as 64bit binary. Creating a 32bit build should be possible, but best avoided. See the limitations section for details.

The install_arch.sh has been contributed for building PANDA on Arch Linux. Currently, the script has only been tested on Arch Linux 4.17.5-1-MANJARO. You can also find step-by-step instructions for building on Arch in the documentation directory.

Building on Mac is less well-tested, but has been known to work. There is a script, install_osx.sh to build under OS X. The script uses homebrew to install the PANDA dependencies. As homebrew is known to be very fast in deprecating support for older versions of OS X and supported packages, expect this to be broken.

After successfully building PANDA, you can copy the build to a system-wide location by running make install . The default installation path is /usr/local . You can specify an alternate installation path through the prefix configuration option. E.g. --prefix=/opt/panda . Note that your system must have chrpath installed in order for make install to succeed.

If the bin directory containing the PANDA binaries is in your PATH environment variable, then you can run PANDA similarly to QEMU:

PANDA uses the LLVM architecture from the S2E project. This allows translating the TCG intermediate code representation used by QEMU, to LLVM IR. The latter has the advantages of being easier to work with, as well as platform independent. This enables the implementation of complex analyses like the taint2 plugin. The S2E files used by PANDA to support taint analysis have been updated to work with LLVM 11.

Great effort is put to maintain the PANDA trace format stable so that existing traces remain replayable in the future. Changes that will break existing traces are avoided. However, currently, record/replay is only guaranteed between PANDA builds of the same address length. E.g. you can't replay a trace captured on a 32bit build of PANDA on a 64bit of PANDA. The reason for this is that some raw pointers managed to creep into the trace format (see headers in panda/rr ).

Given the memory limitations of 32bit builds, almost all PANDA users use 64bit. As a result, this issue should affect only a tiny minority of users. This is also supported by the fact that the issue remained unreported for a long time (>3 years). Therefore, when a fix is to be implemented, it may be assessed that migrating existing recordings captured by 32bit builds is not worth the effort.

For this, it is strongly recommended that you only create and use 64bit builds of PANDA. If you happen to already have a dataset of traces captured by a 32bit build of PANDA, you should contact the community ASAP to discuss possible options.

Documentation and Support

PANDA currently supports whole-system record/replay execution, as well as time-travel debugging, of x86, x86_64, and ARM guests. Other architectures (mips, mipsel, ppc) may be run under PANDA without record/replay support. Details about the implementation and use of PANDA can be found in the PANDA manual. Some of the topics covered are:

Documentation for individual plugins is provided by the README.md file in the plugin directory. See panda/plugins directory.

If you need help with PANDA, or want to discuss the project, you can request an invite to our Slack channel here or join the PANDA mailing list.

[1] B. Dolan-Gavitt, T. Leek, J. Hodosh, W. Lee. Tappan Zee (North) Bridge: Mining Memory Accesses for Introspection. 20th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS), Berlin, Germany, November 2013.

[2] R. Whelan, T. Leek, D. Kaeli. Architecture-Independent Dynamic Information Flow Tracking. 22nd International Conference on Compiler Construction (CC), Rome, Italy, March 2013.

[3] B. Dolan-Gavitt, J. Hodosh, P. Hulin, T. Leek, R. Whelan. Repeatable Reverse Engineering with PANDA. 5th Program Protection and Reverse Engineering Workshop, Los Angeles, California, December 2015.

[4] M. Stamatogiannakis, P. Groth, H. Bos. Decoupling Provenance Capture and Analysis from Execution. 7th USENIX Workshop on the Theory and Practice of Provenance, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 2015.

[5] B. Dolan-Gavitt, P. Hulin, T. Leek, E. Kirda, A. Mambretti, W. Robertson, F. Ulrich, R. Whelan. LAVA: Large-scale Automated Vulnerability Addition. 37th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, San Jose, California, May 2016.


How do I analyse a source for its origin, purpose, values and limitations on History Paper 1?

On History Paper 1, you'll be asked to analyse a number of sources for their "origin, purpose, values and limitations". When done correctly, these questions can be easy points as long as you accurately answer the question.

The first paragraph of your question should address the "origin" and "purpose" of the source. Read the context provided with the source and use your own contextual knowledge to identify the origin. This should include the date it was written/published, the author or authors and where it was published (for instance, if it was a novel, a newspaper article or cartoon). The purpose, which you should identify in one or two sentences, is the assumed or stated purpose of the source. For a political cartoon, this would be to entertain, saterise and inform. (in the case of a political cartoon, if obvious symbols or images arise, identify them!) A newspaper article, to inform the public.

Values and limitations should form the majority of your response. Consider the nature of the source but also the facts it contains. At minimum, you should identify at least three values and three limitations. Newspaper articles can be valuable because the journalist would have time to gather facts and consider evidence but can be weakened by being written a larger geographical distance from the event, meaning that the journalist would have less accessto evidence or information. Memoirs contain personal thoughts and emotions which are valuable and not detailed in other sources, but can be limited by forgetfulness or the writers attempt to appear better than they were.

Be creative with your values and limitations but don't forget to address the obvious values and limitations. (for instance, German sources have a pro-German bias etc.)


Panda Diplomacy: The World’s Cutest Ambassadors

It’s called “panda diplomacy” and it’s thought to have started as early as the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century when Empress Wu Zeitan sent a pair of bears (believed to be pandas) to Japan. This Chinese policy of sending pandas as diplomat gifts was revived in 1941, on the eve of the United States entering World War II, when Beijing sent two cuddly black-and-whites to the Bronx Zoo as a “thank you” gift. Chairman Mao frequently engaged in panda diplomacy in the 1950s, sending bears as gifts to China’s communist allies (such as North Korea and the Soviet Union).

Two months after Richard Nixon’s landmark trip to China in 1972, which ended 25 years of isolation and tension between the United States and the People’s Republic, the president and his wife, Pat, greeted the adorable 18-month-old pair named Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling. This gift from Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai created a nationwide “Panda-Monium,” causing American zoos from the Bronx to San Diego to fiercely lobby the White House to become the pandas’ new home. In the end the Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo won, and the two celebrities received over 20,000 visitors on their first day on display. The following Sunday, 75,000 people flooded the zoo, waiting in a quarter-mile-long line to see America’s newest sensations, who graced magazine covers and proved to be an economic boon for producers of toys and stuffed animals. In return, the U.S. government sent China a pair of musk oxen, Milton and Mathilda—I think we all know who got the short end of that stick.

Giant pandas Hsing-Hsing (left) and Ling-Ling frolic at the National Zoological Park near Washington, DC. (Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images)

Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling had five cubs while at the National Zoo, none of which lived longer than a few days. Ling-Ling died suddenly from heart failure in December 1992, at the age of 23 (at the time she was the oldest panda living in captivity outside China), and Hsing-Hsing was euthanized in November 1999, at the age of 28, due to kidney failure.

This exchange was seen as so successful it inspired British Prime Minister Edward Heath to ask for a panda loan during his 1974 visit to China. Chia-Chia and Ching-Ching arrived at their new digs, the London Zoo, a few weeks later.

Giant Panda is resting on a platform made of trees in Chengdu, China. (Credit: VanWyckExpress/Getty Images)

The tradition saw a significant shift in 1984, when China amended it’s panda protocols. Moving forward, the animals would only be sent out on 10-year loans, would require payment of a standard annual fee (for the U.S. it was $1 million) and decreed that all cubs birthed from loaned pandas were Chinese citizens, regardless of place of birth. The U.S., in turn, shifted its acceptance policy in 1998, only allowing a panda to reside in the States if more than half of its annual fee was given to conservation efforts for wild pandas and their habitats.

In 2008, a devastating earthquake rippled across China’s Sichuan province, destroying 67 percent of China’s wild panda habitats. With its largest and most prestigious conservation center destroyed, China needed to find foster homes for all 60 of its surviving residents. This natural disaster, combined with what appeared to be another shift in panda policy (China now said they would only send pandas to countries for breeding and biological research), caused some to note that China’s loans seemed to be coinciding with trade deals for valuable resources and technology.  Was there a panda payoff underway? For example, the Edinburgh Zoo received two pandas in 2011 (the first to arrive in the United Kingdom for 17 years). Shortly after the exchange, however, trade deals were signed between the two nations for salmon, renewable energy technology and Lan Rover vehicles. Norway (who had recently given the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo) lost their long-standing salmon deal with China. Despite the new established goals of biological research and reproduction, Hong Kong received two pandas in 2007 as a gift to the mark the 10th anniversary of the handover from British rule. But this was considered an exception to the rule, a gift between brothers.

Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) eight month old cub sleeping in tree, Chengdu, Sichuan, China. (Credit: Katherine Feng/ Minden Pictures)

Being entrusted with these adorable, vulnerable (downgraded from 𠇎ndangered” in 2016) creatures can symbolize the blossoming of new international friendships. The tragic and mind-boggling loss of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 exacerbated tensions between China and Malaysia.  The long-planned arrival of Feng Yi and Fu Wa in 2014 (two months after MH370 went missing) was seen as healing the relationship between two grieving nations after China had openly chastised Malaysia for how they handled the disaster.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who couldn’t be won over by the antics of a panda𠅋ut they exist. Taiwan managed to turn the other cheek to the bamboo-loving diplomats for nearly three years (not surprising considering decades of tension with mainland China). In the end, however, with a change of government in 2008, they couldn’t hold out against the fuzzy power any longer and Taipei accepted Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan. These two 4-year-olds created “Panda-mania” when they arrived that December,򠯬oming instant celebrities. Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan have produced one cub (through artificial insemination), Yuan Zai. Perhaps some nations are right in resisting the cuddly animals, as we are reminded time and time again that pandas can be mean, vicious creatures (but when provoked, aren’t we all?) who cost a lot of money to keep and breed. Some even say there is a “panda curse” where world leaders who receive pandas end up forced out of office (Nixon, Edward Heath, Japan’s Kakuei Tanaka).


Breeding and Population

They are shy and solitary except when mating. Females give birth in the spring and summer, typically to one to four young. Young red pandas remain in their nests for about 90 days, during which time their mother cares for them. (Males take little or no interest in their offspring.)

The red panda has given scientists taxonomic fits. It has been classified as a relative of the giant panda, and also of the raccoon, with which it shares a ringed tail. Currently, red pandas are considered members of their own unique family—the Ailuridae.

Red pandas are an at-risk species, victims of deforestation. Their natural space is shrinking as more and more forests are destroyed by logging and the spread of agriculture.


  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct
  • Data Deficient
  • Not Evaluated

The giant panda, a black-and-white bear, has a body typical of bears. It has black fur on its ears, eye patches, muzzle, legs, and shoulders. The rest of the animal's coat is white. Although scientists do not know why these unusual bears are black and white, some speculate that the bold coloring provides effective camouflage. In patches of dense bamboo, an immobile giant panda is nearly invisible, and virtually disappears among snow covered rocky outcrops on a mountain slope. This theory does not work, however, when considering that giant pandas have no natural enemies to hide from. Another thought is that the pattern may accentuate social signals in some way, or help giant pandas to identify one another from a distance so they can avoid socializing, as they are typically a solitary animal. Another theory suggests that the black absorbs heat while the white reflects it, helping giant pandas maintain an even temperature. Unfortunately, there is no one conclusive theory as to why giant pandas are black and white.

The giant panda has lived in bamboo forests for several million years. It is a highly specialized animal, with unique adaptations. The panda's thick, wooly coat keeps it warm in the cool forests of its habitat. Giant pandas have large molar teeth and strong jaw muscles for crushing tough bamboo. Many people find these chunky, lumbering animals to be cute, but giant pandas can be as dangerous as any other bear.

About the size of an American black bear, giant pandas stand between 2 and 3 feet (60 to 90 centimeters) tall at the shoulder (on all four legs), and reach 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 meters) long. Males are larger than females, weighing up to 250 pounds (113 kilograms) in the wild. Females rarely reach 220 pounds (104 kilograms).

Giant pandas live in a few mountain ranges in south central China, in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. They once lived in lowland areas, but farming, forest clearing and other development now restrict giant pandas to the mountains.

Giant pandas live in broadleaf and coniferous forests with a dense understory of bamboo, at elevations between 5,000 and 10,000 feet. Torrential rains or dense mist throughout the year characterizes these forests, often shrouded in heavy clouds.

Giant pandas do not exhibit body characteristics that communicate visual signals. They have round, inexpressive faces. Their tails are stubs and therefore cannot flag signals to other giant pandas. They have no crest or mane to erect, and their ears are not flexible enough to cock forward or flatten. It is thought that giant pandas never developed these visual accessories due in part to their habitat and solitary nature. Giant pandas live in dense, fog-enshrouded stands of bamboo that obstruct a direct line of sight and any potential visual communications. Giant pandas do occasionally vocalize when playing. During mating, they become very vocal, relying on extremely detailed vocalizations to express all shades of mood from amorous to angry.

Most of their communication is accomplished through scent marking throughout their habitat and territory. Giant pandas mark their territory by rubbing secretions from their anal glands onto tree trunks, rocks or the ground, usually along paths that they habitually tread. Scent marking alerts giant pandas in the vicinity to one another. Depending on who reads the mark, the scents may either separate giant pandas or help bring them together. Outside of breeding season, a scent mark that is unfamiliar is usually enough to send a potential intruder ambling away. During breeding season, however, a female's scent mark advertises her sexual readiness and draws males to her. A female is more likely to accept a male whose scent she recognizes and has encountered before.

Millions of Zoo visitors enjoy watching giant pandas eat. A panda usually eats while sitting upright, in a pose that resembles how humans sit on the floor. This posture leaves the front paws free to grasp bamboo stems with the help of a "pseudo thumb," formed by an elongated and enlarged wrist bone covered with a fleshy pad of skin. The panda also uses its powerful jaws and strong teeth to crush the tough, fibrous bamboo into bits.

A giant panda's digestive system is more similar to that of a carnivore than an herbivore, and so much of what is eaten is passed as waste. To make up for the inefficient digestion, a panda needs to consume a comparatively large amount of food—from 20 to 40 pounds of bamboo each day—to get all its nutrients. To obtain this much food means that a panda must spend 10 to 16 hours a day foraging and eating. The rest of its time is spent mostly sleeping and resting.

Adult giant pandas may be generally solitary, but they do communicate periodically through scent marks, calls and occasional meetings. Recent research has also found that giant pandas may form communities of seven to 15 individuals within the local population.

These individuals occupy a "group" territory, within which male home ranges overlap almost completely, while female home ranges overlap far less. Members of different "groups" generally avoid socializing with each other. Offspring stay with their mothers from one and a half to three years.

Giant pandas reach breeding maturity between four and eight years of age. They may be reproductive until about age 20. Female pandas ovulate only once a year, in the spring. A short period of two to three days around ovulation is the only time a giant panda is able to conceive. Calls and scents draw males and females to each other.

Female giant pandas give birth from 90 to 180 days after mating. Although females may give birth to two young, usually only one survives. Giant panda cubs may stay with their mothers for up to three years before striking out on their own. This means that a wild female, at best, can produce young only every other year. In a lifetime, a giant panda may successfully raise only five to eight cubs.

The giant pandas' naturally slow breeding rate prevents a population from recovering quickly from illegal hunting, habitat loss and other human-related causes of mortality. At birth, a giant panda cub is helpless, and it takes considerable effort on the mother's part to raise it. A newborn cub weighs 3-5 ounces and is about the size of a stick of butter. Pink, hairless, and blind, the cub is 1/900th the size of its mother. Except for a marsupial, such as a kangaroo or opossum, a giant panda baby is the smallest mammal newborn relative to its mother's size.

Cubs do not open their eyes until they are 6-8 weeks old and are not mobile until they are 3 months old. A cub may nurse for eight to nine months and is nutritionally weaned at 1 year old, but not socially weaned for up to two years.

In the wild, giant pandas typically nap between feedings for two to four hours at a time, snoozing on their side, back, or belly, either sprawled or curled up. While a giant panda is resting, it continues to defecate. The number of droppings at a rest site can be used to gauge the relative amount of time a giant panda spent at that site. During a short rest of less than two hours, there are five to ten droppings. Eleven to 25 droppings often accompany rests lasting longer than two hours. Most rest periods are two to four hours in duration but may increase to six or more hours during the summer months.

Scientists are not sure how long giant pandas live in the wild, but they are sure it is shorter than lifespans in zoos. They estimate that lifespan is about 15-20 years for wild pandas and about 30 years for those in human care. Chinese scientists have reported zoo pandas as old as 35. The Smithsonian National Zoo's Hsing-Hsing died at age 28 in 1999.

As few as 1,864 giant pandas live in their native habitat, while another 600 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world. The largest threat to giant panda survival is habitat destruction. People in need of food and income have cleared forests for agriculture and timber. This logging has fragmented a once continuous habitat, leaving small groups of pandas isolated from each other.

When populations become small, they are extremely susceptible to extinction due to environmental or genetic influences, such as drought or inbreeding. Small populations cannot rebound the same way large populations do as groups of pandas become more isolated, it is more likely that reproduction, disease resistance and population stability will be threatened.

For more than 40 years, the Zoo has celebrated these charismatic bears by creating and maintaining one of the world's foremost panda conservation programs. In that time, the Zoo's team — consisting of dozens of animal care staff, scientists, researchers, international collaborators and conservationists — has made great strides in saving this species from extinction by studying giant panda behavior, health, habitat and reproduction.

Specifically, it has allowed scientists at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute to learn about panda estrus, breeding, pregnancy, pseudopregnancy and cub development — work that is shared around the world with other institutions that also care for and breed this vulnerable species.

Breeding Giant Pandas

Smithsonian's National Zoo scientists began giant panda research when Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing arrived at the Zoo in 1972. See a history and timeline of giant pandas at the Zoo here. Much has been learned since that time, but there still remains much more to learn. With the arrival of Tian Tian and Mei Xiang, the Zoo has developed a ten-year research plan that will hopefully culminate in a growing, thriving population of giant pandas.

Some research areas will repeat behavioral observation studies on Tian Tian and Mei Xiang in order to increase sample size and determine whether a behavior pattern is common to giant pandas or particular to an individual. In other areas, such as reproductive biology, the advanced techniques scientists use today largely did not exist when Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing were alive. Also, opportunities for research and conservation initiatives in the wild, including the potential for increasing the wild giant panda population in China through reintroduction, are greater today than at any time in the past. However, these plans and initiatives will be costly to carry out, as will China's official National Plan for the Conservation of Giant Pandas and their Habitats.

Scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation and Biology Institute's Center for Conservation Genomics, have become adept at studying the genetic relatedness of pandas in human care. Chinese colleagues maintain an up-to-date studbook of these vulnerable animals. Zoo scientists developed the formula used to make breeding recommendations for the entire giant panda population in human care, ensuring that it is genetically healthy. Scientists are working to preserve 90 percent of the genetic diversity of the giant panda population in human care.

Panda breeding season is a race against the biological clock. It only comes once a year, and the giant panda team, including scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Species Survival, and vets, keepers and biologists from the Zoo's animal care teams, must be ready. Giant panda females, like Mei Xiang, ovulate for just 24 to 72 hours.

To identify the opening of that tiny window, animal keepers carefully watch Mei Xiang for any behavioral sign of estrus. At the same time, scientists monitor hormones in her urine to pinpoint the window when she is ready to breed. If attempts at natural breeding are not successful, scientists can step in, collect fresh or frozen-thawed semen from a male and use the genetic material collected to artificially inseminate a female. At the Zoo, four artificial inseminations have resulted in successful births: male Tai Shan in 2005, female Bao Bao in 2013, male Bei Bei in 2015 and male Xiao Qi Ji in 2020.

Saving Pandas in the Wild

Under the terms of the Zoo's agreement with China, scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Conservation Ecology Center have studied these bears both in the wild and in human care.

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute ecologists spend months in China every year studying wild pandas and their neighbors, such as Asiatic black bears and takin. They teach colleagues in China how to conduct censuses and surveys of large mammals, including giant pandas that live in the wild, using geographic information systems (GIS) and other high-tech tools for tracking wildlife.

They are also working to identify new landscapes for giant panda reintroduction. Field research has revealed that wild pandas' habitat is highly fragmented, which means pandas have a difficult time finding a mate. To address that problem, Zoo scientists and colleagues have been exploring the possibility of creating "corridors" of forests that link isolated habitats. Such corridors would give giant pandas more options for movement and mate selection. They might also assist with the reintroduction of captive-born pandas into the wild.

The Zoo's pandas are part of Panda Watch behavior study. Each day, dedicated Friends of the National Zoo volunteers, called Panda Watchers, monitor the pandas' behavior via the Panda Cam. Over the years, they've amassed mountains of data on the species, which is notoriously difficult to study in the wild.

In December 2011, David M. Rubenstein donated $4.5 million to the Zoo to fund the giant panda program through 2016. In appreciation, the giant panda complex was named the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. In addition, young conservation biologists in the U.S. and in China who were awarded Smithsonian's National Zoo fellowships for their work to save this vulnerable species were named "David M. Rubenstein Fellows." The gift was used to fund conservation efforts in China, reproductive science, professional training programs, giant panda care at the Zoo, upgrades to the Zoo habitats and public education. Mr. Rubenstein provided an additional $4.5 million donation in fall 2015.

The gift allowed the Zoo's animal care and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's scientific team to proceed with the five-year science plan established with their Chinese colleagues from the China Wildlife Conservation Association. The science plan had specific goals: to examine the creation and impact of corridors to link fragmented habitats that will benefit giant pandas and other wildlife species, including promoting genetic diversity examine how to restore habitats, especially those where pandas appear to be making a comeback provide advice on giant panda reintroduction examine the potential impact of transmissible diseases on giant pandas and other wildlife species, including providing advice on implementing new programs associated with a Wildlife Disease Control Center being built in Sichuan Province and continue research on giant panda reproduction and management, because, although there has been major success in Chinese breeding centers, some pandas still experience reproductive challenges.

In 2020, Mr. Rubenstein pledged a $3 million gift to the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, funding its giant panda research and conservation program through the end of 2023. As per the Zoo's original agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, any cub born to Mei and Tian would be sent to a breeding center in one of the panda reserves in China sometime after the cub turned two years old. In April 2007, it was determined that Tai Shan would remain at the Zoo an additional two years past his second birthday, which was July 9, 2007. This extension allowed Tai Shan to become an adolescent bear in front of his fans. What's more, Zoo scientists were able to continue their studies of his growth and development to document changes during this little-known stage of a panda's life.

On February 2010, Tai Shan was sent back to China, per the loan agreement, to a breeding center in Bifengxia, China. The new loan, which was agreed upon in 2010, states that any cub born at Zoo will stay for four years. Bao Bao, Mei Xiang's second surviving cub born Aug. 23, 2013, departed for China on Feb. 21, 2017. Bei Bei, Mei Xiang's cub born Aug. 22, 2015, departed the Zoo for China Nov. 19, 2019.


Watch the video: Ανάλυση και εκμετάλλευση μεγάλων βάσεων δεδομένων Big Data (August 2022).