City Desk

The Needle: Panda-ring Edition

Panda-ring To The Masses: Today at 4 p.m., the National Zoo began live-tweeting the artificial insemination of giant panda Mei Xiang. This was the second insemination in as many days, in an attempt to boost her chances at getting pregnant. Last year the Zoo inseminated Mei, but she faked her pregnancy and didn't produce a cub. We think it's worth noting that pandas are the worst, and the amount of work it takes to get them procreate is just one more sign of that. It will be some time before we know whether male panda's Tian Tian's "vintage sperm" was effective—it's almost impossible to tell whether a panda is pregnant until it's ready to have cubs. And if it isn't, we'll have to wait until next spring because the bamboo-eating bears can only get pregnant 24-72 hours out of every year. Say it with us now: Pandas are the worst. -6

Stolen Hands: The hands of Georgetown University's Healy Clock have gone missing. It's part of a tradition, apparently! The last time the hands were stolen was 2005, and it cost the university $25,000 to fix the damage. Still, fear not, professors: the bell will continue to chime so getting to class late still isn't excusable. +2

Man Resigns For Being Passionate About His Job: One top Environmental Protection Agency official has resigned after saying he'd "crucify" companies that break enviro laws. Just in case you thought the EPA wasn't completely toothless and politicized, its employees can't even vouch to uphold federal law without being criticized. -3

Taxi Driver Assaulted By A Passenger: Considering all the complaining cabbies were doing about proposals for panic buttons, we have to wonder if this incident might change their minds: a taxi customer assaulted then carjacked a cab in Prince William County this morning. It wasn't the smartest of moves, though: the cab had a GPS tracker on it. +2

Friday's Needle rating: 50 Today's score: -5 Today's Needle rating: 45

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