Giant panda overload this week! Earlier in the week came the first episode of Martin Yan’s newly revived TV series, Yan Can Cook. The new series, Spice Kingdom, is described as “a 13-part series that explores the many aspects of how food and spices helped shape the history and culture of Western China.” Its first episode, Panda-monium, started with the pandas at the Chengdu Panda Base and unsurprisingly featured bamboo recipes.
Later in the week (i.e. yesterday) I went to the Boston Museum of Science and saw the IMAX movie, Pandas: Wild at Heart, which I heartily recommend [no pun intended]. This too focused on the Chengdu Panda Base and mostly recounted the story of how a pair of biologists, one Chinese and one American, trained a panda cub who had been born in captivity to survive in the wild. I was a little worried because there were a couple of hundred middle school kids there on a field trip. Kids (and many adults!) no longer know how to behave in a theater, so I expected them to be talking throughout the movie — but surprisingly there was almost no talking. (I did, however, catch a snippet of conversation between two kids before the movie started, when one asked the other “Is this what a real movie theater is like?”)