Getting Literacy Dun, the Rendition of Bamboozled Pandas With Chinese Accents

Panda diplomacy, apparently, is no black-and-white issue.

Ed Rondthaler, 103, a typographist since the age of five, tells us why spelling is D-U-M, championing simplified spelling in a very smart video from House Industries. He reminds thousands of webcam-empowered YouTube ranters that when you've got something to say you should be subtle, familiar (not creepy), delivering something high-quality, and rich. His tips don't stop at improving literacy, if you want to live longer "good genes, and regular cold showers" will help, he told CNN.

Mr. Rondthaler thinks that smarter spelling will deal a significant blow to illiteracy. But there may be a few hurdles ahead as English takes on a Chinese accent; experts say only 15 percent of those with English skills will be native speakers in 2020. Now is a good time to remember the first advert to offend one billion people, the stereotypically Chinese Super Bowl panda.

The CEO of the company making that mistake reminds us, "The pandas are Chinese...they don't speak German." Well if these Pandas are fluent in Chinese, and what with panda diplomacy being all the rage, we might finally find out what its like to be locked up in China as a Chinese subject. The following very sad panda is not enjoying his diplomatic leave at a Berlin zoo post-rendition.

It really outweighs a dozen cute animal videos, doesn't it? That bamboozled panda should talk to Berlin's famous polar bear, Knut. He seems to always enjoy himself--especially when fishing carp out of his moat.

An American digital graffiti artist, James Powderly, did give us some suggestion of the harshness of being detained in China as the following interview indicates. He was arrested after he helped Tibet activists conduct a laser-stencil-based protest and was subsequently tortured last month in Beijing.

Six days of torture in China, or a being sent on loan to central Europe and experiencing a few years of camera flashes from behind the glass at Berlin zoo? You decide.

TMN Editor Mike Deri Smith is no gourmet, he just has an abnormally large stomach. He lives in London. More by Mike Deri Smith

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