Don't forget to vote! The National Zoo asks for help naming panda cub
You're already out doing your civic duty by voting this Election Day, so why not do one more thing in the name of public service and help the National Zoo name its giant panda cub. That's right, you can exercise your right to vote again — because it felt so empowering the first time — with just a couple of clicks (or fingers taps) on the Smithsonian website.
Five names are in the running: Bao Bao, meaning "precious" in Chinese; Ling Hua, meaning "darling, delicate flower"; Long Yun, a sign of good luck for panda cooperation between China and the United States; Mulan, for the famous Chinese warrior; Zhen Bao, meaning "treasure" or "valuable." Voting opened today, but you have until Nov. 22 to get your selection in. The winning moniker will be announced at a naming ceremony on Dec. 1.
Giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to the cub at the zoo on August 23. Chinese tradition dictates that panda cubs receive a name when they reach 100 days old, a rare feat for cubs who often face health troubles when born in captivity. But Mei Xiang's cub, the second surviving panda cub in the National Zoo's history, is healthy and growing quickly. It won't be too much longer until the public gets an up-close glimpse of her: She will be on display in early 2014. Until then, there's always the panda cam.