Hello 24-hour giant panda cam, goodbye productivity

Image: In this Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 photo, a researcher stands near seven panda cubs, all born in 2012, at the Chengdu Panda Base in Chengdu, in southweste... AP
Meet just some of the stars of the new 24-hour live broadcast at ipanda.com! This photo of seven giant panda cubs was captured on Oct. 30, 2012 at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in southwestern China's Sichuan Province.

The productivity of the nation’s workforce is under attack. Employees who stare at computers for a living must avoid the hypnotic power of live penguin cams, live shark cams, live kitten cams and even live koala cams.

But this? Even Ben Bernanke himself might acknowledge that this is just too much.

On Monday, China Network Television (CCTV) unveiled round-the-clock online broadcasts of dozens of giant pandas eating, sleeping, wrestling and biting each other’s feet at a research base in Sichuan Province.

The footage — available via six different video feeds at ipanda.com — is mesmerizing to the point of being coma-inducing. Viewers can watch baby pandas, tween pandas, mom pandas and a hodge-podge of adult pandas cavorting and lolling around together at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

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Beware: This kind of behavior, commonplace at ipanda.com, might make you miss key deadlines at work.

Researchers made sure that ridiculously cute footage is pretty much guaranteed. They had 28 high-definition video cameras installed to capture every move of the more than 80 giant pandas who currently call Chengdu home.

The content on the ipanda.com site can be translated into English and downloaded as a mobile phone application. At the official launch of ipanda.com in Beijing, researchers and television network officials said they hope the channel will highlight efforts to protect the endangered species.

“All of us hope to give more care and help to the giant pandas,” TV presenter Ji Xiaojun said. “When the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding was founded in the 1980s, there were only six giant pandas. Thanks to the solid efforts made in the past 20 years, more than 110 giant pandas have been bred (at Chengdu) thus far.” 

Well, when it’s put that way, maybe it’s OK for our productivity to dip just a little?

Need a Coffey break? Connect with TODAY.com writer Laura T. Coffey on Facebook, follow her on Twitter or read more of her stories at LauraTCoffey.com.

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