We continue our Oblivion coverage today with a comprehensive look at what makes Oblivion truly great, shrubs. An Oblivion shrub can be identified by its size and shape. A shrub is not quite a tree but not quite grass. It sits in a hazy middle ground that makes it unique to those who study and enjoy shrubs.
One need not be an expert in shrubs to enjoy them. Novices and amateurs alike can appreciate shrubs if only they learn a few basic facts and guidelines. With Bethesda's life-like procedural woodland generating physics engine, video game shrubbery has reached a new plateau in realism. Oblivion's vegetation is so realistic that one never needs to visit an arboretum again. I recently cancelled my annual pass to my local shrubbery and never looked back!
Oblivion shrubs can be defined into four classes:
Aggressive: These shrubs are nothing to sneeze at. They are not to be approached under any circumstances unless your shrubbery skill is level 50 or higher. These shrubs can bite and are not afraid to use voodoo. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
You really think someone on Something Awful would write a whole article about something as ridiculous as plants in a video game? Let's move on to the real update.
So cute. So lovable. So dangerous.Deep within the world's zoos there is an ongoing conspiracy that threatens the very fabric of our beliefs. Today I will be exposing this horrific conspiracy for the ugly, putrid thing that it is. This update will rock you to the core. It will shake your foundations. You will never be the same.
We're not talking about animals being abused, sold into slavery, or being killed off for their fur, which is very soft and comfortable by the way. No, it's a scam worse than anything ever sent to your inbox from Nigeria.
Good natured humans are being defrauded by the so-called panda "bear" for everything they are worth. Think you're just an innocent bystander? Think again. If you've ever paid admission to a zoo to see a panda you are part of the conspiracy. Folks, it's everything we have feared and more.
The Giant Panda is secretly pretending to be endangered and helpless so human beings will pamper them forever.
Every year a bazillion gajillion zillion billion dollars and forty cents is wasted attempting to care for, track, and rebuild the species. Conservationists are now using satellite tracking technology to monitor wild pandas having sex, the BBC reports.
"Tracking them with advanced technology and observing their sex activities might help us find ways to avoid their extinction," an official said.
I'll tell you why they have a poor breeding record. THEY ARE PLAYING YOU ALL FOR CHUMPS, THAT'S WHY! What's worse is that there is now a panda kindergarten to educate cubs! YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK. These pandas are only being educated in one thing, how to fool humans for the rubes they are.
Oh, we're poor pandas. Cry cry, sniff sniff we're going to go extinct if you don't help us! Heh heh heh, look at all the humans, believing our every word, humanitarians they are. Oh yes, take us in and help us breed. Give us the best bamboo, the best dens, and the best luxury sport sedans. Why not? I'm a panda. I'm endangered. Give me everything I want! Ha ha ha!
That's what they think of you, my friends. And if we don't stop it pandas will continue to play us all like the bleeding heart liberal hippie bastards we are. Democrats aren't the only ones to blame for the panda conspiracy. Even conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly has been taken in by these cute little bears. Here in a 2002 transcript Bill extends his gratitude towards the species.
And before we end today's program I'd like to salute the Giant Panda. Any friend of the panda is a friend of The Factor. The Factor's ratings are up an astonishing 256% this month and we'd like to thank every panda for making us number 1. Thank you.
Even our very own Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka has been fooled by pandas stating in a 2003 update, "I am not tired of having sex with panda bears." He went on to make suggestions on how to solve the panda bear mating problem. Oh how ignorant we were back then. If only we knew what we know now!
This is not a partisan issue. This is a global issue. In order to stop this conspiracy we must unite together. But first, what do we know about the conspiracy and how it is perpetuated? What follows is our special investigative report, four years in the making.
Trust: An Endangered Species
While pandas are widely considered to be bears they bear a striking resemblance to the raccoon family. Raccoons are the thieves of the animal kingdom. They are tricksters and derive pleasure from mischief and mayhem. Pandas are merely raccoons in disguise. I could prove it if only I had 3DO bios for a secret project I'm working on.
Pandas are currently on the endangered species list. That in itself is true. There are estimated to be only 1,600 pandas in the wild and about a hundred in captivity. How they got that way is sketchy. Pandas are thought to have become endangered because of pollution, destruction of their habitat, and poaching. This is simply not true. Pandas are more than capable of surviving in the wild according to this 1992 study by the ESA. They want to be endangered.I don't even get a birthday cake or a birthday but the damn panda gets a cake oh well I don't care that's fine it's not like I want a birthday or anything... sigh.Pandas living at zoos are happy and carefree. They are energetic and are often seen playing together. But if you've ever actually been to a zoo you'd notice that every single animal there is depressed out of their minds and avoid people. Zoo animals stay in an everlasting state of sleep waiting for death to come. That's why they are rarely seen doing anything.
Pandas, on the other hand, love the zoo. They've used their greatest weapon, cuteness, to trick humans into pampering them and treating them like kings. If you thought panda kindergarten was bad, wait until they build panda hotels, panda casinos, and panda Dave & Buster's. Pandas loving the zoo when every other animal there wants to die? It's starting to raise more than a few eyebrows.
Don't buy into their endangered species propaganda. Would a panda help you if you were endangered? What happens when all of civilization is threatened by peak oil, global warming, and Rosie O’Donnell’s triumphant return to television to oust Star Jones as the supreme fat woman of daytime TV? Will pandas bathe us, shelter us, and wipe our asses? I think not.
Much has been made of the panda’s legendary reluctance to mate. We'll debunk that myth in the next section.
The Reproductive Factor
Pandas stay on the endangered species list by refusing to mate. Humans go to great lengths to tempt pandas into having sex with each other. They even go as far as showing panda pornography to males to get them in the mood. Most are able to resist hot and sweaty panda on panda action. When the zoo keeper says, "Panda, go have sex!" the male panda says, "No Peg." Then the zoo patrons hoot and holler as the panda flushes a toilet. It's the most popular exhibit at the San Diego Zoo and brings in 10 million in ticket sales annually.A rare image of pandas copulating. These pandas may be having fun now but they risk being outcast from their pack.What animal refuses to have sex? Humans are more interested in panda sex than pandas are. There has been no conclusive scientific evidence to suggest a reason why male pandas are so reluctant to mate. The only conclusion we can come to is that there is a conspiracy to not mate.
If you're a panda it's not in your best interest to reproduce. Building up your species' numbers means you go back to the wild. There goes the panda birthday parties, the kindergarten, and the panda porn.
It isn't always that easy. Some pandas do break down and succumb to their biological urges. Those that break ranks and start banging are ostracized from the panda community. They are shamed and risk being offed by their fellow pandas. As one former panda who mated told me in this exclusive interview, mating can mean the end. We shot the interview in silhouette per his request.You really don't know what it's like until they've been in that situation. Yeah, I mated. The temptation was too great. After my mating session I was met with a great backlash. Other pandas wouldn't talk to me. I was blocked from getting bamboo. I even received death threats. I was forced to don a disguise and move to the hippo pen. It was the only thing I could do.
The conspiracy permeates through panda society almost as if it were instinct. From birth pandas are taught to uphold the conspiracy at all costs, even if it means their life. Those that defect are outcast and forgotten.You really don't want to mess with this. It goes all the way to the top. I've heard rumors that the Chinese government is in on it. I don't even want to think about that.
At this point our panda informant broke down in tears and asked that the cameras be shut off. But before he left he told us that if he had a choice, he would not have been born a panda. Half of all pandas born probably wish they were not born pandas. Mothers that give birth to two cubs abandon one of them. Is this the type of behavior you want to support?
The Financial Connection: Chinese Secrets Revealed
Our story doesn't end there. The Chinese government has known about the conspiracy for years. That's right, the Chinese government you know and trust supports the panda conspiracy ever since they found out about it in 2000. Inside sources tell us that Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao first became aware of the plan when he visited a panda den at Ocean Park in Hong Kong. There he found plans detailing a massive conspiracy, the very same we have exposed in this report. I have conclusive images of these plans but the batteries in my digital camera are dead and my scanner is broken.China's economy may be booming, but at what cost to the rest of the world?Instead of reporting it to the world he covered it up because of fears that his country's million dollar a year panda trade would be ruined. The panda trade is set up so that the Chinese government doesn't just give a country a panda as a diplomatic favor. It sells pandas on loan for two million dollars a year, a million of which is used to pay for fees associated with care, shelter, and food. The other million? SECRET CHINESE WARHEAD DEVELOPMENT.
Giant Pandas are not ambassadors of goodwill. They are pawning every hard-working American that has ever visited a zoo. They are playing us for chumps and helping the Chinese government amass a great wealth of arms. Should the panda trade continue we may all be eating with chopsticks in ten years and saluting our great Chinese superiors.
The Chinese government is even developing new ways to perpetuate the endangered lie. Chinese scientists have developed new hormones that suppress the panda sex drive. Chinese leaders want to get the panda population down to 500 so they can command an even higher price for panda loans. Rumor has it that loans may reach as high as five million dollars a year in the near future.
What can you do to help? Don't support The Giant Panda! Support American pandas made from American plants and manufacturers. Don't support retailers that import from Chinese companies! Resist shopping at Wal-Mart. If you must shop at Wal-Mart consider soiling yourself in the electronics department to discourage others from shopping there.
A word of caution before we end this piece. Please do not blame Chinese-American citizens for the Chinese government's refusal to stop the panda conspiracy. Chinese-Americans are hard working people like you and I and hate the panda trade as much as any of us. It would sadden me to see violence befall Chinese-Americans because of ignorance and misplaced anger. We must learn from the mistakes of the past for a better tomorrow.
We've given you the facts, the evidence, and the cold hard truth. What you do with it now is up to you. Goodnight, and good luck.
Update: Since posting this report our giant panda informant who sought amnesty in the hippo pen has been found dead. Zoo officials don't yet know the cause of the death but they are suspecting foul play. It's just another reminder of how deadly the panda trade can truly be.
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The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.