Skip to main content

Pandas, goats and asteroids: The shutdown's other effects

By Leslie Bentz, CNN
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Tue October 1, 2013
Need your panda fix? Look elsewhere. The National Zoo's beloved panda cam is going dark.
Need your panda fix? Look elsewhere. The National Zoo's beloved panda cam is going dark.

Washington (CNN) -- Furloughed workers. Shuttered offices. Lost pay.

By now, we know well the awful mess we're in due to the government grinding to a halt.

But the shutdown has also had some lesser-known effects.

To wit:

ASTEROIDS

Armageddon? You're on your own

Thanks to the shutdown, no one will be watching out for rocks the size of politicians' egos careening toward earth. At least, that's what many of us thought when NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Near Earth Object Office sent out this tweet:

Government shuts down: Deadline reached
Boehner blames Senate for shutdown
Arches National Park is one of 401 National Park Service sites to close to visitors during the government shutdown. Arches National Park is one of 401 National Park Service sites to close to visitors during the government shutdown.
Closed: Arches National Park
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
>
>>
Closed: National parks Closed: National parks

"In the event of government shutdown, we will not be posting or responding from this account. We sincerely hope to resume tweets soon," the tweet said.

Much (faux) weeping and gnashing of teeth ensued.

".@AsteroidWatch has shutdown its twitter account. there is no hope," Kyle Lishok tweeted.

Fortunately, the NASA office cleared things up:

"To clarify: Many observatories, astronomers are watching the skies," it tweeted.

For some though, that wasn't assurance enough.

"But we're all still gonna die, right?" Benjamin Barnes joked.

PANDAS

Move along. Nothing to see here

Need your panda fix? Look elsewhere. The red and blue bickering has claimed a black and white casualty. The National Zoo's beloved panda cam is going dark. The Smithsonian Institution has to shutter its non-essential programs -- and the zoo's considered one of those. So, bye bye, panda cam, you portal of maximum cuteness. The giant pandas -- Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and an unnamed newborn cub -- will still be fed and cared for. But we won't be able to ooh and aah over them.

"Argh! The panda cam is off," tweeted Anjali Mullany. "Just when our nation needed it most."

Fret not. You can always head over to China's ipanda.com. That site has 28 high-def cameras!

GOATS

Chew on this. They certainly aren't

A herd of goats had been grazing their way through the poison ivy-infested Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. But thanks to the Washington shenanigans, the goats had to be taken off their assignment with no clear Plan B in place. You see, the program's run by the National Park Service, a victim of the shutdown.

This is how USA Today began its story on this: "For months now they've bleated at each other, locked horns and whiled away their days on the hill. But enough about Congress." Ooh, burn!

TOURISTS

(Stay) Beyond these hallowed halls

Among the tours suspended due to the shutdown is that of the U.S. Capitol.

"Due to a lapse in government funding, the Capitol Visitor Center will be closed beginning Oct. 1 and all tours have been suspended," the U.S. Capitol tweeted.

Ironic, no, that tourists won't be able to check out the digs where this all began?

Maybe it's a good thing. Congress' approval rating is a dismal 10%. It's probably best that the lawmakers stay out of sight.

CNN's Jethro Mullen contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:48 AM EDT, Fri October 18, 2013
After all the bickering and grandstanding, the billions lost and trust squandered, it was much ado about nothing
updated 1:31 PM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
The government is open. The debt limit is lifted. The fight is over.
updated 12:51 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
Weeks of bitter political fighting gave way to a frenzied night as Congress passed the bill that would prevent the country from crashing into the debt ceiling.
updated 11:30 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
The U.S. government looked perilously close to hitting its debt ceiling. Here are the stories you missed during the shutdown.
updated 10:16 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
Even before President Barack Obama signed the deal into law, Yosemite National Park fired off a statement: We're open for business, right now.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
It took more than two weeks, but Congress finally reached a shutdown-ending, debt ceiling-raising deal that satisfies both sides of the aisle.
updated 7:14 PM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
So much for a "clean" bill. The measure passed by Congress to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling also contains some goodies and gifts tucked into the 35-page bill.
updated 10:40 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
OK, so Congress passed a bill, the President signed it into law and the government's finally back in business.
updated 11:17 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
It began with high hopes and lofty rhetoric, as a newly reelected President Barack Obama ended his State of the Union wish list with a call to action.
updated 11:26 AM EDT, Fri October 18, 2013
The shutdown is over after 16 days, but the things we missed while the government was closed are still fresh in our minds. Here are nine things we're thrilled to have back.
updated 6:27 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
Long before the ink had dried on the Senate deal, the writing was already on the wall for the Republican Party: The last three weeks have hurt them.
updated 11:21 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
Only 61 people in the history of the United States have held the position. It's the second most powerful in the country and second in line to the presidency.
updated 9:27 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
Congressional approval ratings hovered at historic lows. Republican and Democrats hurled insults at each other and among themselves. The political circus in Washington even made its way to "Saturday Night Live: -- in a sketch featuring Miley Cyrus, at that.
updated 5:02 PM EDT, Mon September 23, 2013
Many government services and agencies were closed at the end of 1995 and beginning of 1996 as President Bill Clinton battled a GOP-led Congress over spending levels.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT