What do silence, aggressive pandas, and a massive explosion have in common? No, that’s not the opening to a really lame joke about a three guys walking into a bar. Instead, they’re all featured in today’s edition of What’s Up Wednesdays, a weekly installment here at Beyond the Rhetoric wherein I take a look at what’s going on in the blogosphere.

Read on and see if you can find the connection… if there is one.

Ruchir Chawdhry talks about the single greatest annoyance in his life: silence. This isn’t restricted only to the silent treatment you’ll get from your significant other if you don’t do something special tomorrow (you might as well give up on the florist now), but also when it comes to contacting A-listers and getting no response in return. Does power corrupt?

Deborah Dera may not be considered a resident expert in the area, but she’s going to do her best to explain Google Adsense in terms that even the noobiest of n00bs can understand. We all have to start somewhere and Deb plans on walking us through the entire process.

Ed Lau has been perpetuating a story about John Chow for some time now, telling people that the so-called root of all evil got into a rock fight with a family of pandas while in China. After a little sleuthing, Ed may have found the mother panda. They’re usually pretty docile and elusive animals, but not this mama.

Collis Ta’eed from Freelance Switch completed a massive survey of 3700 freelancers, compiling the results into a handy package that tells us about the average number of hours worked each week, the average hourly rate, and all sorts of other information. To gain access to the freelance survey results, you’ll need to give a small donation via PayPal, but it sounds like this information is totally worth it. I’m probably going to buy a copy.

Darren Barefoot was quick to blog on a massive explosion that took place this morning along West Broadway in Vancouver. The huge boom completely wiped out the Taco Del Mar and Starbucks near Broadway and Heather, but it also shattered windows across the street at the London Drugs and Holiday Inn. In fact, one Flickr user said it shook his building six blocks away. I hope no one got hurt!

One last reminder: THE VIDEO GAME CONTEST ENDS TOMORROW! Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a copy of Pirates of the Burning Sea for your PC. It looks like I’ll be giving away a t-shirt or two as well!