Last month Adam Minter, of the wonderful Shanghai Scrap site, reported for the about the ongoing follies surrounding the U.S. exhibit at the Shanghai Expo 2010 (aka World's Fair) that starts less than a year from now. Short version of the story: this is sizing up as a big embarrassment for the United States.

He is back today with an update on the strange process that is leading to the loss of face. Worth checking out -- and figuring out how to correct, soon.

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Left, Haibao Classic, symbol of Expo 2010. Right, American Haibao, who due to U.S. fumbling may tragically not have a chance to appear at the Expo. FAQ: Does Haibao look like Gumby? Though with a different color, and a cowlick on the opposite side? A: Yes, so maybe there's a kind of residual US presence or influence even if the US Pavilion doesn't get built.

UPDATE: Check out the comments thread on Adam Minter's post, especially #s 9 and 10. In brief, Minter outed someone boosting one of the participants -- from an IP address registered to the US State Department.