Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Is tiger cub Arya named after Game of Thrones character?

imagesPeople on the internet are smiling today — at least Game of Thrones fans are — after it was revealed that one of the Malayan tiger cubs at Chaffee Zoo has the same name as a beloved Game of Thrones character: Arya. The name was one of several the zoo put up for a vote to the public. Not surprisingly, it got the most votes at 1,690. Several people on Facebook said they voted for the name because they love the character.

But it wasn’t intentional. Chaffee Zoo assistant curator Lyn Myers said they chose common Indonesian names and the 7-week-old cubs aren’t named after any characters. Arya means warrior or truthful — which is pretty fitting. For those not familiar with the wildy popular books by George R.R. Martin or the HBO series of the same, Arya Stark is a spunky character who is 9 years old in the first book. Unlike her princess sister, she’s a tomboy who loves swordplay. She spends much of the series fighting to get reconnected with her family — like a warrior would.

(Tiger photo — we’re not sure which of the four cubs this is — by Craig Kohlruss. Arya photo by Nick Briggs.)

Your afternoon cuteness break: baby tigers

The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is now home to four teeny tiny Malayan tiger cubs. This is a big deal because these tigers are rare. There’s only 500 in the wild. But it’s also a big deal because they are stinkin’ cute. Check out this video of the four cubs nursing. The little guy on the bottom looks like he’s getting a tad frustrated. They won’t be on display to the public for several more weeks. You can read the full story here.

Daily dose of cuteness: baby giraffe video

This video made me squeal out loud, so of course I had to share it with those of you who might be having a cranky Monday. A new baby giraffe was born at the Chaffee Zoo last week. More on that here. The video features the less-than-week old giraffe (who didn’t have a name yet) getting under-the-chin licks and snuffling at Bee photographer Mark Crosse’s camera. The up-close-and-personal part is at the end.

Fres-Know: Awww, look at the otter


TOO CUTE: Fresno’s Chaffee Zoo opens its new exhibit featuring African spotted-neck river otters, Bee photog Mark Crosse reports. The zoo is open during Easter weekend. Don’t fantasize about taking one home, however. These little guys have teeth. [Bee gallery]

OPEN ALASKA MOUTH, INSERT MUKLUK-PROTECTED FOOT: The nation’s latest “stupid comment by a politician” scandal has a local connection. After Congressman Don Young of Alaska called Hispanic migrant workers “wetbacks,” he explains he “used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in central California.” [Bee]

STANDING ROOM ONLY: It seems the Elbow Room’s “Sunday Sizzle” afternoon events are so popular that the restaurant will stop taking Sunday reservations for music on the patio starting April 6 because of no-shows, open places at tables, etc. That, in turn, irritates many long-time customers who don’t want to take a chance on getting in under the new no-reservations policy. How irritated? Local entertainer Jim Lyons wrote an entire manifesto about the new policy, including a delineation of “Elbow Room responsibilities” and “Patron responsibilities.” Don’t get between an Elbow Room regular and his Sunday afternoon.  (Strange: There was a robust post with lots of customer comments about the matter going on about the issue on the Elbow Room’s Facebook page last night, but I can’t find it today.) [MySpace]

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Fres-Know: Did they just say Siabu?

CHECK THIS OUT: Chaffee Zoo Orangutan predicts Super Bowl champs. [ABC 30]

WOAH: Siabu is viralling, getting love all over the Internet, including … [Time]

AND THEN: This Bay Area blogger uses it as a chance to talk smack about us. [SF Weekly]

CONTEST: The Bee wants to see your best photos, Niner fans. [The Bee]

SURVEY SAYS: Fresno is the No. 2 energy-drink chugging city. [Marketing Daily]

LOSER OF THE WEEK: Fresno dude who gets 7 years in jail after 8th DUI. [The Bee]

WE’RE MOURNING: “No Suits, No Ties, No Lies” Guy’s car dealership. [The Bee]

WELCOME TO THE ‘NET: Downtown Fresno Partnership’s blog. [Downtown Fresno Blog]

KICKSTART: Two local mobile food operations. [TasteFresno]

YOU SHOULD BE READING: George Hostetter’s stories about walking the the city. [City Beat]

LISTEN TO THIS: Latest Flowing with Famous podcast. [Fresno Famous]

(DON’T) WATCH THIS: Happy Birthday video to some dude named Fresno. [YouTube]

VINTAGE: “Bobby Salazar” by Brian Kenney Fresno. [YouTube]

SPORTS: Fresno State’s Philip Thomas gets WashPost feature. [Washington Post]

Fres-Know: Our turkey is stuffed with hyperlinks

WATCH THIS: Season 2 premiere of foodie web show “What’s Good Fresno?” [YouTube]

THIS AGAIN: Mayor fighting to outsource trash disposal. [The Bee]

FROM THE BLOGROLL: Making your store-bought turkey feel inadequate. [TasteFresno]

GOOD READ: Find handmade local gifts this holiday season. [The Bee]

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET: A new Fresno podcast about craft beer. [Perfect Pour]

LISTEN TO THIS: New “Flowing with Famous” podcast. [Fresno Famous]

UPCOMING: Zoo Lights begins this weekend at Chaffee Zoo. [The Bee]

YELP REVIEW OF THE WEEK: “It’s great, but … ” [Yelp]

SPORTS: Fresno State’s Phillip Thomas finalist for national award. [The Bee]

WATCH THIS: Must-watch high-school football video. [Sports Buzz]

TWEET OF THE WEEK: Well played, Visalia Fox Theatre. [Twitter]

KICKSTART: Organic Fresno Market. [Kickstarter]

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Saturday is Fresno’s (now) annual Zombie Pub Crawl in the Tower District. You can get dressed up, hang out with a bunch of zombies and crawl from one Tower bar to the next in search of braiiiiiiiins booze. Some places, such as Babylon as you’ll see below, have their own complementing zombie events. Read more about the zombie craze here.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than sitting directly in front of your fan.

Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals — or FLYP — has an interesting fund-raiser Saturday night at Frank’s Place (next to Warnors Theatre). It’s a ‘20s-era prohibition party, with drinks and “gambling.” Think “Boardwalk Empire.” There’s a narrative too. Watch the promo video we posted yesterday and don’t be surprised if “the law” gets winds of the party. [More]


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Your guide to eating & drinking this weekend


We all know this weekend is going to be hot. But did you also know it’s got a handful of notable food- and drink-related events you might want to check out. Here’s a look:

FIG FEST: The annual (and popular) Fig Fest is Saturday at Fresno State. The Bee had a nice piece Wednesday about the various uses of the fig. If that gets you motivated to taste some figs, then get all the event info and head out there.

ZOOFARI: Another popular annual event is Chaffee Zoo’s Ice Cream Zoofari. It’s a cool relief considering the expected temperatures. It’s happening Saturday night after the zoo closes and includes all you-can-eat ice cream, sherbet and frozen yogurt. More info here. This one sells out, so hurry if you want tickets.

VISALIA CRAFT BREW FEST: Visalia jumps into the beer festival game with the first Visalia Craft Brew Fest happening at Mooney Grove Park. It features close to three dozen breweries, including locals such as Tioga-Sequoia and Brewbakers and out-of-towners like Firestone Walker and Sudwerks. More info here.

HAVE LUNCH WITH JOE CROSS: Cross, a juicing advocate, healthy-living inspirer and star of the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” visits Fresno on Sunday. You can eat with him at a $50 gourmet vegan fund-raiser lunch at Organic Fresno and/or catch his free lecture at Liberty Theatre at 3:30 p.m. More here.

Fres-Know: Stiffer than your grandpa’s moonshine

WATCH: Promo video for FLYP’s Prohibition Party this Saturday. [YouTube]

NEWS: B-ball coach LeBeau has first court appearance. [The Bee]

KNOW THIS: Where the cooling centers are in the Fresno area. [The Bee]

VOTE: Fresno, Sanger or Los Banos for baseball field makeover. [Toyota]

WTF FRESNO NEWS OF THE WEEK: Meth is a helluva drug. [The Bee]

BLOGGINGS: Huge casino on the Fulton Mall? Jim Boren ponders. [Opinion Talk]

SPORTS: It’s almost football season, so the ‘Dogs blog is busy. [‘Dogs Blitz]

EVENT: Can the Valley become a top cultural tourism capital? [Eventbrite]

WIN: Tickets to Dino Nite at Chaffee Zoo on Sept. 8. [Lennar]

NEW EATS: Grillmasters BBQ in Clovis is open. [The Bee]

ANGRY YELPER OF THE WEEK: “Good luck if he washed his hands.” [Yelp]

FRESNO MEME OF THE WEEK: Our own ecard. [Facebook]

FRESNO MEME OF THE WEEK 2: On Fresno haters — NSFW. [@brodiemash]

Fres-Know: Where sea lions and naked dudes are tolerated


LOOK AT THAT: First sea lion at new Chaffee Zoo attraction. [The Bee]

SURVEY SAYS: Fresno 14th most tolerant city. Really?!? [The Atlantic Cities]

LOOK AT THIS: The new official visitor’s guide for Fresno/Clovis. [FCCVB]

WTF VISALIA: Naked man in street trying to talk to aliens. [KMPH]

CRAIGSLIST AD OF THE WEEK: Seeking experanced caergiver. [Craigslist]

ANGRY YELPER OF THE WEEK: Dude who hates Dog House Grill. [Yelp]

CLOSING: Clovis’ QN4U BBQ House, effective Sunday. [Biz Blog]

GOOD READ: Thoughts on the Fresno indie music scene. [Dead in 60 Years]

GOOD READ II: Profile on Fresno-based tech reporter. [Frebby Awards]

GOOD READ III: Crash victim leaves legacy of kindness. [The Bee]

GO TO THIS: Fresno Grizzlies farmgrown farmers market. [Grizzlies]

YUM: A look at the ice cream from Fresno State’s dairy. [The Bee]

WHAT’S GOING THERE? Yen Ching restaurant razed on Shaw. [Biz Blog]

IT CAME FROM MADERA: New web app for crowd-funding gifts. [WishBooklet]

ENTER: The $10,000 Rock at the Top battle of the bands. [Chukchansi]

VOTE: In Big Fresno Fair’s Local Performer Contest. [BFF]

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

It’s a very busy weekend, so consider these five in addition to Big Hat Days, blasting hip-hop speakers at Save Mart Center, the annual MCC Sale at Fresno Pacific, the Tower Classic Car Show, Bee My Honest Festival and Beehive Birthday 7.

Ahhh, yeah. It’s baseball timein downtown Fresno again. The Fresno Grizzlies open their home season with a weekend series against Tacoma — with games tonight, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. For tonight, the Grizzlies are encouraging people to wear orange. I’m encouraging you to remember a sweater and umbrella. Ticket info here. If you haven’t already, read about the carnival the Grizzlies added this year.


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Fres-Know: Anybody seen our car?


WEIRD NEWS: Airborne car lands on Fresno rooftop at 1 a.m. [The Bee]

VIRAL FRESNO: Story, subsequently, has landed all over the web. [CBS News]

LISTEN TO THIS: Locals The Quiet Americans get love from Filter Mag. [Filter]

DID YOU KNOW? Local chocolatier creates for Target, Fresh & Easy. [The Bee]

VOTE: For Dusty Buns Bistro Bus in online food truck contest. [Eat St.]

YAY FRESNO: Chaffee Zoo’s 2011 attendance breaks 1989 record. [The Bee]

HAPPENING: A marathon built around Robertito’s locations? [Dead in 60 Years]

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: DSW, Carter’s opening in Fresno in July. [The Bee]

COOL PICS: No snow = ice-skating in Yosemite. [The Bee]

WATCH THIS: Side-by-side of DumbDrum’s “Dark Knight Rises” swede. [YouTube]

THIS TOO: An evening with the Fresno Swing Dance club. [Kyle Lowe]

[photo: CBS News via CBS 47]

Fres-Know: Our Fuse is lit. Is yours?


GO TO THIS: Lineup announced for this year’s Fuse Fest. [The Fresnan]

LOOK: Swede Fest 8 poster is dope. Oh, start your Swedes too. [Dumb Drum]

NEWS: We finally got $100K from Walmart. [The Bee]

KNOW THIS: List of 9/11 events in the Valley. [The Bee]

BLOGGINGS: Worst Flier of the Week … politics version? [Daily Dues]

BLOGGINGS: Is Fresno ready for an adults-only movie theater? [CBS 47]

LAW & ORDER: Fistacuffs outside Fresno State-Cal game. [SF Appeal]

YUM: Start drooling over these weekend food events. [Taste Fresno]

BLOGGINGS: Fresno Burger Wars continue: Five Guys vs. In-N-Out. [Fresno Bites]

NEWS: Chaffee Zoo breaks ground on Sea Lion exhibit. [The Bee]

Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild: the recap

A hearty thank you to everyone who helped us put together another fun Fresno Tweetup on Saturday night at Chaffee Zoo. It was our second Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild, but we also could have called it Fresno Tweetup Gets Sweaty. Heat aside, everybody seemed to have a great time, whether it was running around the zoo for our scavenger hunt, checking out Fierce Creatures playing in the Winged Wonders Amphitheatre or hopping in the photo booth.

We owe a big shout-out to Bee photog Craig Kohlruss for setting up the photo booth. FYI: You can hire him to bring the fun to your event. Get more details at If you want one of the pics, you can get them on our our Facebook page. Thanks also to our Scribble king, SW Parra, for his great caricatures.

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Fresno Tweeps: It’s time to get Wild


We’re a little bit more than 24 hours away from this year’s Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild 2, another of our local Twitter gatherings, this time invading Fresno Chaffee Zoo for an evening of animals, games, prizes, live music, beer and more.

We’ve already told you that Fierce Creatures are playing — and trust me, they’re worth the $5 admission price all by themselves. We’ve also got a number of prizes that are worth showing up for:

There’s still time RSVP to @FresnoZoo and/or @FresnoBeehive on Twitter. Just let us know you’re coming and you’ll be on the list. Not on Twitter? No problem. Fresno Tweeps can bring non-Twitter users with them and they get the same $5 ticket price. And remember, kids under 10 are free with adult admission.

Got questions about how everything works tomorrow? Read the FAQ below:

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Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild … now with more Fierce Creatures


We thought Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild — our next big Fresno Tweetup happening Aug. 27 at Chaffee Zoo — could use a few more creatures. So we recruited one of our favorite Fresno bands to join us, Fierce Creatures.

There’s something just so fitting about Fierce Creatures playing at the zoo, isn’t there?

Wanna go? You still have time to RSVP on Twitter to @FresnoZoo and/or @FresnoBeehive. Just let us know you’re coming and you’ll be on the list. It costs $5 to get in to this excusive after-hours party with beer, games, prizes and, of course, Fierce Creatures. More info here.

Not on Twitter? No problem. Fresno Tweeps can bring non-Twitter users with them and they get the same $5 ticket price. Or just sign up and get an account. Be sure to follow @FresnoZoo, @FresnoBeehive and @FierceCreatures.

ALSO: Social Media Club Fresno is putting on an “Amazing Race” style competition within the Tweetup and is currently looking for four teams of two to compete. Interested? Hit ‘em up on Twitter.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

While you decide whether to try out Kocky’s

I’m utterly fascinated by this weekend’s Summer Splash Beach Party outside Club One Casino. They’re shutting down Van Ness Avenue between Fresno and Tulare streets, trucking in 700 tons of sand, a 45-foot inflatable waterslide, palm trees, cabanas and more. There’s food, drinks, plus beer pong and beach volleyball tournaments. It even goes until 2 a.m. tonight and Saturday. Note: It’s 21+ after 7 p.m., but all ages before that. Here’s more on the event from The Bee. And here’s my column about why this is exactly the type of thing we need downtown. [Info]


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The Week Ahead: Snoop Dogg, Michael Buble, figs, ice cream, murals and more

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SNOOP DOGG: Bow-wow-yippee-yo-yippee-yay — West Coast rap hero Snoop Dogg is at Rainbow Ballroom on Wednesday night, playing for the 18+ crowd. Tickets and info here.

MICHAEL BUBLE: Crooner Michael Buble is, in effect, rounding up the women of Fresno and bringing them to Save Mart Center on Sunday. The pop singer created quite a rush for tickets in our recent giveaway. Sorry, it’s way too late, but you can still buy them at the Save Mart Center box office or via Ticketmaster.

ALSO IN TOWN: Also visiting our Valley in the week ahead: Dave Koz (Thurs. at Tower Theatre), Andrea Balency Trio at Fulton 55, PK (Fri. at Kuppajoe), ! ! ! (Fri at The Cellar Door), Javelin (Sat. at The Cellar Door w/ Fashawn), As Artifacts (Sat. at The Bel-Tower) and Tyrone Wells (Sat. at Chowchilla High)

A MURAL PARTY: Teen mural-makers The Muralistics unveil and celebrate their newest piece — at 1724 Broadway St. — at a Friday evening event. More info here.

TO EAT: Have a tasty weekend between the 8th annual Fig Fest (Saturday at Fresno State), Chaffee Zoo’s yearly all-you-you-can-eat Ice Cream Zoofari (Saturday at the zoo) and the revival of the Tower District Neighborhood BBQ (Sunday at St. Therese Church).

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Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild — it’s back!


You had fun last year, we had fun last year, even the giraffes had fun last year, so it’s time we did a sequel. Once again, The Beehive and Chaffee Zoo are partnering for Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild, an after-hours party at the zoo where our local Twitter community can mix and mingle at a discounted price.

This year’s event is Saturday, August 27, from 5-8 p.m. Chaffee Zoo will be closed to the public, so it’s an exclusive event for the Fresno Twitter crew. Tickets will cost $5, and kids 10 and younger are free with their parent(s).

If you attended last year, and many of you did, you know it was a blast. There will be food, drinks, live music, and, of course, all kinds of games and prizes. Expect more details right here on The Beehive as the date gets closer.

A few notes on how the Tweetup will work:

  • You MUST message Chaffee Zoo (@fresnozoo) and/or The Beehive (@fresnobeehive) on Twitter to get on the list for $5 tickets.
  • You’ll pick up your tickets along with a nametag at the will-call table before the event. You can bring non-Tweeps with ya, but wouldn’t you rather just get them to join Twitter and add to our cool local Twitter community? Exactly.
  • The Zoo says all its usual animals will be out. We’ve got a few other fun things scheduled — like another Twitpic Scavenger Hunt and a variety of Tweetup Challenges for prizes.
  • Mark any and all Tweets about the event with the hashtag #wildfresno. And follow that hashtag for all the chatter about Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild.
  • If you’re not Twitter, you’ve got plenty of time to join and get into the swing of things. Be sure to follow @fresnobeehive and @fresnozoo first thing.

Six Things You Should Do This Weekend

Since the weekend has an extra day, I’m giving you an extra thing to do …

If last weekend was a two-headed monster of big local music shows, this weekend it’s a two-headed monster of sports. It’s probably not news to anybody that Fresno State football kicks off its season on Saturday against visiting Cincinnati. And the Fresno Grizzlies have their final homestand of the season (through Monday), in a first-place race that’s down to the wire.


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Giraffe post mortem


In a web update, Bee writer Marc Benjamin writes that the baby giraffe that died May 18 at Fresno Chaffee Zoo may have been killed by epileptic episodes, according to a state laboratory report:

Tests measuring toxins, bacteria, viruses and possible trauma provided no new answers, said Lewis Wright, the zoo’s interim veterinarian.

What really struck me about this update isn’t so much the conclusion from the lab as the solitary comment at the bottom of the story, written by stevecrozz:

Where are all the comments about inexperienced zookeepers? and where’s all that instantaneous unfounded blame passing? It feels so empty in here…

I totally agree. One of the side effects of a Web-based news cycle is the tendency for people to instantly leap to (often) outlandish conclusions. Moments after the original story went up about the baby giraffe’s death, someone had blasted the zoo staff for incompetence. Whatever happened to expressing sympathy over the story, then reserving judgment until the facts were in?