Brought to you by asap and The Associated Press, The Slug tastes pop culture for you — just in case it's been poisoned. E-mail us at theslug@ap.org.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Favoritest Photo of the Week: Boo Bear

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(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Normally, we're not big fans of zoos, but we're staying objective for the selection of our Favoritest Photo of the Week. Nothing this week has simultaneously put The Slug in the Halloween spirit and made us say "awwwwww!" more than this grizzly bear stuffing her face in a jack-o-lantern. Carve out the original caption:

Kachina, a 4-year-old female grizzly bear, eats treats as she plays with a pumpkin at the San Francisco Zoo, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007. The bear treats are part of the Zoo's annual Halloween "Boo at the Zoo" and "Dia De Los Muertos" celebration. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Favoritest Photo of the Week: Kiss and Tell

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(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Yeah, we know the kids think Zac Efron is a hottie. Apparently, so does Minnie Mouse, so much so that the floozy had the audacity to lay her lips on Troy Bolton right next to her beau Mickey — and the whole world — at the "High School Musical 2" premiere. Wait, does she even have lips? No? Guess it doesn't count then. You win this time, Minnie. But we're submitting this Favoritest Photo of the Week as evidence of your indiscretion. The original caption:

Zac Efron, a cast member in "High School Musical 2," poses with Mickey and Minnie Mouse at the premiere of the Disney Channel movie in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Swimming with Shark Week

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(AP Photo/HO/Discovery Channel)

Last night, The Slug had the pleasure of entering some shark-infested waters at the 20th anniversary party for Discovery Channel's Shark Week at Chelsea Piers' Pier 60. Can you believe there have been 20 years of eduterror (yes, we just made that word up) about these watery predators? Shark Week partygoers had to cross a makeshift bridge over some flat-screen TVs on the floor featuring shark footage to get inside the event. Scary!

After being baited with some preview footage from "Ocean of Fear: Worst Shark Attack Ever," a doc from this year's Shark Week about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945, we noshed on sushi, poke and chocolate ganache — no shark meat! — and mingled among stars from Discovery Networks shows such as Mike Rowe from "Dirty Jobs," Jeff Corwin from a gazillion different Animal Planet shows and Clinton Kelly from "What Not to Wear."

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Up Close with a Circus Elephant

Back in March, we told you about our crazy night riding in the back of pickup truck driving down 34th Street in Manhattan in front of an elephant. It was all part of an asap video series, which is now complete, that we were filming about a working family in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. What we didn't tell you was just how close we came to the 9,000-pound animal. We finally got around to uploading the footage. See the unedited encounter in this Slugvideo.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What's in the Trunk?

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Wowie zowie. What a night. The Slug spent part of the evening in the back of a pickup truck driving down 34th Street in Manhattan, in front of an elephant. The 137th edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to town. And it's become an annual tradition for the circus elephants and horses to be paraded into the city through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and over to Madison Square Garden. We were in the back of the truck shooting footage for an upcoming asap video series about a real-life circus family. The father is an animal trainer. It was without a doubt the most insane New York traffic jam we've ever been in.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Teenage Mutant Ninja Easter Eggs

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If you loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the late '80s and early '90s like we did and/or you're interested in the brand-new "TMNT," be sure you download our asap podcast, dude. It's all about Ninja Turtle nostalgia. Oh, and we couldn't fit this in the podcast, but "TMNT" writer-director Kevin Munore personally told The Slug about four things he hid for die-hard fans within the animated flick. Sorry, Vanilla Ice fans. No "Ninja Rap" included. See if you can spot them. "TMNT" slices into theaters today.

1.) Some of the turtles' dialogue is lovingly lifted from the comic books, especially a scene between Raph and Casey Jones.

2.) The turtle's sewer enclave includes a shelf full of relics from their previous adventures, such as a canister of ooze and time-traveling lantern. It's easy to spot at the end of the movie.

3.) Some of the computer-generated New York storefronts were modeled after those from the live-action trilogy.

4.) There's a sculptural shoutout to the nasty Triceraton Empire inside the movie villian's lair.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Lair" Cake

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The Slug just got back from previewing the new dragon game "Lair," which flies into stores exclusively for the PlayStation 3 this summer. We're actually unicorn fans here, but the highly detailed environments and fiery aerial combat looked great in the unfinished version we witnessed.

However, The Slug was most impressed by the game's flight controls. When you want the serpent you've mounted to bank right, you tilt the Sixaxis controller right. Want him to do a reverse 180-degree turn? Flick that motion controller backwards. No analog controls here. Fun!

Now for the bad news: The dragons won't be customizable beyond some unlockable moves. So you can extinguish any dreams you had of crafting a green and yellow beast with pink hair. Pete, we're looking at you.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Favoritest Photo of the Week: Pucker Up

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We know what you're saying right now: "Awwwww!" That's exactly what The Slug said when we came across this photo in the AP Archive of a new male polar bear getting randy at the Cincinnati Zoo. And since we celebrated Valentine's Day this week with that low-rated episode of "Lost" — a show that, for some reason, loves polar bears — we decided to make this photo our Favoritest Photo of the Week. Smooch the original caption:

The Cincinnati Zoo's new male polar bear, Little One, right, from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, gets to know one of his potential mates, Berit, as they swim in their exhibit in Cincinnati, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Our Favoritest Things in 2006

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Our long national nightmare is almost over! The year-end lists that plague this time of year will be null and void at the stroke of midnight Sunday. So before we take off for a three-day weekend full of speculating and drinking, here's, um, yet another year-end list! We skipped the crap and just went for our favoritiest pop culture nuggets from 2006. If you disagree or think there was something better, we probably didn't see it — or you're just wrong.

Favoritest Viral Video: Reverend Alecia. She simply spun, spun, spun around on a gold lamé-covered office chair to "give praise to the name of the Lord," but there was something so hilariously beautiful about it. And just when you thought you've had enough, she spins via split-screen.

Favoritest Song: "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. Sure, it's played out now, but we remember when, we remember, we remember at the beginning of the year when the infectious beat and repetitious lyrics shook our tush. While OutKast was busy making a movie, Gnarls Barkley's Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo filled the genre-spanning void with the bestest ditty of 2006.

Favoritest Commercial: Little Richard for Geico. Usually we cringe at celebrities shilling in ads. (Case in point: Alan Thicke offering a "second honeymoon" at the Tahiti Village in Las Vegas. Oh, brother.) But Little Richard steals the show while hawking car insurance with the best description of Thanksgiving dinner ever. Whooo!!!

Favoritest Reality TV Show: "Survivor: Cook Islands." It started with a scandal and could've gone horribly wrong. Instead, viewers of this aging reality show were treated to a season of interesting twists that had nothing to do with that racial divide. By season's end, we were left with a dominating multicultural alliance who concluded the potentially viscous game with more integrity than any previous season.

Favoriest Movie: "Borat" and "The Queen." We know. We know. We're lame for the tie, but we couldn't pick just one. Surprisingly, we sorta loved both for the same reason. These scathing looks at two very different cultures successfully undulated between real and fake, fact and fiction. "Borat" did it for laughs. "The Queen" did it for chills. And we're better for watching both.

Favoritest Roller Coaster: Tatsu. Opened in April, this soaring Japanese-themed coaster, which suspends riders horizontally, whirls 170-feet above Six Flags Magic Mountain's other rides and — gulp! — the ground. When we visited Los Angeles in October, we rode in the front and truly felt like Superman.

Favoritest Game Show: "The Price is Right." You can keep "Deal or No Deal," "1 vs. 100," "Identity" and all those other prime-time game shows. They're boring and, frankly, seem phony. We'll take the crazy everyday men and women who compose "The Price is Right" audience any day of the week. And although Bob Barker announced he's retiring next year, we think he's still got it.

Favoritest Scandal: Clay Aiken's hand. When the "American Idol" runner-up put his hand over Kelly Ripa's mouth on "Live with Regis and Kelly," it ignited a firestorm across daytime television. We're surprised it didn't cause any havoc in Harmony on "Passions."

Favoritest TV Show: "Heroes." While "Lost" was busy dragging out its tiresome mysteries — there, we said it — this superhero drama moved forward with superhuman speed, improving upon a very ehhhh first episode and veering clear of copying "X-Men" by focusing intriguing they-could-be-real characters. We can't wait until 2007 to find out if we're on the list!   

Favoritest Video Game: "Loco Roco." Our favorite game this year wasn't on Wii or PlayStation 3. It was on — gasp! — the PlayStation Portable. With spirited graphics, addictive soundtrack and innovate gameplay, we think this gelatinous puzzle game was more vanguard than anything on those next-generation consoles.

Favoritest Blog: Adrants. We love this marketing and advertising blog for exposing bizarre commercials, flogs and silly P.R. campaigns. In a year when the line between entertainment and advertisement became even thinner, Adrants was there to point its finger and giggle. (And no, we didn't pick Adrants because they linked to our HeadOn post.)

Favoritest asap Story We Did: Waiting for Cats. This past year, we had the opportunity to create stories about amazing people (Mr. T, Bazooka Joe), amazing animals (Lassie, mascots), amazing places (Costa Rica, Flea World) and amazing things ("Second Life," Mardi Gras), but our favoritest was simply tailing a group of talented teenagers who were putting on an amateur production of "Cats."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Slug Gift Guide: Don't Forget Fido

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You shouldn't surprise people on your shopping list with a pet for Christmas, according to animal welfare experts. That's like springing a kid on someone. However, this doesn't mean pups themselves should be left out of the gift-giving festivities Give the pooches you know something everyone would love for the holidays: beer and candy. Pup Life sells an organic 15-piece candy sampler for $10.99. And you can get some Happy Tail Ale — that's right, beer for dogs — from PetCo for $17.97. Woof!