Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I

The Hunger Games
Mockingjay Part I

The day of Panem's liberation has begun as the worldwide phenomenon reaches the first half of the climax chapter. The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part I covers the first half of the final chapter of The Hunger Games novels and it's going to be one of the most intense movies to watch for the holidays.

Jennifer Lawrence reprises her role as Katniss Everdeen and this time, the woman who put an end to the Hunger Games forever is staging a resistance under the guidance of President Coin, played by Julianne Moore. She's risking everything and her people to save Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson, and the nation of Panem from the Capitol and President Snow's tyrannical rule.

The first part of final chapter really is as powerful as the previous installments and we can truly expect great things until this film reaches the cliffhanger which we're looking forward to the final part of Mockingjay really soon but in the meantime, Mockingjay Part I really is worth a nail-biting experience judging with all the twists and turns we can expect from Katniss, Peeta, and the other characters.

It maybe worth leading to the cliffhanger but this movie really is off to where it starts and it's becoming more powerful than what The Hunger Games saga truly became, from the fight to the death that we experience to the very first one and now, the fight for the freedom that fans are looking for in the first part.

My rating: 4.3 out of 5.

The Pokemon Ash caught during the Advanced Generation years

In honor of the recently launched Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire games on the 3DS, let's take a trip down memory lane to take a look at some of the Pokemons that Ash (Satoshi) caught during the Advanced Generation years. That's Pokemon Advanced to the English-speaking youth.

Taillow - The Tinyswallow Pokemon. Taillow bravely stands against foes no matter how strong they are. Ash caught one in an episode titled "You Can Never Taillow".



Treecko - The Wood Gecko Pokemon. Treecko uses its small hooks on the bottom of its feet, allowing it to climb through walls vertically. In an Advanced Generation episode titled Tree's a Crowd, when the big tree where Treecko considers it its home, is gone for good, Ash and his Pikachu battled it until Treecko is now part of Ash's team.


Corphish - The Ruffian Pokemon. Corphish catches its prey using its sharp claws. This Pokemon can eat anything and it's fine to live even in dirty water. In an episode titled Gone Corphishing, this Corphish caused all the trouble not only on our heroes but also the Team Rocket villains. After Corphish sent Team Rocket blasting off again from the trap Brock's Forretress set, Ash's Pikachu had a battle against the wild Corphish. Despite its type advantage, Pikachu gets beaten by Corphish but Treecko defeated it and caught it.


Torkoal - The Coal Pokemon. Torkoal burns coal inside its shell for energy and when threatened, it shoots out black soot. In an episode titled "All Torkoal, No Play", Torkoal became part of Ash's Pokemon team after battling against a wild Steelix. Thanks to its type advantage, Torkoal managed to defeat Steelix using Overheat.


Grovyle - The Wood Gecko Pokemon and the evolved form of Treecko. Grovyle has strong thigh muscles resulting to its incredible agility and jumping performance. Ash's Treecko evolved into a Grovyle during a battle against a trainer and his Loudred which evolved into an Exploud in an episode titled "Exploud and Clear".



Swellow - The Swallow Pokemon and the evolved form of Taillow. Swellow dives at a steep angle as soon as it spots its prey and then catches it with its sharp claws. In an episode titled "That's Just Swellow", Ash's Taillow was caught by a tornado during the PokeRinger competition and then its determination causes Taillow to evolve into Swellow. Swellow caught the ring, escaped from the tornado, and made a dash to the finish line, winning the competition.


Snorunt - The Snow Hat Pokemon. A certain folklore said that a house visited by a Snorunt is sure to prosper for many generations to come. In an episode titled "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snorunt!", a Snorunt stole Ash's badges right out of his backpack. When Team Rocket stole Snorunt and Pikachu, Snorunt escaped and then helps Ash stop the villains' evil plot to save his Pikachu. Snorunt became part of Ash's team.


Glalie - The Face Pokemon and the evolved form of Snorunt. Glalie can freeze moisture in the atmosphere and uses this power to freeze its foes. In an episode titled "Rhapsody in Drew", in the middle of the Hoenn Grand Festival, when one of Team Rocket's Pokemon hit Snorunt, it evolved into Glalie and its Ice Beam sent them blasting off again.


Donphan - The Armor Pokemon and the evolved form of Phanpy. The longer and bigger Donphan's tusks are, the higher the rank in its herd. Ash's Phanpy that he caught during his Johto Journeys evolved into Donphan in an episode titled "Reversing the Charges".


Sceptile - The Forest Pokemon and the evolved form of Grovyle. It's Treecko's final evolution form. Its leaves on its arms can cut down thick trees and uses it to strike its prey. In an episode titled "Odd Pokemon Out", Ash's Grovyle evolved into Sceptile while rescuing a kidnapped Tropius from Team Rocket. Although Sceptile's attacks are deemed worthless, Pikachu, Tropius, and a Nurse Joy's Meganium teamed up to sent these crooks flying. Sadly for Sceptile, it became heartbroken when the Tropius and Nurse Joy's Meganium became a couple.



Aipom - The Long Tail Pokemon. Aipom's tail is so power, it can be used to grab a tree branch and hold itself up in the air. In the episode titled "Channeling the Battle Zone", while May is taking on the Grand Festival semifinals, Ash tries to catch a troublesome Aipom and thanks to Pikachu, this troublemaker became part of his team.


Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is now on sale for the Nintendo 3DS. If you live in the US, revisit your favorite Pokemon Advanced episodes under the Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire banner in the official Pokemon iTunes store!

Pocket Monsters Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire

Pocket Monsters Alpha Sapphire

Pocket Monsters Omega Ruby

The eagerly anticipated and latest installments in the Pocket Monsters (Pokemon) franchise has arrived and wow, it's been over a decade since the original Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire versions launched on the Game Boy Advance since Fall 2002 (2003 for world markets). With the brand new remakes made for the 3DS (from the old 3DS, 2DS, and new 3DS), it's good to say welcome back to the Advanced Generation as we return to the familiar setting of the Hoenn region.

Hang on, they made another remake of a once familiar generation?

Yes. In fact, this is the third time the boffins from Nintendo remade a Pokemon generation since...well, you know, FRLG on the Game Boy Advance and HGSS on the Nintendo DS. Let me give you a quick recap. The first time a Pokemon game made a remake was Fire Red and Leaf Green. These GBA games, launched in 2004, were remakes of the first ever Pokemon games first launched on the Japanese market in 1996 then in 1998 for the global audience. Heart Gold and Soul Silver were the second Pokemon remakes when it was launched on the DS in 2009 (2010 for global markets) and they were remakes of 1999's Gold and Silver Game Boy Color games. Those remakes only happens every decade when they Nintendo made new and exciting handheld consoles as well as Pokemon games. Science is amazing, right?

So, do we expect new stuff like any other remake?

Like any other remakes, we can expect new and exciting things on these remakes and because it runs on the same mechanics from last year's Pocket Monsters XY, expect familiar features such as Super Training, Pokemon-Amie, Player Search System, and many others. Also, Mega Evolution is now part of the new Hoenn life now. After meeting certain conditions, you can get the Mega Ring and mega evolve certain Pokemon holding the corresponding Mega Stone. Also, you can now sneak in this game because there's this part where when you see a Pokemon poked its tail, you'll have to sneak your way to get it because...who knows? It might be a Pokemon with insane abilities that might be found useful for you.

We can expect new Mega-Evolved Pokemon in the Hoenn region, right?

Of course. Throughout this game, you can find Mega Stones throughout this region. Here, you can meet mega-evolved versions of Pokemon like Sceptile, Blaziken, Swampert, Sharpedo, Camerupt, Gallade, Beedrill, Pidgeot, Audino, Lopunny, Salamence, Slowbro, Glalie, Steelix, Altaria, Metagross, and Sableye. Legendary Pokemon like Latias, Latios, and Rayquaza now have Mega Evolutions and true to their cover arts, Groudon and Kyogre are showing their true selves with their Primal Reversions, transforming them into Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre, each with their own devastating offensive powers even a rookie would launch it.

Does it have Pokemon contests like the original Ruby and Sapphire versions?

Yes. For the first time, Pokemon contests are back in ORAS and rather than battling, you can wow the crowd with your Pokemon's moves. That's right. You are back on being a coordinator and who knew being a trainer and a coordinator can be a difficult task to do? It's hard doing both but a true ace trainer never gives up on both. Besides, you can also join the Pokemon contest fun using your 3DS camera. Try impress your friends with this one. This is really one of ORAS' party pieces but the true party piece in ORAS is...wait for it...Pikachu cosplays!

Wait, Pikachu cosplays?!

Yes. Throughout this game you can get your own special Pikachu that can cosplay although the tail is a bit way different. Time to tell a little story why Pikachu's tail is different from each gender. A male Pikachu, like the one in the TV series, shaped like a thunderbolt and its tip of the tail is squarish and normal. A female Pikachu has a heart shaped tip on its tail. The Cosplay Pikachu is the same as a female Pikachu only this time there's a black heart at the tip of its tail so you'll know that's the Pikachu that can cosplay. Cosplay Pikachu has five cosplays and each cosplay has an exclusive move for that outfit. How you will manage this special Pikachu rests in your hands.

There are differences in each versions, right?

Like most games, the Pokemon you'll encounter and the story will be facing is different in each versions. Yes, we all know Groudon is only for the Omega Ruby and Kyogre is only for the Alpha Sapphire but there are some different in each version and, while we're not sure, mega stones. Like for instance, Pokemon exclusive to the Omega Ruby are Mawile, and Zangoose while Sableye and Seviper appear only in Alpha Sapphire. If you want them to be recorded on your PokeDex, trade with a buddy via Link Trade or if you don't have a mate nearby, trade with other people online via GTS or Wonder Trade. Isn't science great?

Is it compatible with XY?

Of course! You can Link Trade Pokemon not only in ORAS but also with XY as well. It's a fun way to complete the National PokeDex except for some Pokemons obtained in special events such as the Jewel Pokemon Diancie. It's Pokemon Bank applicable so your Pokemon you've worked really hard in X or Y can be transferrable on OR or AS. Kids, ask your parent or guardian before using Pokemon Bank because it's a paid subscription service.

Do we expect Braille?

Actually, this is the one thing we're going to expect in this remake because throughout this game, you will encounter hidden messages written in Braille and if you can't understand the Braille alphabet, do some research. If you can uncover the hidden message, you can stand a chance to catch legendary Pokemon such as Regirock, Regice, and Registeel. Because we're in the remake, Regigigas, the colossal Pokemon, is here and if you got all three, be sure to locate this colossal Pokemon. Be warned that you can expect a massive resistance upon encountering Regigigas. If you missed one on Diamond and Pearl half a decade ago, here's your chance.

So many legends in one place, what a spectacle.

Throughout the game, you might have a chance of getting the Eon Flute, which can summon Latias or Latios, allowing you to go on a free flight through the Hoenn region. As you fly through Hoenn, you can expect wild Pokemon soaring through the skies and as a heads up, expect Mirage Spots through the region as well. Mirage Spots feature legendary and mythical Pokemon from the past installments and if you're new here, this is like binge-watching for catch-up purposes. What an awesome view. Only this remake gives you the chance to catch every legendary Pokemon discovered to date but they vary depending on the version you're playing.

I heard that you can make your own secret bases...

Now this is just one of the party pieces in ORAS and that's building your own secret base. If one of your Pokemon learned Secret Power, you can use it in odd looking objects, be it rock or tree, called Secret Spot. Once you found your own Secret Spot, looks like it's time to make your own Secret Base. Come to think of it like a flash makeover on your room but this is Secret Spot we're talking about. You can also recruit one of your mates as your own Secret Pal and you can challenge them in battles whenever you like, form teams, and play Capture the Flag. It's all in the name of having fun.

Your verdict?

All I can say is that with these latest installments, Pokemon OR/AS really is a must have for the holiday season. With everything you expect from the original Ruby and Sapphire versions as well as newer stuff like Mega Evolution, Mirage Spots, new ways to encounter Pokemon, online features, Pikachu cosplays, the new Delta Episode, and so much more, this is probably one of the best Pokemon games I have ever played by a long mile. Think you can top against the ace trainers here? Looking forward to seeing you all. Dismissed.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

One episode of The Middle puts a new spin on Tinikling

Tinikling in an episode of The Middle

In case you missed it, there was an episode of ABC's The Middle, currently on its sixth season, where one of the main characters gave a new spin in the Filipino folk dance called Tinikling. Tinikling features deft dancers weaving their feet between poles but on this episode, Sue Heck performed Tinikling while on the tune of Taylor Swift's hit song "Shake It Off".




Post by The Middle.

It's so enjoyable to have one of the Filipino culture got absorbed into international television, even on an American sitcom like this.

Let's Do The News! (November 20, 2014)



Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- The World Health Organization says that the number of casualties during the Ebola Outbreak reached over 15,000.

- According to the UNSC intel, over 15,000 foreigners were part of the ISIS.

- North Korea is threatened to conduct more nuclear tests following the UN resolution on human rights.

- Senate President Frank Drilon defended Health Secretary Janette Garin, saying that the use of protective gear was an exaggeration.

- There was a reported shootout occurred at the Florida State University, although no details were available on the causality.

- The BMW i8 PHEV sportscar won Autoblog's 2014 Technology of the Year.

2015 BMW i8


- Jaguar updates the F-Type for 2016 model year and expect new variants such as a 6-speed manual for the RWD V6 models and a 4WD system for the V6 S and V8 R models. Apart from that, electric power steering is added and Jaguar promises to have better feedback and responsiveness for this update. Now, you'll have a lot of choices to choose from!

2016 Jaguar F-Type

- The first trailer for the live-action movie adaptation of Disney's Cinderella has arrived. The Disney Princess that started it all has been reborn. Yes. It's going to star Lily James as Cinderella, Cate Blanchett as her evil stepmother, Richard Madden as the prince, Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother and so much more. Expect this movie to shine this Spring!



- The Mall Cop returns in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, the sequel to the 2009 hit comedy movie where in this sequel, the titular character takes his daughter Maya on a trip to Las Vegas until a massive casino heist prompt Paul Blart to save the day from those criminals! The movie opens this Spring but check out the official trailer!



- Reports are circulating over the brutal murder of Honduras beauty queen Maria Jose Alvarado and her sister Sofia. Maria Jose Alvarado is the 19-year-old beauty queen that represented Honduras on Miss World 2014 was killed by Plutarco Ruiz, the boyfriend of her 23-year-old primary school teacher and her sister Sofia, who was also killed by Ruiz. Authorities found themselves dead since Wednesday, the 19th of November, on a riverbank from the mountains of Santa Barbara, Tegucigalpa.

TTFN!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Daihatsu Copen X-PLAY (LA400K)

Last summer, Daihatsu revived the Copen kei-roadster to redefine the long lost genre that started a few decades ago and it comes with a new body structure called D-Frame which allows this kei car to be assembled by hand...literally of course. Despite being a Japan-only car, this reborn sportscar is as close as you can get from a fun-to-drive supermini. Now, we can expect more Copens coming out with different looks and aside from the Copen Robe, a second Copen model is born and this Copen is like it's ready for some fun in the beach.

2015 Daihatsu Copen X-PLAY

Meet the X-PLAY. Copen X-PLAY that is and while this new version is heavily inspired from the Kopen XMZ Concept as seen from last year's Tokyo Motor Show, the X-PLAY has a more rugged look than the Robe thanks to its plastic claddings and because it was utilized on the D-FRAME, the X-PLAY, like the robe, is assembled by hand thanks to its dress formation. If you're planning to buy a Copen right now, you can now choose one of the two styles, be it Robe or X-PLAY.

2015 Daihatsu Copen X-PLAY interior

2015 Daihatsu Copen X-PLAY speedometer

Although the X-PLAY has the same interior as the Robe's, you will notice that it has a very different instrumental cluster which, in my mind, looks very sporty indeed. Like the Copen Robe, this is a very driver-focused interior. You don't get a radio unless you've opted for the DIATONE SOUND NAVI optional extra.

Like the Copen Robe, the X-PLAY has an active top which can be closed or open for 20 seconds at the hold of a button but because Japanese temperatures are too cold for the autumn season, best to drive with the roof close. Save the open top driving when the temperatures are on the hotter pace. I'm talking about summertime but that's too far from the schedule right now.

2015 Daihatsu Copen X-PLAY

Although it looks rugged for a kei roadster, the X-PLAY is still a city car that you can have fun as much as you want. I don't care how slow is this car but the Copen X-PLAY loves to enjoy a nice little game of cat and mouse with the bigger guys. When this little guy gets first, it won't take a matter of time until the big boys come speeding on it and when it does, this car really has some dirty tricks on its sleeves.

It still retains the same 660cc 3-cylinder turbocharged engine from the Copen Robe so it produces the kei-car maximum limit of 64PS power output and 92Nm of torque, while mated with either a 5-speed manual or a CVT gearbox which comes with a 7-speed manual mode which Daihatsu claims that this mode is direct and quick on the shifting department but who cares? For fuel economy, the CVT version returns 25.2km/L while the manual gearbox version returns at 22.2km/L.

Pricing starts at 1,798,200 Yen for the CVT version while the manual version costs 1,819,800 Yen, which means that the X-PLAY has the same price as the Robe but you should take note that because the new Copen has a new Dress Formation on the D-Frame, whichever style you want is up to you but expect a third option coming next year. What could it be? You'll find out very very soon.

Available colors: Offbeat Khaki Metallic, Pearl White III, Bright Silver Metallic, Black Mica Metallic, Matador Red Pearl, Tonico Orange Metallic, Jaune Yellow, Crystal Blue Crystal Metallic.

Photo: Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.

Let's Do The News! (November 19, 2014)



Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- ADD THIS TO THE KASINDAK-SINDAK LIST: A dashcam video from Russia captured a mysterious bright orange flash. What could it be? Another meteor strike? Military exercise? Or a possible space weapon?! No one knows how that strange flash occurred in the Urals.

- Speaking of space weapon, a mysterious Russian satellite called the Object 2014-28E is being tracked by space agencies, raising fears that a potential space weapon is on the loose.

- Meanwhile in Hong Kong, pro-democracy protesters are clashing with the police after their barricades were cleared away. 3 officers were injured while 4 protesters were arrested according to officials.

- Japanese PM Shinzo Abe announced that he will dissolve the Lower House on Friday for a general election.

- The House of Representatives denied the provision to grant value-added tax exemption to businesses that will use power-generating facilities to help avert the imminent energy crisis in the Philippines.

- A gay bull may sound more of a Family Guy cutaway joke but did you know that there is such thing as a gay bull at all. Although this gay bull in question from Ireland is going to the slaughterhouse for not doing well, a worldwide appeal spared this gay bull's life.

- The Mazda CX-3 compact crossover was revealed at the LA Auto Show recently and it's ready for its on-sale date in Japan this spring.

2016 Mazda CX-3


- The seventh DLC Catalog for the PS3-exclusive The iDOLM@STER ONE FOR ALL game is coming this 25th of November. For this seventh DLC catalog, expect a brand new scenario where the 765PRO ALL STARS are on a nationwide tour, donning their ウィッシュオールミラクル outfit and performing their latest song for this scenario titled 虹色ミラクル. Aside from that, Shizuka Mogami from The iDOLM@STER Million Live mobile game will be making an appearance on this catalog. You want new outfits? This latest catalog has them all! New outfits include スターライムセレナーデ, ワイヤードマリオネット, ホーリーナイトギフター, ファンシーペチュニア, ハピネスルピナス, ノルディックブルーベリー, リリーオブグレン, クリーミーラズベリー, フォーチューンクローバー, レイニースズラン, and スネーキーショーガール. Lastly, expect new songs on this catalog such as 静かな夜に願いを・・・, マリオネットの心, 神さまのBirthday, and relations.

765SHOP CATALOG Vol.07

- The first-ever VW Golf R Variant was unveiled and it's powered by the same 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine from the hatch version, delivering 296HP of power to all four wheels and connected with a 6-speed DSG gearbox.

2016 Volkswagen Golf R Variant

- A brand new trailer for the upcoming Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb movie hits the web. Go check it out!



- To celebrate the grand opening of the new and improved Pokemon Center Tokyo Branch (now called Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo) next month, visitors will receive either a Shiny Charizard holding a Charizardite Y or a Shiny Pikachu before the 16th of January next year. A copy of either Pokemon X, Y, Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire version is required.

TTFN!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Toyota Prius α/Daihatsu Mebius -2015 minor change-

2015 Daihatsu Mebius

2015 Toyota Prius α

Toyota's hybrid MPV, the Prius α (Alpha), along with its Daihatsu equivalent, the Mebius, has been updated for the 2015 year and for this minor change, these hybrid MPVs have been given slightly new updates from the outside and on the inside as well as new features. Let's cut this analysis short, okay?

2015 Daihatsu Mebius interior
2015 Toyota Prius α

The exterior of both the Prius α and the Mebius are slightly refreshed with a keener look that looks like it finished having its beauty rest for the time being. Aside from the new front look, the Prius α and the Mebius are the first cars to come with the world's first Bi-Beam LED Headlamp. This energy-efficient headlamp is an optional extra employs low beam and high beam lighting in one source. Also, to keep it safer on the roads, they've employed the new Lane Departure Alert and Pre-Crash Safety System as well.

On the inside, the multi-information display has been updated with improved texture and visibility to the drivers' eyes, Although there's not much difference between the post-MC to the pre-MC model, both the Prius α and the Mebius are different from their number of seats. While the Prius α is available in either a 5-seater and the 7-seater, the Mebius is available only with 5 seats.

In five-seater configuration, the luggage capacity is around 535L but when the rear seats are folded, it's now doubled to 1,070L. Apart from that, there's a deck under tray as well for those who have some other stuff to store.

Performance remains the same from the 2ZR-FXE hybrid engine which provides a standardized 99PS/5,200 rpm of power output and 142Nm/4,000rpm of torque output. When both the electric motor and the engine on mobile, power output churns out a total of 136PS of power. Fuel economy is 26.2km/L on JC08 mode standards and they're both mated with a CVT gearbox.

The Prius α starts at 2,479,091 Yen (around $25,000) while the Mebius starts at the same price as the Toyota version.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation/Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.

Let's Do The News! (November 18, 2014)



Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- Hong Kong authorities begin clearing out a protest site near government offices after the high court granted an injunction. They're removing barricades outside Citic Tower in the Admiralty area of this country while the high court also authorized to remove the second protest camp in Mong Kok.

- At least four people were reportedly killed and seven injured in the attack on the Jerusalem synagogue. Police believed to be a terrorist attack as two men are armed with axes and knives and carried out an attack in the Har Nof neighborhood.

- Japanese PM Shinzo Abe mulls dissolving the Diet's Lower House as he's seeking public support for his plan to postpone the scheduled consumption tax rise within the next three years.

- The House of Representatives' energy committee has been given a green light on the resolution granting President Benigno Aquino III's emergency powers.

- Senator Bong Revilla Jr. returned to jail after numerous medical tests he received at St. Luke's Medical Center.

- Ford unveiled their biggest threat to the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 for their LA Auto Show debut this week and they're resurrecting the GT350 name as the Mustang's track-focused machine.

2016 Ford Mustang GT350

- Ken Block's Gymkhana 7 is now streaming! Check it out!



- Chitoge Kirisaki from Nisekoi gets her very own Beach Queens figure, set for her May 2015 debut!

Beach Queens Chitoge Kirisaki

- Toyota's first ever fuel-cell vehicle now has an official name and it's called MIRAI. Toyota's first ever FCV will take orders on the 15th of December this year starting at 7,236,000 Yen (around $73,000) which is too expensive for a future eco-car.



- DID YOU KNOW? Ateneo De Manila Universities are offering courses on the evolution of Philippine teleseryes.

- R5 unveiled their music video for their second single "Smile"! Check it out R5-ers!



TTFN!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Let's Do The News! (November 17, 2014)

Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- The brutal killing of US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig by the ISIS is, what US President Barack Obama described, as "an act of pure evil". Kassig, age 26, is the fifth Western hostage to be killed by Islam extremists.

- The Japanese economy has been harshly fell for the second consecutive quarter, leaving the world's third largest economy in a state of recession. The nation's GDP fell at an annualised 1.6% from July to September, less than the forecasted 2.1% rise.

- Troubled Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. has arrived at St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig after the Sandiganbayan approved him to undergo overnight medical tests.

- Earlier, the vice mayor of the town of Villaba in Leyte, named Claudio Martin Larrazabal, was shot down to death by two hostiles earlier today.

- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. recalled over 170k vehicles worldwide after reports about a new casualty linked to the recent Takata airbag crisis.

- As the whole world is waiting for the arrival of the much-anticipated Pocket Monsters Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire game, check out this web-exclusive anime short from the official PokemonCoJp Youtube page. You good in there?



- The phenomenal boyband One Direction will have a TV special coming to NBC next month!

- The Audi A1 supermini has been facelifted and expect newer three-cylinder engines for this 2015 minor change.

- ABS-CBN's new TV drama series, Bagito, is now on air but one of the stars of the show, Ella Cruz, felt uneasy over an intimate scene with Nash Aguas, who played as the titular main character of this recently aired program. She might worried that what happened on her character might happen to her on reality. Bagito stars Nash Aguas as the titular character who ended up growing up to be a teenage dad and Alexa Ilacad among many others. Most of these were teen celebs and Goin Bulilit alums.

- Solange Knowles, the sister of former Destiny's Child member Beyonce, has been married to Alan Ferguson at the Holy Trinity Church in New Orleans.

TTFN!!!

Audi TT Mk3 (Typ 8S)

The folks from Audi have been waiting for this since...well, eternity, knowing that their favorite coupster, the Audi TT, is about to regenerate, and after moments of waiting, this is it. The Audi TT has been regenerated to its third-generation and it's going to be the most advanced TT to date.

2015 Audi TT

2015 Audi TT Roadster

So what is it, then?

This is the all new, third-generation, Audi TT. It comes with two different flavors; the hardtop coupe and the roadster which is somewhat heavier than the hardtop version due to its extra bracing and strengthening.

Which TT should I choose?

It depends on how much you have in your wallet. If you're a bit too serious, go for the hardtop, but if you're going for an open-top ride, go for the roadster but due to Europe's dropping temperatures, I'm afraid that the roadster version will have to wait in the garage unless you have its roof closed and prepped up with very warm clothing. Still can't take a joke? Whichever TT you'll choose, you'll be getting to know more about the new TT thanks to its new tech, new engine choices, and a completely new platform.

Hey...isn't the new TT wears the MQB outfit from the Golf?

That's right. Like any other cars from the VW family tree, the new Audi TT is outfitted to its bare skin with VW Group's breakthrough MQB platform. If you don't know about it, let me give you a quick refresher. MQB or Modularer Querbaukasten is a revolutionary platform from VW Group where the engine is transversely mounted and it's flexible enough to allow individual models to have a variety of wheelbase, track and external dimensions. This new TT fits to the new platform like butter.

How does it perform?

2015 Audi TT

2015 Audi TT Roadster

Let's call it mild and tangy because the new TT feels like it's not so hard to drive although this car might face some understeer woes because of being too much grip. Because most of the models ranging from the 2.0L TFSi and the 2.0 TDI ultra come with the front-wheel drive powertrain, the only model I'm interested with is the 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic model. This is the best pick for the normal TT models while the hotter TT S models are standing by until the snow thaws and the flowers bloom.

With the quattro all-wheel drive system, the new TT feels like it firmly grasps through the corners without the drama. Although it feels a bit okay for the driver but it doesn't have the lairy attitude that your would expect from its RWD opposition or from its big brother, the Audi R8. Furthermore, even with the quattro on it, this car doesn't burn your tongue badly like extra hot sriracha sauce. It tastes like...hmmm....sweet and spicy pancit canton. Mmmm...

How about the inside of the new TT

2015 Audi TT

The inside now looks a bit questionable although the new TT's interior is more driver-focused than any other sportscar in existence. You will notice that the sat-nav is now on the speedometer and this is as confusing as the Ferrari 458 or the F12berlinetta. Of course, you can't have both the speedo and the navigation system in the same place via instrumental panel and if you're wandering where the CD player is...don't because the CD player is nowhere to be found. It's kinda harsh that this is made from one of the carmakers who believe that the age of compact discs or CDs is approaching its Revelation due to the fast-changing technology. It's like killing Saturday morning cartoons from broadcast TVs and feels like our lives are a bit empty without stuff we remember when we're young. Kinda harsh, isn't it?

Cost?

The new TT starts at 35,000 Euros for the Coupe version and 37,900 Euros for the Roadster version. In fact, you can charge more for engine choices, optional extras, and accessories but even if you're not going for it, the TT is less costly to own than the big guys like the Jaguar F-Type, the Lotus Evora, the Porsche Cayman, and many others. Don't think of getting too excited to have one because...it feels too mild for the pros but if you're a bit too intermediate, try this one for a change.

Available colors: Brillantschawz, Ibisweiß, Vegasgelb, Florettsilber Metallic, Gletscherweiß Metallic, Monsungrau Metallic, Mythosschwarz Metallic, Nanograu Metallic, Scubablau Metallic, Tangorot Metallic, and Daytonagrau Perleffekt.

Photo: Audi AG

Super GT 2014 finale


Twin Ring Motegi, the setting for the final round of the 2014 Super GT Season and on the season finale of Japan's much loved touring car race, racers are on their final leg and they're fighting themselves through the finish line, whenever it takes.

After spending their last 53 laps to reclaim themselves as winners and survivors of this season, it's time to find out who won at the final round.

In the GT300 category, the winner goes to the #11 GAINER DIXCEL SLS driven by Katsuyuki Hiranaka and Bjorn Wirdheim while 2nd place goes to the #31 OGT Panasonic PRIUS driven by Morio Nitta and Koki Saga and 3rd place goes to the #4 GOODSMILE HATSUNE MIKU Z4 driven by Nobuteru Taniguchi and Tatsuya Kataoka.

In the GT500 category, the cream of the crop, it was the #23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R, driven by Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli, that came first followed by the #37 KeePer TOM'S RC F, driven by Daisuke Ito and Andrea Caldarelli, and the #18 Weider Modulo NSX CONCEPT-GT, driven by Naoki Yamamoto and Takuya Izawa.

Time for the overall standings...For the 2014 Season, the GT500 champion for this season is the #23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R, driven by Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli and the GT300 champion for this season is the #11 GAINER DIXCEL SLS driven by Katsuyuki Hiranaka and Bjorn Wirdheim.

Highlights:
 

This concludes the 2014 Season of the Super GT championship.

17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show

On the weekend, me and some of my family went to the Washington State Convention Center where we take part at the 17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show. This is the first time I've ever attend to this annual Christmas bazaar.


17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show 17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show 17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show 17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show 17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show17th Annual Christmas in Seattle Gift & Gourmet Food Show

More pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/leopauldelr/sets/72157649318019011/

My video highlights:

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