Thursday, August 17, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Tipping a nuke on an ICBM is "red line"

South Korean president Moon Jae-in warned that North Korea would be “crossing a red line” if it put a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile but the United States had promised to seek Seoul’s approval before taking any military action.

Speaking in a news conference marking his 100 days in office, President Moon said he would consider that North Korea is crossing a red line if it launches an intercontinental ballistic missile again and weaponizes it by putting a nuclear warhead on top of the missile. He repeatedly urged North Korea not to "cross the line" but had not previously elaborated what that would constitute. He also says that US President Donald Trump promised to seek negotiations and approval from South Korea before taking any options regarding North Korea.

Meanwhile, with threats of firing missiles to the Pacific island of Guam, the Kim Jong-un regime mulls a possible sixth nuclear test in the works.


Let's Do The News! (August 17, 2017)

- Members of the House of Representatives have recommended the pressing of charges against BOC Chief Nicanor Faeldon over the controversial 6.4 million pesos worth of shabu smuggled from China.

- The Philippine National Police will place checkpoints in Pampanga as they monitor the 1km quarantine zone affected by the bird flu outbreak.

- Philippine National Police Region 3 Director Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino confirmed that they received order to launch a “one time, big time operation” against those involved in illegal drugs activities. Over 32 suspected illegal drug users were killed by cops in different parts of Bulacan.

- Saudi Arabia said it would welcome Qatari pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform the haj this season, amidst a feud that severed transport links between the two nations since June. In a statement by the Saudi Press Agency, the Salwa border point would be open for Qatari citizens who wish to perform the annual pilgrimage to pass through with no electronic permissions needed.

- Hyundai showcases their "next generation FCEV" to the public, which is basically a fuel cell electric crossover combining exceptional efficiency, serene styling, and uncompromised performance.

-  German chancellor Angela Merkel says that Germany will be joining the ranks of other countries banning the sale of diesel vehicles soon.

- La Luna Sangre actor Richard Gutierrez is charged with falsification of public documents by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

- TV comedian and presenter Vice Ganda issues public apology to Tony Calvento and Calvento accepted Vice's apology.

- Actor Robin Padilla donates five million pesos for the children victimized by the siege of Marawi City.


My Aikatsu best five

In celebration of the first part of the Aikatsu Stars! crossover episode celebrating five years of the Aikatsu! franchise, it would be the ideal time for me to jot down the best five from the fantasy world of the Aikatsu franchise.

Aikatsu! series 5th anniversary

For those who are unfamiliar with the Aikatsu franchise, you are not alone, ladies and gentlemen, even moms and dads whose kids want to know about the Aikatsu series. It's an arcade collectible card game part of the Bandai DATA CARDDASS range of machines first launched in October 2012 and spawned its TV anime adaptation, making it a popular cross-media project among little girls in Japan. In the first three seasons, it's all about Ichigo Hoshimiya and her friends, Ran Shibuki and Aoi Kiriya, on their adventures at Starlight Gakuin to become top idols, but when the fourth and final season came, all eyes on Akari Ozora as the star of the show. After the end of the Aikatsu anime in the spring of 2016, its successor series, Aikatsu Stars! comes in and it's about Yume Nijino and Rola Sakuraba taking their first steps at the Yotsuboshi Gakuin to become top idols, just like the elite idol students of this academy known as the S4. This show is currently on its 2nd season as Yume and the gang venturing on the Venus Ark with interesting characters prying their eyes on them.

Think of it like a child-friendly alternative of THE IDOLM@STER and Love Live in every tangible way, that is only when it faces stiff competition against Takara Tomy's Pretty Rhythm, PriPara, and now Idol Time Pripara. When little boys had their fun with Pokemon, Yo-kai Watch, Detective Conan, the Power Rangers, or all of the Kamen Rider heroes, little girls had a choice of either Pretty Cure, PriPara, Cocotama, or this. Aikatsu is very popular among little girls in Japan because they can create their character, collect dresses and accessories, and watch them shine while listening to some very catchy Aikatsu songs that's gonna be the dead of every pre-school teacher playing it on the loop.

Anyway, spare the explanation because after observing through every piece of Aikatsu in existence, let's jot down the best five according to my criteria.

1) Ichigo Hoshimiya
2) Yume Nijino
3) Akari Ozora
4) Hime Shiratori
5) Koharu Nanakura

1) Lily Shirogane
2) Elza Forte
3) Risa Shirakaba
4) Yozora Kasumi
5) Sumire Hikami

1) Juri Kurebayashi
2) Rola Sakuraba
3) Tsubasa Kisaragi
4) Mahiru Kasumi
5) Kaede Ichinose

1) Yurika Todo
2) Kirara Hanazono
3) Ako Saotome
4) Nina Dojima
5) Nono Daichi

1) Koharu Nanakura
2) Hinaki Shinjo
3) Yuzu Nikaido
4) Sakura Kitaoji
5) Hime Shiratori

1) Aoi Kiriya
2) Ran Shibuki
3) Yozora Kasumi
4) Rin Kurosawa
5) Sora Kazesawa

1) Juri Kurebayashi
2) Seira Otoshiro
3) Miyabi Fujiwara
4) Rola Sakuraba
5) Tsubasa Kisaragi

1) Elza Forte
2) Yurika Todo
3) Risa Shirakaba
4) Nono Daichi
5) Seira Otoshiro

1) Yume Nijino
2) Ichigo Hoshimiya
3) Akari Ozora
4) Aoi Kiriya
5) Rola Sakuraba

1) Aikatsu☆Step!
2) Idol Katsudou!
3) Move on now!
4) lucky train!
5) Dreaming Bird

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: AFP preps to evacuate Filipinos in Guam, amidst North Korea missile threat

Sourced from DZRH News:

The Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) is prepared to evacuate Filipinos residing in Guam in case North Korea pushes through with its threat to launch a missile attack at the U.S. territory.

AFP Spokesman Brigade General Restituto Padilla explained that they will be rendering all their airplanes and vessels for Filipinos who choose to go back to the Philippines if ever calamity strikes.

“Magpo-provide po kami ng lahat ng available transportation by air at by sea na maaring maging sakayan ng ating kababayan na nais lumikas.” says Gen. Padilla.

While the Philippines is not originally part of the verbal tussle between the United State and North Korea, AFP General Padilla assured that they remain fully prepared for any eventuality.

Let's Do The News! (August 16, 2017)

- UBER Philippines, yesterday, filed a motion for reconsideration with the LTFRB and will be resuming and continuing operations until the motion is resolved.

-  A lawmaker has asked the House appropriations committee to deffer the proposed 27.12 billion peso budget of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnulfo Teves Jr., expressed his deep disappointment over the agency’s lack of action towards environmental issues he raised last year. Specifically the destructive effects of mining in the region of Negros Oriental.

- President Rodrigo Duterte is already prepared with a "plan B" if Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año is banned from being the next DILG secretary. Gen. Año was set to assume his post at the DILG last June, but was postponed  due to the Marawi City crisis.  On October 26, the AFP Chief is also set to retire.

- Chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee Senator Richard Gordon and Senator Tito Sotto III agree that there isn’t enough evidence to prove that Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte is affiliated with the 6.4 billion pesos worth of smuggled shabu from China.

- Yesterday, Iraq forces began air strikes on Tal Afar, a town under Islamic State control west of Mosul, according to reports. Iraqi authorities had said Tal Afar, 80 km (50 miles) west of Mosul, will be the next target in the war on the Islamist militant group that swept through swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

- Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. With increasing threats from the Trump administration and Republican attorney general, the program has never been in more jeopardy. DACA provides almost 800,000 immigrant youth across the United States with educational and job opportunities.

- BMW will unveil the Z4 Concept at this month's Pebble Beach Concours. The German luxury car company chose to retain the name for the next-generation sports car that will share the same basis as Toyota's Supra successor.

- Zagato has more work to be done with the Aston Martin Vanquish as they unveiled the special Vanquish Zagato Speedster and the Shooting Brake. Like the coupe and Volante, both are powered by a 592HP 6.0L V12 engine, refined adaptive damping, and improved dynamics while incorporating bespoke Zagato styling cues. The Speedster will be limited 28 units but all are sold out. The Shooting Brake, meanwhile, will be limited to 99 units made.

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster
2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato
Shooting Brake

- Actors David Tennant and Michael Sheen are set to appear to a TV adaptation of the novel titled Good Omens, according to reports.

- Actress Barbara Hershey is set to appear in next year's season of The X-Files

- 007 actor Daniel Craig confirms his return on the 25th Bond film coming this late 2019.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: President Moon pledges to prevent war during ceremonial visit

South Korean president Moon Jae-in attended the ceremony celebrating the 72nd anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule, along with 3,000 attendees, more importantly the surviving heroes who fought for Korean independence, who were recognized for their sacrifices.

President Moon delivered a speech during the ceremony where he once again thanked the fighters and that Korea will never forget their sacrifice and emphasized that the country will pay due respect to its heroes.

Referring to the rising tensions in recent days sparked by the aggressive rhetoric between the North Korea and the United States, President Moon stressed the government's firm principle to protect the national interests of South Korea and no war should occur on the Korean Peninsula ever again.

Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he will watch the United States' actions "a little more", after consulting his army officials on a plan to attack Guam. The state-run media reported that Kim was briefed on the specific details on the missile strike.

He's quoted to have said the North will carry out their "important decision" as declared--should the US continue its "reckless, provocative actions on the Korean Peninsula."

South Korean and US officials have been working to ease tensions, emphasizing the use of sanctions and diplomacy, rather than military measures. However, should it fail, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis warned that an attack on Guam could very quickly escalate into war.  He added the US military is prepared to take out any missiles heading toward its territory.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (August 15, 2017)

- Senator Grace Poe criticizes the LTFRB's decision to suspend ride-sharing service UBER on Philippine roads. In her statement released to the public, Poe calls the LTFRB decision to suspend Uber is "both cruel and absurd." The ruling disenfranchises close to 200,00 riders a day with the imposition of a blanket suspension against Uber along with all its accredited vehicles for a month. Poe calls the suspension order a defiance of their commitment to provide solution to the issues surrounding TNVS operations that will be for the benefit of the riding public.

- Senate Blue Ribbon committee chairperson Richard Gordon undermined the courtesy resignation of two Bureau of Customs officials amid the controversy involving the 4.6 million pesos worth of smuggled Shabu shipment from China.

- Indian PM Narendra Modi urged everyone to reject religious violence after numerous attacks against minorities sparked debate about whether a surge of Hindu nationalism is undermining the country's secular ideals. In a speech from the ramparts of Delhi’s Red Fort marking the 70th anniversary of India’s independence, Modi also listed his government’s achievements, including a fight against corruption.

- US President Donald Trump authorized an inquiry into China's alleged theft of intellectual property in the first direct trade measure by his administration against Beijing, but one that is unlikely to prompt near-term change. Trump broke from his 17-day vacation in New Jersey to sign the memo in the White House at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

- Actor Ryan Reynolds said that and crew were “heartbroken, shocked and devastated” at the death of a driver in a motorcycle stunt in Vancouver that went wrong. Vancouver police confirmed the death of a stuntwoman on the set of the Deadpool sequel but gave no further details and din't release her name.

- Following Jake Zyrus' breakup with Alyssa Quijano, the transgender singer who used to be Charice seems to have found a new love interest with nutritionist and fitness instructor Shyre Aquino.

- BMW will unveil the all new M5 on the 21st of August.

- After Lugia and the three legendary birds appeared on Pokemon GO as part of the time-limited special raid battles, the long-awaited arrival of the legendary Genetic Pokemon Mewtwo will be a warning shot to everyone as it is set to arrive in time-limited raid battles soon. Better be prepared.


Monday, August 14, 2017

2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup - Pure Michigan 400

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series returns at Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400 race of this season and as the boys saddle up at NASCAR's fastest track to date, late-summer thrills never felt so alive in there.

In the 60th lap of the race, Brad Keselowski nabbed his fourth stage win of the series after clearing stage one. In Lap 117, the #15 Toyota suffered mechanical woes and it was therefore out of the race. In Lap 120, Martin Truex Jr. cleared stage two of the race. In Lap 138, the #5 car crashed through the wall and the #19 car couldn't escape from a colliding  #5. In Lap 185, the #22 Ford's right front tire got blown and on Lap 195, the #95 car of Michael McDowell spun out of control.

With the restart occurred, Kyle Larson battled his way through first place and he's done it, nabbing his third Michigan win in his career. He's really something there and he's special, I can tell.

Next race is on Bristol Motor Speedway for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on the 19th of August.

Let's Do The News! (August 14, 2017)

- Dr. Renante Decena from the  Provincial Veterinary Office of Negros Occidental guaranteed Negrenses that the province is safe from bird flu. Even though Pampanga, where the outbreak occurred, is too far from the said province, Decena noted that they will keep tabs on all poultry farms in the province.

- Meanwhile, former Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo said that the discovered bird flu virus is only an isolated case in the town of San Luis, Pampanga. He promptly remarked that only two barangays were reported to be affected by the avian bird flu. So the need to declare the incident as an ‘outbreak’ in the entire region of Pampanga seemed rather obscure, says Pelayo.

- The House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms is expected to pass the proposed postponement of the Sangguniang Kabataan and Barangay elections supposedly scheduled on October today, to give officials another year to serve.

- A Catholic priest who was abducted by the Maute terror group is alive, according to the recently escaped captives. One of the escapees said that Father Teresito Suganob is being forced to make bombs for the said Islamist militants. Info shows that there about 46 civilians hostages being held by the Maute.

- The head of an Indian hospital were over 60 children died in recent days has been suspended, as officials traded blame over cash shortfalls that led to supplies of medical oxygen being cut. The government of Uttar Pradesh state, run by India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), suspended the head of the state-run BRD Medical College, Rajeev Misra, late on Saturday and ordered an investigation.

- A number of solidarity rallies assembled across the United States in the wake of the deadly white supremacy rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia. About 19 people were hurt in one killed when a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters at the "Unite The Right" rally organized by white nationalists in Charlottesville last Saturday. Events in response to Saturday's violence erupted in New York, Seattle, Chicago, Baltimore, and other major cities Saturday night through Sunday.

- Infiniti will showcase their Prototype 9 Concept at this month's Pebble Beach Concours, combining modern-day zero-emission powertrain with beautifully-sculpted, retro-racing looks.

- Singer Vehicle Design collaborates with Williams for a 4.0L 500HP naturally aspirated, air-cooled Porsche 911 engine, catered for a certain client.

- Yo-Kai Watch Busters 2 is announced and it's coming on the Nintendo 3DS at the end of the year.


Top Gear America - Life on the Go

The recent episode of Top Gear America is all about people movers driven by breadwinners and soccer moms alike every day.

With a budget of three grand, the boys are buying RVs for an adventure of a lifetime. Tom Ford bought a second-hand Dodge van while Antron Brown bought a second-hand Chevy Silverado pickup with an RV bit on it. However, Bill Fichtner trumped them both by renting a brand new, F-350-based, Earthroamer XV-LTS recreational vehicle for the weekend and getting himself cozied like a boss while Wookie and Brown are struggling to live with the RV life.

Then, Antron Brown has his first dibs on Toyota's "swagger wagon", the Sienna, and also the track-day weapon equivalent, the Sienna R-Tuned Concept, approved by The Stig and his family. Yes, The Stig has a family in case you're wondering. Family matters aside, The Stig drove it and lapped it round the track in 1:15.62.

Tom Ford, meanwhile, gets his chance to meet up with the famed 911 junkie, Magnus Walker.

Comedian Russell Peters is this week's celebrity guest and he set a lap time round the SpeedVegas track in 1:31.22

Best bits from this year's Pikachu outbreak

Whether the entire city of Yokohama ended up on a Catastropika or struck by a 10,000,000-volt Thunderbolt, the Pikachu outbreak got them covered and for this year, it's the biggest Pikachu outbreak to date in addition to some special guests in store.

Running from the 9th until the 15th of August, 2017, this Pikachu outbreak got the entire Yokohama city under Pikachu control by land, air, and by sea. From subways, malls, parks, everywhere across the Yokohama Minato Mirai area, there are Pikachus everywhere, about 1,500 of them taking over the metropolis. There's even a Pokemon GO area where players can catch Pokemon in the said game as well as taking on ultra-hard raid battles as a team.

Let's take a look at the best bits from this year's Pikachu outbreak as told by netizens.

A post shared by ピカチュウ公式Instagram (@pikachu_pokemon_official) on

A post shared by ピカチュウ公式Instagram (@pikachu_pokemon_official) on

If you want to see more of Pikachu and pals, keep watching the Pokemon Sun & Moon anime on TV Tokyo every Thursday nights after Aikatsu Stars! Also, check out Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You, now showing in theaters, as well as the upcoming Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon video games coming on the Nintendo 3DS this November.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Orphan Black finale

BBC America's sensational TV series, Orphan Black, is all about a show having too many versions of actress Tatiana Maslany herself and because of such uniqueness, it garnered a whole bunch of fans known to themselves as #CloneClub, and for five seasons, this show is all about Sarah Manning seeking for answers about herself while stopping a scientific conspiracy that will forever change not just her life but the clones around her. And now, here we are, the series finale that will make us miss this show a lot while remembering all the moments the #CloneClub has done for the fans.

Orphan Black finale
Word of warning, folks. Watch the episode first before coming back because of, ahem, the s-word.

Anyway, the finale picks up where last week's episode left off, as Sarah Manning is on a race against time to save her sestra Helena and put a stop to John Westmorland, the "father" of the Project Leda clones, once and for all. As the rescue mission escalates to tensioning heights, Helena's about to go into labour while they're on the run from John and Virginia Coady. As Sarah met up with Detective Art Bell while searching for Helena, Helena was caught by Coady and when Art found her, he was caught by Coady as well while telling him to do something on Helena until Helena killed Coady with a screwdriver Sarah gave to her for self-defense. With Coady dead, Sarah makes her final showdown against John and following her blind shots, John suffocated her but she survived and Sarah killed John once and for all. With both dead, Sarah returns to Helena and Art and after several flashbacks, Helena gave birth to the twins.

In the aftermath, the Clone Club's lives are back to normal, but not for Sarah who still can't cope up with the loss of her foster mother, Mrs. S. In the Hendrix residence, where Helena and her babies are also living with Donnie and Alison, Donnie meets up with Helena and her babies while he and Alison are getting ready for the baby shower. Cosima, meanwhile, still piecing up some info about the remaining Project Leda clones and one such discovery is a Colombian clone named Camille.

Later, Helena finally had the baby shower she dreamt for, in a nod from a Season 3 opener, only this time, everybody's in the party, until the arrival of Sarah, who refused to take the scholarship exam and tries to hide the truth from everyone else. After the party, Sarah's in the patio, alone, while the rest of the Clone Club come together to tell their secrets. Felix, meanwhile, met up with Rachel outside the Hendrix residence and she talked to Felix about what's next for her following the aftermath. Before Rachel left, she gave Felix a little something to show for the Clone Club; a complete list of Project Leda clones.

Following the revelation, the Clone Club are back to the way things were and that concludes the story of Orphan Black. We hope you had fun watching a thrilling, yet enjoyable, sci-fi drama series about her having several copies of herself and like you and I, we've enjoyed this show from the beginning to the very end. The show may be well and truly over, but the spirit of the #CloneClub lives on to the hearts of fans.

#CloneClub forever!!!!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Opel/Vauxhall Crossland X

Opel and Vauxhall are now part of Groupe PSA, the parent company of Peugeot, Citroen, and DS Automobiles. What does it mean? It's the end of the road as we know it for General Motors in Europe and "change is coming" for the used-to-be Euro subsidiary of the General because they will be providing with all the R&D provided by PSA in their vehicles. One such example is the all new crossover known as the Crossland X and it's time to examine what's what.

2018 Opel Crossland X
2018 Vauxhall Crossland X
Known by many as the replacement to the Meriva MPV because, ahem, crossovers prevail over MPVs and minivans alike in the automobile race, the new Crossland X hints everyone the "Change Is Coming" scenario from Opel-Vauxhall following their departure from General Motors and their arrival to Groupe PSA. Why? With a little sense of cognitive cross-examination, you will examine what's underneath the new Crossland X. It's basically a Peugeot 2008 underneath, meaning it's a clear sign that "change is coming" for the car makers who used to belong with the General.

First off, what's it look like on the outside? For a crossover that bears the same size as the 2008, the Crossland X incorporates the signature front grille as seen on its big brother, the Mokka X, as well as the new Insignia range, while the side view looks very stylish, yet conspicuously familiar, and the rear view looks like a Nissan SUV that used to live in its home market before it left.

2018 Opel Crossland X interior
2018 Vauxhall Crossland X interior
On the inside, the Crossland X, despite the 2008 connection, looks pretty much as roomier as the Meriva it replaces. Good rear space as well. On the gadgetry side, the Crossland X features a smartphone connectivity good enough to be Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible so your sat-nav will behave just like smartphones, only different. With so many good stuff around here, the Crossland X just pretty much like the one your sis drove during the after hours, only different.

2018 Opel Crossland X
2018 Vauxhall Crossland X
Even though the Crossland X looks like an SUV, it still behaves like an MPV indeed and because of the 2008 connection, the Crossland X is powered with a choice of a 1.2L, 1.2L turbo, and a 1.6L diesel engine, all sourced from Groupe PSA. The most powerful version will be the 1.2L Turbo with 130PS of power and 230Nm of torque and with the 6-speed manual, it does 0-100kph in 9.1 seconds and onwards to 206kph, quicker than those Japanese compact MPVs it may come across on the highway. The most fuel-efficient, meanwhile, is the one with the 1.6L ecoTEC diesel variant mated to a 6-speed manual with 3.8L/100km of combined fuel economy.

Handling-wise, the Crossland X no longer feels like a Chevrolet Orlando, which is no longer in European roads for quite some time now, and because it's now underpinning the same platform from the Peugeot 2008, it has a French flair to its driving character. No longer has that sauerkraut feeling but rather a souffle when you taste its handling traits. On a normal work day, the Crossland X feels not so bad to drive but on your day off with the kids, this is where the Crossland X gets even more challenging and because this is a five-seater crossover, the biggest threat of all is the invasion of the child seats on the second row seats and therefore, not a great choice for a family mover so the Crossland X should be better off as a after hours car to drive with your mates or use it to fetch other people when you got joined to a certain ride-hailing company as a driver, as long it's not UBER.

To get the Crossland X ready on the road ahead, it comes with a wide array of driver aids such as Adaptive Forward Lighting, head up display, 180-degree Panoramic Rear View Camera, Advanced Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert with pedestrian detection and Automatic Emergency Braking, Driver Drowsiness System, Lane Keep Assist, Speed Sign Recognition and Side Blind Spot Alert.

The price? The Crossland X starts at 16,850 Euros (£17,755), which sounds more affordable than the Peugeot 2008 it's based upon, making it a great value for money in a world dominated by crossovers like this. Although the Crossland X is an ideal alternative to MPVs, it's not an ideal measure as a family car due to its five-seater capacity and when child seats raided the entire second row seats, it's your loss. As a city car to drive with your mates, it feels good and on a day-to-day basis, the Crossland X is a revelation. In fact, this is a revelation to Opel/Vauxhall's change following its acquisition by Groupe PSA from General Motors and now that they're under French control, expect the best and worst to come in the future of Opel/Vauxhall.

Photo: Opel/Vauxhall

Audi SQ5 (Typ FY)

Now based on the second-generation Audi Q5, the all-new SQ5 shows that even a mildly high-performance crossover like this can be a lot more enjoyable to drive as a sportscar while maintaining its daily driver usage as a crossover. So, is the new model better than the previous one? Let's investigate.

2018 Audi SQ5
2018 Audi SQ5

Ever since the second-generation Audi Q5 crossover arrived on the scene several moments ago, I have strong belief that it's amazingly more affordable to buy than the Mercedes GLC, your auntie's next favorite luxury crossover, while it behaves pretty much like the GLC. In this new SQ5 though, this car wants a piece of that action with Mercedes-AMG's GLC43 by doing some similar stuff the GLC43 does in its spare time.

In comparison with the normal Q5, the SQ5 features a much mild and tangy exterior design which is as sharp as a soccer mom in a gym outfit, going out to do some MMAs with some sparring partners or even her next-door neighbor who brings them nothing but Danishes on the silver platter. On the inside, it still feels like a normal Q5. The five-seater capacity, the generous boot space, the MMI navigation plus with MMI all-in-touch, the Virtual Cockpit dashboard, it's all there to keep them waiting.

Time for something that is worth surprising because in the old SQ5, it has a 3.0 TDi engine with two turbochargers that produces 313HP of power and 650Nm of torque. In the new one though, in tune with the times, the diesel engine has been off to the great junkyard in the sky and in place, there is a new 3.0L V6 TFSi petrol engine that powers it, sacrificing torque for added power, 354PS of power and 500Nm of torque, mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. With this powerplant along with its quattro permanent AWD, it does 0-100kph in 5.4 seconds and top speed normally limited to 250kph. It may sound quick for an SUV but it's less pulley compared to the previous SQ5 and it's slightly less fuel efficient as well, 8.3 l/100km compared to the old SQ5's 7.2L/100km. When compared to the similarly-sized Mercedes-AMG GLC43, the SQ5 will be getting left behind in the dust bowl in a red state and looks like now it's not the time to explain these two for the time being.

Because the latest Q5 utilizes the same new platform as the latest VW Tiguan, it's now more nimble and more durable compared to the last one, and for the SQ5, the quattro all-wheel drive and its sport-tuned dynamics makes it as lean and as sharp as an Audi S4 in every tangible way. It maybe great to use in any road condition and it can as addicting as a weekend at the arcade but understeering is very likely and even if you try to hard to get this round the corners, it's a distant struggle to get it right and with so much grip, have it your way because it can be very mild and menacing for a crossover like this.

In terms of overall enjoyment as a sportscar, the SQ5 is a royal pain in the arms because it has so much grip in it but as a everyday car, the SQ5 is not half bad, especially when it comes with the same driver assistance tech as the standard Q5.

Should you buy it? The new Audi SQ5 starts at 65,400 Euros, which is four grand more than the more superior Mercedes-AMG GLC43 and for such pricing, it's no doubt that this new SQ5 won't be cutting against its rival to the teeth but it's a fair start. While the transition from diesel to petrol is quite a surprising feat because Audi's had enough of the diesels following scandals that ruined its reputation, how much more does the SQ5 lose apart from its torque? No one knows but explanations are a lot harder than sampling this new model that despite its transition, it never lost some of its impish character from its predecessor and while the GLC43 can beat it in the game of "top trumps", the SQ5 can cheek squeak its way through the end of a week like MMAs in a pajama party. See if I care about it.

Photo: AUDI AG

Bubble Gang - August 11, 2017 #BGWasakKotse

In the August 11, 2017 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Wasak Kotse gags

- In tonight's top stories...

- One man told everyone about his weird powers

- An interview with Addy Raj and Mahal!

- Istambay, Istambay Sa Looban, Special Ang Inyong Matitikman, Dahil Ang Tindera Sa Tambayan, Special Ang Dala Sa...TINDAHAN?!

- A doctor's sexy way to treat illnesses.

- The trouble with gambling...

- Basa-basa-pik!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Subaru Levorg and WRX S4 - 2018 minor change

Subaru's Levorg and WRX S4, Japan's cut-price answer to Volvo's V60 and S60, is now updated for the 2018 model year and apart from having slight cosmetic and mechanical changes aside, the 2018MY Levorg and WRX S4 introduced us Subaru's brand new version of the award-winning Eyesight safety tech.

2018 Subaru WRX S4
2018 Subaru Levorg

Before explaining more about Subaru's updated version of the Eyesight safety tech. Let's find out what's new on these two, starting on the outside of these cars and as you can see with those redesigned hexagonal-shaped grilles, new front bumpers, and new wheel designs, there is a stark comparison between these two relatives and whereas the Levorg is designed as a comfortable day-to-day car for work and for leisure, the WRX S4 is designed to be as sporty as its hi-po derivative.

2018 Subaru WRX S4 interior
2018 Subaru Levorg interior
On the inside, both the WRX S4 and the Levorg comes with the new, larger high-definition multi-function display, as well as the new auto climate control on the dashboard to keep it fresh and accommodating for both of these models. Seats aside, both the WRX S4 and the Levorg features Ultrasuede, a suede-like artificial leather made by Toray, intertwining bundled ultrafine fibers, giving these interiors a touch of class. It even comes with the driver's seat position memory function that can memorize up to four seating positions, giving occupants a customized seating position comfortable enough for the long journey ahead.

2018 Subaru WRX S4
2018 Subaru Levorg
Under the hood, both models do come with the same 300PS 2.0L DIT boxer-four engine mated to a LINEARTRONIC CVT and SI-DRIVE which promises 13.2km/L of fuel efficiency based on JC08 Mode standards and improved driving feel because of the tinkering of the dynamics. In the Levorg, though, it still offers a entry-level 1.6L turbocharged boxer engine with 16.0km/L of fuel efficiency.

Now, we get to the real part of these two updated models in terms of safety and for the new 2018MY WRX S4 and Levorg comes Eyesight Touring Assist. Improving the safety credentials of their award-winning safety tech, Eyesight Touring Assist operates by using Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Control and a stereo camera to monitor lane markings as well as vehicles ahead of the car, greatly reducing the driver burden by taking control of acceleration, braking, and steering while traveling on highways. In other words, these can make the WRX S4 and Levorg drive by themselves, which is surprising and awkward among Subarists.

So, now that we get to know about Subaru's new Eyesight Touring Assist, what do you think? Is this tech predicting the future of Subarus or it means something more? Whatever it is, new tech aside, the new WRX S4 and the new Levorg are trying to play "top trumps" against Volvo's S60 and V60, although even with the upgrades, these Volvo's can still mince these two because of the performance but in terms of pricing, especially when the Levorg starts at 2,829,600 Japanese Yen and the WRX S4 starts at 3,369,600 Yen, they're great value for money for a change. So there you have it, with these new tech and features, both these new Subaru models may never make the grade against its Volvo rivals due to its performance but when it comes to get ready in today's traffic conditions, their new Eyesight Touring Assist is right here when they need it the most.

Photo: Subaru Corporation

Let's Do The News! (August 11, 2017)

- A magnitude 6.1 quake was felt all over Metro Manila and parts of Central Luzon on Friday, Aug. 11 at 1328 local time. According to PHIVOLCS, the epicenter of the earthquake was located 5 km southwest of Lian, Batangas, at a depth of 173 km.

- President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a state of calamity in Ormoc City, and Kananga town in Leyte a month after a M6.5 quake rattled it. President Duterte singed Proclamation No. 283 last August 7 to speed up rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation efforts of the government, private sectors, and the several international humanitarian assistance group.

- Senator Leila de Lima will remain in her prison cell, according to the President. in response to the European Union lawmakers who requested that De Lima be placed under house arrest.

- The Commission on Higher Education announced its plan to implement H.B. 5633 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act by the next school year. CHED Commissioner Prospero de Vera III explained that the agency will finish the implementing rules this week.

- For four months, texts from the government pinged into every mobile phone in Saudi Arabia ordering “illegal expatriates” to leave the kingdom before the end of an amnesty that expired in late July.

- Daihatsu displayed two concept cars at this year's Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show such as the DN Multisix and the DN F-Sedan.

2017 Daihatsu DN Multisix concept
2017 Daihatsu DN F-Sedan concept

- The 2018 Acura RLX minor change has been unveiled. Donning Acura's new precision grille as seen on last year's MDX minor change as well as the recent TLX minor change, the new RLX features a recalibrated Sport Hybrid SH-AWD inspired by the NSX, new 10-speed gearbox for the normal 310HP V6 variant with P-AWS, and AcuraWatch safety tech with new Traffic Jam Assist.

2018 Acura RLX

- Chevrolet unveiled their 2018 Camaro Stock Car, which will replace the SS for next season's Monster Energy NASCAR series.

- Forza teams up with HOONIGAN for the Hoonigan Car Pack, coming on Forza Horizon 3 next week and on Forza Motorsport 7 at launch.


Torchwood: Aliens Among Us 1

Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper are back to confront a new powerful threat emerging through the streets of Cardiff in the first batch of this new Torchwood adventure by Big Finish Productions, which is known to be the true sequel to the Torchwood saga set moments after the Miracle Day incident.

Torchwood: Aliens Among Us 1

To the words of Big Finish Productions, Aliens Among Us is officially known as the fifth series of the Torchwood saga and it picks up where Miracle Day left off in an amusing way to keep the spirit of Torchwood alive and kicking. No one knows why but we're fine by that.

The Miracle is no more. Captain Jack and Gwen faced The Miracle head on and triumphed. Now, in the aftermath, the two revived Torchwood from the ground up at an undisclosed location as they face the terrible consequences of their actions. Tyler Steele, a disgraced journalist, arrives in Cardiff for his new beginnings while investigating the so-called Red Doors movement, who allegedly claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks on immigrants, stirring up racism and hate in this Welsh metropolis. Delving deeper into this new kind of conspiracy, Tyler finds out that the secret organization known as Torchwood is back online and he will do everything to join the ranks and solve this new kind of threat that plunges Cardiff into a "sea of chaos."

In addition to returning cast of characters such as John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper, Kai Owen as Rhys Williams, and Tom Price as Sgt. Andy Davidson, Aliens Among Us introduces listeners and fans alike new characters joining forces with Captain Jack and Gwen in their newest mission such as ex-military Mr. Colchester (played by Paul Clayton), journalist Tyler Steele (played by Jonathan Green), and a valuable new recruit named Ng (played by Alexandria Riley).

The first part features four missions you will be experiencing in this new Torchwood saga; from Tyler's arrival in Cardiff, the Ro-Jedda conspiracy, a mysterious agreement between a contractor and an alien race in question, and the last one is very relatable in today's times where the lines between the rich and poor have been blurred out of the question. Needless to say, the people behind this new chapter of Torchwood have drawn inspirations from today's world affairs ranging from the Trump presidency, the Brexit, the ongoing terrorist attacks, the migrant crisis, and so on while blending with the classic Torchwood chemistry to gap the line between fact and fiction and by mixing factual world affairs with science-fiction stuff, Aliens Among Us gives listeners a serious nightmare fuel with a dose of Torchwood thrills to balance it out to make it more enjoyable for devotees of the hit Doctor Who spinoff program.

Don't miss part two of Aliens Among Us coming this October 2017 and part three this February 2018 and they can be ordered as a bundle starting at 75 GBP on CD or 60 GBP on download. Best to pick the download one because you can be the first people to listen to this true sequel of the hit Doctor Who spinoff.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Let's Do The News! (August 10, 2017)

- COMELEC chairman Andres Bautista denies rumors that he is allegedly a homosexual, a playboy, and having a personal sex dungeon. Also, Bautista also rebutted his wife’s claim of him having accounts on several pornographic websites.

- The Armed Forces of the Philippines announced the mounting of a hundred thousand peso bounty against members of the New People's Army, either dead or alive. According to the general, the initiative was enacted upon by the local government, especially in areas where the rebel forces are rampant.

- Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte is offering a two million peso bounty for the arrest of every policemen involved in the mass killing and drug operations linked to former Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog.

- The US government imposed sanctions on eight Venezuelan officials for their role in creating an all-powerful legislative body loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, while a mayor-turned-fugitive called for more anti-government protests.

- Meanwhile, Mexican soccer star Rafael "Rafa" Marquez was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department as well as over 20 others for suspected links with an accused drug kingpin, tarnishing the reputation of one of Mexico’s sporting giants.

- Scientists named a legendary sea-going crocodile that menaced coastal waters about 164 million years ago during the Jurassic Period after the heavy-metal rocker Lemmy, the late front man for the British band Motörhead.

- Mercedes-Benz teases their new concept car set to unveil at this month's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

- Former late night show host David Letterman returns to work for a new Netflix show.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Summer is ending and what better way to celebrate the last days of summer than listening to the brand new Cinderella Girls album themed after the seasons of the year, beginning with summer?


THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS MASTER SEASONS SUMMER! is the first of the MASTER SEASONS lineup and because the theme of this album is summer, it's packed with three new, summer-packed songs that will keep you enjoyed during the last days of summer vacation. 

The first one is titled 銀のイルカと熱い風 and it's performed by Yui Ohtsuki (CV: Nanami Yamashita), Chieri Ogata (CV: Naomi Ohzora), and Minami Nitta (CV: Aya Suzaki). The second one is titled とんでいっちゃいたいの and it's performed by Shiki Ichinose (CV: Kotomi Aihara), Kanako Mimura (CV: Yuka Otsubo), and Frederica Miyamoto (CV: Asami Takano). Later, Syuko Shiomi (CV: Ru Thing), Arisu Tachibana (CV: Amina Sato), and Ryo Matsunaga (CV: Haruka Chisuga) are performing 夏恋 -NATSU KOI-. And finally, CoCo夏夏夏 Holiday by Suzuho Ueda (CV: Nanami Haruno), Shin Sato (CV: Yumiri Hanamori), and Airi Totoki (CV: Hitomi Harada).

Topping it all off from these four summer-themed tracks is a special audio drama part featuring your favorite Cinderella Girls mentioned in this album on a summer getaway.

There is nothing like spending the last days of summer vacation than listening to those summer-themed songs performed by your favorite Cinderella Girls!


Inochi Moyashite Koiseyo Otome

Those who just can't get enough of THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage app games might want to put down their phones right now because there's a new addition to the STARLIGHT MASTER range fit enough to spend the last days of summer with a bit more festive.

The highlight song of this installment is Inochi Moyashite Koiseyo Otome and the idol highlights in this album are Kaede Takagaki (CV: Saori Hayami), Shin Sato (CV: Yumiri Hanamori), Miyu Mifune (CV: Sayaka Harada), Nana Abe (CV: Marie Miyake), and Sanae Katagiri (CV: Azumi Waki). With a taste of summer festivity and some classic Cinderella Girls recipe, you can enjoy this new song as much as you want just like you've played with it on Starlight Stage. In addition, there are two new songs in this installment such as マイ・スイート・ハネムーン by Mayu Sakuma (CV: Yui Makino) and Lunatic Show by Syoko Hoshi (CV: Satsumi Matsuda), Koume Shirasaka (CV: Chiyo Ousaki), Sachiko Koshimizu (CV: Ayana Taketatsu), Sae Kobayakawa (CV: Rika Tachibana), and Yuki Himekawa (CV: Mako Morino).

Be sure to keep playing Starlight Stage and watch out for more on this range!


01 命燃やして恋せよ乙女 (M@STER VERSION)
02 マイ・スイート・ハネムーン
03 Lunatic Show
04 命燃やして恋せよ乙女 (M@STER VERSION) オリジナル・カラオケ
05 マイ・スイート・ハネムーン オリジナル・カラオケ
06 Lunatic Show オリジナル・カラオケ
07 命燃やして恋せよ乙女 (GAME VERSION)

Let's Do The News! (August 9, 2017)

- The Supreme Court allowed the release of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno's Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth, and other records which is considered vital against her pending impeachment complaint.

- A graphic photo of Omar Maute in the encounter site has gone viral in social media. According to the photo, the dead body covered in blood, identified as Omar's was being hugged by an unknown male. The Joint Task Force Marawi recovered the said photo from a cellphone unit recovered from an encounter site in the city.

- Meanwhile, reports surfaced that the Maute terrorist group continues to recruit new members to boost their rapidly depleting numbers.

- Over 200 New People's Army rebels were spotted in Misamis Oriental. Due to the unexpected build-up, more than 500 residents were forced to flee their homes in Barangay Nangcaon in the fear of being caught between major military offensives and the rebel group.

- Nine people have been killed and 164 injured in an earthquake that rattled a remote and mountainous part of southwest China’s Sichuan province, according to reports. The quake struck 200 km (120 miles) west-northwest of the city of Guangyuan on Tuesday evening at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), according to the USGS.

- Isaac Makwala from Botswana was barred to entered the London Stadium after earlier being withdrawn from the night’s 400 metres final at the World Championships after falling victim to an outbreak of sickness that has hit scores of competitors.

- At long last, American Idol, the hit reality singing competition, has returned in its new home on ABC this 2018 as open call auditions start next week.

- Mazda is developing a brand new engine that combines the qualities of a petrol and diesel engine. Due for 2019, the new SKYACTIV-X engine is a SKYACTIV-G petrol engine that uses components from the SKYACTIV-D diesel engine, making it possible to ignite the petrol in a petrol-engined car using compression alone.

- Here's what to expect in the trailer of the upcoming second series of the TV series Victoria, starring former Doctor Who actress Jenna Coleman.

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