Saturday, February 21, 2015

Let's Do The News! (February 21, 2015)

Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- Returning to the Ukraine Crisis: A protest is underway in Moscow to oppose the coup in Ukraine, a year after the downfall of its pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. Ever since the Yanukovych ousted from power, Russia has since annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and is accused of backing pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

- Meanwhile in Dubai, a fire broke out at the Torch skyscraper, one of the tallest residential buildings in the world. No one knows what caused it but luckily, no reports of casualties as hundreds of people flee from the building.

- The US government will fine Japanese car parts maker Takata for not fully cooperating in the investigation of the company's defective airbags and they will charge the company 14,000 dollars per day.

- The meeting for the Trans-Pacific Partnership is scheduled for March 9th to 15th in Hawaii, following the meeting of chief negotiators in New York in late January and early February.

- The final teaser for the upcoming Aston Martin Vulcan track car has been streamed, showcasing the rear view and some spitting flames. Aston Martin's track-only racing machine is set to be unveiled at next month's Geneva Auto Show.

- Michelle Gomez will return to reign terror as Missy in the upcoming ninth season of Doctor Who, coming this fall 2015.

- IT'S OFFICIAL! The long-delayed megafight between the two boxing superstars, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, is set for the 2nd of May, 2015. They've been demanded to see this fight happen and it's really happening.

- Cartoon Network plans something big for 2015 and 2016. Apart for the Powerpuff Girls remake, there's going to be a web series titled Mighty Magiswords, a miniseries titled Long Live The Royals, a Steven Universe-Uncle Grandpa crossover, a special, and...wait for it...a Regular Show movie!

- Bonjour, petrolheads! There's going to be a French version of Top Gear airing on RMC Decouverte this March 18. The French Top Gear will be hosted by Bruce Jouanny, Philippe Lellouche, and Le Tone as they will do usual Top Gear stuff like its international versions (except the US probably) do most of the time. Of course, Le Stig is present as well.


Honda New Legend (KC2)

2015 Honda Legend

The Legend has served as the flagship saloon of Honda and its been around for four generations since the first one launched in 1985. 2015 is the Honda Legend's 30th birthday and to celebrate the occasion, well, after three years since the previous Legend discontinued, it's back and this time, it's a hybrid premium saloon which features next-gen hybrid powertrain that the next NSX supercar will have. Ah yes. The Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system.

There's more to it than just the revolutionary Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system because here on the brand new Legend, it features the first ever Honda Sensing safety system, the advanced heads-up display system, the new Krell 14-speaker Audio System, and much more. Let's talk about the key points later but first, the design.

2015 Honda Legend

2015 Honda Legend interior
As observed, this is the Japanese version of the Acura RLX sold in North America so by the looks of it, the hideous-looking exterior is highly similar to its North American cousin, especially the Jewel Eye headlamps that makes people won't going to eat dinner tonight after their prolonged exposure with these headlamps. Those headlamps are not made for those who had Trypophobia. I know...

On the inside, there goes that annoying dual screen dashboard where the second screen is made for touching and the first screen is made for viewing. There's no gear lever present here and it's been replaced with some buttons where when the driver pressed the D button, it really sets to Drive. That sounds high-tech but I have bigger doubts about this so-called clever shifting mechanism that makes gear levers a thing of a past.

The seats are rather comfortable especially at the rear seats where your boss will most likely feel comfy at and the rear legroom is not so bad for a flagship saloon of this caliber.

The Krell 14-speaker Audio System is one of the key points of the Legend's interior and utilizing their knowhow from their home theater systems, the expansive audio experience can now be heard on the new Legend. Play in your favorite audio CD or Bluetooth connectivity with your iPhone or USB, whatever you're doing, and listen to the Krell magic do the music for you and when you listen to it, it sounds so crystal clear-ish. Not bad...unless it was spoiled by the radio's static noise.

Another key point of the new Legend's interior is the head-up display system and it displays most of the information from your car based on your driving. It can display turn-by-turn navigation, adaptive cruise control, tachometer, speed dial, power distribution, and more. That sounds nice but sadly, the HUD is too faintly to be seen on your windshield unless its getting dark outside.

2015 Honda Legend

The newly-developed Sport Hybrid SH-AWD plays a critical role for the new Legend. While essentially derived from the upcoming NSX sportscar, this powertrain not only excels at delivering 382PS of total system power output and a 16.8km/L fuel economy but its handling is unlike any other.

The 3.5L i-VTEC V6 direct-injected engine is mated with three electric motors; one at the front and two at the back. The front electric motor delivers a modest torque during hard acceleration and better fuel economy at low speeds. It also houses Honda's brand new 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission. The rear electric motors, on the other hand, produces a well-balanced torque through a curve so handling is not so bad after all. That's called torque vectoring and by working together, the electric motors deliver power for standing starts, low-speed cruising, and vigorous rolling acceleration.

The new Legend is the first to come with the breakthrough Honda Sensing, a new array of driver assistive-technologies that allows the driver to sense things they might miss while driver. It features Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist System, Lane Departure Warning, and the exclusive Pedestrian Collision Mitigation Steering System. Those new array of safety systems keeps the Legend in charge of the road while delivering a peace of mind for the occupants inside. Now that's some cleverness but drivers need to be extra careful while taking advantage of these clever features.

The new Legend starts at 6,800,000 Japanese Yen (around $70,000) which sounds more expensive than the Nissan Fuga Hybrid. When compared between these two, you will notice that the Fuga Hybrid is more fuel efficient and more cheaper to own than the Legend even though they both have 7-speed DCT and 3.5L V6 engines but the Legend is more unique than the Fuga because it has the most power and it has four-wheel drive so choosing between these two is a risky gamble and the odds of choosing one is slim because there are so many things to consider about these two but for me, the new Legend is the all-rounder of the two. Although the looks are bothersome, the hybrid powertrain is what got my thoughts and hearts into thinking that this NSX-derived powertrain will gave us hope.

Available colors: White Orchid Pearl, Super Platinum Metallic, Graphite Luster Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Pomegranate Pearl, and Gilded Pewter Metallic.

Photo: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

"Adult Tibay + Lakas"

On the February 20, 2015 episode of Bubble Gang...

- IKAW AT ANG INA takes on...posting pics of people holding guns!

- Stepparent gags

- He's tired of being a guardian angel for some reasons...

- The goat and the sheep are interviewed.

- Bubble Gang does Bear Brand Adult Plus by spoofing this commercial as BEAR BLOND ADULT PLUS! Adult Tibay + Lakas.

- Sorry pal. Your ideas are pointless during a meeting...

- The pointless stuff of dealing with an online seller.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Forza Horizon 2: Me and my RC


Far away, you might notice there's a hot German sports coupe in sight and then you rushed to it enthusiastically and all of the sudden, it was just a mirage. More than a's Lexus's brand new RC F! Boom! It's like when you though there's a faraway Dr. Pepper vending machine and all of the sudden, it was just an RC Cola machine. Boy, oh boy. That joke never get too old, eh? Anyway, no time for "insert Family Guy joke" here because the Forza Horizon 2 Top Gear Car Pack introduced us to Lexus' latest high-caliber sports coupe that will surely pick a fight with the BMW M4.


So, the new Lexus RC F. What's it all about? Well, this is a high-caliber version of the Lexus RC coupe, which both of these models were launched in Japan last fall with some unwelcomed reception at first.

It comes with the same 5.0L V8 engine derived from the decommissioned IS F but now it's been updated so it produces 477PS of power and 530Nm while mated with an 8-speed SPDS gearbox. Stats aside, that's a lot more powerful than the M4 but sadly, its almost 200 kilos heavier.

Lexus says that this car draws its performance inspiration from their current Super GT racecars to deliver track-focused sharpness on all corners of the world but since we're in Europe and this is Forza Horizon 2, the RC F is somewhat twitchy when going to the max. I can get myself tangled easily while its chief rival, the BMW M4, can do better than that. I once tried the BMW M4 in this game a few months ago and I said that it's well-balanced, it's poised, it's precise, and overall, a lot more fun to drive as the other BMWs offered in-game. Sadly for the RC F, it can do better than that.


I was given an opportunity to try out the RCF via a Monthly Rivals event just to see how this high-caliber Lexus can do for me and for this event, this is much more of a challenge to be honest.


That was one of the most challenging attempts ever made for a car like this but even though it lacks the precision of the BMW M4, I think the new Lexus RC F have finally got what it takes to impress the Horizon crowd. Things took a nasty turn for the new Lexus but we handled it pretty well. I expect great things for this car to come because it wants to continue where the departed ISF left off.


Suzuki SX4 S-CROSS (YA/YB22S)

2015 Suzuki SX4 S-CROSS

After two years of waiting since its European debut, the all-new Suzuki SX4 S-CROSS finally arrives in Japan for the first time and this second-generation model competes for the likes of the Nissan Juke and the Honda Vezel.

It maybe a Japanese car but for this new model, it's now imported from Hungary because Suzuki built this new car at the Magyar Suzuki plant in Hungary and Hungary plays a key role for Suzuki's European production center. Now that this car's made from Europe, I was expecting to be more European-ish on how it performs and to be honest, no one knows what to expect until they first try it.

2015 Suzuki SX4 S-CROSS interior

2015 Suzuki SX4 S-CROSS interior

Although the exterior has been heavily improved from the old model, it still looks like your average hatchback with the added clearance like most compact crossovers do. It maybe sharp but just like a pencil, the sharpness becomes too roundy when used consecutively or until it snaps. As for the interior, it feels like it came from the Suzuki Swift but you do get seats for five people and decent boot space depending on the seating arrangements. There's also a hidden space where you can store your luggage at the back called the "luggage board" as well.

2015 Suzuki SX4 S-CROSS

The only engine available for the new S-CROSS is the 1.6L M16A petrol engine that came from the Swift. It delivers a reasonable 117PS of power output and 151Nm of torque. Because of its lower friction and related parts, fuel economy ranges from 17.2kmpl up to 18.2kmpl, depending on the model, by JC08 Mode standards.

The new SX4 S-CROSS features Suzuki's brand new ALLGRIP system for the 4WD model. This new generation 4WD system features four driving modes selected by a knob which can adapt through any road surfaces whether if its tarmac, gravel, snow, or just when you want a sharper handling car at ease. That's very clever and quite interesting. No wonder Europeans got the hold of this new feature on their new SX4, giving it much praise by this tech.

On the suspension layout, it features MacPherson struts at the front and torsion beam on the rear, providing superior rigidity and ride comfort for this compact crossover.

Prices start at 2,041,200 Japanese Yen, which sounds a lot more expensive than the Nissan Juke but more affordable to buy than the Honda Vezel. Quite a bargain for a compact hatchback that was imported from Europe, eh? But should you want one? The jury's out for you to find out but rest assured that you should go for the 4WD due to its ALLGRIP system's capability that can adapt to any smart, exciting, challenging, or tough situations ahead because you'll never know what you'll be facing at.

Available colors: Crystal Lime Metallic, Cosmic Black Pearl Metallic, Cool White Pearl, and Boost Blue Pearl Metallic.

Photo: Suzuki Motor Corporation

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Let's Do The News! (February 18, 2015)

Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- In Ukraine, the country's leader Petro Poroshenko said that 80% of the nation's forces are making an "organised" withdrawal from the embattled town of Debaltseve with more to follow.

- Swiss authorities have raided the HSBC's Geneva subsidiary in an inquiry into alleged money-laundering. The investigation could be extended to those suspected of committing or participating in money laundering.

- The International Organization for Migration warned the public of the increasing number of people risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea to escape Libya from Islamic State militants. Over 3,800 people had been rescued at sea in the past 5 days and most of them were reportedly on board jam-packed rubber dinghies while over 300 migrants from Africa are believed to have died last week when their boats capsized.

- The Senate will continue the hearing of their investigation on the Mamasapano clash by Monday, 1000 hours Philippine Time, according to an advisory emailed to reporters by the office of Senator Grace Poe as she will taking the lead on the investigation along with committees on peace, unification, and reconciliation, and finance.

- The Department of Public Works and Highways began pavement reconstruction and drainage improvement on the Dimasalang Street in the Santa Cruz and Sampaloc areas of Manila, which is set to be completed within the April 17 deadline.

- The all-new Hyundai Tucson was unveiled ahead of its Geneva Motor Show premiere next month.

2016 Hyundai Tucson

- The Skoda Superb flagship has been given its full model change and this all-new model will be at next month's Geneva Motor Show.

2016 Skoda Superb

- DON'T WORRY. The upcoming third installment of the Five Nights At Freddy's franchise is still on the works right now. Last weekend, FNAF creator Scott Cawthon fooled the fans on the franchise's Steam page into thinking that their upcoming FNAF3 was cancelled because someone hacked and released the game early on a different website. He WAS kidding and of course, they're still making FNAF3 for now.

- Japanese viewers of the Pokemon XY anime series can take home Serena's Fennekin for use in the XY or ORAS game for the 3DS! Digital subscribers should watch out for the code in a February 26 episode of the XY anime on TV Tokyo where they can input it via Mystery Gift to claim Serena's Fennekin for use in-game. Serena's Fennekin is Level 15 and comes with three attack moves like Scratch, Flamethrower, and Hidden Power.

- Yesterday's "On Target" column from the Philippine Daily Inquirer erupted an outrage as columnist and radio anchor Ramon Tulfo detailed the appearance of drug sellers in numerous areas nearby his daughter's school. His daughter, Nastassja Ramone Tulfo, angered over his column over his "impulsive writing".


Forza Horizon 2: Noble Roar with the Noble Heart


It's been a while since the last time the Noble M600 appeared on is on the first Forza Horizon game since 2012 and now it's back on Forza Horizon 2 via the Launch Bonus Pack. I am very excited to drive the pride of Leicester once again in this beautiful European scenery.


The M600 from Noble is powered by a Yamaha-derived Volvo 4.4L V8 engine with added twin turbos to deliver either from 450HP up to 650HP at the flick of the switch. Although free of any electronic driving nonsense, the Noble is equipped with a traction control switch that resembles of a fail-safe button seen on fighter jets. With the traction control off, driving the Noble is a hard thing to do due to its sensitive handling that will send even the unskilled drivers flying but at the hands ot the brave and skilled drivers, this is one fast hypercar they won't have to worry about especially when the power-to-weight ratio of this car eclipsed the Bugatti Veyron.

In Race setting, the 0-60mph time is three seconds and top speed of an estimated 225mph, more than the Lamborghini Aventador's 217mph speed.

Anyway, enough of the description, it's time to continue my journey because with three championships left before the finale, I will drive the Noble for the championship I've signed up and yes, hypercars are the prime specimens for this championship. Venue? Nice Massena. Ah, France. I always love to drive on French roads in this game's my style you know.


In preparation for the clash of hypercars in Nice, some major improvements have been made on my Noble while taking advantage of the Veyron-eclipsing power-to-weight ratio. I also made some finishing touches on the exterior so who did I featured this time? Yep. You guessed. I've made a design of Pokemon XY's Serena and Pancham for my Noble.

Sure, you might be thinking that's not Serena but yes she is because she now has a new look. From pink dresses, red sleeveless trench coats, blue ribbons, short hairs, new hats, Serena's changed from who you think she is and I chose this Noble to reflect her change's just like that one episode of Top Gear when Richard Hammond's Noble broke down and then replaced with a new one during their Italian road trip.

Anyway, no Italian road trip here because the venue I'll be taking on is Nice, which is in France and France is where the inspiration of Kalos comes from, and this is where I'm going to continue my road on the finale.

With a little slice of Kalos in our side, it's time for the Noble to's Noble Roar.


After winning the championship, it looks like the Noble told me that it wants to race in this place as long as it wants and as long as we're in France, the Noble founds its true home on the road. This car made me proud on what we're fighting for and look at its race-torn radiance, it shows that this car is not giving up without a great show and as long as I'm on the wheel, the Noble tries to show even the most established of the supercars will be feared for.

Now with two more championships left on the trot, my journey to the finale continues. Well done, Noble. You made me happy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Let's Do The News! (February 17, 2015)

Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- Onto the Ukraine Crisis, the government forces and the pro-Russian rebels have failed to begin pulling out heavy weaponry from the front line, despite a Monday deadline. They've been given two days after the latest ceasefire came into effect to start the pullout but the Ukrainian government said they will not pull back until the fighting is over.

- Onto the Greek debt crisis, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said that they are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to reach agreement over its bailout after the failed talks with EU finance ministers.

- Thousands of Danes have marched through Copenhagen to mourn the death of the two victims killed from separate deadly attacks over the weekend at a free-speech event and a synagogue.

- Japan announced a new set of counterterrorism measures, including an additional 15.5 million dollars to combat terrorism in Middle Eastern and African countries.

- According to military officials, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters occupied at least two barangays in the town of Pikit, North Cotabato, forcing thousands of civilians to evacuate.

- The KAI-Lockheed team are the sole bidder for South Korea's KF-X fighter jet program because while the first round of the bidding, held last 9th of February, failed due to lack of bidders, they've submitted a proposal by the deadline according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. The second round of bidding will close on the 24th and if there's no competitor in the bidding, KAI-Lockheed will gain access to the 8.6 trillion won project for developing an F-16-based aircraft over the next eight years, replacing the aging F-4 Phantom IIs and F-5 Tiger IIs from their fleet.

- Citroen no more for the 2016 DS5 minor change because the latest facelift sees a departure from the Citroen name and the signature chevron grille because it's a clear sign that DS is now a separate brand from Citroen. It's set for this year's Geneva Motor Show debut next month.

2016 DS 5

- Naomi Wakabayashi, the voiceover behind THE iDOLM@STER's Ritsuko Akizuki, gave birth to a baby girl and she's going to take a break from her career to take care of child but promises she will return.

- Former Laguna governor Jeorge E.R Estregan announced that he'll be producing an upcoming biopic in tribute to the slain 44 Special Action Force units called SAF Special Action Force: Para sa Diyos, Para sa Bayan, Para sa Tao. This biopic showcases the bravery of the 44 SAF units up until their bloody death from the Mamasapano clash last January.

- Fashion brand Bench released an official statement over their controversial billboard promoting homosexuality and denies order to blur portion of the photo. The billboard in question features Vince Uy and Nino Gaddi holding hands with the tagline "LOVE ALL KINDS OF LOVE"


Top Gear S22E04

Top Gear S22E04

Finally, the fourth episode of this season of Top Gear is all focused on cars and that's about it as James May tries out the brand new Mercedes-AMG GT round the track. When handed to The Stig, it lapped round the Top Gear track in 1:17.5.

Then, Jeremy Clarkson tries out a handful of two Bimmers, the new M3 round the track and the new i8 PHEV sportscar on a trip to Whitby, where he will make a decisive choice between these two...and he ended up choosing the i8 anyway.

Focus stars Margot Robbie and Will Smith are the Stars In The Reasonably Priced Car and looks like Margot had beaten Will Smith at the lapboard because while he set a lap time of 1:47.2, Margot did it in 1:47.1

Lastly, Richard Hammond tries to say goodbye to the legendary Land Rover Defender by driving one on top of the dam just like as happened on the classic advert. Despite having the extra equipment and the intense feels, he failed because that's what the producers told when he was nearing the finish point.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Let's Do The News! (February 16, 2015)

Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- Egyptian forces have bombed Islamic State targets in Libya, hours after the video showing the apparent beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi condemned the IS as "inhuman criminal killers" and they had the right to respond against these militants.

- Danish policemen accused two men of helping the suspected gunman, named Omar El-Hussein, who murdered two people in separate attacks in Copenhagen. The said gunman was fatally shot by police after he attacked a free speech debate and a synagogue, killing the film director and a synagogue guard while injured five people.

- The US Federal Aviation Administration releases draft rules for flying unmanned drones for commercial uses. Under the rules announced on Sunday, drones weighing 25kg or less would be able to fly up to 150m above the ground at speeds up to 160kph. It also prohibits drones from approaching airports, travel routes of conventional aircraft, and highly populated areas. The FAA will finalize the rules within the next two years after public opinions and revising the draft based on them.

- US First Lady Michelle Obama, is scheduled to visit Japan this March. This is her first visit as the wife of the current US president will participate in a symposium on educational support for women in developing countries.

- Terror threats in Germany prompted the police in the northern German city Braunschweig to cancel the city's Carnival parade, less than 90 minutes before the festival was to begin, sadden most spectators and citizens. The information is from a reliable national defense source and they urged all participants not to go to the festival site.

- The surgical operation for Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong's prostate cancer was a success and he is expected to fully recover, according to officials. This is his second fight with cancer for the 63-year-old Singaporean Premier who has also undergone chemotherapy for lymphoma in 1993 and is now in remission.

- According to Senator Ralph Recto, the Bangsamoro Basic Law needs to be revised, stating that it was "littered with policy landmines which must be defused". He also said that this law must be cured from its perceived constitutional defects following the Mamasapano killings last month.

- Watch Scuderia Ferrari's new recruit Sebastian Vettel taking a spin on Ferrari's FXX K hybrid racer round the Fiorano test track.

- The latest Jay Leno's Garage webcast puts the spotlight on the mythical Oldsmobile Cutlass Banshee driven by James Garner.


Six Nations 2015 - Round 2

Looks like the WRU from Wales are starting to bounce back after their loss in the first round of this season's Six Nations rugby after their close-shave win against Scotland at the score of 23-26, in favor of the Welsh. As a matter of fact, it was the try from player Jonathan Davies during the second half that impressed the Welsh rugby team and their great execution of this match handed them a clear win against the Scots.


Meanwhile, the England Rugby defeated Italy's FIR at the score of 47-17 and the IRFU won the match against France's FFR at the score of 18-11.

So far, the England Rugby and the IRFU scored two wins on this season while the FFR and the WRU scored just one win and FFR and Scotland never won any.

The next match starts at February 28, 2015, with Scotland taking on the FIR, FFR vs. the WRU, and on the next day, that is March 1, 2015, the IRFU vs. the England Rugby.
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