Wednesday, June 29, 2016


This is probably the last American Top Gear aired on HISTORY Channel prior to the announcement that this show is well and truly over...for now. In this episode, which is the last for US Top Gear, the boys are on a historic road trip to Cuba.

Since the trade embargo that prohibits Cuba from importing new cars from the US during the Cold War and the infamous missile crisis, most of the cars on Cuban roads are mostly pre-1960 American cars. Thanks to the newly-reconciled ties between US and Cuba, things are finally settling in.

To honor such an occassion, Tanner, Rut, and Adam tried out some classic American cars and then set off to a Cuban road trip with some challenges and surprises in store for them.

Although I can't tell what the boys did in their historic Cuban road trip, it's a sad day to see the end of American Top Gear. It's a bit of a "meh" for Top Gear fans as a whole but it's been quite a ride after six seasons, seeing the boys ventured through uncharted territories with fast cars and clashing each other just for the fun of it.

Thank You, Top Gear. (The hit US Show)

Are You Ready 7th-TYPES??

Donuts' future-set idol rhythm app game, Tokyo 7th Sisters, is now on its 2nd year and to commemorate its 2nd year milestone, a 2nd anniversary concert will be held on the 21st of August at the Pacifico Yokohama, and apart from that, here comes a 2nd compilation album that will cater those who are familiar with this app game.

Are You Ready 7th-TYPES??
Tokyo 7th Sisters' 2nd compilation album called "Are You Ready 7th-TYPES??" features the best of hit songs as heard from the T7S game and this two-disc compilation offers the futuristic fun songs made possible by 777 ARTISTS' finest. Whether if you've got hooked into this game, discovering it for the very first time, or just for the love of idol girls no matter which side you're on, T7S's 2nd compilation album strikes the right grooves not just for fans of the present but fans from the not-too-distant future.

Oh, and there's a limited edition PREMIUM BOX which features two additional discs, a DVD packed with trailers highlighting two years of T7S, a bonus T-shirt, 16 in-game jacket cards, and a clear case, which is a must have for T7S fans or idol girl aficionados alike.

The Tokyo 7th Sisters 2nd Live 16'→30'→34' -INTO THE 2ND GEAR- concert takes place at the Pacifico Yokohama on the 21st of August, 2016. See you in 2034! (Just kidding)


Disc One:
1.Intro ~Are You Ready 7th-TYPES??~
2.SEVENTH HAVEN / セブンスシスターズ
3.FALLING DOWN / セブンスシスターズ
4.-Zero / KARAKURI
6.TREAT OR TREAT? (EMO edit) / 4U
7.TREAT OR TREAT? (HINA edit) / 4U
8.Is This it, Sisters!? / (ドラマトラック)

Disc Two:
1.Intro -to be the Blue Sky...-
2.僕らは青空になる / 777☆SISTERS
4.ラバ×ラバ / WITCH NUMBER 4
5.さよならレイニーレイディ / SiSH
6.You Can't Win / NI+CORA
7.セカイのヒミツ / サンボンリボン
8.YELLOW / Le☆S☆Ca
9.Behind Moon / Le☆S☆Ca
10.ハネ☆る!! / はる☆ジカ(ちいさな)
11.Snow in "I love you" / 777☆SISTERS
12.I need you ~「僕らは青空になる」original piano arrange~
13.またあした / 春日部ハル

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Let's Do The News! (June 28, 2016)

- President-elect Rodrigo Duterte eyes placing the Philippines between the US and China, according to foreign policy and defense experts during the Asia Pacific Foreign Policy and Defense Seminar at the East West Center last week. According to Dr. Evelyn Goh, the Sheeden professor of Strategic Policy Studies, Australian National Studies, the Philippines right now is very much on the side of the US but it come back closer to the midpoint. However, that doesn't mean Duterte is going to align with the Chinese. Instead, it will bring the Philippines back to where it was kind of before, more along the mainstream where some ASEAN nations have thrived to keep the relations close to both world superpowers.

- Meanwhile, Vice President-elect Leni Robredo will collaborate with the private sector in pursuing her anti-poverty and pro-women advocacies. Robredo's spokespersons have repeatedly said she would continue to work hard to serve the people even without a Cabinet c=position.

- Back to the Brexit aftermath, British ambassador Asif Ahmad said that Britain's historic decision to leave the European Union will not affect Overseas Filipino Workers living and working in Great Britain as they arrived under a completely different regime. The UK has an independent migration and visa policy, not being part of Schengen and Filipinos came to the UK based on rules that would not be changed.

- Meanwhile, the top European Union leaders are holding a 2-day summit in Brussels to discuss how to deal with UK's decision to leave the bloc. The first session is due to start at around 1600 hours on Tuesday. British PM David Cameron is expected to tell his counterparts that he wants the negotiations to take place under his replacement, who will be chosen by October.

- Pope Francis said Sunday that Christians and the Roman Catholic should apologize to the LGBT community and seek forgiveness for the way they have been treated. Speaking to reporters as he flew back from Armenia, the pope was asked if he agreed with comments by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx that the Church needed to apologize for the way it has treated the LGBT community.

- Biohazard 6's Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong gets figurized courtesy of Hot Toys. These poseable figures are available to order starting at a limited-time pricing of 27,000 Yen and deliveries will commence this January.

- With Fast 8 shooting at Iceland's going to be sub-zero, the producers uncovered the cars that Dom and his crew will be using during their Icelandic mission, including Dom's Ice Charger.

Dom's Ice Charger
- China expressed regret over the meeting between exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and US pop singer, Lady Gaga. The two meet up at a conference of American mayors in Indianapolis on Sunday. At the meeting, the Dalai Lamai said compassion for others is the key to world peace and happiness while Lady Gaga replied that compassion is humans' greatest asset.

- Top Gear presenter Matt LeBlanc warned that he may quit the show unless the BBC sacked Chris Evans from the show.

- Sandara Park (Dara from K-Pop girl group 2NE1) returns on Philippine television as one of the judges of the upcoming reality show alongside comedian Vice Ganda and singer Yeng Constantino.


Top Gear S23E05

The fifth episode of "brand new" Top Gear is a road trip through scenic Irish roads with an argument between new and old as the Rolls-Royce Dawn, with Matt LeBlanc behind the wheel, pits against the legendary Corniche, owned by Chris Evans, just to settle things once and for all.

First, Evans tries out Britain's newest lightweight, the Zenos E10S, round the Top Gear Track. When handed to The Stig, it set a lap time of 1:25.1. Then Rory Reid races against time to the Geneva Motor Show in Jaguar's ultimate sportscar, the F-Type SVR. And Chris Harris drifts round the track in the BMW M2.

On Star In A Rallycross Car, Absolutely Fabulous' Jennifer Saunders did it in 2:21.6 while baker Paul Hollywood did it in 2:16.4. All in very wet condition.

History Channel nixes American Top Gear

As if the world of Top Gear didn't have enough problems following the original presenters' departure and bad performance by Chris Evans, things took a serious tailspin across the Atlantic, meanwhile as History Channel pulled the plug on its American equivalent, which was hosted by racing driver Tanner Foust, comedian Adam Ferrera, and racing commentator Rutledge Wood.

That shocking announcement came from Rut's instagram and according to him, "I'm not saying Top Gear USA is done, but it's done for the immediate future on History". Despite History Channel nixed this show, all is not lost for TGUSA as the show may be picked up by another network which could even include online streaming service later on.

The US version of Top Gear aired since the November of 2010 for six seasons. At the start, it wanted to give the TG format the original UK version had an American taste. Now, it's been reformatted into a three-car comparison show where whoever wins the most challenges is assigned to try a new car. 

We've seen Tanner racing a HALO jumper with the F-150 Raptor, fireworks at the back of Rut's truck, a Rally Fighter against a boat, maxing out a supercar in England, a muscle car versus a cowboy, and they even had a chance encounter with Donald Trump (no, seriously, they did met up with Trump when he's just a harried business tycoon before his presidential bid that made us hate him). What more can you ask?

Tomorrow's episode will be the last of TGUSA on History and in this episode, the boys are on a historic Cuban road trip with American classics.

It's sad to see American TG's demise and for nostalgic purposes, here are the best bits of TGUSA ever my mind.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Let's Do The News! (June 27, 2016)

- Tropical Depression Ambo made landfall over Dinalungan, Aurora early Monday morning and weakened into a low pressure. Even though the storm signals are lifted, PAGASA advised that the LPA can still bring occasional moderate to heavy rainfall and warned against flash floods and landslides in Northern and Central Luzon as well as in the provinces of Rizal and Quezon.

- Several groups on Sunday try to fill the supposed burial site of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos with rocks at the Libingan ng mga Bayani as a sign of protest. Each stone laid in the open crypt was written the name of an individual who was kidnapped, tortured, or murdered during the infamous Martial Law.

- Days before the inauguration, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said his campaign message led to his win in the May elections. Duterte said his vows to fight crime and corruption made him president as these echo the worries and concerns of Filipinos here and abroad.

- Back to the Brexit aftermath, a petition to demand a second referendum on EU membership caused the website of the Parliament to crash. Last Friday, the day after the historic Brexit vote, the petition passed the 200,000 mark with a map of the voting indicating that most activity was in London - where most backed the remain camp in the referendum. The Parliament states that it had seen "high volumes of simultaneous users on a single petition, significantly higher than on any previous occasion." Right now, there are no plans for a re-run but experts say that is not out of the question if those who back a Brexit begin suffering from buyer's remorse.

- Meanwhile, a senior member of the Scottish National Party told that legal procedures for another vote on independence from the UK will begin in 2 weeks. The party hopes that the second independence vote will take place in the next two years.

- Onto the 2016 US Presidential elections, the latest polls show Democratic presidentiable Hillary Clinton has extended her lead over Republican rival Donald Trump.  ABS News and Washington Post polls show Clinton leading 51-39 percent. The Democrat has gone 7 points up, and the Republican 7 down, since last month. Most respondents say that Trump's comments are attacking women, minorities, and Muslims, while some don't want the business mogul to run the nation.

- To celebrate their recent Le Mans win, Ford unveiled a 66 Heritage Edition of the new Ford GT, featuring the same livery as the one used at Le Mans five decades ago.

- Unveiled recently at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mercedes-AMG GT's new R version features an aggressive exterior design, track-focused dynamics, and a more powerful 4.0L V8 BiTurbo engine producing 577HP of power.

- Mitsubishi's teasing a new concept car that is set to debut at this year's Paris Motor Show.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Alfa Romeo Giulia (952)

This is by no means the most anticipated Alfa Romeo the world has ever waited since...well, I don't know what famous Alfa hit in its timeline, probably the 4C perhaps. This car signals the rebirth of the legendary Alfa Romeo marque and it's a clear sign that the famed Italian car company will rise with new models coming to compete with the best that Europe has to offer.

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

It's no clear wonder why every car enthusiast from across the world can't hardly wait to see what the new Alfa Romeo Giulia is ever since Alfa Romeo worked on the revitalization plan years ago and when it made its smashing appearance, we had no words to describe why we've waited an eternity to see Alfa's first rear-wheel drive saloon since the 75 come into fray.

Anyway, what's in our mind about the Giulia from Alfa Romeo? Let's talk it over because being the first in the brand's revival act, which involves an eight car line-up and a worldwide sales targets of 400,000 by the next two years, it runs on an entirely new platform called Giorgio and being Italian, it's built entirely in Italy. Thanks to Alfa's in-house design, the new Giulia's design is very striking to look at as well as Alfa Romeo's brand new logo, which is a shame why video game companies that making racing games (I'm talking to you, Forza) are shying away from it these days just like Cadillac.

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia interior

The interior looks like if Alfa stole it from BMW, specifically the E60 5-Series perhaps but nevertheless, it would be a fun to be accommodated inside the long-awaited Alfa we can buy. Not only it looks luxurious to be accommodated with but also high-tech if you know how to use it. One thing that amazes about the Giulia's high-tech commodity is its sat-nav that picks up the pace even if the GPS signal is missing thanks to Dead Reckoning technology. Try driving into the tunnel and the car's GPS still tracks your movements. Pretty smart, huh?

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

What's on our mind about driving the Giulia? Let's talk it over like you're drinking a Super Dry beer at the pub. The fastest version, the Giulia Quadrifoglio, comes with Alfa's brand new 2.9L V6 twin turbo engine, which shares the same components as the V8 engine from the Ferrari California T. It produces 510HP of power and 600Nm of torque and when mated with the 6-speed manual gearbox, it can do 0-100kph in 3.9 seconds and onwards to 307kph. Thanks to its motorsport DNA that traces to past Alfas in history as well as extensive use of lightweight materials, it's no wonder it lapped the Nurburgring at 7:39.0, making it the fastest 4-door saloon to lap round the legendary track.

For the normal Giulia, meanwhile, the only engine available for launch is a 2.2L l4 Multijet engine with two power configurations; one that produces either 150 or 180PS of power output, both are mated with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic.

Whichever Giulia you'll get, it's going to be a great car to drive even though this is a rear-wheel drive car. Best of all, most models come with a carbon-fiber drive shaft as well as aluminum allow shock towers, suspension components, independent suspension setup, and better weight distribution that makes handling like no other. Because the handling is so great, it makes anyone who never tried the Giulia very jealous to get their hands on, at least someday, we really want to get our hands on this.

Of course, a Giulia can't be called a luxury car without safety tech, which is kinda bugging us on the move, such as Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Emergency Brake and pedestrian detection, Integrated Brake System, Lane Departure Warning system, and cruise control.

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia
Should you buy it? The Giulia starts at 35,500 Euros while the hi-po Quadrifoglio starts at 79,000 Euros. On that pricing, that would mean 3-Series money for the normal Giulia and M3 money for the Quadrifoglio. Either way, it's been a while that Alfa Romeo launched the most-talked about car in the decade and with that kind of performance, this Alfa begs to have its presence be known not just in the real world but also video games due to its high demand. No, seriously, this is the most demanding car we ever want to drive in our lives.

Photo: Alfa Romeo

Saturday, June 25, 2016

TGUSA: City Saviors

To response to Americans' city travel lifestyle, the boys of Top Gear (the hit US show) are searching for the best car to take on the urban landscape. Rut goes for the Scion FR-S (Toyota 86) while Adam goes for the BMW i3 with range extender feature, and Tanner goes for the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk. The boys will find out which is the best city car around the streets of LA and the winner drives the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider.

The first challenge goes to a game of car hide and seek and whoever they can last the longest wins. Adam won that challenge.

The next challenge involves driving through an abandoned spot to simulate city driving. Looks like Rut came first with his Toyobaru. Later on, the parking test and whoever the quickest to park wins. Tanner wins that challenge.

Now, the guys are in the final challenge, involving putting the goods inside the car and place it to the finish point. Whoever has the least damage of goods they're carrying wins. In here, Rut wins and he gets the chance to drive the Alfa 4C on a race across LA against Tanner on a HPC Revolution bike and The Stig...taking public transport.

On the race across LA, Adam and Rut made it first by surprise before Tanner gets here while The Stig went AWOL.

#BubbleGang - June 24, 2016

On the June 24, 2016 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Curfew gags

- Words of wisdom by Tata Lino

- Trash talking at the octagon!

- Mang Tañong thinks he's one of the Katipuneros.

- More poolside fun with the Pool Señorita gals!

- Making an excuse about the utang.

-  More news reversed in Opposite News!

The dirty little secret of car commercials

There is one dirty little secret about how car commercials are made and that dirty little secret is something involves CGI fakery.

Why CGI in every car commercials that goes "professional driver, closed course" and "do not attempt" this and that? That reason goes to the availability of vehicle and location. As uncovered by unknown sources, people involved in the making of car commercials with some "professional driver" and "do not attempt" on it resort to using bangers on the shooting, then edit it out to look like a brand new car when viewed on TV. Yep, that explains a lot.

The Blackbird

There's another dirty little secret to make car commercials with using the actual car. You see, a UK-based firm called The Mill introduced a clever-looking machine called the BLACKBIRD. Although they got that name from the SR-71 recon plane for some reasons, the BLACKBIRD is a shapeshifting vehicle that solves the problems of making a car commercial.

It is the world's first fully adjustable car rig that not only alter its chassis to match the precise length and width of almost any car but also its appearance. With CGI, the car rig can be altered to match a specific car and its electric motor can be recalibrated to emulate the driving characteristics of the subject car.

Here's a video that sums everything up:

Watching car commercials will never be the same again, even those "do not attempt" moments because the next time you see a car commercial with a car doing ridiculous stunts, better start asking how did that happen and the results would be very questionable because it would be either bangers or this.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Let's Do The News! (June 24, 2016)

- The Abu Sayyaf Group released the Filipina hostage Thursday night in Sulu but retained its Norwegian captive to assert their 300-million peso ransom demand. The terrorist group released Marites Flor about 2000 hours local time and turned her over to an emissary. The victim was released under ASG's Mujer Yadah.

- The ongoing modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines will give more attention on platforms that can be used to address the country's internal security threats, according to incoming AFP chief-of-staff Lt. General Ricardo Visaya.  Visaya said that the Duterte administration would like to start by upgrading equipment use for internal security operations so he will prioritize the acquisition of modern helicopters and fastcrafts with nightfighting capabilities. These new equipments will help on the ongoing battle against threats from terrorists and rebel forces.

- China claimed it has the support of at least 47 countries in its position on the South China Sea dispute against the Philippines. The Chinese Foreign Ministry told that a news network done a count on the countries supporting China, including Republic of Congo, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) and Cambodian ruling party People's Party.

- Following the shocking BREXIT victory, British Prime Minister David Cameron is stepping down from his post. In his resignation statement outside Downing Street, Cameron said he would attempt to "steady the ship" over the coming weeks and months but that "fresh leadership" was needed. He also said he had informed the Queen of his decision to remain in place for the short term and to then hand over to a new prime minister by the time of the Conservative conference in October. It will be up to the new PM to carry out negotiations with the EU and invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would give UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal.

- The US Supreme Court decision has stopped US President Barack Obama's executive action to reform the immigration decision. A 4-4 split decision on Thursday by the eight justices upheld a lower court injunction which blocked the plan last year. The recent ruling is a major blow to Obama's initiative to reform the immigration system.

- International media got a preview of the Olympic village for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The village, which is scheduled to open on the 24th of July, is about three kilometers west of the main Olympic park. It will be home to about 17,000 athletes and coaches from over 200 countries and regions. Paralympics athletes and officials will also stay in the village during the games.

- Honda teases the second-generation Freed minivan, due to launch this Autumn.

2017 Honda Freed teaser

- The same insanity you expect on the Osomatsu-san TV series is now on a stage play called Osomatsu-san on STAGE ~SIX MEN'S SHOW TIME~. It will run for seven showings at the Umeda Arts Theater in Osaka from the 29th of September to the 3rd of October, and then for twice the showings at the Zepp Blue Theater Roppongi in Tokyo from the 13th to the 23rd of October.

- Espada 1's J35J Draken from Ace Combat Zero The Belkan War is now a model kit courtesy of Hasegawa Hobby Kits. Available this 5th of July for 2800 JPY, fans of the Ace Combat franchise can build their own J35J piloted by Espada 1 as well as decals featuring Sapin Air Force, Espada team, Gelb team, and Silber team.

J35J Draken Ace Combat Espada
- Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston will star as Zordon in 2017's Power Rangers movie.


UK votes to LEAVE the EU

June 24, 2016, a day after people of the United Kingdom rushed to their nearest polling station to decide the fate of the nation in the European Union. Even though experts believed that it could be a close match between the REMAIN side and LEAVE side, it's official that 51.9% of the voters voted LEAVE while 48.1% of the voters voted REMAIN.

This result will change the course of the history as Great Britain will be remembered as the first European nation in the union to leave via referendum and as what UKIP leader Nigel Farage, one of the spearheaders of the LEAVE campaign, said, it will be remembered as "Independence Day".

Despite UK voted to leave the European Union, nothing changes immediately because as of now, UK is still being part of the EU for the time being until politicians worked out what to do next. Of course, with the world stunned on this historic referendum, the European Union is expected to hold emergency meetings in Brussels. The process for the UK to achieve independence from the EU is via Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which gives a two year period for terms of exit to be negotiated. With the timeframe given on Article 50, it is expected to have the United Kingdom achieve independence from the EU by 2018 once notice to leave is formally given but it is not known when will it occur.

The UK and the EU will now have to work out a new deal first on trade. If the UK doesn't want to leave the single market, it could have to pay towards the EU budget and still follows the EU's rules and regulations, allowing the free movement of people might be required. Status of British residents living in other EU countries and EU citizens living in the UK has to be worked out. If the UK leaves formally, most EU laws and regulations will need to be updated to UK law.

With the world stunned by the Brits' decision to achieve independence from the EU, how long before independence will be achieved? What will be the aftermath from this "Brexit" vote? How would world leaders react to such a historic move? Only time will tell...

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