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.

Scoop: http://www.autoblog.com/2016/06/23/mill-blackbird-car-rig-video/

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.

TTFN!!!

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...

My 10 best DCOMs aired


In honor of Adventures in Babysitting, the 100th Disney Channel Original Movie which stars Girl Meets World's Sabrina Carpenter and Descendants' Sofia Carson, it's time for me to jot down my ten best Disney Channel Original Movies out of the one hundred DCOMs aired on TV.

10) The Even Stevens Movie - This DCOM based on the hit Disney Channel TV series brings sibling rivalry to the ultimate level. Following the prank pulled at a graduation ceremony, the Stevens family are going on a vacation on a tropical island. Trouble is, this tropical vacation became a living nightmare for the Stevens, and this is where their wild side kicks in.

9) The Cheetah Girls - The Cheetah Girls is about four New York gals trying to overcome the odds to become the best girl group. Raven from That's So Raven stars alongside Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, and Sabrina Bryan, and true to the DCOM, it's all about the music and the grooves the girls can pull on the road to stardom. Thanks to The Cheetah Girls' success, it spawned additional two installments; The Cheetah Girls 2 and The Cheetah Girls: One World. Sadly, Raven's not present in the latter.

8) Kim Possible Movie: So The Drama - This DCOM is the turning point in Kim and Ron's crime fighting escapades. So what's the sitch? Prom night, Dr. Drakken's ultimate plot to rule the world, a handsome boy steals Kim's heart, and everything's getting desperate for the world's favorite crime-fighting spy. Apart from its dramatic storyline as well as witnessing Kim's costume upgrade, this DCOM features the song Could It Be sung by Christy Carlson Romano, the voice of KP.

7) Teen Beach Movie - Austin and Ally's Ross Lynch and The Fosters' Maia Mitchell became the stars of the summer-themed DCOM aired in 2013. It all started is a fun day at a beach until they got ended up in a turf war between bikers and surfers at a certain beach flick. It's up to the unlikely duo to alter the storyline and unite both sides, even themselves. This DCOM became a hit, a second installment came out a year later.

6) Lemonade Mouth - It all started with five high school students who are in detention formed together as the rock band called Lemonade Mouth. Their shot at fame isn't always an easy one because they have to tackle life's challenging problems, even for themselves. Dog with a Blog's Blake Michael and Good Luck Charlie's Bridgit Mendler starred in this DCOM.

5) Camp Rock - This is where Demi Lovato gets her break as one of the stars of the 2008 DCOM about a teenage girl who enters a summer camp for music lovers called Camp Rock until her encounter with a disgraced member of a famed boy band, played by the Jonas Brothers, turns her life around. Two years later, there's a sequel where the Camp Rockers are staging a battle against a rival camp in the Final Jam. Thanks to DCOM like this, the names Demi Lovato and the Jonas bros. became synonymous for fans everywhere.

4) Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure - Ashley Tisdale reprises her HSM role as Sharpay Evans in her spinoff DCOM about HSM's primadonna venturing to New York to become famous on a stage play or else she'll have to work at her dad's country club forever. However, life at the Big Apple isn't as fabulous as she wished for but her characteristics can surely turn this unfabulous situation around especially when she faces a fierce "dogfight" with a little boy, played by Bradley Steven Perry.

3) High School Musical - the DCOM of 2006 is the hit sensation for kids everywhere because of its memorable songs that made us have'em stuck in our heads as well as the love story of Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) and life of being a high school student at East High. If I had my favorite song in the famed franchise, it will be "We're All In This Together". Because of HSM's success, it spawned live concerts as well as sequels, not to mention the feature-length finale HSM Senior Year. Because it's HSM's 10th anniversary, a new HSM film is in the works and thousands of youngsters have auditioned to be part of the new generation of Wildcats.

2) Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension - This DCOM is the ultimate Phineas and Ferb experience for the fans of the hit TV show that was recently concluded last year. Upon discovering Agent P's secret identity, the 2nd Dimension Doof tries to take over two dimensions of the Tri-State Area with his army of Normbots and it's up to the gang to stop other dimension Doof from executing his evil plot. With surprises aside, rock guitarist Slash made his musical guest appearance at the end of the DCOM.

1) Descendants - Imagine the world when Disney characters have kids, it would be a blast to see it coming but for the kids of iconic Disney villains, they're rotten to the core. Descendants star Liv and Maddie's Dove Cameron as Maleficent's daughter Mal, Sofia Carson as the Evil Queen's daughter Evie, Booboo Stewart as Jafar's son Jay, and Jessie's Cameron Boyce as Cruella's son Carlos. Although this DCOM tastes like High School Musical (kudos to HSM's choreographer Kenny Ortega for the production numbers), this DCOM is a success and it's so successful, a sequel is in the works as well as Wicked World animated shorts, which tastes like Sofia the First.

The 100th DCOM Adventures In Babysitting airs tomorrow on Disney Channel but you can watch it right away on the Disney Channel app or on demand.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 25th ANNIVERSARY SELECTION

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
25th ANNIVERSARY SELECTION

Since its Mega Drive debut in 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog has became the official face of Sega for many generations to come and appeared in numerous installments in numerous consoles and smartphones, numerous TV cartoons, and special appearances in other forms. Whatever everything throws at him, the world's fastest hedgehog just keeps on running and spinning for more thrills for the past 25 years.

As part of honoring Sonic's 25th anniversary, a special best album featuring the best BGMs heard throughout the world of Sonic the Hedgehog is here and this two-disc compilation features the best of the best as heard through Sonic the Hedgehog's 25-year history. From Green Hill to Station Square. From Soleanna to across the globe, the best of Sonic's adventures are remembered in this two-disc compilation and as a bonus, there's a DVD featuring the openings and trailers from numerous Sonic installments.

TRACK LISTINGS:

DISC ONE:

  • STH1 Green Hill Zone ~ Mega Drive version ~(ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ)
  • STH2 Special Stage ~ Mega Drive version ~(ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ 2)
  • STH3 Special Stage(ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ3)
  • S&K Sky Sanctuary Zone(ソニック&ナックルズ)
  • Palmtree Panic(ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグCD)
  • Can You Feel The Sunshine?(ソニックR)
  • Mt. Red: a Symbol of Thrill(ソニックアドベンチャー)
  • Join Us 4 Happy Time(ソニックアドベンチャー)
  • It Doesn't Matter ver.2(ソニックアドベンチャー2)
  • That's The Way I Like It(ソニックアドベンチャー2)
  • Neo Green Hill(ソニックアドバンス)
  • Sonic Heroes [Opening ver.](ソニックヒーローズ)
  • We Can(ソニックヒーローズ)
  • Wave Ocean -The Inlet-(SONIC THE HEDGEHOG)
  • Theme of Metal City(ソニックライダーズ)
  • A New Venture(ソニック ラッシュ アドベンチャー)
  • Windmill Isle - Day(ソニック ワールドアドベンチャー)
  • Rooftop Run - Day(ソニック ワールドアドベンチャー)
  • Reach For The Stars - Short ver.(ソニックカラーズ)
  • Aquarium Park - Act1(ソニックカラーズ)
  • Escape From The City - Cash Cash RMX(ソニック ジェネレーションズ 白の時空)
  • Seaside Hill: Act2(ソニック ジェネレーションズ 白の時空)
  • Windy Hill - Zone1(ソニック ロストワールド)
  • Main Theme of Sonic Toon(ソニックトゥーン 太古の秘宝)
  • Beyond The Speed Of...(ソニックランナーズ)


DISC TWO:
  • STH1 Scrap Brain Zone ~ Mega Drive version ~(ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ)
  • STH2 Chemical Plant Zone ~ Mega Drive version ~(ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ 2)
  • STH3 Angel Island Act2(ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ3)*
  • S&K Death Egg Zone Act1(ソニック&ナックルズ)*
  • Introduction... featuring "Open Your Heart"(ソニックアドベンチャー)
  • Skydeck A Go! Go!(ソニックアドベンチャー)
  • Vengeance Is Mine(ソニックアドベンチャー2)
  • For True Story(ソニックアドベンチャー2)
  • Rail Canyon(ソニックヒーローズ)
  • I Am... All Of Me [Opening ver.](シャドウ・ザ・ヘッジホッグ)
  • Westopolis(シャドウ・ザ・ヘッジホッグ)
  • Theme of Sonic The Hedgehog -2006 E3 Version-(SONIC THE HEDGEHOG)
  • Crisis City -The Flame-Skyscraper-Whirlwind-Tornado-(SONIC THE HEDGEHOG)
  • Sonic Speed Riders(ソニックライダーズ)
  • High And Broken(ソニックと秘密のリング)
  • Un-gravitify(ソニックライダーズ シューティングスターストーリー)
  • Werehog Battle Theme(ソニック ワールドアドベンチャー)
  • Super Sonic vs. Perfect Dark Gaia(ソニック ワールドアドベンチャー)
  • With Me(ソニックと暗黒の騎士)
  • Free [Opening ver.](ソニック フリーライダーズ)
  • Planet Wisp - Act1(ソニックカラーズ)
  • vs. Nega-Wisp Armor - Phase 2(ソニックカラーズ)
  • Boss: Metal Sonic(ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ4 エピソードII)
  • The Deadly Six Theme(ソニック ロストワールド)
  • Theory Of Attack(ソニックランナーズ)*

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: North Korea successfully launched missile


President Park Geun-hye today renewed her resolve to make North Korea opt for denuclearization through sanctions and pressure and ordering her military to maintain against threats. During her luncheon with military leaders at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae, President Park also pointed out Pyongyang's continued provocations, including the launch of two ICBMs this week, as evidence that it would be unlikely that there will be a turnaround int he ongoing standoff anytime soon. President Park also raised the possibility of the North undertaking another threat when it starts feeling the actual impact of tough sanctions the UNSC imposed on March in response to its nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch a month later.

North Korea, meanwhile, claimed it has successfully test-fired an ICBM, vowing to boost its capacity to wage nuclear strikes against the US. The KCNA said that the North successfully launched a ballistic missile called Hwasong-10. A North Korean nuclear envoy said today that she was pleased with the recent test-launch yesterday, calling the tests a success. Choe Son-hui, deputy director for North American affairs at North Korea's foreign ministry and the North's deputy chief nuclear envoy, made the remarks during a brief press meeting in front of the North Korean Embassy in Beijing.

The UNSC convened an emergency meeting this morning on North Korea's latest mid-range ballistic missile launch. The council expressed its "grave concerns" over the regime's latest threats. OFficials say the decision to hold the meeting reflects how seriously the UN is taking the North's latest threat as after past launches this year, the Security Council just issued a press statement without gathering together. A press statement opposing North Korea will be released soon.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (June 23, 2016)


- Presumptive Vice President-elect Leni Robredo will hold a simple inauguration ceremony at the Quezon City Reception House on the end of June. Robredo will take her oath of office before Ronaldo Coner, the barangay captain of Punta Tarawal Calabnga in Camarines Sur. It will be limited to 300 guests invited to the inauguration.

- Meanwhile the guests invited to the inauguration of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte at Malacanang has increased to 627 because there are personalities who needed to attend the presidential inauguration because of the office they represent. Included in the list are members of the diplomatic corps, lawmakers, justices, as well as ranking officers of the AFP, PNP, Cabinet members, and some 150 personal guests.

- Pope Francis strongly condemns capital punishment, saying it's an offense to life, contradicts God's plan and serves no purpose for punishment. In a video message to an anti-death penalty congress in Norway, Francis declared the "thou shall not kill" commandment has an absolute value and applies both the innocent and the guilty. Rody Duterte, who plans to revive the death penalty, says that death is retribution, not deterrent, to those who committed crimes.

- The historic EU referendum in the fate of the United Kingdom has begun and voters across the country will decide whether it will remain or leave the European Union. Over 46 million people are eligible to vote according to the Electoral Commission and voting will end on the 2200 hours local time. The final result is announced on Friday.

- US Democrats demanding tighter gun control legislation have staged a sit-in in the House of Representatives, following the June 12 Orlando massacre that killed 49 people and injured 53 at a nightclub, marking it the worst mass shooting in US history.

- Weightlifters from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus are facing being banned from the Rio Olympics for doping offenses. Retested samples from 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games yielded three or more positive results from each of the three countries. The International Olympic Committee is carrying out the tests.

- The most extreme McLaren P1 ever made, the P1 LM, was unveiled ahead of this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed. Lanzante, the firm responsible for the F1 LM, managed to convert five (or six) P1 GTR machines for road-legal use. That meant, revamped the hybrid powertrain to retain its 1000PS power output and reducing 130lbs of weight from the GTR by removing the onboard air-jacking system, fitting polycarbonate windows, refabricating the exhaust and cat pipes out of lightweight Inconel and the bolts out of titanium. The engine bay is lined in gold, just like the original F1.


- The VW up! has been given a minor change featuring a revised exterior and a new 1.0L turbo engine, producing 90PS of power and 160Nm of torque.


- Aquamarine unveiled a figure of THE IDOLM@STER Million Live's Mirai Kasuga, in her Million Spark outfit as seen in the mobile game. She's now available to order for 12,500 Yen plus tax and deliveries will commence this November.


TTFN!!!

THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS STARLIGHT MASTER 03 Hi-Fi☆Days

THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS
STARLIGHT MASTER 03 Hi-Fi☆Days

There is now a third addition to the ever-growing STARLIGHT MASTER range, inspired from THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage app game (available to download on the App Store and Google Play) and this time, oh my... It's the little girls taking the centerstage with their in-game song ハイファイ☆デイズ. The song heard in the game were performed by Chie Sasaki (CV: Asaka Imai), Momoka Sakurai (CV: Haruka Terui), Nina Ichihara (CV: Misaki Kuno), Kaoru Ryuzaki (CV: Natsumi Haruse), and Miria Akagi (CV: Tomoyo Kurosawa) and with the never-before-heard full version of the said song, you won't believe that this song packs some cuteness as expected from the girls themselves but that's just the beginning because two additional songs are also featured in the latest single such as SUPERLOVE☆ and NUDIE★.

With ハイファイ☆デイズ now added on the roster, expect more Starlight Stage songs getting the full M@STER VERSION treatment soon. In the meantime, be sure to keep playing Starlight Stage and enjoy this song!

TRACK LISTINGS:
1) ハイファイ☆デイズ (M@STER VERSION)
2) SUPERLOVE☆
3) NUDIE★
4) ハイファイ☆デイズ (M@STER VERSION) オリジナル・カラオケ
5) SUPERLOVE☆ オリジナル・カラオケ
6) NUDIE★ オリジナル・カラオケ
7) ハイファイ☆デイズ (GAME VERSION)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: N. Korea launched two missiles


The Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea has launched two Musudan missiles from its east coast early this morning. At around 0558 hours local time, North Korea fired off what is presumed to be a Musudan missile from near Wonsan along the east coast, but it presumably ended in failure. Two hours later, the North launched another one. It is unclear if the second one was a success, and Seoul and Washington are analyzing whether it was carrying a nuclear warhead.

Meanwhile, President Park Geun-hye warned North Korea that it will only face isolation and self-destruction if it continues to develop nuclear weapons. During a meeting with the National Unification Advisory Council that the government will continue to pressure the Korean Peninsula until it gives up its nuclear power.

China caled for a calm and restraint shortly after North Korea test-fired two Musudan missiles. The Chinese foreign ministry urged the relevant countries not to take action that could further tensions on North Korea, when asked about the North's latest missile launches.

US Vice President Joe Biden says he told Chinese President Xi Jinping that Japan is capable of going nuclear virtually overnight in a conversation where he urged Beijing to do more to curb North Korea. In a televised interview, Biden said China has the single greatest ability to influence Pyongyang by cutting off a range of things, but it also could cause the collapse of the regime.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (June 22, 2016)


- Most citizens in Metro Manila as well as government organizations took part in the second metrowide shake drill organized by the MMDA, in an effort to prepare residents for a potential powerful earthquake. At 0900 hours local time, across Manila, most radio stations, companies, churches and schools sounded the earthquake alarm, signalling the start of the drill. In that drill, the city saw numerous situations such as collapsed buildings, fires, stampedes, and looting to test how rescue teams would respond.

- The Sandiganbayan anti-graft court has found probable cause to try Senator JV Ejercito and other San Juan City officials for technical malversation over the alleged anomalous purchase of high-powered firearms with calamity funds. Aside from that, the court also found probable cause to try former Vice Mayor Leonardo Celles and Sangguniang Panlungsod members for the same crime.

- The Islamic State terrorists released a video early on Wednesday in an effort to recruit new members from the Philippines and nearby countries. According to intelligence, the video targeting the Philippines was in five languages; Arabic, English, Filipino, Indonesian, and Malay.

- About 46,499,537 people in Great Britain have registered for tomorrow's referendum on whether or not the country should remain in the EU. That's about 140,000 more than the previous record, set in a general election in May last year.

- The mayor of Rio de Janeiro has pledged to improve security after numerous assaults on athletes in the Brazilian city as it prepares to host the 2016 Olympics. An Australian paralympic sailor was attacked by two assailants on Sunday while riding a bike. Then, Spanish Olympic sailors and coach were robbed at gunpoint last month.

- Numerous people have protested in front of the National Rifle Association HQ near Washington DC on Tuesday to protest the organization's reluctance to accept tighter gun control. Around 40 people gathered in front of the NRA building, including relatives of victims of the deadly Orlando shooting on the 12th of June and civic groups advocating stricter gun control laws.

- The Dodge Viper is set to discontinue this 2017 and to bid farewell to the only V10 supercar built by Americans, a series of final special editions were launched such as the 1:28 Edition ACR, GTS-R Commemorative Edition ACR, VoooDoo II Edition ACR, Snakeskin Edition GTC, and Dodge Dealer Edition ACR.


- The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato has finally given a very limited production of 99 units, packed with a coachbuilt design and an improved V12 engine.


- Volvo's new S90 and V90 flagship models now come with an available R-Design models with a sportier exterior.


- Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach gets tested for HIV. She vowed to raise awareness on the HIV/AIDS epidemic six months ago and help shed the stigma of HIV testing.

TTFN!!!

Challenge: The Ritsuko cosplay no one tried

It's almost Ritsuko Akizuki's birthday in the world of THE IDOLM@STER and what better way is to pull off a challenge to honor such occassion. Trouble is, it may take a lot of negotiation to pull this off.

Yes, we all seen good Ritsuko Akizuki cosplays, ranging from her signature luxury outfit, her office lady attire, and many others, but not a single Ritchan fan has pulled something like this...


Yep, her attire from the IM@S anime DVD/Blu-Ray cover.

Yes, we all seen good IM@S fans outfitted in their anime DVD/Blu-ray cover attires. Most do Yayoi, Iori, Takane, or Miki. Some do Haruka, Makoto, Yukiho, or Chihaya (which I probably did last Spring). Few do Ami and Mami or Azusa. Sadly, no sight of anyone doing Ritsuko Akizuki in her DVD/Blu-ray cover attire. Why? It's just a simple...er...just the stuff you saw above but never mind all that.

You know what, having my sister Elise doing the job of dressing as Ritsuko kinda reminds me of last year when I told her to do Serena in her new outfit from Pokemon XY. I tried to be a good brother to my sister Elise but my obsession made me and my mother fought a lot, even after the convention. Sure, I may used a lot of bad words on my mom but she only did that to tick me off. In fact, I'm the one who drove me, my mom, and my sister apart. I messed up real bad as a brother. It really is my fault. I raised my voice over them I guess I never been around to take the blame. Me and my mom started drifting apart. Anyway, enough with the long story but mom and Elise, if you're reading this and let's put a dump on things, I'm sorry for being a bad brother.

Well, now that you heard my sad story, time to see our Ritsuko Akizuki's IM@S DVD/Blu-Ray cover outfit in action!




Err...not exactly much, but on the bright side, the outfit looks almost similar. Just a minor adjustment on the hairdo and that should be fine but my sis says that's as good as it goes.

Anyway, while this isn't exactly as I hoped for, I bet that would be enough to pull one off to show a little love to 765Pro's "least favorite" idol and I hope it's time for me to take responsibility after the mess done to make this a fruition.

Lets hope I'll ever see any IM@S fan dressed as Ritsuko in her IM@S anime DVD/Blu-ray cover attire after this.


Finding Dory

Dory is by no means one of our favorite characters in 2003's Disney-Pixar flick Finding Nemo because of her iconic dialogue to remember for, even if we had short-term memory loss. Because of her knack of comic dialogue that cheered us up, in fact, she even made her the star in the sequel film.


Finding Dory, the sequel to 2003's Finding Nemo, brings the aquatic tale we all love when you and I are young to a new direction and promises the same comic dialogue we all love. Of course, TV presenter Ellen DeGeneres reprises her role as, hers truly, Dory as well as Albert Brooks as Marlin from the first flick.

Unknown to her bittersweet past, Dory sets on an adventure to reunite with her parents after a terrible incident separated them years ago, and that meant she ends up on another side of the ocean. With the help of old pals Marlin and Nemo as well as new allies such as the octopus Hank, whale shark Destiny, and beluga whale Bailey, Dory will have to keep swimming to reunite with her long lost family, no matter the odds. Whoops, I just said that line. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

Just for the record, the storyline feels almost the same as the original because the stuff you saw in this flick kinda reminds you of the original flick 13 years ago, but since this is Dory we're talking about, fans can venture on her secret origins and as the movie progresses, the more pieces about her are building in until they get the whole story about Dory's origins.

Storyline aside, the fun factor is what pleases the moviegoers and because of Dory's comic dialogue that made people smile. you can expect moments that are going to be iconic in the world of Disney-Pixar movies and if there's something we all learn from this flick, it made us keep swimming and be fluent in whale. What the hay, this film has the best vibe since the first one, in fact, this film has some good vibes that can make you laugh and cry.

My rating: 4.6 out of 5.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Buick Envision

This is the first time an American car brand is selling a Chinese-made car, which is kinda unorthodox for General Motors to do such a thing. Whatever that is, the first American branded, Chinese import to be sold on US soil is a crossover called the Envision.

2016 Buick Envision
2016 Buick Envision

Although being an import from the People's Republic of China, some might believe that the Envision envisions its unorthodox collaboration between China and US in the same way that the F-2 fighter-bomber plane is for Japan and US. To put it in context, it shares it status as an Asian-American so you might think it targets every single Asian-American customer in its range but you'd be wrong.

Because this is an import from the PRC, the Buick Envision is priced at 42,070 US Dollars, making it the most expensive Buick offered for now but don't worry, they will add a cheaper model later this year starting at 35,870 US Dollars, around two thousand less than its big brother, the Enclave.

2016 Buick Envision

So, what do you know about the first American branded, Chinese import to be sold on US soil? Well, for starters, as commoners might say, everything in this planet is made in China. Your iPhone's made in China, your anime figure's made in China, your computer's made in China, China, China, China, well, you get the idea, but almost most of the stuff around you are made by the world's biggest country. We get used to it using stuff made by those who invented gunpowder and currency and we don't mind if they're expendable or not. The Envision? Well, even it looks American inside and out, there's no hiding that the way it behaves is very Chinese, a bit Asian-American if you like to call it, especially when it comes with a 2,0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 252HP of power while mated with the GEN-3 6-speed AT. Sounds high-performance for a crossover like this but unlike the best of Buicks made by Americans (and Europeans), its dynamics are questionable for a China-made American crossover. Sooner or later, you might start questioning its reliability if things go wrong with it.

2016 Buick Envision interior
2016 Buick Envision interior

So far as styling-wise, the Envision is as well-orchestrated as the interior. It's very nice to be accommodated with and because space in the back matters most than anything else in the car, like what every Chinese businessmen would want for a long-wheelbase versions of luxury compact saloons, the Envision's rear legroom is very good indeed. It's very hi-tech from every nook and cranny and you can even surf the net with your devices on the go thanks to 4G LTE.

So, is there's something to like about the Envision? Probably the spacing, the tech, the design, and pretty much about it but if there's something not to like about the Envision, it would be the pricing that sounds costly for a China-made SUV as well as the way it behaves. So, if there's any question about how the Envision behaves on American roads, don't ask me. Ask General Motors for bringing this crossover that is proud to say "I'm Asian American and I am a Buick".

Available colors: Ebony Twilight Metallic, Summit White, Galaxy Silver Metallic, Bronze Alloy Metallic, Saffron Red Metallic, and Midnight Amethyst Metallic.

Photo: General Motors

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: North may launch ballistic missile


The South Korean military says North Korea is preparing to launch a ballistic missile. According to sources, the North appears to preparing to launch a new Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile from its east coast.

Meanwhile, North Korean media condemn South Korea for conducting anti-poaching operations in neutral waters between the 2 countries,saying it's a military provocation. The South Korean military, its coast guard, and UN forces have been working together to stop blue crab poaching by Chinese fishing boats at the mouth of the Han River, which flows into the Yellow Sea. The KCNA says the area is a place no military forces of both Koreas have entered since the 1953 armistice.

Then, a senior North Korean official has arrived in Beijing to attend the global security conference for northeast Asia. Choe Son Hui, the deputy chief of US affairs bureau at North Korea's Foreign Ministry is attending the three-day conference organized by a US university that starts on Tuesday. The meeting brings together officials from the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program as well as private researchers. This is the first time in four years that North Korea has sent a participant to the annual conference.

Source: NHK World

Let's Do The News! (June 21, 2016)


- Former Senate president Ernesto Maceda passed away last night at St. Luke's Hospital in Quezon City after suffering a stroke two weeks ago, He was 81. The family announced that Maceda was taken off life support at 2058 hours local time after his eldest son Manny arrived from the US.

- DNA tests confirmed that the severed head found in front of a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, belonged to Robert Hall, a Canadian captive of the Abu Sayyaf Group, who was beheaded last week, according to the Philippine National Police. Authorities found the body part on the 13th of June in front of the Mt. Carmel Cathedral along Sanchez Street in Jolo, confirmed earlier reports of the beheading of the Canadian hostage.

- The inauguration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will be officially held at Malacanang Palace on the 30th of June, breaking the tradition of holding presidential inaugurals at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila's Rizal Park. According to incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office secretary Martin Andanar, the media would not be allowed to cover inside the Palace except Duterte's TV crew, the RTVM.

- The US Senate rejected all four bills designed to restrict gun sales, despite a mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando last weeks. Republicans and Democrats submitted two bills each to the chamber but none of the bills secured the 60 votes needed to advance.

- Over four hundred people died on the yellow fever outbreak in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mosquito-borne disease causes fever, vomiting and in some cases jaundice, which it is named for.

- An Electric Modified Class-spec Acura that looks like the upcoming NSX will participate at this year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb next weekend. Piloted by Tetsuya Yamano, this NSX-inspired EV concept features a modified powertrain used on the all-electric CR-Z racer last year.


- Amid the diesel emission scandal, Volkswagen plans to drop around forty models from its company-wide lineup. Reports told that Volkswagen is shaking to trim down and remove a number of low-volume vehicles from various lineups.

- Jake Vargas will appear in an upcoming episode of GMA's drama anthology depicting real people, Magpakailanman, as the viral sensation Carrot Man.

- The cast of the 2016 rebirth of GMA's fantasy drama, Encantadia, are preparing for the biggest battle scene ever seen.

TTFN!!!

F1 2016: European GP

Photo: Getty Images

Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, is the grand stage of the European Grand Prix on the F1 2016 season and setting the issues behind them, Nico Rosberg's pole position during qualifiers was a big advantage, more than enough to score his win while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel placed 2nd place and Sergio Perez from Force India scored his second podium finish upon placing 3rd in the race.

Onto the overall standings, Rosberg's now 24 points ahead of Hamilton, 141 to 117, while Vettel remains 3rd overall with 96 points.

The next race is set at Austria, on the 3rd of July, 2016.

Top Gear S23E04


On the fourth episode of "brand new" Top Gear sees a three vs one match between cars against train, a luxury train, of course. While Eddie Jordan is taking a ride on a luxury train, the trio bought used cars snd set off to a road trip to Venice. Challenges included, of course. Evans goes for the 2002 Jaguar XJ while Sabine goes for the Audi A8 and Matt goes unorthodox with the 1989 Honda Gold Wing motorbike.

Meanwhile, Chris Harris is at Yas Marina to try out Aston Martin's most powerful machine, the Vulcan, and even raced against the V12 Vantage S. Because it's a track-only machine, the Naughty Laps was introduced for non road-legal cars like the Vulcan and it did it in 1:15.2 in damp condition.

Then, Rory Reid's in New York City to try out Tesla's zero emission crossover, the Model X.

In the Star in a Rallycross Car segment, TV explorer Bear Grylls and science whiz Prof. Brian Cox were on it and set a lap time of 1:54.4 and 1:53.9.

Leopaul's Heaven and Hell: The Trouble with Europe


Come 23rd of June, every single Brit in the UK will take part in the historical EU referendum and decide whether the UK should stay or leave the European Union once and fol all. With the world eyes on the fate of Great Britain, that begs me one thing, what's with the trouble with Europe anyway?

Europe has been the hallmark of culture, ideals, and ambitions that inspired many from across the globe. In the aftermath of two World Wars, the European Union was founded to restore order among the European countries that bear scars from the wars and unite as one not just economically but politically as well.

I'm not into this but if you want to know how does the European Union works, here's a clip that will sum everything up...



So, now that you understand how the European Union works, let's talk about the trouble with Europe right now and why UK's referendum, due Thursday, matters. Ever since the relentless wars in the Middle East and Africa, Europe had faced a massive string of migrants, which is the largest since the Second World War, and how European nations deal with them is everyone's guess. Some nations like Germany opening up asylum for refugees while some like Hungary trying to restrict them access due to security reasons. To the eyes of EU bureaucrats, dealing with the endless migration of refugees from unstable countries is an endless nightmare that some may think this is the end of it, in fact, this is ONLY the beginning for them. And now, following the attacks on Paris, France, and Brussels, Belgium, looks like the EU is partly to blame the migrants and refugees because some of the terrorists, mostly from the armed terrorist organization ISIS, got mixed up with them, therefore attacks in Europe are extremely likely thanks to them.

Another major problem is the economy and who can remember the infamous "Grexit" from last year? Experts like to blame the Euro currency for everything. Since the late 90's, the establishment of the Euro currency meant to keep the EU member states (well, except for the Danes, Swedes, and Brits for some reason) economically stable as possible but since the aftermath of the world financial crisis in late 2008 (the Lehman shock, of course), economy in EU is becoming stagnant and one of the countries that hit hard is Greece. About last year, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister who was elected on an anti-austerity platform, urged his citizens to vote against a renegotiated bailout agreement, raising awareness of the nation's possible exit from the eurozone, but a month later, Greece accepted the negotiations from the top European officials on the 86 billion Euro bailout package that will save the nation from impending bankruptcy. The Greeks are safe for now but how long till it last before the Greeks face another financial problem shortly after the imminent Brexit vote?

Europe's rich in culture because of the valuable history it provided in terms of arts and music. With the rise of the Creative Europe programme, the sectors of culture, media, cross-sector, and other forms were covered for those that give life to European culture. One of the biggest contributions to European culture is the European Union Youth Orchestra, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, noteworthy of its talented youth preserving their love of classical music created by Europe's finest in history. Sadly, their 40th anniversary celebration is a nightmare because they're on the verge of disbandment due to financial reasons, resulting to cancellation of their upcoming 40th anniversary events as well. Culture-loving individuals felt saddened to the sudden announcement of EUYO's closure until early this month, European Commision President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the proposals to enable the EU to return to core funding the EUYO. So, is the EUYO saved? In a nutshell, yes, for now, but how long this the longest-running youth orchestra in Europe will last?

Now, onto the Brexit vote and how did the UK triggered such a referendum that decides the fate of the great nation? Some say, the UK had fed up with the EU regulations in terms of economy, politics, national security, and many others, while some believed that the EU leadership has gone over the line and if no other actions were taken, it would be catastrophic for the bloc. Well, this is only a hunch but this is why the UK triggered the referendum. For some who campaigned on the "Remain" side, people including the PM David Cameron feared that the UK will face disastrous results in jobs and livelihood of the Brits. Not only that, it may trigger another referendum on the Scottish independence and if Scotland leaves UK, it may find its way to EU membership. For the "Brexit" side, people like Nigel Farage and former London mayor Boris Johnson, having the UK left the EU means they are free to do whatever they want in terms of economy, healthcare, national security, jobs, livelihood, and others.

Those Brexit spearheaders, looks like they want to do things in Trump's favor because the highly criticized presumptive Republican presidentiable believes that the UK will be more successful when it leaves the EU. Yeah, right. If that case of Brexit triggers, how would Trump and Hillary Clinton comment about this on their US presidential debate on the road to November's presidential elections? We'll never know until the Trump's unleashed his so-called trump card to woo the people to make him the new world leader in the same way how Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte lures the crowd to make him rule the Philippines with an iron fist. Sorry, if I had to say that but if Duterte's going to comment about Brexit, it would mean an added expletive dialogue condemning UK's decision to leave the EU.

The road to the imminent EU referendum became so life-threatening, in fact, there's one that claimed its life and that was none other than the MP named Jo Cox, who was brutally murdered by an assailant for no reason. Cox was one of the key people who campaigned the "Remain" side and following her death, campaigning for both sides have been temporarily halt to pay respects for her. I had high respects for her because despite her short-lived political career, Jo Cox became one of the most influential MPs in Great Britain and I hope everyone who are deciding the fate of UK will be a dying wish for her, no matter the odds.

Since the beginning, there has been no single European country that left the Union, well, Greenland that is due to weakened links to Denmark. As historians asked, Greenland people voted to leave the EU in 1982 and they ceded in 1985, when Greenland gained their official flag. How the UK face the fate just like what happened in Greenland remains unclear and just like what happened, it will take less than three years to have this nation ceded from the union, I believe. However, that's not the end of the story because ahead of the Brexit vote, Switzerland withdraws its 24-year-old application to join the European Union.  That's the first time a candidate nation withdrawn its application from the EU. You should know that despite Switzerland refused to be part of the European Economic Area, of which non-EU members Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein, giving them access to the EU single market, it was connected by the Schengen Area, which encompasses most EU states, except for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, and the UK.

Ah, the Brexit. Don't they have any idea how much paperwork the world will file into when the UK left the European Union for good? I mean, there are European subsidiaries of major companies that includes UK on it as well as UK's participation in European sports such as the Euro soccer league as well as the annual Six Nations rugby. Would you imagine the outcome what would it be like if UK is out of the EU? Sure, the UK and the EU had differences but it remains one of the most vital part of the EU not just for whatever the heck I mentioned up above but because with the UK, English is part of the EU language apart from German, French, Spanish, Nederlands, Italian, whatever language every European country knows. If UK leaves EU, then you won't be hearing English in EU meetings in Brussels, leaving just a union with nothing else to understand what they're talking about and pretty soon, UK feels as isolated from the world as North Korea. How pitiful for the fate of the once great nation.

For those Brits who are reading this, I know that this is a tough road for the UK if you are deciding whether the English-speaking country should leave or remain in the EU. If you are deciding the fate of the UK in the European Union, I'll leave it up to you all but just promise me that the United Kingdom can survive no matter what. The world depends on it. Whether if you're on the Remain side or Leave, please help save the Great Britain.

God Save Our Queen.

Rule Britannia.

Monday, June 20, 2016

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: N. Korea will not free US detainees until former detainee won't talk


North Korea will not negotiate with the United States over two American citizens it is holding until former detainee Kenneth Bae stops publicly talking about his time in prison, according to state media.

The Korean Peninsula, criticised over its human rights record for years, has made use of detained Americans in the past to extract high-profile visits from the US. Bae was arrested in late 2012 and sentenced him to hard labor against the state. He was released two years later and has written an account of his detention in a memoir released in May. Since then, Bae has spoken about his experiences at several public appearances and given interviews to promote his book.

During his detention, Bae said he realised he became a negotiating tool for the North Koreans, some of whom he described as brainwashed in a recent interview with South Korea with a defector-run group that broadcasts into the North.

Let's Do The News! (June 20, 2016)


- The Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front will craft a new proposal that will grant greater autonomy to Bangsamoro, hoping this will finally lead to a lasting peace in war-torn Mindanao. The two Moro groups will hold a convention to allow stakeholders to provide inputs on the proposal, which will refine the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law.

- Former Senate President Ernesto Maceda is in critical condition. According to his family, he had been experiencing chest pains in recent weeks and had to undergo surgery.

- The proposed law to modernize the National Bureau of Investigation awaits President Benigno Aquino III's signature before his term ends on the 30th of June. The House Bill 5855, authored by reelected Sorsogon Representative Evelina Escudero and outgoing Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez, seeks to expand the structure, capability and manpower of the NBI to meet the demands of investigative and detective work.

- Floods in southern China killed at least 22 people and left 20 missing since Saturday, according to reports, with the rains expected to continue for the next three days.

- British lawmakers resumed their campaigning ahead of this Thursday's referendum on EU membership after a temporary suspension following the murder of MP Jo Cox. Campaigning for both sides is heating up as the latest opinion polls show the two sides are neck-and-neck.

- A week has passed since the deadly Orlando shooting that killed 49 people in the gay bar. Over 10,000 people attended a vigil in Florida to remember the victims of last week's shooting rampage that became the most deadliest mass shootings in US history.

- Following its successful recapture of Fallujah, the Iraqi military is set to retake the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants. According to Iraqi defense Minister Khalid Al-Obeldi, the operation has begun to regain Qayyarah, some 60km south of Mosul. Tanks and armored vehicles are heading north.

- Simulation game developer Kunos Simulazioni gained access to German carmaker Porsche for the upcoming DLC pack on their critically-acclaimed driving simulation game Assetto Corsa, coming on PC, PS4, and XBOX One consoles this Autumn 2016.



- Anton Yelchin, the actor who played Chekov in Star Trek movies (from the first one, Into Darkness, and the upcoming Beyond) died on a car accident on Sunday at the age of 27,

TTFN!!!

Cleveland Cavaliers scored its historic win at NBA Finals

Photo: Official Cleveland Cavaliers Twitter

The rematch between the two teams at the 2016 NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, became one heck of a catch up to the seven-game fight for the title. We all thought that it would be the Warriors' time to shine to score another win but following the 3-1 deficit, looks like the Cavaliers are fighting back to score enough wins to take on the seventh and the final game of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Had Lebron James, the Cavs' ace in the hole, didn't sacrifice himself by slight injuries to trigger a foul, the Warriors would have given the edge to prevent them from scoring its historic win. Well, because of LeBron James, the Cavs scored their first major championship for the city of Cleveland since the Browns in 1964.

James scored 27 points while Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, more than enough to bring the Cavs back from its 3-1 deficit.

There's nothing left to say but...whatever it is, congratulations on the Cleveland Cavaliers' historic win.

2016 24 Hours of Le Mans

Amid security concerns following series of terror attacks since the November 13 Paris attacks that placed most of France onto state of emergency, this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans held at Circuit de la Sarthe, located over 200km southwest of Paris, goes on as smoothly as planned but this year has known to be one of the most desperate Le Mans races in history.

Toyota was so close of winning Le Mans with their TS050 hybrid machines but their nearly 24 hours of fame ended in disaster when the #5 car lost power and stall on the pit straight with five minutes left. As a result, it ended on the 45th place overall, while the #6 car faced exterior damage. In a last minute race to the finish line, the duel between the #5 TS050 and the #2 919 Hybrid became one of the most thrilling duel in this year's Le Mans race. In the end, the Porsche scored another Le Mans win, while the #5 TS050 placed 2nd, and the #8 Audi R18 placed 3rd. This year's Le Mans is definitely way out of everyone's predictions.

Photo: Official Porsche Twitter
With Porsche snagged its second win while Toyota going home with bittersweet tears after their longstanding lead ended in late failures, Let's look at the other classes as the #36 Signatech Alpine won the LMP2 class while the #68 Ford GT won the LMGTE Pro class, repeating the history that its legendary ancestor did five decades ago.


In conclusion: So, Toyota may have been the star of the show for the last 24 hours and if these machines didn't broke down at the final minute, it would have been the next Japanese carmaker to win since the legendary Mazda 787B, but because of what happened, (sigh), I don't condone their last lap failure that led Porsche to score another victory. Despite of what happened, at least this year's Le Mans performed exactly as the fans hoped for despite France's state of emergency following the November 13 Paris attacks.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Forza Motorsport 6: AMG GT meets the halo cars



The Mercedes-AMG GT is one of the most dramatic sports cars the high-performance division has ever made and with all that motorsport knowhow derived from its F1 team after one consecutive win after another in two Formula One seasons, it seems that Mercedes really made a well-balanced sportscar that ticks all the right boxes, apart from some people who believed that the AMG GT is not worthy of being a bonafide halo car Mercedes made.

As a matter of fact, let's look back at some of the best halo cars Mercedes ever made while driving round the GP Circuit part of the Nurburgring because stuff I do on track takes less than five minutes while stuff I do in the Nurburgring Nordschleife took about either seven, eight, nine, maybe ten, perhaps, unless some actions need to be taken to capture such moments.





Let's start with the Mercedes CLK-GTR, basically a road-legal version of the CLK-GTR whose original track version became a threat in the ill-forgotten FIA GT1 and Le Mans races. The original version has a 6.0L V12 engine but the road-legal version has its engine size increased to 6.9L but produces less power than the race version while mated with a 6-speed gearbox. 0-100kph takes about 3.8 seconds and onwards to 344kph, which is way fast even at modern standards.

Although it looks exactly like a CLK-Class, the GTR shares no common traits from the normal CLK. Turning in one of these at a certain mall's parking space and a certain CLK owner might believed that that the CLK-GTR parked next to it would be extremely jealous why it looks rakishly awesome than his. Anyway, because it draws inspiration from the race version it was based on, the CLK-GTR really feels at home on the track, although drivers may need some decent driving skills to master such a monstrous machine which is as monstrous as the monster from Frankenstein. As time passes by, the CLK-GTR remains one of the best timeless supercars Europe has ever made and so far, no other Benz does it better than this.





The SLR is the result of the Anglo-German collaboration between the two companies; Mercedes-Benz and McLaren. Despite being a Benz, it was made by McLaren. The 5.4 V8 that powers it was built by Mercedes,producing 626HP of power and 208mph of top speed, while its dynamics was the work of McLaren themselves, trying to employ its knowhow from the McLaren F1 team.

Driving a car with Anglo-German ties sounds fabulous but it can be resulted to a heated debate and as I drive this car, I can really feel the so-called tensions between UK and Germany. For Germans, the SLR should have been made to be a grand tourer while for the Brits, it should be a decent track weapon. Whatever that is, handling this car is like rehearing the topic about what would Brits do on its role to Europe, whatever that is.





The SLS AMG, meanwhile, combines tradition with performance in one memorable package. Although the design was heavily inspired from the 300SL, apart from its signature gullwing doors that makes this car look flashy for no reason, it comes with a 6.2L V8 engine that produces 571 PS (420 kW; 563 hp) of power and 650 N·m (480 lb·ft) of torque. With so much torque, the SLS AMG behaves like an American muscle car with all that brute noise from its exhaust as well as its dynamic character that novices will find it very tricky to get through corners. With tire-shredding is what the SLS do best, some cynics would think that the SLS is considered to be an exotic but this is not an exotic car compared to Lamborghinis and Ferraris. This is just a grand tourer just wants to let it roar on the road and track and cannibalizing its own tires seriously.


Now, I'm heading back to the AMG GT and although it doesn't have the surprising traits of the past halo cars Mercedes made such as the road-legal CLK-GTR, the SLR (in collaboration with McLaren), and the SLS AMG but by the way it performs, the AMG GT is simply one of the best ways how Mercedes-AMG defined the sportscar in its own terms.

Sure, the 4.0L V8 BiTurbo is less powerful than the old SLS AMG's V8 but with all the right dynamics heavily inspired from Mercedes' F1 team knowhow since their two-time win, it shouldn't be much of a problem to learn about how the AMG GT behaves. Believe it or not, I even manage to lap this car round the Nurburgring GP Circuit faster than the old SLS AMG...but only just.



In conclusion, the AMG GT is just one of the main reasons why Mercedes made a potent sportscar that does its job very seriously while retaining its AMG lunacy it deserves. In short, it's still a great car even it doesn't have the mojo that past Mercedes halo cars made.
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