Saturday, October 21, 2017

Second Generation Nissan Leaf (ZE1)

Since its inception in 2010, the Nissan Leaf served as the wake-up call for the world to give up petrol and diesel vehicles and instead drive zero-emission vehicles that runs solely on electricity. For seven years, more and more people are driving Nissan Leafs (Leaves? Is it correct?) on the road and while many car companies are drawing inspired from the Leaf, mostly Tesla, rest assured that the Leaf has a strong following in the motoring industry and with the advent of the second generation Leaf, the future of motoring has finally arrived thanks to applied science and some added range to keep it going.

2018 Nissan Leaf
Before talking about how much improvement the all-new, second-generation Nissan Leaf gained after seven years of advent, let's observe how much the design has gained and for the new model, it's a complete looker compared to the previous model. For starters, Nissan draws its inspiration from the IDS Concept so the new Leaf will look just like the concept car it was based upon and that is a plus one for Nissan there, making production cars look like concept cars.

2018 Nissan Leaf interior
2018 Nissan Leaf interior
Apart from the stylish exterior, which looks sexy for EV compact standards, the interior is now surprisingly accessible for both driver and passenger in mind. Of course, the climate controls look like it came from the old model, the dashboard now behaves like a normal Nissan. Also, it's got a proper instrumental panel, it's got a steering wheel inspired from the Nissan GT-R, it's got Apple CarPlay compatibility, up to 435 litres of boot space, BOSE Energy Efficient sound system, seating for five, everything. With so many amenities, the new Leaf is surprisingly accommodating indeed for an electric car fit for everyday use.

2018 Nissan Leaf

Now is the time to talk about how much improvement the Leaf has gained after seven years and let's start with the performance. The electric powertrain has now been improved with better efficiency and slightly improved performance so that now, it produces 110kw of power and 320Nm of torque, resulting to a better accelerating electric car without all the drama intended. With the new e-powertrain and the li-ion battery, the driving range has gone up to 400km (JC08 Mode) on a single charge. That's just the start of the story because soon, Nissan will offer a high-power version with added range and power it can be as interesting as cars can get.

Apart from the improved electric drivetrain, the all-new Leaf features three new intelligent driving technologies. First, there is the ProPILOT as seen in today's Serena and X-TRAIL, which is used during single-lane driving on the highway. Then, there's the new ProPILOT Park, which makes the car park all by itself. Simple but scary at the same time. And finally, for a first in a production car, the new Leaf comes with the world's first e-Pedal, which allows drivers to start, accelerate, decelerate and stop in one pedal and you can have it turn it on or off. Why? Driving conventionally may not be the best but this is why we love driving our cars.

There's more to it than driving the new Leaf because in an event of power outage due to natural calamities, aging power grids, and now computer hacking, the Li-ion battery from the Nissan Leaf can be served as a backup generator courtesy of its Vehicle-to-Grid technology. Think about it, when brownout strikes, the car's battery can be used to power up the entire home and when the lights are back, it goes back into charging. How convenient is that? That's science done right and how come Tesla never done with that kind of gig to turn their cars into backup generators for home use?

The all-new Nissan Leaf starts at 3,150,360 Japanese Yen and it qualifies for the government's tax break so buying one shouldn't be a hassle. So, the conclusion; although the new Leaf isn't one of the most enjoyable cars of the market, this is the electric car of many uses. Not only it has more oomph than the previous model but its cutting-edge technology made it proof that the future of mobility really is now thanks to science and apart from driving, the Leaf serves as a backup generator for home in case of a blackout due to calamities, aging grids, and computer hacking. Nothing says being prepared than being extra prepared with this one. It really is "simply amazing."

Photo: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Friday, October 20, 2017


After years of waiting, Gran Turismo has arrived on the PS4 for the first time but this is not the Gran Turismo you thought it was because for their first offering on the PS4, Polyphony Digital has introduced GT SPORT, the latest installment of the PS4 that will set the new standards in this new age when playing video games became a competitive sport.


First and foremost, what is GT SPORT? When you first play it, it can be easily criticized for not being a proper Gran Turismo game because what you get on your first try are a small selection of tracks, a small selection of cars (including those that will be GT-exclusive like the Lexus LC500, the BMW i3, and the latest Mazda Atenza), and that pretty much it. Oh and did I say that this is the first Gran Turismo game to feature Porsche? Yes. Porsche. Now that every racing game in the world has one, GT SPORT features a selection of Porsches like the 911 GT3 RS, the 919 Hybrid, the 911 RSR, and the Cayman GT4 Clubsport so you have plenty of reasons to pick one and try.

Each car is divided into separate groups, from N-Class road cars to Group X racecars, each class is represented in each and every way and when there are races that requires you to drive a specific class of vehicle, be sure to take note which of the right car you should drive on the next race.

Of course, most of the cars can be attainable by in-game credits, the new rewards system makes buying them a thing in the past. All you have to do is to complete your daily workout or achieving specific conditions in Driving School, Track Experience, and Mission Challenges and you will randomly get a dream car for use in-game. With rewards like these, feels like you don't even need to buy one at all. It can be convenient but worthless at the same time. When you're not buying cars, the Brand Central features a museum where you can read through every manufacturers' timeline, visit their official websites or official YouTube channel, and more. It almost feels like it's your new favorite library.

With tracks and cars are a major letdown, what are the most redeeming features in GT SPORT? Hmmm... how about Photo Mode? Sure, you can take pictures of your favorite cars during replays but GT SPORT comes with the Scapes mode where you can take pictures of your favorite car through different locations from across the globe and then share it to the world. You can even bring up to three cars for a photoshoot and that makes for a travel-bugging experience, although the final result can be somewhat different because when you share a picture online, it ended up dark, that is in the case of non-4K TVs because with the 4K TV set, which is highly recommended to bring out the lively detailing of its graphics, you can clearly see the whole picture. Either way, taking pics in GT SPORT is a lot more enjoyable than racing.

With esports becoming more and more prevalent in today's world, GT SPORT introduces a fair way for online competitions and that is the Driver Rating System, which represents a player's overall speed while the Sportsmanship Rating shows how good and bad their racing behavior is. This is very important and with Gran Turismo's partnership with the FIA, this is racing for real now.

Because of the FIA partnership, players who are brave enough to be the best GT SPORT drivers can sign themselves up for the FIA Championship in two distinct series - the Nations Cup of the Manufacturers Cup. You can either represent your home team or be an honorary spokesperson for your favorite car manufacturer but above all, your skill will put you a chance to be part of the world championships so good luck to all the brave drivers taking part of this new kind of challenge.

For the first time in Gran Turismo history, the long-awaited Livery Editor has arrived and players have been given creativity to create designs for their favorite car. I know it's nice to have a feature to design our favorite cars but sadly, it's a lot trickier and difficult than we expected but to ease the pain of making designs, the producers will add the Decal Uploader very soon, where players can turn their favorite images into decals for use in-game, and when it happens, the Livery Editor will become the most redeeming GT SPORT feature yet but in the meantime, let's make do with the hassling bits.

So, the verdict on GT SPORT. How was it? Well, despite the short list of cars and tracks, the photo mode, scapes, and livery editor are one of the most rewarding features in the game, although the livery part is the most difficult bit until the Decal Uploader's arrived to make it very enjoyable for all. What's more important in GT SPORT is the esports and with the FIA partnership, it's not just the skill of the drivers are tested, it's the behavior and because this is all about "racing for real" rather than "racing for fun", GT SPORT really means business and the time for lollygagging is over. It's time for a serious racing game for the most serious of racing drivers and GT SPORT might be the one.

This is the last Australian-made car in history

A moment of silence, ladies and gentlemen, because what you're looking at is the last Australian-made car in history as Holden rolled off the last VF Series II Commodore off the Elizabeth production line, signalling the definitive end to Australian car manufacturing.

The last Holden

A thousand workers past and present have been gathered at the plant to witness the last Australian-made car in history, a red V8-powered Holden Commodore, at a private ceremony held at about 1045 hours local time.

This signals the end of Holden's almost seven decades of local manufacturing and almost a century of Australian car manufacturing. Since the FX of 1948, about 7,687,675 Holdens were produced within the last 69 years, that's more than Ford's 5.9 million production figures and Toyota's 3.4 million, both of which closed their Australian factories within the past year

Before the last Holden Commodore saloon rolled off the Elizabeth line, Holden has rolled off the last Commodore ute, the last Commodore wagon, and the last Caprice luxury car. All of these cars will be kept by Holden as museum pieces.

In Holden's near seven decade history, the fastest selling Holden of all time is the HQ Kingswood from 1971-72, of which over 485,000 were built. The fastest selling Commodore of all time is the VT model from 1997 to 1999, with over 303,000 built. In its prime, Holden has employed 23,914 workers across seven factories in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia in 1964. The number of factory workers in Elizabeth in the lead-up in the final day was 945.

Despite the factory shutdown, General Motors Holden's is pleased that 85% of their employees have either found new jobs or are training for a new career as it thanked "the partnership and assistance of the state and federal governments, along with the unions, over many years" according to their statement.

Holden will continue to sell new vehicles after the factory shutdown but the models will be sourced from across America, Europe, and Asia, including their next Commodore which is now based on the second-generation Opel/Vauxhall Insignia lineup.

Thank you Australia for all the best cars ever made and the best people behind those wonderful cars. Even though the Aussies have stopped making cars, they will remain the beating heart of Australian motoring for many years to come.

Photo: Holden

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: State commission recommends resuming construction of reactors

A state commission recommended resuming the construction of two reactors on Friday after months of heated debates about whether it is the right time to being weaning South Korea off nuclear energy.

The commission said 59.5% of 471 citizens and experts who took part in the debate voted in favor of completing the Shin Kori-5 and Shin Kori-6 reactors, while 40.5% sided with the president to remove the unfinished reactors for good.

Scrapping the project was one of President Moon Jae-in's campaign promises. However, after taking office, he decided to determine the reactors' fate according to public opinion and ordered the establishment of the independent commission charged with collecting public views and making a recommendation.

Construction is expected to resume next week as the government will accept whatever recommendation the commission makes. The government is expected to endorse the recommendation in a Cabinet meeting set for Tuesday.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (October 20, 2017)

- A group of international lawmakers are demanding the release of Senator Leila de Lima, stressing that her criminal case is a "response" to her "vocal opposition" to President Rodrigo Duterte.

- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to attend next month's ASEAN summit.

- Senator Antonio Trillanes IV states that he did not try to stop US President Donald Trump from visiting the Philippines next month. He confirmed this during his meeting with top US government officials.

- Self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa pleads not guilty before the Manila REgional Trial Court Branch in an illegal drug trading case.

- Four Disney World hotels are now allowing dogs.

- A certain photo of a high school student was rejected from the school's yearbook because he's holding a shotgun. Bonny Eagle High School senior Wade Gelinas says he wanted his picture to feature hunting because it is a family tradition.

- The second-generation Audi A7 Sportback has been officially unveiled and features the most cutting-edge driving assist technologies in a luxury car.

2018 Audi A7
- Mercedes-AMG says goodbye to the G-Wagen with the G65 Final Edition, which is limited to 65 units. The final edition comes with special 21-inch five-twin-spoke alloys covered in bronze, silver brake callipers, AMG Sport trim strips on the sides, matte bronze finish, and designo Exclusive interior package.

Mercedes-AMG G65 Final Edition

- Fernando Alonso will stay with the McLaren F1 team for 2018.

- Nissan suspends vehicle production in Japan due to inappropriate inspections misconduct.

- Hennessey Performance will unveil the Venom F5 at this year's SEMA Show.


Forza Motorsport 7: A Ute's End

General Motors Holden's is the last of the Australian car companies that remained producing some of the best cars in the Land Down Under and with production is coming to a complete end, this is the end of Australian car manufacturing as we know it but for the emotional, the one we will be missing the most when Australia stop making cars is none other than the ute and Holden is the last to make those cool-looking coupe utilities that became the trademark of Australian car manufacturing we all know and love.

Ever since the end of the Second World War, the birth of Australia's own car forever revolutionized the world of motoring and with a ute that bears the Holden marque on it, you'll know that it's truly the kind of vehicle the Aussies are proud of. Fast forward to this decade and the VF Commodore Ute became the harbinger of the end of this wonderful automotive genre that Ford started it all. Ford maybe introduced the ute to the Australian motoring public but Holden became the last to make one and what we have here are the alpha and omega of Holden's ute history. Once started with the FX and ended it with the VF.

What's so unique about the ute? Well, an Aussie ute combines the best cars in the world; a pickup truck, a sportscar, and a sedan, combined into one unique vehicle that was mostly adorned by the Aussies when Ford first introduced to them. You know, the Aussies aren't the ones who buck this trend, even the Americans did when they try a shot with their Chevrolet El Camino a few decades ago. It maybe made to pick up some stuff during work days but when it has a day off, the ute's starting to show its true self by showing its crazy sportscar dynamics, especially when it comes with big V8 power like this HSV GTS Maloo that I'm driving.

Take this workhorse round the track and it will be an instant track toy right off the bat. That's how unique the ute is, it's all work and all play. It can do 9 to 5 stuff on the weekdays while doing most of its free time on the weekends, especially racing stuff on road and on track and while it's sad to see the end of the ute, rest assured that this piece of Australian motoring history will never be forgotten.

To say goodbye to the Aussie ute, let's find out how much the ute progressed from beginning to end and to find out, let's pit between the FX Ute and the GEN-F GTS Maloo round Bathurst and see how much progress the ute has done through the years. Let's finish this!

And now the results...

FX Ute - 3:57.189
Maloo - 2:41.768

After almost a century, the progression rate of the Aussie ute from beginning to the end just took over a minute to do so! At least, this is evolution and this is how it all ends here.

Ah, the cars of Australia. Sure, the Aussies no longer made those but with cars like these, they remain the beating heart of the Australian motoring history and as we say goodbye to all-time greats like the Ford Falcon and the Holden Commodore, along with many other Aussie car greats in history, it's hard to fathom what comes next after the last of their factories shut down for good but rest assured, the rich history nine decades in the making will not be forgotten as long as they can put their pride to it.

To all the Aussies making great cars like Falcons and Commodores, I say thank you. It's been an honor to get to know about the Australian motoring industry and how it really means for Australia.

Until then, see you later, alligator!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Construction of diesel submarine spotted

US military intelligence has detected the construction of a diesel-powered submarine in North Korea's Sinpo shipyard on its east coast. According to Diplomat magazine, US intelligence estimates the sub to be a two thousand ton vessel capable of launching SLBMs.

The vessel is the largest the regime has constructed since building its Najin-class frigates. The US intelligence community believes the new sub will succeed the Gorae-class sub, the only sub that can launch a Pukguksong-1 SLBM.

North Korea has carried out four SLBM ejection tests last summer, with the last taking place on the 30th of July. US intelligence also believes the regim is currently developing a new SLBM which uses an advance airframe made of lighter composite materials that would increase the missile's range.

Amid increasing ballistic missile threats from the North, the US Sixth Fleet test fired one of its most advanced missile interceptors off the Scottish coast.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (October 19, 2017)

- The Marcos family is not yet keen on Ilocos Norte governor Imee Marcos to run for Senate at the 2019 midterm elections. Rumors circulated online that the lady governor intends to run for senator in 2019 with the help of groups like the 68,000-strong "Imee Marcos for Senator Movement".

- A Palace official defends President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement that Marawi is now freed from terrorists, despite ongoing clashes. Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella sought to defend Duterte’s announcement, arguing that the police force is enough to deal with the remaining ISIS-linked terrorists in the war-torn city.

- As Typhoon Paolo maintains its strength as it moves north northwestward over the Philippines, PAGASA detected another low pressure area that will bring scattered to widespread rains and over Palawan, Bicol region, Visayas, Caraga, northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula and Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. Weather agencies forecasted Paolo will further gain strength and developed into a supertyphoon as it reaches Japan.

- US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seeks stronger ties with India while criticizing China for challenging international norms needed for global security.

- The gunman behind the Mandalay Massacre in Las Vegas first wounded an unsuspecting hotel security guard in a hallway who promptly radioed for help, according to a TV interview broadcast Wednesday with the guard and a hotel building engineer whose life he is credited with saving.

- Toyota will display the Fine-Comfort Ride Concept for this month's Tokyo Motor Show, which uses a flexible layout unique to electric-powered vehicles and a large amount of available electric power using hydrogen as an energy source.

- Nissan is teasing a new concept car set to appear at this month's Tokyo Motor Show.

- Actress Hilary Swank is returning to sci-fi in her upcoming sci-fi thriller I Am Mother.

- In Game 3 of the 2017 PBA Governor's Cup Finals, the Meralco Bolts defeated the Ginebra San Miguel at the score of 94-81, trailing the FINALS series to 2-1.

- For fans of THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls, FREEing has released their new Uzuki Shimamura new generations ver. figure and it's now available to order starting 11,852 Yen plus tax and delivery. Arriving this April.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The 10 best Australian-made cars

This week signals the end of car manufacturing in Australia as General Motors Holden will roll off the last Australian-made car in history. I find that very sad because what's so unique about car manufacturing in Australia is when Ford Motor Company set up car manufacturing in Australia and then revolutionized it with the XK Falcon until the advent of General Motors Holden's ignited the legendary war that forever shaped Australian motoring.

2017 HSV GTSR W1

As car manufacturing in Australia is coming to a bittersweet end, now it's the ideal time for me to jot down the ten best Australian cars made by Australians, for Australians.

1) Ford XK Falcon - The XK Falcon in 1960 is the first Ford Falcon sold and made in Australia and while it looks vaguely similar to the American-spec Falcon, it's the first to sold in right-hand drive and accommodated to handle Australian driving conditions. It was offered in saloon, wagon, and a ute. This is the very car that escalate tensions against General Motors Holden's.

2) Holden FX - After the end of World War II, the Australian Government urges the establishment of full-scale Australian motor manufacturing history and while Ford's presence in Australia is all in all at the moment, they demand Australia to have its own car maker and once such thing that steps up to the challenge is none other than General Motors Holden's. Two years later, in November 29th, 1948, Prime Minister Ben Chifley launched "Australia's Own Car," Holden. Despite being influenced by American styling, the Holden is 99% Australian through and through because nobody understands Australian driving conditions more than GMH. Under the bonnet lies a 132.5cu (2.2L) cast-iron 6-cylinder engine mated to a 3-speed manual gearbox. It produces 60HP of power and does a 0-97kph time of 18.7 seconds. Because this car is suitable enough to tackle Australian driving conditions, it's rugged enough to tackle the remote outback because of its dust-proof body and unique dynamics capable to handle such conditions.

3) Ford XR Falcon GT - The XR Falcon GT remains one of the most important cars in Australian car history because this is the car that ignited the muscle car wars in Australia. Before its inception, the Australian roads have been ruled by six-cylinder saloons as well as V8 Valiants. They are lovely but nothing is more so than the XR Falcon GT, the car that kissed the opposition goodbye at the Gallagher 500 in Bathurst. Coined as the Mustang-bred machine, it was powered by a 289 Windsor engine producing 225HP of power output while mated with a 4-speed gearbox.

4) Holden HQ Sandman - The Sandman is a panel van variant of the Holden HQ range that was rivaled by the panel van variant of the Ford Falcon but whereas the Falcon Panel Van is all work, the Sandman is all work, all play. In fact, it comes with some bits and bobs from the HQ Monaro GTS as well as a shouty V8 engine on the front, making it a party wagon for the outdoorsy Aussies, even beachgoers.

5) Ford XB Falcon - Anyone who is a fan of the Mad Max movies will be familiar with the XB Falcon because this is the ride the hero of the flick drove in the wastelands. But there's more to it than being Mad Max's favorite war machine. You see, the XB Falcon is the second phase of the third-generation of Ford's Australian-made model, which features minor cosmetic differences from the previous XA model. Engine configurations include a 200ci 6-cylinder, a 250ci 6-cylinder, a 302ci V8, and a powerful 351ci V8. Depending on the engine choices, it can be mated with either a 3-speed MT, a 4-speed MT, or a 3-speed AT. Allan Moffat drove a Falcon to victory in the 1974 Sandown 250 using a GT hardtop model as well as the 1976 Australian Touring Car Championship in the same model and the 1977 Australian Touring Car Championship, using both the XB and the XC Falcons.

6) HDT VK Commodore Group A - A national treasure in its own right, this 500 build homologation special finished in Formula Blue paint is a fitting tribute to the legendary Peter Brock, who has been dominating touring car races in Holdens and ignited fierce rivalry with Alan Moffat. This blue meanie is powered by a 4.9L V8 engine, which is originally a five-liter that was destroked for Group A regulations. It produces 196kw of power and 418Nm of torque while mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Originally, this car is limited to 500 units until a mix up caused them to made two more.

7) Holden VZ Crewman - A typical ute is basically a sports coupe with some payload at the back. Aussie utes only limited to two doors until General Motors Holden's shattered that notion with the creation of the first-ever four-door ute known as the Crewman. Based on the VZ Commodore, the Crewman combines the same all-work, all-play attitude of a typical Aussie ute with the practicality for the whole family and friends to enjoy with. Although unique, it sadly didn't last a lifetime for the first-ever four-door ute in history.

8) Holden VE Commodore - The VE Commodore marks the departure of Opel-sourced platforms from previous Commodores as this model became the first Commodore to be developed exclusively in Australia. It was the first Commodore to be available in North America as the Pontiac G8 but it was short lived due to General Motors' decision to axe the Pontiac brand for good due to the global financial crisis. Thankfully, its successor, the VF Commodore-based Chevrolet SS, continues the trend until the bitter end.

9) Holden V2/VZ Monaro - When the first Monaro came out in Australia in the 1960's, they want to refer this as Australia's first sports machine and as the jingle says...It's Going To Be Very Monaro. In the 21st century, the Monaro returns with a sleeker profile, well-lavished interior, and a choice of either a Supercharged V6 or a Gen III V8. Because it was sold in the US as the Pontiac GTO, the UK as the Vauxhall Monaro, among many others, the Monaro is a world-class muscle car until its discontinuation in 2006 with no direct replacement, making it the last Aussie-made sports coupe in history.

10) Holden HSV Gen-F2 GTSR - As car manufacturing in Australia comes to an end with the next Holden Commodore will be a rebadged Open Insignia, Holden Special Vehicles unveiled their final special edition model based on the Gen-F2 range by reviving the GTSR marque with a more striking design, improved performance, and to top it off for the big finale, the new GTSR W1 saloon featuring the supercharged 6.2L V8 engine from the Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, producing 474kW of power output, making it the most powerful production ever made in Australia.

For a country that loves football, meat pies, and kangaroos, the cars that made specifically for Australian driving conditions are what made them special in each and every way and now that the Aussies stop making their own cars for good, rest assured that the machines they made will be hardly missed because deep down under, these Aussie-made machines, mostly Fords and Holdens, helped the Land Down Under to industrial maturity, providing work for Australians, setting engineering standards, and made "Made In Australia" a new status symbol in the world stage.

Thanks for the memories, mate. Those Aussie cars is what really made them as special as football, meat pies, and kangaroos, like what the Aussies love the most and even though the Aussies stopped making cars, they will remain the beating heart of the Aussie car culture.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Ruling party, govt., Blue House discuss public sector jobs

The Moon Jae-in administration has vowed to pull out all the stops to create some 810,000 public sector jobs over the next five years. The pledge came during a three-way meeting between the ruling party, government, and the Blue House on Wednesday, where they discussed the government's policy direction for job creation.

The Presidential Committee on Job Creation highlighted the administration's determination to tackle the unemployment issue, pointing to a recovery last month. It sad cooperation from the National Assembly is necessary to pass next year's budget in order to implement related policies.

The government will announce  a detailed roadmap this afternoon after reflecting on issues discussed at this morning's meeting.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (October 18, 2017)

- The Ninoy Aquino International Airport is no longer one of the worst airports in the world as it was list as one of the top five best airports in Asia according to a recent survey. South Sudan's Juba International Airport and Uzbekistan's Tashkent International Airport are listed as the worst airports in the world and Asia, respectively.

- The ruling PDP-Laban party has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Russia's ruling United Russia party, a move meant to bring the two countries "closer together". Although details of the memorandum remain unknown for now, the party pointed out that it is the second agreement with a foreign administration party for PDP-Laban. The party signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Communist Party of China in February.

- The parents of Horacio "Atio" Castillo III were face to face with the Aegis Juris Fraternity members at the Senate. They demand the fraternity that allegedly involved in the murder of Atio to bring back their son's belongings.

- Authorities are anticipating retaliatory strikes from loyal followers of slain terrorists Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute. According to Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac of the Police Regional Office-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, all of the units in Marawi City and in Maguindanao and Lanao Del Sur provinces are guarding against act of revenge from remaining followers.

- At least 74 people are killed when the Taliban unleashed wave of attacks across Afghanistan yesterday, targeting police compounds and government facilities with suicide bombers across the nation.

- A spokesman for the US-led coalition says pockets of Islamic State militants remain in the Syrian city of Raqqa. The remarks comes as US-backed Syrian forces and their allies on the ground are going through the city's newly liberated areas, searching for land mines and sleeper cells.

- The European Union's Brexit negotiator urged the United Kingdom to keep up the moment in negotiations on leaving the bloc if it wants the talks to advance to a new phase in December.

- Yesterday, a widespread vulnerability known as KRACK affected every devices' wi-fi functions, mostly on computers and smartphones, allowing hackers to decrypt and potentially look at everything people are doing online. This new vulnerability can steal sensitive information and it attacks all modern protected Wi-Fi networks.

- Polestar, Volvo Car Group's performance brand, revealed the Polestar 1, the first high-performance hybrid sportscar that will start production in 2019. Powered by a 4-cylinder Volvo Drive-E engine, it produces 600hp of power and 1,000nm of torque.

Polestar 1

- Porsche's 718 range has been given a slightly more powerful GTS variant featuring an upgraded 2.5L boxer-4 engine producing 15bhp more than the base model as well improved dynamics.

Porsche 718 Boxster GTS and 718 Cayman GTS
- 12 Chinese car companies have announced their decision to fit all new cars with electronic stability control at the start of 2018.

- Chris Savino, the creator of Nick's hit TV cartoon The Loud House, was suspended by the network due to numerous harassment claims. The suspension follows extensive allegations of sexual harassment from employees at Nickelodeon against the 46-year-old animation industry veteran.



After ROCKIN' RED a few months ago, the MASTER PRIMAL trilogy continues with DANCIN' BLUE, the second installment of the range that spices nostalgia with a specific theme per installment and because this is DANCIN' BLUE, the star idols in the installment are focusing on songs you can dance your butts off.


For DANCIN' BLUE, the star idols in this installment are Yayoi Takatsuki (CV: Mayako Nigo), Makoto Kikuchi (CV: Hiromi Hirata), Ami and Mami Futami (CV: Asami Shimoda), and Hibiki Ganaha (CV: Manami Numakura) as they're going to perform three brand new songs. The first one is titled Light Year Song and, yep, the highlights are going to perform the main attraction, while the second one titled Funny Logic is performed by Yayoi, and the Futami sisters, and the final one titled ブルウ・スタア is performed by Makoto and Hibiki. To wrap it all up, there's a brand new audio drama that needs no explanation.

Now with ROCKIN' RED and DANCIN' BLUE present, it won't be long before the final installment of the MASTER PRIMAL trilogy broke cover and let's hope it will be just like what the three primary colors state. After all, isn't what the PRIMAL stands for? Primary.

One last thing, for limited time only, each copy comes with a serial code that will give you a chance to win tickets for January's 765PRO ALLSTARS live event. Good luck!



Autumn may be already here but the second installment of the MASTER SEASONS range has arrived and let the Cinderella Girls swoon you with the songs of autumn that will keep you warmed and cozied during the season of the falling leaves and the frequent cloudy weather.

For this installment, you can listen at four brand new songs that focuses on the theme of Autumn. The first one is titled 秋風に手を振って by Yumi Aiba (CV: Juri Kimura), Riina Tada (CV: Ruriko Aoki), and Yuka Nakano (CV: Shino Shimoji). The next one is Halloween♥Code by Nana Abe (CV: Marie Miyake), Yuuki Otokura (CV: Yuki Nakashima), and Miku Maekawa (CV: Natsumi Takamori). The third one is titled さよならアンドロメダ by Rin Shibuya (CV: Ayaka Fukuhara), Nono Morikubo (CV: Karin Takahashi), and Aki Yamato (CV: Tomo Muranaka). And lastly, 空想探査計画 by Natsuki Kimura (CV: Kiyono Yasuno), Ayame Hamaguchi (CV: Masumi Tazawa), and Akane Hino (CV: Chinatsu Akasaki). These four new songs are perfectly in tune with the fall season and if you're happy with these songs, there's a brand new audio drama starring Yumi Aiba, Riina Tada, and Yuka Nakano on their autumn escapades.

Enjoy the autumn season with the songs of this season performed by your favorite Cinderella Girls and keep an eye out for more on the MASTER SEASONS range!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How to dress as Aikatsu characters (Part 3)

It's the Aikatsu franchise's 5th anniversary so let's celebrate by teaching you how to be as one of your favorite Aikatsu idols but because we have the original Aikatsu and the latest Aikatsu Stars, let's focus first on the original just for nostalgia purposes.

The final season of the Aikatsu anime series, dubbed the Akari Generation, centers on Akari Ozora as the main character of the series and with Akari replacing Ichigo as the main character of the final season, Akari's accompanied by her new friends Sumire and Hinaki on their journey to become the academy's top idols, no matter what lays ahead of them.

The Akari Generation arc of the Aikatsu introduces new and unique characters and how to recreate as them can be either easy or hard, depending on which character you want to be. So, without further ado, let's begin. And oh, kids, ask your parents first before doing so.

As Akari Ozora: Akari, now being the main character in the final season of Aikatsu, is more than just being matured enough to become an idol. In fact, her look has changed since we first met her in an earlier season. For her look, you should need a semi-long orange hair and a midsize pink ribbon to complete the look. If you have a ribbon, try making her left tail of her hair using it but be sure the ribbon's just the right size. When finished, the outfits are up to you.

As Sumire Hikami: Sumire is one of Akari's friends whose hobby is fortune-telling. To be her, you'll need a long light purple hair and a blue ribbon to your right and that's it. Then, you are in charge on the outfits of your desire.

As Hinaki Shinjo: Hinaki's one of Akari's friends who has interests over fashionable Aikatsu cards. A short blond hair would do the job well but what you should be worrying about is her front right braid that takes about a fortnight.

As Juri Kurebayashi: Juri is a second-year student of the Starlight Academy and her dad is Spanish who works as a culinary chef, that's why where she got her Spanish tongue from. Juri's one of the trickiest Aikatsu characters to recreate with because her red hair takes some extreme curling to recreate her look and then some hair ornament to complete her look. Once done, you can pick whatever outfits you want. Spanish lessons optional. Enchendes? Bueno.

As Rin Kurosawa: A street dancer turned idol, Rin is the bearer of the Dance Fusion brand. Now, I should talk about how to pull Rin's hairstyle off and if you need to recreate her look, trying picturing...well, let's cut to the chase...Harley Quinn. Just kidding, her hair is whitish with some red bit on her right and she has a blue ribbon headband that takes about a fortnight.

As Madoka Amahane: Madoka's hairstyle is colored pink with twintails on it but what you should be worrying about is her angel wing hair accessory so a little DIY is necessary to recreate her hair accessory. Once done, feel free to select an outfit for this cosplay.

As Nono Daichi: Nono is one of the two idols of the academy who hails from Hokkaido and uses the Dolly Devil brand. To recreate her hairstyle, first you need to find a long hair with light brown color and then work with the twintails. Once done, start working on the outfits of your choosing.

As Risa Shirakaba: Like Nono, Risa is hailed from Hokkaido before she got transferred to the Starlight Gakuin and bear the Dolly Devil brand like her compatriot. If you managed to maintain that long black hair of yours, just disregard this advice, except you need to work on her purplish ribbon headband accessory. Once done, feel free to choose which outfits you want to wear.

As Miyabi Fujiwara: Miyabi's originally from Kyoto and while she has a Kansai dialect, she is the bearer of the ultra-mysterious Sakurairo Hanaden brand. To be Miyabi, first you need a long dark brown hair to begin with. Then, work with those pigtails on the front and her signature hair accessories, and presto! Miyabi cosplay! Wait, if you're done replicating her look, the outfits are up to you.

As Kokone Kurisu: Kokone was a transfer student from the Etoile Academy to begin her life anew at Starlight Gakuin. To be Kokone, you first need some orange hairdo that is big enough to recreate her big ponytail and then finish it with a big lime green ribbon. Once done, the outfits are up to you.

As Nina Dojima: Nina's an Osaka girl who studying idol courses from a distant school but you can't really resist her unique personality. Be careful though that unlike any Aikatsu character, recreating Nina will be extremely difficult because it's hard to make a hairdo with a sky blue-pink gradient on it and with some roundy bits on the top. If you're skilled enough to recreate her hairstyle, you should have a star...on your right cheek.

And that's the rest of the stars of the Aikatsu anime series you can recreate as for your next cosplay plans. Next time, let's shift gears on the stars of the current Aikatsu Stars anime series where I'll explain to you how to be like Yume, Rola, and the others! Until then, gracias minna, ciao.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Seoul, Washington confirms Nov. 7 bilateral summit

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump will sit down for an official bilateral meeting in Seoul on November 7 to discuss ways to further boost their alliances and bolster joint efforts amid rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

President Trump's Seoul trip, confirmed by both South Korean Presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae, the Blue House, and the White House on Monday, will be the first for the US president since he took office last January and will make him the first foreign head of state to visit South Korea since President Moon took office last May.

In a statement, the Blue House said President Moon will hold a one-on-one with his visiting US counterpart which will be followed by a joint press event and host a state dinner for President Trump on the seventh of November, During his Seoul visit, the US leader will also speak at the National Assembly becoming the first US president to do so in two and a half decades.

Source: Arirang News

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

- Military experts warned that the recent slay of the two top leaders of the ISIS-linked terrorist group that overran Marawi City could make their followers more violent.

- The new Immigration Act, meant to augment the ranks of immigration officers that have dwindled due to overtime pay issues, could be passed before Christmas. According to reports, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said that the bill is currently "under the legislative process of both houses of Congress" but the Justice department hopes it will be passed "before the next adjournment."

- The low-pressure area over the Pacific Ocean has intensified into a storm and was forecast to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility under the name Paolo. The storm was spotted at 1,040 kilometers east of the Visayas as of 3 p.m. yesterday. It packed winds of 80 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 95 kph.

- US President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with President Rodrigo Duterte and other leaders as he visits Manila next month, which is part of his Asian trip from November 3 to 14. The American leader is expected to arrive in Manila on November 12 to attend the special gala celebration dinner for the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

- Recently, the lawsuit filed from grassroots activist group Common Cause against the North Carolina state legislature to overturn their gerrymandered districts goes to court hearings.

- Donald Trump Jr., the son of the US President Donald Trump, is expected to make a fundraising appearance for Kris Kobach’s campaign next month in Johnson County, marking the Trump family’s entrance into a packed 2018 race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.

- According to the Motorsport Industry Association, there could be a new insurance law that could threaten European motorsports.

- Audi will unveil the second-generation A7 on the 19th of October.

- Check out the latest THE IDOLM@STER Stella Stage info, including the actress who will voice rival idol Shiika in the game.


Fate/stay night Heaven's Feel I. presage flower

The first Fate/stay night TV anime series centers on Shiro and Saber's perspective in their life-and-death struggle to overcome all odds to survive the Holy Grail War. Then, the Unlimited Blade Works film and TV series puts the perspective on Rin Tohsaka during her life-and-death trials alongside her Archer servant. Now, Fate/stay night returns with a brand new compilation film trilogy that centers on the eyes of an ordinary girl named Sakura Matou.

Fate/stay night Heaven's Feel
I. presage flower

Heaven's Feel is one of the Fate/stay night arcs that focuses solely on an ordinary girl named Sakura Matou, whose Shiro promises to stay her out of harm's way during the brutal war for the Holy Grail and how her involvement would forever change the tide of the story we are familiar with. This is the first of the compilation film trilogy, titled presage flower, and in the beginning of this film trilogy, we get to witness Sakura Matou's point of view in the middle of the Holy Grail war that invoked so much brutal murders across Fuyuki City ever since Shiro's promise to keep her safe from harm.

While we get to see some of the familiar faces from the Fate/stay night TV series, this different perspective, which is different from the original and UBW, adds some dramatic taste to the story we are familiar with and just by putting so much emotion and emphasis, the first Heaven's Feel film is rather good and we can expect more to happen in the next two films. The feel of this film is what keeps the fans' hearts pumping with emotion, making them impossible to think about the rest of the story and since this is the first film, it really is impossible to think what's next in Sakura's perspective of the Holy Grail War so best to be prepare for the next installments while making do with the first film that adds drama to the story we know and love.

My rating: 4.1 out of 5.

2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup - Alabama 500

Ah, Talladega Superspeedway, the Alabama 500 race of the 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup stirs the Round of 8 into intense levels and when spectators witnessed "the big one" out on the oval, all that trackside-induced chaos is what made NASCAR great again. Sorry. Anyway, let's sum what's going on in this chaotic Talladega race and see who made it in the playoffs.

In Lap 26, the #33 car and the #1 got damaged in a middle of a messy collision. In Lap 49, a restart is triggered and at the end of the restart, Brad Keselowski nabbed his Stage One win of the race. In Lap 67, the right rear of the #48 sustained damage. In Lap 110, Ryan Blaney obtained his Stage Two win. In Lap 155, the big one occurred as two cars triggered a catastrophic pileup no one saw it coming.

After a chaotic Talladega battle, Brad Keselowski wins the race and secured his top spot in the playoffs.

The playoffs continue in Kansas for the Hollywood Casino 400 on the 22nd.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Forza Motorsport 7: Dom's Demon

When the Dodge Challenger Demon unveiled to the world, everyone's cowered in fear over the most powerful production car in the world. With its 840HP from its 6.2L HEMI V8 and the fastest 0-60mph time of any production sportscar, 2.3 seconds to be precise, no wonder every supercar in the world got choked by the Demon's incredible straight line speed and as Forza fans, we wanted to see the most powerful V8 car in the world to be there. However, we got this instead...

Yes, this is still the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon we are familiar with, the one that made Europe tremble in fear because of its monstrous power output that upsets almost every supercar in the world but don't be fooled because this particular Dodge Demon belongs to, well let's cut to the chase, Dom Toretto.

This is Dom's Demon and you can now play it on FM7 via The Fate of The Furious car pack. While Dom's Ice Charger overshadowed the Demon when it comes to star appeal, this demon of a machine should not be overlooked because this is the muscle car well known to break every world record in history, especially the fact that being the first production car in the world that can do the longest wheelie as verified by Guinness Book of World Records and because of The Fate of The Furious, every Mopar fanatic wants to have one in their collection and as a matter of fact, it's the numbers they should be worrying about because the Demon is strictly a limited-edition Challenger available only in the US and Canada and because it starts at 84,995 US Dollars, it's the most expensive Dodge to buy, although cheaper to buy than those European exotics the Demon sets its pitchforks at.

The Americans are as ballsy as the fat man in charge of the nation who wanted to build more nukes against his enemies but for a Dodge Demon, this is a definitive point how Americans are capable of, building stuff that are astronomical enough to crush their rivals into dust to show everyone that they are the greatest people in the world. I'm impressed to think that with all 840HP unleashed from its V8 engine, the Demon has evolved from muscle car into exotic in its own right and it's time for me to prove that theory.

Here we are at the Top Gear Test Track just to see if the Demon has grown into a proper supercar that can eat almost everyone, even in its compatriots like the Corvette and the Ford GT. Of course, with no one ever turned up to the party because I suspect, they've got intimidated by the Demon's power output, and instead someone popped up bravely.

Yes, this is the Dodge Viper ACR, the most hardcore Viper ever made and even though this is the last of the Vipers before its demise, probably because the Hellcats already devoured it like Titans in the forest, its GTS-R-inspired dynamics is what made the ACR a road-legal racecar and it lapped round the Top Gear Test Track in 1:15.1.

Time to get some beer and nachos because this will be the most interesting comparo of them all as the Viper ACR goes up against Dom Toretto's Demon from F8. Time to get this show rolling...

And now the results...

1:14.945 - Viper ACR
1:24.267 - Dom's Demon

And there we have it, ladies and gentlemen. Even though the Demon is over 200HP more than the Viper, it couldn't beat the Viper in a lap round the track and I think there's a clear reason for that. One, it's heavier than the ACR, and second, drag tires don't usually work on track days. Sure, it can be a blast to drive on the drag straights but on the track, it's very challenging indeed and looks like the Viper ACR, despite its demise, finally teached the Demon a very painful lesson on the track.

For me, it's been an honor to drive Dom's Demon on Forza Motorsport 7. Even though it's not as quick as the Viper ACR, this car makes me want to go Vin Diesel all the way because of its appearance in The Fate of The Furious. Those who saw the Dodge Demon would make them think that's the car Dom Toretto drove in the film and this Vin Diesel-approved muscle car is just one of the main reasons why we're into cars like these. The crazier they get, the awesomer they become and the Demon is just one of the Fast and Furious cars that get the job done. Now that's Fast & Furious to you.

How to dress as Aikatsu characters (Part 2)

It's the Aikatsu franchise's 5th anniversary so let's celebrate by teaching you how to be as one of your favorite Aikatsu idols but because we have the original Aikatsu and the latest Aikatsu Stars, let's focus first on the original just for nostalgia purposes.

Last time, I already tackled how to dress as characters like Ichigo Hoshimiya, Aoi Kiriya, Ran Shibuki, and the others. Now, let's focus on the 2nd year arc where Starlight Gakuin faces a stiff competition against the best and the brightest from the prestigious Dream Academy.

Time to pick up where we left off as I will explain to you how to be as the other Aikatsu stars during the 2nd year arc and when I say "how to be", I mean mimicking their hairstyles because the outfits are too random for me to explain and these outfits are up to you. By the way, little kids, ask your parents first before doing so.

As Seira Otoshiro: Seira is one of the Dream Academy students who made a courtesy visit to Starlight Gakuin just to put some pressure on Ichigo and the pals, especially Akari Ozora, who was a newcomer back then. Because of her taste for Rock N' Roll, she represents the Swing Rock brand. Okay, being Seira, first get a very long red hair to start with, then put a big ponytail and a ribbon to finish it off. Once done, it's up to you to decide the outfits.

As Sora Kazesawa: Sora is one of the Dream Academy students who undergoes designer courses. She represents the Bohemian Sky brand. Getting a long blue hair is a start because Sora's hair has some purple gradient below so this should be tricky for color-blind cosplayers like me. If you get the gradient all sorted out, feel free to pick the outfits for your cosplay; either her Dream Academy uniform or one of her Bohemian Sky outfits onstage.

As Kii Saegusa: Kii is one of the Dream Academy students who undergoes producer courses and she's known for her love for a special cider known as the Aikatsu Drink. Getting a long blond hair is an easy task but the hard task is to recreate Kii's puffy twintails and with all that puff in Kii's twintails, this may take a fortnight.

As Maria Himesato: Maria's one of the Dream Academy students who is very skilled at makeup and nails. Maria's not quite the trickiest to recreate, especially when her hair is somewhat peach-colored and she has some floral stuff in front of her hair.

As Mikuru Natsuki: Mikuru is one-half of the newly established WM idol duo comprising of her and the once veteran idol of Starlight Gakuin, Mizuki Kanzaki. Recreating Mikuru's look is no problem. You just need a long beige-colored hairdo and some pigtails to do this and once you're done recreating Mikuru's look, feel free to choose whatever outfits you like.

Next time, let's focus on the characters introduced in the final season of the Aikatsu anime, also known as the Akari Generation where Akari Ozora became the main character of this final season before Aikatsu Stars took over the telly. Watch for it.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: SK-US joint drills begin Monday

The South Korean and US navies on Monday begun their massive combined drills off the coast of the Korean Peninsula amid heightened tensions. The allies plan to continue the Maritime Counter Special Operations Exercise through Friday in the East Sea and the Yellow Sea, also known as the West Sea.

The carrier strike group will train with South Korean warships and other defense aircrafts in the East Sea. Military officials in Seoul have reported movement of mobile missile launchers in North Korea, and remain on alert for any provocations.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump is set to promise South Korea and Japan the protection of America's nuclear umbrella against North Korea in next month's speech. According to reports, President Trump will make the speech in Seoul during his 12-day visit to Asian nations.

Trump also suggested on Friday that negotiations with Pyongyang might still be possible, but that they remain ready for numerous possibilities.

Source: Arirang News

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

- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the slay of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute is a clear sign that they will finally put an end to the ongoing Marawi Siege anytime soon. Lorenzana confirmed early Monday that the two surviving leaders of the Marawi siege have been killed in an operation conducted by government troops.

- A recent PulseAsia survey confirmed that the majority of the Filipinos are supporting the Duterte administration's brutal campaign against drugs despite their belief that extrajudicial killings happen.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday contested the report of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee censuring him for supposedly ignoring the case involving the 6.4 million peso shabu shipment seized last May.

- French president Emmanuel Macron challenges US President Donald Trump's hardline stance on Iran, vowed to revoke Harvey Weinstein's Legion of Honor award and insisted that "France is back" in the world arena.

- Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro says in a newly released video that Venezuelans should vote in yesterday's gubernatorial elections to show the nation has a "vigorous democracy." Polls indicate the opposition has a chance to gain the majority of governorships for the first time in nearly two decades of socialist government. But Maduro says they'll still be subordinate to a pro-government assembly that is re-writing the constitution.

- The Norwegian government is planning to restructure its tax breaks for electric vehicles, which has thus far given the country the world's highest percentage of EV ownership.

- In Game 2 of the 2017 PBA Governor's Cup, Barangay Ginebra leads the game with two wins after defeating Meralco Bolts at the score of 86-76.

- Uber lodged a court appeal to overturn the Transport for London's decision to refuse renewals of their private hire operator license.

- Nissan will be replacing Renault in Formula E by 2019, according to reports.

- According to reports, Tesla sacked hundreds of employees in a week, including associates, team leaders, and supervisors. The staff firing is result of a company-wide annual review.


Second-generation Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Like its saloon equivalent, the all-new Jaguar XF Sportbrake promises to be quite a worthy contender with everything at its disposal such as style, performance, and technology, not to mention the added space for a luxury wagon of this size that is ideal for their next weekend trips at the great outdoors.

2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake
Billed as an ideal competitor against the likes of wagon versions of BMW's 5-Series, Audi's A6, or even the Mercedes E-Class, the new XF Sportbrake offers the same aspects as its saloon equivalent, only with the added space at the back so you'll have plenty of reasons to enjoy it.

Although it has the same styling as the saloon version, the Sportbrake's sideline has the ideal expression of "I'm sexy and you know it" and that's a plus for Jaguar there. With the witty combination of the XE-styled nose, F-Type-styled rear lamps, and the wagon body, this new Sportbrake really is an improvement compared to the old XF Sportbrake of yesteryears and who can blame them but the designers themselves just to show everyone what they're capable of.

While the inside functions the same as its saloon equivalent from the air conditioning, the touch-screen sat nav, everything, the Sportbrake offers more practicality than its German rivals apart from the 555-litre boot space. There's this hands-free gesture control feature that allows drivers to use gestures to operate not just the tailgate but also the sunroof as well. Scary but amazing by Jaguar standards. Apart from the gesture control that will surprise most owners, the new Sportbrake comes with the Intelligent Tailgate that can be adjusted in an event of height restrictions, a versatile 40:20:40 split-fold set-up on the rear seats, and so much more. This wagon is all about being prepared to be extra prepared because you never know when you are having a big day.

Just like the saloon variant, the new XF Sportbrake is lighter than the previous model because of extensive use of aluminium, and thanks to their reworked dynamics as applied on the saloon such as adaptive damping, front double wishbone and rear Integral Link suspension systems, the result is a wagon that handles like a sportscar, even though the electric power steering is a bruising experience.

What's even more amazing in the new Sportbrake is its intelligent AWD system with the added, wait for it, Intelligent Driveline Dynamics that comes with Dynamic Stability Control and torque vectoring. Torque vectoring! That means the new Sportbrake's AWD system can behave like the Ford Focus RS. Wait, this all-wheel drive is reminiscent of the ones as applied on the F-Type and the F-Pace crossover so it shouldn't be a problem to get intoxicated over its clever and amazing all-wheel drive system that can adapt through driving conditions with ease as well as the way you drive this thing.

Choice of engines? Well, the XF Sportbrake is offered with a wide variety of engines such as the highly-recommended Ingenium engine range that balances efficiency and performance at the same pace, and the 3.0L V6 diesel engine, which is the most powerful engine offered in the Sportbrake, with 300PS of power and 700Nm of torque. With so much torque, it has a towing capacity of up to 2,000kg. That V6 diesel sounds raunchy and nice but the Ingenium engines are a best best because they're very light and well-balanced.

As for safety, the Sportbrake, like the saloon equivalent, comes with a wide array of driver assist features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist, Blind Spot Monitor and Reverse Traffic Detection, and of course, Park Assist. With features like these, nothing says being prepared than having a Sportbrake that is prepared for almost everything.

Price? The new Sportbrake starts at 34,910 GBP, which is two grand more than the saloon equivalent but that prices rather well to the competition. To sum this thing up; the new Sportbrake may be slightly expensive than the saloon variant and it doesn't have the F-Type sourced V6 petrol that the saloon has but with a wide array of safety tech, relatively superior handling, and a healthy engine lineup, the new Sportbrake shows the Germans what they're capable of and that kind of perfection would not go unnoticed.

Source: Jaguar Land Rover

Sunday, October 15, 2017

How to dress as Aikatsu characters (Part 1)

It's the Aikatsu franchise's 5th anniversary so let's celebrate by teaching you how to be as one of your favorite Aikatsu idols but because we have the original Aikatsu and the latest Aikatsu Stars, let's focus first on the original just for nostalgia purposes.

Of course, because Aikatsu is primarily a children's franchise, if you are going for tips to dress as your favorite Aikatsu characters in time for Halloween, best to have parents' supervision first before starting to dress as your favorite Aikatsu characters. Parents, take note if your little girl wants to dress as her favorite Aikatsu character, but if you're a seasoned cosplayer, feel free to take my advice anytime.

With so many outfits to choose from, you have been given free rein to dress whatever outfit you like as seen from Aikatsu, from their uniforms to on-stage co-ordes. Because of that, let's shift on the hairstyles per Aikatsu star because this is help determine whose Aikatsu star you're going to be at.

Okay, so let's get cracking beginning with this one...

As Ichigo Hoshimiya: It's simple being Ichigo Hoshimiya, really. You just need a long blond hair and a ribbon headband and voila! But make sure the ribbon in the ribbon headband I mentioned is as big as Ichigo's.

As Aoi Kiriya: The quiet one of the bunch, Aoi's hair, hence the name, is colored blue but the tail of her hair is facing on her left so take your time.

As Ran Shibuki: The easy part? A long brownish hair. The hard part? Your free rein to choose whatever outfit that suits this cosplay best.

As Mizuki Kanzaki: As the top dog of the Starlight Gakuin, Mizuki's hair is long and purplish but I'd recommend putting a tiara because that reflects her status of being the academy's top ace respected by many.

As Otome Arisugawa: This is the tricky one because while her hair color is a bit light brown-ish, the twintails are a trickiest to pull one off because her twintails have the shape of a baguette. If you're going to recreate Otome's twintails, better picture a baguette while doing so because this is very challenging indeed.

As Yurika Todo: Yurika is an idol who's into the gothic trend and her vampire instincts is what really terrified you down, especially when she has a pet bat named Alan. Being Yurika, you're going to need a long white hair to begin with, then there's the tricky part. Her spiraling twintails would require some extreme curling to recreate Yurika's look before setting off to find something to wear for your Yurika Todo cosplay.

As Sakura Kitaoji: Sakura's hairstyle is a short pink hair with some flowery hair accessory that takes about a fortnight to deal with. If you're happy replicating Sakura's hairstyle, feel free to pick whatever outfit you want for this cosplay.

As Kaede Ichinose: Kaede's the energetic top idol of the academy who was transferred from America and she's part of the Tristar posse consisting of her, Yurika, and Mizuki. If you're feeling as energetic as Kaede, her short red hair would work rather well and if you're happy with the short red hair, you have free rein over which outfits you want to wear, preferably either her uniform or any of her Magical Toy outfits onstage.

Next time on Part 2 of "How to dress as Aikatsu characters", let's focus on the characters introduced during the 2nd Year arc of the anime, including those from Dream Academy. Watch for it.

Fun at KawaiiWeen

Ah, autumn in Seattle, and with Halloween's just a few weeks away from now, there are a handful of Eager McBeavers are throwing in some pre-Halloween treats just to keep the festive spirit rolling. One such thing is the event called KawaiiWeen. Catered by the friendly folks from Kawaii In Seattle and Mahouto Market, this event is listed as one of The Stranger's Things to Do list and I am curious to see what is what.

KawaiiWeen, hence the name, it's a one-day celebration of all things creepy and cute and this event, held at the Nagomi Tea House just a walk from Uwajimaya, showcases some of the new and returning artists that showcase their coolest drawings dedicated to all things TV, anime, cartoon, video game, any kind of pop culture you can think of. Apart from the Artists' Alley, there are free candy, a Jack-o-Lantern coloring contest, and not to mention cosplays, which is big in this event, as long as they're in tune with the creepy-cute mantra.

Check out some of my pics...


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Seven Sundays

Veteran director Cathy Garcia-Molina is back for her latest masterpiece from Star Cinema; a family-valued drama movie that centers on a group of siblings trying to patch things up because of the inevitable occurred on their everyday lives.

Seven Sundays

Starring Ronaldo Valdez, Aga Muhlach, Dingdong Dantes, Cristine Reyes, Enrique Gil, and many other well-known celebrities in the industry, Seven Sundays is about the Bonifacio children who are reunited when they heard the news that their father is diagnosed with cancer. While being aware with their father's fatal condition, the children must learn to put their bitter differences aside and reconcile with each other before its too late.

At long last, after months of too much raunchy hot girls, absurd horror, redundant rom-coms, and other stuff we saw throughout 2017, they finally given us a very sensual family-oriented movie with sensual family values that is very ethical for the modern Filipino families. Because of the values this film has, Seven Sundays really warms the hearts of many moviegoers with some common sense and life lessons we can all learn from this movie. Just by watching this movie, you will realize that all the family values you will learn from this film are all part of your slice of life for the rest of your life and this film really sums it up to show the real value of family values for everyone to witness.

My rating: 4 out of 5.
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