Monday, December 29, 2014

REMEMBERING 2014 (Part Five)

Welcome back. Let's continue where we left off...

Ebola Outbreak

The widespread of the Ebola virus originated in Guinea and spreaded through neighboring countries throughout the West Africa and a few nations outside with isolated cases in Spain and the US. The Ebola virus is a zoonotic disease fatal to both humans and primates. It spreads by directly contact through the body fluids. Some say, fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural hosts of Ebola, thus naming them "ebola bats". Now, the World Health Organization announced a formal trial of a Canadian experimental vaccine called ZEBOV that cured two Ebola patients in the US. There's still more into this Ebola Outbreak.


The Islamic State extremists that called themselves the ISIS have sparked headlines through this year. At the beginning of 2014, the ISIS took over Iraq and Syria with a massive group of armed terrorists. Started out in life as an al Qaeda splinter group and headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the goal of ISIS is to create an Islamic state across the Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria. They're notorious for killing dozens of people and carrying out televised executions, crucifixions and other acts.

Originally, extortion and robbery is their initial strategy for revenue but their leader shifted this strategy to generating resources through large-scale attacks aimed at capturing and holding territory.

Japan's top-secret stealth aircraft

Unable to purchase the high-tech F22 Raptor, the Japanese government secretly developed their own 5th generation fighter jet codenamed the ATD-X. This top-secret aircraft will incorporate three-paddle 3-axis thrust-vectoring, a fly-by-optics flight control system, active phased array radar, ECM, ESM, and Self Repairing Flight Control Capability. They're going to roll-out this Japan-made stealth aircraft by decade's end, 2018 to be exact.

Goodbye Car Town

Since its launch on the summer of 2010, Car Town, the social game on Facebook allows car enthusiasts to create garages, do jobs, collect and build cars, race against friends, and go on adventures. In its four year lifespan, Car Town's roster of cars; from JDM tuners, offroaders, American muscles, European exotics, service vehicles, and many others has been growing and it has partnered with Universal (for Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and The Fast and The Furious franchises), BBC (for Top Gear), IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, Sony Pictures (for Ghostbusters) and so much more. The game's fan base keeps on growing thanks to the feature where players can create their own templates and show off their work on the global scale.

Sadly, the game's developer, Cie Games, announced that on the 29th of August, 2014, Car Town will be shutting down.

Hello Kitty's not a cat!

The year 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of one of the most loved cute characters of all time, Hello Kitty. When it was launched in 1974 by Sanrio, Hello Kitty won millions of fans and not only that, she spawned countless merchandises from toys, video games, clothing lines, and tons of Kitty-ness. If I can only remember that in the Philippines, there was a store called the Gift Gate where Hello Kitty and other Sanrio merchandises were sold exclusively there.

For its 40th birthday, Hello Kitty had a special exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum, located somewhere in Los Angeles, California, since mid-October and after the exhibit, there's going to be a first-ever Hello Kitty-dedicated convention at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Christine R. Yano, the anthropologist from the University of Hawaii and author of her book titled "Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific" revealed that when she was working for the script for the show, the folks from Sanrio stopped by and told that Hello Kitty is NOT a cat.

Also, it is revealed that Hello Kitty is not her real name. In fact, her real name is in fact Kitty White. Her parents are named George and Mary. Her birthdate is November 1st, she's a Scorpio, she's a third-grader, and she has a twin sister named Mimmy (but we know that). What we also didn't know is...she's British.

FIA Formula E

The year 2014 gives birth to a brand new generation of motorsport. The FIA Formula-E Championship is a brand new FIA single-seater championship and the world's first fully-electric racing series. The inaugural season starts from September 2014 to June 2015, spanning 10 different locations from London, Beijing, and Miami.

The Spark-Renault SRT_01E is the first ever open-wheeler electric racing machine to be homologated by the FIA and this zero-emission racer aims to turn the tables of what is achievable in electric motorsport while balancing cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

It was built by the newly-established Spark Racing Technology while the monocoque chassis, built from carbon fiber and aluminum, was done by Dallara. The electric powertrain and electronics was sourced by McLaren Electronics System while the battery was sourced by the Williams F1 Team, producing 200kw of power while linked to a 5-speed Hewland sequential gearbox with fixed ratios.

In the opener of the FIA Formula E Championship, 10 teams, with two drivers each, are competing in the first season. The teams are AMLIN AGURI, ANDRETTI FORMULA E, AUDI SPORT ABT, CHINA RACING, DRAGON RACING, E.DAMS-RENAULT, MAHINDRA RACING, TRULLI, VENTURI, and VIRGIN RACING. There are selection of aces taking part in the opener; aces of all kinds such as motorsport icons, F1 testers, former Formula 1 racing drivers, even female drivers. The opening match will be in Beijing, the capital city of the People's Republic of China, on the 13th of September.

Enzo Pastor murder case

Race car driver Enzo Pastor shot dead in Quezon City last night

Filipino racing driver Enzo Pastor was reportedly shot dead on the 12th of June, 2014 by some unknown assailants while he was in a tow truck carrying an Asian V8 car to Clark International Speedway. Businessman Doming de Guzman III was arrested in Muntinlupa City since August 26 while PO2 Edgar Angel was arrested on the 23rd of August. Both are linked to Enzo's murder. Also, Enzo Pastor's wife, Dalia, was involved in the murder case as reports told she had an affair with de Guzman.

BMW's first FWD

Much to the dismay from BMW loyalists, the Germna luxury carmaker unveiled the 2-Series Active Tourer which is known to be the brand's first FWD car which uses the same platform as the New Mini F56. It was unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show last March and sales commenced last fall. This is just a start because by 2017, BMW plans to launch six FWD models including a next-gen 1-Series, next-gen X1, and more.

Death of Mark Gil

Veteran actor Mark Gil died on the 1st of September, 2014, at the age of 52 due to liver cirrhosis disease. Known by his full name Raphael Joseph Eigenmann, Mark Gil was born on the 25th of September, 1961 and he is one of the three children of Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil. He was the middle of the three siblings between Michael de Mesa and Cherie Gil, both are celebs. Most of Mark Gil's children have different showbiz careers. He was married to Maricar Jacinto eight years ago. His last appearance on television was in ABS-CBN's The Legal Wife, which starred Angel Locsin, Maja Salvador, and Jericho Rosales.

Apple iPhone 6

The 6th-generation Apple iPhone has been launched. It's available in two different sizes from the normal iPhone 6 and the taller iPhone 6 Plus. Whichever the iPhone 6 customers choose, they will be benefitted with enhanced retina display, improved iSight camera with new sensor with Focus Pixels and new video features, faster LTE download speeds, Touch ID technology, and the most advanced iOS8 operating system.

Twitpic shutdown

Twitpic, a site that lets user share pics on Twitter, has been shut down on the 25th of September, 2014. Reason for this closure is when a few weeks ago, Twitter demanded Twitpic to abandon their trademark application or risk losing access to their API.  Twitpic was launched in 2008 and its trademark application has been in the USPTO 5 years ago. Sadly, they don't have enough resources to maintain their trademark against Twitter.

NO to Scottish independence

Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom after 55% of the Scottish voters are against Scotland's independence while 45% of the voters want the two nations separated. It has been forewarned that when Scotland gained its independence, not only it will not be part of Great Britain but it will also means exit from the European Union and NATO.

Family Guy-Simpsons crossover

The Simpsons, one of the world's animated comedy greats that has been around for 25 years now, and Family Guy, even called a rip-off, it's Seth MacFarlane's biggest attempt to create a TV show that drives people crazy with its toilet humor, strong-ish language, sexual fantasies, and numerous references from other stuff. Now, what happens when they combine these two? The result, in all-out clash of two cartoon comedy greats showing who's boss, although there are a few trespassers popped out during this episode.

And yes, our dream of seeing Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson in a fistfight has finally came true. We've been waiting for this right moment to come in this special episode.

...oops. Time to exit this segment for a while. Maybe on Part Six perhaps...

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