Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Grand Tour - Episode 9

The Grand Tour Episode 9

In the ninth episode of Amazon's Original TV Series, The Grand Tour, the boys are stepping through the future by giving the motoring world a glimpse of tomorrow.

First up, James May is test driving the all-new Honda NSX supercar to see just how it lives up as the successor to Japan's legendary sportscar.

Then, with SUVs are becoming the new normal in the automotive landscape, Jeremy Clarkson devises a plan to create his own kind of "sports utility vehicle" using the underpinnings of the Land Rover Discovery as the basis. He once used the MGB's exterior for this experiment but moments later, it broke. Later, he used the old Mercedes SL roadster and christen it as "The Excellent".

After that, with an ongoing energy crisis going on in the world, the boys are trying to find any means to generate as much electricity as they can to solve the problem. Trouble is, they didn't.

And finally, when the world faces an imminent fallout, Richard Hammond creates his own take of a bugged-out car. In his first attempt, he created a VW-based survival vehicle, only to be then blown by Clarkson and May using conventional weaponry. In the second attempt, it got blown away by a tank. And in the third attempt, Hammond created a military vehicle, only to be then destroyed by a battleship's long-range weaponry.

FH3 Blizzard Mountain: The Living (Broad) Daylight

Back to some more James Bond references to do on Forza Horizon 3's Blizzard Mountain, let's move on to the Bond car used during the Timothy Dalton years, known as the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

In the James Bond movie, The Living Daylights, when Bond's about to get pull over by a police car, he fired up the wheel's laser to split the police car into half, thus initiating a cat-and-mouse chase between the car and the Soviet army pursuing them. Then, when one of the tires got shot down, Bond initiated the car's winter feature until the car met its fiery death via the self-destruct button while he and Kara shake off pursuers until they reached Austria using Kara's cello.

Again, this is not in a snowy part of Europe where Bond got pursued by the Soviets after splitting a police car into half with a laser, because I'm still in the Blizzard Mountain, and while the V8 Vantage I'm driving right now doesn't have the weapons like you get in the Bond car, fitting it with snow tires is as close as you can get to the Bond car's winter equipment, minus the sleds. Although Bond fans like are excited to take this Bond car for a spin round Blizzard Mountain to reminisce its Living Daylights moment, this isn't the time to feel jumpy because this is rear-wheel drive and even when you fit it with snow tires, you might be having some hard time survive the slippery conditions this extreme icy weather can throw at you. However, those who are looking a little challenge seems like they're getting their "challenge accepted" face on. So, dare to race it on extreme icy conditions? Challenge accepted.

While the Bond people remain very quiet right now, fans are starting to honor 55 years of Bond by reliving every James Bond movie in history, from Dr. No to SPECTRE, from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, so much more to understand fifty-five years of James Bond films and here in Forza Horizon 3, those Bond cars featured in the game are so many reasons to honor the famed British spy that woos the ladies, foils the villains' plots, toying the gadgets Q Branch ever offered, and driving the fastest cars during his missions. Need I say more?

Hidden Figures

The launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit is one of America's most significant turning point in history that restored the great nation's confidence, made the turning point in the Space Race of the Cold War era, and forever changed the world. But behind the turning point of history are the unsung women who made this happened and in this inspirational tale, Hidden Figures will give viewers the unsung tale of the three women who forever changed the world during the Cold War era following the Cuban Missile Crisis and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, and Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson, three unsung African-American women working at NASA and responsible for the greatest turning points in the history of the great nation of United States of America. Behind their unsung success comes with their rough beginnings, about how they got to their posts to the first place and how did they work their way to the top of their own game.

Given to the caliber to this unsung tale of the Afro-American women, Hidden Figures is one way to start the year 2017 with a blast, no matter the political climate today's America is facing, and while it reflects historical events in a different point of view, it serves as an inspirational tale for those, regardless of any gender or race, to dream big and never giving up, no matter the odds of today's world.

As world affairs keeps on changing, this film will serve as one of the most remarkable points in cinematic history and Hidden Figures is just one of the main reasons to understand the life and times of American affairs in a different point of view and it doesn't really matter if you're into world history because this movie is a fit for everyone who has big aspirations for tomorrow's world.

My rating: 4.4 out of 5.

Bubble Gang - January 6, 2017 #BGBigTimeExtra

On the January 6, 2017 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Duguan gags

- Is someone with a nose problem considered to be disabled?

- My Husband's Dubber

- An extra on the set is a famous one...

- Istambay, Istambay sa Looban, Isang Taon Na Naman Ng Kantahan, Dahil New Year Ngayon Sa Tambayan, Simulan Na Natin Ang...KUWENTUHAN?!

- More news for moms in Balitang Ina.

- The dispute dilemma on a normal day...

- Basa-Basa-Pik!

FH3 Blizzard Mountain: Ghost of SPECTRE's past

The Blizzard Mountain has full of references festival-runners can come up with their near-endless imagination, and with the year 2017 signals the 55th anniversary of the James Bond films, it will take a lot of time before the franchise returns with new and exciting ways to keep the tales of the legendary British spy alive and well. In the meantime, festival-runners who are fans of the Bond films can picture so many Bond references to come up with and nothing is more so that revisiting the snowy ghost of SPECTRE's past, the Range Rover Sport SVR.

In the movie, a group of SPECTRE goons captured Dr. Madeleine Swann and then pursued by Bond in a snow plane at a snowy Austrian landscape. Sadly, there's no snow plane chasing you down and this isn't Austria, which is easily confused for Australia. This is Blizzard Mountain but driving the SVR as seen in the film is as close as you can get from the SPECTRE goons.

It has the same supercharged 5.0L V8 engine as seen from the Jaguar F-Type R and it produces 550HP of power and 502ft-lb of torque. Now a V8 engine like this sounds unfriendly to heretic environmentalists and polar bears alike but when you listen to it, it roars like a beast on the cold winter night and those who experienced it after the snow plane sequence on SPECTRE can have a clear expression of what's like to drive one of the cars reserved for SPECTRE. Now we're like living in a life of international crime with this one unless Bond can gut us out in the open.

Speaking of which, while the Range Rover Sport balances legendary Range Rover offroad capability with track-honed performance that upsets the little hatches, the SVR pushes the envelope on the other side. I presumed that the SVR is a track-focused Land Rover that trades its offroad capability to track-minded characteristics but seeing one in SPECTRE in action, it defies the point I made, knowing that despite its track-honed capabilities that lapped the Nurburgring in a blistering fast lap time for SUVs, it's still a Range Rover and I shall demonstrate it, knowing that I'm on a double dare that I can win this race with no studless tires equipped. I know it's hard to drive through Blizzard Mountain without it but by relying on the Range Rover's Terrain Response, I am trying to see if this Range Rover Sport lives up to its name or die trying.

Heh. It's worth the slippery risk but it feels like finding the lost remote nearby in the first try but I've been warned that if I keep this up, I'm in for some serious trouble until I find the answer to the hardest question. It's like setting the remote-finding challenge to the hardest level, if you know what I mean.

Still, with the Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport, the Brits know how to make a legendary offroader that conquers almost all odds on and off the road with its ever-evolving capabilities that shaped these SUVs into the ones we're familiar with since the first Range Rover was born.

In a place like Blizzard Mountain, a winter wonderland full of so many Bond references you can imagine all in the name of 007's 55th anniversary, reminiscing the snowy scene from SPECTRE in the Range Rover Sport SVR is the best thing to do for Bond fans elsewhere.

Friday, January 6, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Senior diplomats held talks in Washington

Senior diplomats from South Korea, the US, and Japan held a talk in Washington on Thursday local time. The three assessed the results of UN Security Council resolutions 2270 and 2321, and vowed to continue working together on the implementation of independent sanctions as well. Meanwhile, speaking ahead of his departure from office, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned the new administration of North Korea. He said it should keep increasing the pressure on North Korea in order to get the regime to comply with its international obligations.

South Korea's National Security Council chief Kim Kwan-jin will visit the US for security talks with the incoming Donald Trump administration. In a press release, the presidential office said Kim's four-day visit starts Sunday. Talks will center around security policies ranging from North Korea to bilateral relations. The meeting is held with hopes of reaffirming the importance of further developing the alliance and continuing to coordinate, based on the common understanding of the severity and urgency of the North Korea nuclear issue.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (January 6, 2017)

- President Rodrigo Duterte visited and toured the Russian warship docked in Port Area, Manila, on Friday after almost a week of vacation. The two ships from Russia's Pacific Fleet docked at Manila South Harbor on Tuesday. The president has expressed stronger ties with the Russian Federation and the warships' visit will bolster their cooperation.

- The Commission of Elections should release a report of its investigation into the breach of voters' data, according to a Palace official. The poll body should release the report, if any, to maintain its credibility and uphold the integrity of the electoral process, according to Presidential Communications Office Secretary.

- A high-ranking Bureau of Corrections official has resigned, claiming he was about to take a leave due to a pending investigation into his alleged involvement in the New Bilibid Prison illegal drug trade. In a text message to reporters, BuCor Deputy Director Rolando Asuncion said that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II had asked him to take a leave. He said the message was relayed through BuCor Director Benjamin Delos Santos, due to a pending investigation.

- Top intelligence officials got a chance to hit back against the broad attacks Donald Trump has lobbied against them, a day ahead of their briefing with the president-elect on Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Trump, earlier, supported claims by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that the Russians didn't interfere with the elections.

- The gunman behind the New Year's Day attack at a bar in Istanbul, according to the Turkish government, may be an ethnic Uyghur. The Uyghurs most live in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Central Asian nations and Turkey. Many of them are Muslims. But Deputy Veysi Kaynak did not comment on the suspect's nationality.

- Toyota will launch the all-new Prius PHV in Japan this February.

- A facelifted Subaru WRX will be featured at this year's North American International Auto Show, featuring a new exterior design, new interior design, and other updates.

2018 Subaru WRX STi

- The Shutokou Battle roars back to smartphones with Genki's brand new smartphone app game, Shutokou Battle Extreme, due to launch this year. Pre-registration is now opened with in-game rewards in store for the players, including bonus cars such as the Suzuki Alto Works, Honda S660, Toyota 86, and the Nissan GT-R R35.

Shutokou Battle Extreme

- Disney's Tangled the Series will air on Disney Channel this March.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Second hearing on the President Park impeachment case

The second hearing of the Park Geun-hye impeachment case is underway. The National Assembly's legal team is questioning Yoon Jeon-chu, who assisted President Park at her residence. While the questions are focused on finding out the nature of her job, Yon testified that she was in charge of the president's personal affairs from time-to-time. However, there are allegations that she acted as private secretary to the president's longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil.

Choi appeared before the Seoul Central District Court for the first formal hearing held Thursday. She was present as a defendant for numerous charges, including abuse of power and attempted fraud. Denying all allegations against her, Choi said there are many parts that are unfair to her, President Park Geun-hye's former aides An Chong-bum and Jeong Ho-seong also attended the hearing on suspicions of collaborating with Choi. They made their first public appearance since they wete taken into detention late last year.

The independent counsel team was also busy continuing its investigation into the Choi Soon-sil corruption scandal. The team questioned three key figures on Thursday, one of whom is Professor Namkoong Gon. He is accused of using his position to have CHoi Soon-sil's daughter Chung Yoo-ra admitted to Ewha Womans University. Another one is former presidential senior secretary for health and welfare Kim Jin-soo, who is alleged to be involved in supporting a controversial merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil industries in 2015. Lastly, newly appointed Vice Culture Minister Soong Soo-keun is being grilled over allegations over the so-called blacklist, which contains cultural figures who were deemed critical of the government. Meanwhile, the justice ministry says it sent extradition requests on Thursday afternoon to both the foreign affairs ministry of Korea and to the Danish government.

Seoul's defense ministry stressed that South Korea will deploy THAAD this year as scheduled. The statement comes in the wake of a trip to China by a group of South Korean lawmakers from the main opposition Democratic Party. The lawmakers are said to have discussed THAAD with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Wednesday, who repeatedly said the deployment plan should be halted.

Source: Arirang News

Ssangyong Korando C (2017 minor change)

The Ssangyong Korando C crossover has been around the block for half a decade since its 2011 launch and followed by a minor change in 2013. For the second time, in this 2017 model year, Ssangyong's midsize crossover has been facelifted again to ensure its freshness while ringing the new year for the small South Korean car company that currently runs deep under Indian ownership.

2017 Ssangyong Korando C
2017 Ssangyong Korando C interior

For its latest minor change, the 2017 Korando C now features a redesigned front face that looks vaguely similar to the VW Tiguan for numerous reasons this crossover never understand why while the rear view has been slightly revised. On the inside, it's been mildly revised with a brand new instrumental cluster that displays the car's information in real well as the new steering wheel design, 7-inch color display, and Infinity Premium Surround Sound system for a clearer sound quality equivalent to what luxury cars had.

The new Korando C is now powered by the e-XDi220 diesel engine, which produces 178PS of power and 40.8kg-m of torque, while mated with a 6-speed gearbox, either manual or automatic. Apart from that, it's the first in class to offer a 180-degree safety camera while its combined use of the front and rear sensors and rear camera has greatly improved to sense blind spots during parking or low-speed driving. Sounds handy for the unsung crossover that has been improved to keep it fresh for the new year.

The facelifted 2017 Korando C now starts at 22,430,000 Korean won for the entry-level KX model up to 28,770,000 for the range-topping DX variant. The Extreme Edition, meanwhile, starts at 26,490,000 Won, and it comes with special HID headlights, blackened front grille, 18-inch wheels, and LED lighting package.

Photo: Ssangyong Motor Company

Let's Do The News! (January 5, 2017)

- The leader of the Khilafa Islamiya Philippines terrorist group, Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, also known as Abu Shareefa Al-Filibini, was killed in an encounter with police past 0100 hours local time in a beach resort in Kiamba, Sarangani. Police agents who cornered Maguid attempted to subdue him but he resisted and pulled out a gun, prompting them to immediately neutralize him.

- The National Privacy Commission found COMELEC Chairman Juan Andres "Andy" Bautista criminally liable for the breach on the database last year. Long before the May 2016 elections, the COMELEC website was hacked, leaking the data of voters.

- President Rodrigo Duterte has named dancer and blogger Mocha as one of the board members of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board. Her appointment was confirmed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

- Australian boxer Jeff Horn, who was one of the shortlist of Manny Pacquiao's next opponents, said he's looking forward to fight wit the legendary Filipino boxer. Horn, age 28, is the no.2 contender to Pacquiao's WBO welterweight championship and Top Rank chief Bob Arum planning to hold Pacquiao's next fight outside the US, probably Australia to be next.

- New UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and US President-elect Donald Trump made their first phone conversation. A spokesperson said the two had a very positive discussion on US-UN relations and the Secretary-General will look forward to work alongside Trump after his inauguration.

- Yukiya Amano will serve as director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency for the third time unopposed. Amano is set to finish his second term in his position by the end of November 2017.

- A 105-year-old Frenchman set a new world record for cycling the furthest distance in one hour for riders aged 105 and older. Robert Marchand rode over 22.5km at an indoor venue on the outskirts of Paris on Wednesday. 

- Tesla began their battery production at their Gigafactory, which officially opened last July. The batteries will be sued in the Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 electricity storage devices, as well as the upcoming Model 3 car. The first batteries will go into the storage devices, with Model 3 battery production beginning in the second quarter of 2017.

- Kia will launch the all-new, third-generation, Morning compact hatchback on the 17th of January.

2017 Kia Morning

- Disney Channel's hit TV series, Girl Meets World, ends with the series finale episode titled "Girl Meets Goodbye" on the 20th of January. Time to bid farewell to Maya and Riley's life and times of growing up.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: SoKor's top security policy of 2017

South Korea's top security policy of 2017 is to continue pressuring North Korea over its nuclear weapons program. 

The South Korea foreign affairs and unification ministries presented their plans for the New Year on Wednesday during a briefing towards Prime Minister and acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn. One of the key points surrounding North Korean issue. The ministries said South Korea will continue to limit North Korea's access to funds through an export cap on its coal and minerals, as stated in the recently adopted UN Security Council resolution. Also, they will cooperate in bringing unilateral sanctions on North Korea from other nations.

Responding to the Korean Peninsula's threats, they will continue to prepare the ground work for reunification.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Han Min-koo said its military will set up a special infiltration brigade focused on paralyzing Pyongyang's wartime command structure. He added the military will focus this year on countering North Korea's threats and the deployment of the US advanced missile defense system THAAD will be installed as planned in the middle of the year. 

Then, the second hearing on President Park Geun-hye's impeachment trial will be held on Thursday morning. Key witnesses are set to be summoned to the hearing, including the president's personal secretaries. President Park is reportedly reviewing the possibility of defending herself in person, although she didn't appeared at the first hearing.

The Danish High Court has rejected Chung Yoo-ra's appeal against the extension of her detention in the country. Chung, who was arrested on Sunday on charges of illegal stay, is the daughter of the woman behind the scandal, Choi Soon-sil. The High Court said Tuesday local time that the district court's decision to extend the detention period for the 20-year-old was legitimate and reasonable, adding that it will stick with its decision to extend her confinement.

Deputy National Security Adviser Co Tae-yong will be making a three-day visit to the United States this week to meet his counterpart, Anthony Blinken, and they will focus on how the latest UNSC resolution is being carried out and how to further counter North Korea's threats.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (January 4, 2017)

- President Rodrigo Duterte has designated the Presidential Communications Operations Office as the lead agency in the implementation of the freedom of information program in the executive branch. The president signed EO 2 which implements the FOI in the executive branch three weeks after assuming office in July. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued MO 10 which takes the PCOO to oversee implementation of all FOI and e-FOI programs for all government agencies int he executive branch.

- China confirmed that its aircraft carrier has for the first time conducted drills in the South China Sea with a formation of other warships and fighter jets, a move that could raise concerns among its neighbors. The Defense Ministry said several J-15 fighter jets took off and landed from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Liaoning on Monday. China's first and only aircraft carrier sailed into South China Sea last week.

- Vice President Leni Robredo said she denies rumors that former US ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg had left a "blueprint" to oust President Duterte. Robredo said that she and Goldberg only talked about bilateral relations between the two countries during their meeting.

- One of the award-winning entries from the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival has been recalled due to animal cruelty issues. The FPJ Memorial Award for the film, Oro, was stripped due to its graphic depiction of a dog being slaughtered in one scene. Senator Grace Poe called on the organizers to look into the matter of whether a dog was actually butchered as part of the filming of the movie, in violation of Animal Welfare Act (RA 8485), which protects the welfare of animals.

- The newly-elected US Congress convened on Tuesday. The majority Republicans intend to review President Barack Obama's health care act. In the first session, the Republican Senate Budget Committee chairperson submitted a bill to repeal the health care act but Democrats want to maintain the care act. It remains to be seen when president-elect Trump will review the act as he pledged during his election campaign or search for common ground with Democrats.

- US President Donald Trump picked veteran negotiator Robert Lighthizer as his trade representative. Lighthizer was the deputy trade representative in the Reagan administration and played a key role in negotiating bilateral trade deals for a range of products, including steel and crops.

- Turkish security authorities are reportedly investigating 8 people under detention in connection with Sunday's deadly shooting rampage at a nightclub in Istanbul. They are suspected to be linked to the Islamic State group. On Tuesday, Turkish media cited security officials as saying the attacker flew from Kyrgyzstan to Istanbul with his wife and two kids on the 20th of November. Right now, the state of emergency implemented in Turkey has extended to three months.

- Ford has officially announced that they will make hybrid versions of the Mustang sportscar and the F-150 pickup truck by the end of the decade as well as electrified vehicles.

- Faraday Future has unveiled their first production EV called the FF91 at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Showcase event in Las Vegas. The FF91 features a 200kW fast charging capability, 500 miles per charge, and a 130-kWh battery pack with 783kW of range (1050hp and 378 mile range.

- Interesting seiyuu news though; Rina Satou announced her marriage and her baby boy, then Mikako Takahashi also announced her marriage, and Ayana Taketatsu switched agencies.

- The Rockstar Energy Drink Car Pack for Forza Horizon 3 is now available. This month's car pack features the long-awaited arrival of the BMW i8 as well as the Bentley Bentayga and others.


FH3 Blizzard Mountain: Body Harvest

As you venture through the winter wonderland of Forza Horizon 3's Blizzard Mountain, you may have encountered news that a hidden treasure is lurking somewhere through the frozen landscape. No ice queen in sight, not even a yeti you may ask, but rather something special that you can't wait to get your hands on. So, let's find out what that mystery thing is hidden through the winter wonderland.

So, what could it be?

Hmmm....This looks new. This classic SUV is not very familiar to me, as if it came from a company I'm not familiar with. Let's see...hmm...what is that barn find I found in Blizzard Mountain...aha! That barn find I found on Blizzard Mountain is known as the International Harvester Scout!

Long before International was known for making big rigs for American roads, they made offroaders just like Isuzus in Japan. Since the late 50's. they want to create a Jeep CJ rival and then in 1960, the Scout was launched as a 1961 Model Year. There are two variants made for the International Harvester Scout. First, there was the Scout 80 that was distinguishable from its sliding windows, 152cu 4-cylinder engine, fold-down windshield, vacuum windshield wipers, and the logo in the center of the grill. Then, there's this; the Scout 800, which features basic improvements from the 80 as well as the choice of different engines such as an optional 196 4-cyl., 232 6cyl, 266 V-8, & 304 V-8 from 1969 to 1971. Production ended in 1980.

If you put this one near the classic Ford Bronco, you can really see why this two look closely similar judging by its exterior design. It may bear close resemblance but this unheard offroader deserves to get some credit to the ones who found it in the cold front because its offroader skills are not to be ignored for a legendary American machine.

To be honest, it takes guts to master this offroad machine because while it was forged from the working-class men who want to take on the iconic Jeep, how you'll live it up to the Scout's untapped potential is up to you and you're going to need some skills on handling the Harvester Scout as a great offroader that can survive through nature's madness.

Care for a little sample?

I know, I went a little hasty at first but it's a trial and error procedure. Try and try until I succeed. But anyway, the Scout's untapped potential as an offroader was clearly demonstrated and this legendary machine from the great American country is staying with me!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Trump criticizes China over North Korea

US President-elect Donald Trump criticized China for not doing more to stop North Korea's nuclear and missile development.

Trump dismissed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's claim that his country was in the final stages of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile. The president-elect tweeted that "it won't happen."

The North Korean leader made the claim that in his annual policy speech on Sunday. The ICBM is said to have a range that reaches the United States.

Trump also tweeted that China has been taking out massive amounts of money and wealth from the US in trade but won't help with North Korea.

Source: NHK World

Let's Do The News! (January 3, 2017)

- A warship from Russia's Pacific Fleet arrived in Manila in time for a maritime exercise with the Philippine Navy. Reports told that the Russian vessels are in the Philippines for a "goodwill visit." President Duterte has been expressing his desire to forge stronger ties with Russia as part of his administration's independent foreign policy.

- A bill to put up LGBT desks in police stations will be on the House floor soon, with its author saying a law is needed to make the help desks a permanent part of the Philippine National Police. Filed by Batangas Representative Vilma Santos-Recto, House Bill 2952 seeks to amend parts of the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act mandating the creation of women's desk that will also serve lesbians' gays, bisexuals, and transgenders if the bill is passed into law.

- Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno has likened redundant fiscal incentives to "pork barrel" as he cited the need to review tax perks that have led to significant losses of state revenues. Diokno said tax incentives have resulted in revenue losses equivalent to 1 to 2 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

- Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the attack on a nightclub in Istanbul during the New Year's celebrations that killed 39. In the latest in a series of ISIS-linked attacks in Turkey, revelers at Istanbul's Reina nightclub were attacked by a gunman in the early hours of Sunday morning. Turkish police continue the manhunt against the gunman behind the attack.

- A US presidency expert warned President-elect Donald Trump about his Twitter use. The expert said Trump's policy directions are hard to predict, and his Twitter posts are the only clues but cautioned that announcing policies via Twitter can cause confusion. He called it problematic that Trump used the platform to announce nuclear polices and to criticize China.

- Chrysler will showcase their Portal Concept at this week's CES in Las Vegas, which is created by millennials, for millennials, and featuring semi-autonomous technology that can be upgradable.

2017 Chrysler Portal Concept

- Online eSports Racing Game, iRacing, will feature Porsches, making it the fourth game franchise to feature the famed German automaker since EA exclusivity ended last month.

- Benedict Cumberbatch will officially reprise his Doctor Strange role in the upcoming Thor Ragnarok film.


FH3 Blizzard Mountain: Attack on Titan Warrior

No, there are no titans attacking Blizzard Mountain as they knew it but there is one attacking this frozen wonderland and it's basically American. Yes, there is Nissan on it but don't be fooled because this is the Titan Warrior Concept, a specially modified Titan XD that conceptualizes its tough off-road capability and one of the stars of FH3's Blizzard Mountain.

Back at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, Nissan launched the full model change of their full-sized pickup truck sold only to the North American market, the all new Titan XD. A year has passed since its debut and Nissan showcased a tougher take on their latest-generation model, called the Titan Warrior Concept.

Created by the Nissan Design America team, the Titan Warrior Concept pushes the Titan XD to uncharted heights courtesy of its Project Titan crowd-sourced customization that swnt two US military veterans representing Wounded Warrior Project on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in Alaska. It pays tribute to Nissan's heritage of off-road racing and adventuring that dates back to its Baja days to the Paris-Dakar Rally treks.

Just like the Titan XD it was based upon, it's still powered by the same Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine. but it's been given some extensive suspension upgrades and its signature durability as expected on the Titan XD.

Sure, this maybe a concept truck made by the red-blooded Americans as well as retired veterans who served for the free world but it feels like you're driving a normal Titan XD but with some offroad perks that will help you survive the attack on Blizzard Mountain, not even the so-called climate change can drown you like waterboarding.

Given the chance, I am fully prepared to survive the attack on Blizzard Mountain with the attack on Titan Warrior Concept, no matter the odds. Titans, GO!

So, I may have survived the attack on Blizzard Mountain but feels like I'm not ready to survive the attack on the Titan Warrior Concept, even though underneath is concept looks is basically a normal Titan XD, sold only for the Americans with their love for all things fast food, Republicans, and cars like this. So, how about those Republicans? Wait, what did I just said? Never mind but if you are prepared to survive the attack on Titan Warrior, then GO! Titans GO!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Let's Do The News! (January 2, 2017)

- President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to name this month the 21 persons who will comprise the new and expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is at the same time awaiting the resumption of formal talks with government soon and also looking forward to the appointment of BTC members, as this could pave the way for the crafting of the new Bangsamoro Basic Law.

- Meanwhile, President Duterte sees a loophole in the current Constitution that is supposed to have safeguards against the declaration of martial law in the country. He believes a sitting president may decide on his own if the findings of the legislature and the judiciary about martial law declaration contradict each other. There are provisions stipulating that martial law declaration is subject to review by both Congress and the Supreme Court, but Duterte said this could lead to a crisis if they don't agree with each other.

- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday expresses condolences to President Duterte over the casualties and damage due to Typhoon Nina. The Chinese Embassy in Manila said that Xi sent to Duterte his condolences which also extends to those affected by the typhoon. Over 5.1 billion worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure was incurred by Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Bicol, according to the latest NDRRMC report.

-The Department of Labor and Employment reported that electricians and other construction workers would be highly in demand in the next five years. DOLE's Bureau of Local Employment director Dominique Tutay said the country is not producing a sufficient number of skilled construction workers and noted that of the 80,000 construction workers, only 24,000 are actively looking for employment.

- An assailant believed to have been dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire at a crowded nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations, killing at least 39 people and hurt less than 70 others in what the province's governor described as a terror attack. The attacker, armed with a long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian outside the club at around 1:45 AM yesterday before entering and firing on people partying inside.

- The new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres began his new stint and he may have difficulty gaining cooperation from the new US administration to be led by Donald Trump. Guterres says he plans to serve the most vulnerable and pledges to tackle issues such as poverty, women's rights, and refugees.

- The Islamic State militant group still maintains its fighting capability despite having lost control of large areas in Iraq and Syria. Relevant countries are coordinating efforts to slash their financial sources and keep the fighters isolated.

- Tyrus Wong, the man behind the artwork that inspired the Walt Disney animation film Bambi died in his California home on December 30th. He was 106. Wong was born in a farm village in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong in 1910. He emigrated to the United States with his father when he was nine. After studying art at a California college, he took a job with Walt Disney in 1938.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Grand Tour - Episode 7 & 8 (Namibia Special)

The Grand Tour Namibia Special

Call it a Christmas special you may ask like what Top Gear did in the past but the first-ever two-part special of Amazon's Original Series, The Grand Tour, is more than just a Christmas special. It's about three boys exploring through the Namibian landscape using beach buggies that were based on classic Beetle chassis. 

James May's beach buggy bears a close resemblance to the original beach buggy while Jeremy Clarkson's buggy, meanwhile, is powered by a V8 because of his love for power, and Richard Hammond's buggy has a roof and offroad parts on it.

Throughout this epic two-parter, the boys and the buggies are trying to survive the harsh roads and elements in this thousand-mile journey to prove that beach buggies are the best. In the end, turns out that despite everything they gave, they proved themselves wrong, knowing that beach buggies aren't the best.

Still, the first-ever Grand Tour special shows that the boys can still explore through the ends of the earth just like during their Top Gear heydays, no matter how good or bad things are until the conclusion that defines the turning point of history.
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