Saturday, January 21, 2017

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

xXx: The Return
of Xander Cage

At long last, the long awaited installment from the xXx action films sees the long awaited return of action star Vin Diesel before he gets his inner gearhead ready for the upcoming The Fate of the Furious film. For the third xXx, Vin Diesel reprised his role of Xander Cage, the extreme athlete turned secret agent who eats danger for breakfast and...poops it out for dinner.

Coming out from his self-imposed exile, Xander Cage is on a mission to recover a deadly weapon codenamed Pandora's Box, which controls the world's military satellites. However, he is not alone as he's going to form a new team of daredevils to get the job done while getting caught in a conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of the government. This movie also stars Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette and Samuel L. Jackson.

After 12 years of waiting for this new film since 2005's State of the Union, and with putting Vin Diesel back to the role fit for his action star role, this long-awaited installment sees more high-octane thrills that feels like a mix of James Bond and The Fast and the Furious. Believe it or not, it really is a mix of Bond and Fast and Furious and with all that espionage stuff and death-defying stunts really lives up to his name as xXx, this thriller is all about getting your adrenaline running up until the end of this bravado action flick loaded with explosions, Although this is basically an explosive thriller that celebrates the return of the most hardcore action hero in the history of action films, this is definitely not for the faint at heart because with so many explosive stunts in store for the film, it feels like a walking disaster zone that gives anyone the trauma they'll never forget but those who are brave enough to see it shows that this is a manly movie for the manliest of men.

It's good to have xXx back after a decade of waiting and while we wait for Vin Diesel's high-speed performance in The Fate of the Furious soon, it's best to make do with his Xander Cage role in this film. Still, it's the second best thing to see more of Vin Diesel's extremeness as one of the most death-defying action heroes in cinematic history.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

Bubble Gang - January 20, 2017 #BGWanted

In the January 20, 2017 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Wanted gags

- At last, a fast food chain that serves hot women and food!

- This hipster loves old-school stuff.

- When one sense is recovered, another sense needs recovery.

- More news for moms in Balitang Ina.

- Istambay, Istambay sa Looban, May Bagong Manghuhula Sa Bayan, Pag Bumasa Siya Ng Kapalaran, Bibilib Kahit Sinong...HULAAN!

- The drunken truth.

- Quicksand!

- Basa-basa pik!

The Grand Tour - Episode 11

The Grand Tour Episode 11

The latest episode of this season of The Grand Tour sees the boys driving second-hand Maseratis in the north of France. Jeremy Clarkson drives a two-door Biturbo while Richard Hammond drives a four-door Biturbo called 430 and James May, injured, drives an open top Biturbo-based Zagato Spyder.

Yep, all three Maseratis in this episode are Biturbo-based as the trio set off to an epic French road trip with the climax that really is a thriller and comedy gold.

Before that, Richard Hammond's at the Eboladrome, test driving the brand new Abarth 124 Spider. Then, Sir Chris Coy, Olympic cycling champion turned car racer, is the latest casualty in the Celebrity Brain Crash segment.

About the inauguration of America's 45th leader

A beast that slouches North America to be born, and that beast is none other than the 45th President of the United States Donald John Trump.

In the nation's capital city Washington D.C., Donald Trump has sworn in as the 45th leader of the United States of America after his shocking victory at the November 2016 elections that sparked outrage not just here but around the world. His campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" is what shaped this wealthy businessman into the no-holds barred world leader the world has ever feared and respected.

What makes this beast so unique is that the Republican Party that gave birth to it was no beast itself, and his lack of political background gave him the perfect opportunity to dismantle the establishment while delivering his "America first" policy for the welfare of the Americans.

Some have feared that his protectionist policies will dismantle the United States as they know as the global superpower, giving way for rival superpowers like Russia and China to lead the way in the new age of American presidency.

Trump's draconian promises include a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the area, , lifting sanctions against Russia, deporting illegal immigrants, dismantle the Islamic State militants quickly, repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act that Obama implemented, renegotiate trade deals, and withdraw the US's participation in the Paris treaty (in the same way what George W. Bush did with the Kyoto treaty in 2001) due to his climate denial along with his newly picked Cabinet members including Scott Pruitt, the new EPA administrator who, like Trump, denies climate change, sparking outrage from environmentalists.

Using his vast knowledge as a wealthy businessman (not to mention his "cruelty with a smile" attitude as demonstrated from being the presenter of the reality TV program The Apprentice), the Don vows he will revive manufacturing jobs and impose tighter taxes against US companies outsourcing their jobs and products overseas, especially Mexico and China, which Trump sees them as threat to America's economy. Although, China has warned that Trump's harsh relations with the Asian superpower will take the necessary precautions and countermeasures.

Although world leaders showed strong distrust against Trump, there are some far-right ones who sees Trump as an advantage. Russian leader Vladimir Putin, whose government was accused for manipulating the elections to tip Trump's favor, sees optimism that the US-Russia ties will be recovered under Trump's rule, not to mention the fact that the new American leader will drop the country's nuclear arsenal if he dropped sanctions against Russia following the annexation of Crimea. Also, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pleased about the plans Trump has made such as relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which will infuriate the Palestinians and crushing hopes of establishing the independent state of Palestine. Because of this, Trump's tortured metaphors inspired many politicians to do so, including the current Philippine leader Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who unleashed his scorched earth policy against illegal drugs while violating human rights laws, not to mention the threat to proclaim Martial Law reminiscent of the Marcos regime.

Whether President Trump has the ability and intelligence to resolve global issues without becoming a Yeatsean beast is yet to be seen. Question is, is he a shadowy figure manipulating the world off stage or is he a hero leading the charge against Islamic extremism?

Anyone who heard President Donald Trump's inauguration speech will be immediately struck by his intelligence and keen insight. His devil-may-care attitude that captured the hearts of many supporters served him well in the cloak-and-dagger world of globalization. He is able to charm the Republican-controlled Congress and Senate into fulfilling his campaign promises he brought during the elections.

Which brings is now is that President Donald Trump not only rules the US with his iron fist approach but also the world and he refuses to give up without a real fight.

Is President Trump a hero or a monster? Only time will tell.

Friday, January 20, 2017

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

- One of the policemen involved in the kidnapping and slay of a Korean national will not be a state witness after he was identified as the alleged killer, according to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II. The Department of Justice found probable cause to file kidnap for ransom with homicide charges against SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, SPO4 Roy Villegas, Ramon, Yalung, and four others in relation to the disappearance of businessman Jee Ick Joo.

- More areas have been hit by floods as torrential rains continued in Southern and Eastern Mindanao. PAGASA said the rainfall brought by the tail-end of a cold front and a low-pressure area that are taking place at the same time at this part of the country. Widespread flooding and landslides in Mindanao and the Visayas have left 18 people died.

- Government troops rescued two Filipino hostages of the Abu Sayyaf yesterday morning in Indanan, Sulu, according to the military. The victims were rescued by elements of the JTFS led by Lt. Col. Arnel Baccay of Air Intelligence Service Group and Joint Intelligence Task Force Sulu led by Lt. Col. Yusop Hassan at about 0915 hours local time.

- Despite President Rodrigo Duterte's harsh remarks against the Catholic Church, Pope Francis vows to bless the Philippines and its leader. “When I had the opportunity of kissing the hand of the Pope, I said, ‘Bless the Philippines, Your Holiness,’ and his answer was, ‘Yes, I will also bless your president,‘” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said in a video clip in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican shown on television yesterday.

- With the inauguration of US President-Elect Donald Trump is set tomorrow, he was at the Lincoln Memorial for his welcoming party with musical performances by singer Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood, 3 Doors Down, and many others.. Trump vowed that he will unify the country, promising changes, while pledging to "make America great for all our people".

- Notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been extradited from a northern Mexico prison to the Unites States, a day before Trump's inauguration. Guzman was one of the world's most wanted drug kingpins until he was captured in January last year. Six months earlier, he escaped from the penitentiary through a mile-long tunnel.

- 20 people have died when a 17-story building in Tehran, Iran, collapsed while firefighters were trying to douse the fire. The building went down about 3-and-a-half hours after the fire broke out on Thursday.

- A 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson tomorrow. It will be featured with a special paint job selected by its eventual owner while proceeds will benefit JDRF, a charity that provides funding for type 1 diabetes research.

- Former Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan will reprise her Guardians of the Galaxy character Nebula at the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War films next year.


FH3 Blizzard Mountain: S1 on ice

Audi's S1 may be a semi-hot A1 for the 50%, but for a small-sized compact, it tries so hard to become the super hot hatch it deserved.

Although this is classified as a super hot hatch that competes against the Astra VXR, A45 AMG, and the RenaultSport Megane, its short on power is a big disadvantage in the straights but thanks to its size, it can squeeze into corners squeaky clean as a thief in the night, as if drivers know how to watch their backs and blind spots for sudden overtakes.

Some people claimed that the S1 has the blessings of the legendary Audi Quattro but upon checking out its driving modes, it all feels wrong. Like the Sport mode, for example, which solidifies the suspension rather than sharpens it, making this car too mild to handle in the bends. It maybe small and nippy but the way the S1 behaves is...just plain mild as an Ivory soap with a point I made moments later.

As you can see, I am rejoined here with my special S1 I drove back in FH2's Storm Island years ago. It's got the same Cinderella Girls Miria design as last time, but it's been updated to handle Blizzard Mountain. With the car set, the S1 faces the harshest challenge yet under extreme icy conditions. When I say extreme, I really do mean it.

It's true. It was the harshest challenge ever faced under extreme icy conditions but the S1 managed to win the race for me, although I wouldn't want to do it against because as the Blizzard Mountain challenges get even tougher, it takes the right strategy and the right car to do such things in order to achieve the full three-star result. Winning the race is easy but winning the race while completing a specific task is a tough act to follow.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Constitutional Court holds seventh hearing in impeachment trial

The seventh hearing in the impeachment trial of President Park Geun-hye is underway. Former senior presidential secretary of education and culture Kim Sang-ryul took the stand today. Kim acknowledged his nephew, Cha Eun-taek, a close associate of President Park's longtime confidante, Choi Soon-sil, had recommended that he apply for the job at the top office three years ago, but added that he submitted his resume and was interviewed before being hired two months later.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is set to visit former conservative president Lee Myung-bak and the wife of the former president Kim Young-sam this afternoon. Upon returning home last week, Ban has refrained from meeting old-guard political figures as he takes cautious steps toward an anticipated run for the presidency. He has yet to announce his bid though.

North Korea is believed to have added two more ICBMs to its weaponry, according to military intelligence group from South Korea and the US. Reports show that the new missiles can also be launched from mobile launch systems, fulfilling the threat the regime had made a couple of weeks ago, when it said that it could fire an ICBM "anytime and from anywhere" on its leader Kim Jong-un's order.

Source: Arirang News

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

- Philippine negotiations and communist guerillas are set to resume peace talks at Rome on Thursday, with the Maoist insurgents warning that alleged government violation on human rights may prompt them to end a month long ceasefire. Jesus Dureza, the presidential adviser to the talks, said the government have hopes about the resumption of the Norway-brokered negotiations in the Italian capital.

- The Department of Justice revealed that the Korean victim of "tohkand for ransom" was killed inside the Philippine National Police Headquarters in Camp Crame. Co-accused SP04 Roy Villegas said in his affidavit how the alleged mastermind SP03 Ricky Sta. Isabel executive businessman Jee Ick Joo at Camp Crame in October. Following this, the South Korean Embassy in Manila expressed concerned for over 90,000 Koreans living in the country.

- After receiving a letter from President Rodrigo Duterte, Pope Francis will bless the president, according to Jesus Dureza, the presidential peace adviser. In his Facebook post, Dureza shared that he was able to meet Pope Francis.

- The Philippine and Japanese governments have signed a program document to ensure cooperation on the treatment and rehabilitation of illegal drug users. The signatories were officials of member-agencies of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Establishment and Support of Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers (DATRCs). The Japan International Cooperation Agency signed the program document for the CARE program in Malacanang last January 13th.

- The Iraqi government says its forces regained control of eastern Mosul, the largest stronghold of the Islamic State militant group. In this announcement, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the Iraqi forces achieved a major victory in their operations over the past few days.

- Two days before the inauguration, a wax sculpture of US President-elect Donald Trump has been unveiled in Washington. The Madam Tussauds museum unveiled the figure on Wednesday. Work began in London last June, when Trump essentially clinched the Republican Party nomination.

- Many people are feared dead after an avalanche hit a hotel in central Italy. The avalanche is believed to be triggered by numerous earthquakes that struck on Wednesday. Earthquakes of about magnitude five hit a mountainous village in the region.

- Audi returns to rallying with their new S1 EKS RX Quattro rally car set to compete at this season's FIA World Rallycross Championship. 

Audi S1 EKS RX Quattro

- Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, a show hosted by comedian Jerry Seinfeld, is moving to Netflix for a brand new season.

- In preparation for the launch of BIOHAZARD 7 -resident evil-, the first DLC episode was announced, titled "NOT A HERO", slated to be available this Spring 2017. Also, there will be two "banned footage" DLCs coming this year and it is covered via Season Pass sold separately or part of the Deluxe Edition.


Forza Horizon 3: King of Rally Monsters

The Audi Sport Quattro S1 has been well-respected by many enthusiasts as the king of rally monsters because when this car took on Group B rallying, it racked up more WRC wins than any other rally car familiar by many.

From 1981 to 1985, from Hannu Mikkola to Walter Rohrl, the record of 23 WRC rally wins and two championship wins is clear benevolent factor that this legend is unstoppable in its own tracks until the end of Group B rally due to countless fatal accidents recorded in rally history.

With Forza Horizon 3 being a penchant for bringing rally cars on the open landscape, Festival-runners are free to explore the unmatched potential of this Group B rally king by any means necessary and as a matter of fact, spending lots of time driving this legendary rally monster is as enjoyable as a day-long binge watching of every VHS tapes featuring the very best of the Audi Sport Quattro's WRC career from start to finish.

Nothing like nostalgia best served hot and cold in a very reasonable manner and for anyone who has a delicate taste over classic rally machines, there's something worth as delicious as a gourmet school lunch.

With the car's bodykit preset locked and loaded, this 500HP monster has become even more potent on the dirt courses offered all over the Land Down Under, although the added weight is a small price to pay for a rally car with improved dynamics and further work needs to be done in order to bring out the best of this rally monster.

Care to see what's like to be with the legend?

Yeah, the one where the spoiler cut loose is a big whoopsie for me but it's been a honor to get to know about the Audi Sport Quattro S1, the legendary rally monster that teared down the woods during its rallying career.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

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

- President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to meet governors on Thursday to discuss the country's drug problem a week after he confronted mayors believed to have ties with the narcotics trade. Duterte's meeting with the governors was scheduled at 2PM at the Palace's Heroes' Hall, a schedule provided by Malacanang to the media showed. Duterte once warned that he will declare martial law if the country's drug problem becomes virulent.

- Senator Allan Peter Cayetano said that he is "preparing for different jobs" as he is yet to receive a formal offer to join President Duterte's Cabinet. The president earlier said that Cayetano will head the Department of Foreign Affairs before Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. steps down to return to the United States.

- Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday said she supports the government’s move to block websites that allegedly distribute child pornography Poe said users in the Philippines should be prevented from viewing pornographic sites.

- The Chinese government insisted that the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea is part of its inherent territory following a diplomatic note sent by the Philippines. The Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed that the nation can peacefully resolving maritime disputes in the region through negotiation and consultation with concerned countries.

52 people have been killed in Nigeria in a mistaken air strike by the country's military. The bombing was part of the government's ongoing offensive against the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.

- The incoming White House spokesperson says Donald Trump will use his presidential authority from his first day in office. Trump will be sworn this Friday as the nation's 45th President of the United States and in his first day at office, he will pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement as well as replacing and repealing Obamacare. Opinion polls show that Trump has scored the lowest ratings in four decades.

- The Ford Mustang has been given a minor change for the 2018 model year, featuring a new front face, new performance upgrades, new tech, and a brand new 10-speed automatic. The V6 variant is discontinued

- General Motors Europe unveiled the new Opel/Vauxhall Crossland X midsize crossover prior to its Geneva Motor Show debut this March. It is the second of the Opel/Vauxhall X-line of crossovers.

- The 2017 PriPara anime has been titled Idol Time Pripara, featuring three new protagonists, the return on Laala Manaka, a new setting, and a brand new story. Meet Yui Yumekawa, Nino Nijiiro, and Michiru Koda in  the brand new show airing this April.


Gyakuten Saiban Series Best Selection ~ Naruhodou-hen and Odoroki-hen

Gyakuten Saiban Series Best Selection
Gyakuten Saiban Series Best Selection

Last year, CAPCOM's Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) franchise celebrated its 15th anniversary with the TV anime series last spring and the long-awaited Gyakuten Saiban 6 (Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice) installment on the 3DS last summer. As the celebration comes to a near closure, CAPCOM's Suleputer music label reopened the evidence room for you to listen the very best tunes from the Gyakuten Saiban series.

The Naruhodou-hen of the Best Selection highlights the very best of Ryuichi Naruhodou (Phoenix Wright) from his first turnabout, being together with Mayoi Ayasato (Maya Fey) case after case, and stiff courtroom rivalry from the likes of Reiji Mitsurugi (Miles Edgeworth), Mei Karuma (Franziska Von Karma), Godot, among many others during his rise, his fall, and his rebirth as the defense attorney everyone loves. The Odoroki-hen, meanwhile, highlights the best of the young defense attorney Housuke Odoroki (Apollo Justice), from tagging along with Minuki (Trucy) case by case, and strong rivalry against other defendants in his career, not to mention a little help with Kokone Kitsuki (Athena Cykes) as well.

Each version features the best tunes from the series from the first to the very latest installment. There's even a bonus track that sounds very new for the fans as well.

CAPCOM is very happy to thank everyone to celebrate 15 years of the Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) franchise and they can look forward for more cases ever turned about in this hit franchise where the difference between innocence and guilt is an objection away. OBJECTION!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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

- Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr, stresses that the military cooperation between the Philippines and Russia is unlikely to happen.

- Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Eduardo Ano wants the newly instated commander of Westmincom to eliminate the Abu Sayyaf group within half a year. Ano issued his order to Major General Carlito Galvez whom he installed as Westmincom chief to replace Lt. Gen. Mayoralgo dela Cruz, who recently assumed as the inspector general of the AFP.

- Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III was forced to suspend plenary session on Tuesday afternoon following a heated debate between Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Senator Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri. The two senators lashed each other following a debate on which panel will investigate the bribery scandal case in the Bureau of Immigration.

- The suspect behind the nightclub attack at Istanbul, Turkey, during the New Year celebration has been arrested by the police. Reports told that the man was captured in Istanbul on Monday night at the home of a friend, who is of Kyrgyz descent. That followed Friday's arrest of two ethnic Uygur men on suspicion of aiding the deadly nightclub attack.

- As the countdown of the inauguration of Donald Trump draws near, outgoing US President Barack Obama issues warning over the Iran nuclear deal that Trump plans to scrap it. Obama stressed the significance of the deal in his statement. Outgoing VP, Joe Biden, meanwhile, said the international community must continue to stand up against Russian coercion and aggression following his meeting with Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko in Kiev on Monday to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine and sanctions against Russia. In Trump's scenario, the plan to replace the Affordable Healthcare Act or Obamacare is nearing its completion.

- Reports told that UK Prime Minister Theresa May will seek a full withdrawal from the European Union. May is scheduled to deliver a speech on Tuesday laying out her government's plans for the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

- The BMW 4-Series range has been given a minor change for the 2018 model year, with new LED headlights, new rear lamps, upgraded interior features, and more.

2018 BMW 4-Series
- Valtteri Bottas will be joining alongside Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes-AMG team for the Formula One 2017 season, replacing last year's world champion Nico Rosberg.

- The mayor of Madrid, Spain, wants all private cars to be banned from driving the Spanish capital by the time she leaves office in May 2019. The effort is part of a plan to fight the city's rising pollution, which also includes a ban of all diesels by 2025.


Third-generation Kia Morning/Picanto

Kia Motors starts the year 2017 with a brand new car and this is none other than the all-new, third-generation, Kia Morning (Picanto) compact hatchback, and because this is an all-new model that succeeds where the previous less-adored generations left off with new stuff that will take lots of time to learn more from this full model change. So, let's find out what's what about the all-new Morning.

2017 Kia Morning
2017 Kia Morning

Focusing on the exterior, the new model's design sees a much better improvement compared to the previous model. When I said improvement, look closely on the new exterior design. It feels like it came from the latest K5 judging from a sharper take on Kia's signature Tiger Nose grille as well as the headlamps look very similar to the K5 as well. As for the back, it's very reminiscent of the Hyundai Accent, although it's even sharper to look at compared to the previous model. As a result, the new Morning's design promises to be something special for the customers, although what this car does is yet to be felt.

2017 Kia Morning interior

Inside, it still remains skeptical hidden beneath its exciting design. Even if you are toying around with the new tech with smartphone connectivity, climate control, new instrumental cluster, sporty interior coordinates, and much more of what this new car can offer, especially with its five-seater capability and added space for some usual shenanigans, you are still wondering what will this new car be hidden beneath its exciting new design, unless if you can go deeper to find out.

2017 Kia Morning

If you can go deeper through this car, the all new Morning sees a much major improvement compared to the last model. The body is now 44% made out of super high strength steel plate with 67m of structural adhesive for the car's body as well. Not only it feels slightly lighter than the previous model but it is more durable and more robust than the previous model, making this foundation a much stronger base in an event of a collision.

Apart from the more durable bodywork, the Morning is powered by the brand new 1.0L Eco Prime Kappa 3-cylinder engine with the firsts from this category such as cooled EGR, OVC on the CVVT, and separate cooling flow stop valves. With these new engine features, it produces 76PS of power and class-leading 15.4km/L of fuel economy (or perhaps higher or lower depending on the variant). It can be mated with either a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual gearbox.

The new Morning comes with the category's first features such as Torque Vectoring Brake Based system , which transfers the power to the outer wheel while braking for better handling, Straight Line Stability, which controls the unstable phenomenon leaning to the left or right when braking in the event of braking on the straights, Vehicle Stability Management +, and Autonomous Emergency Brake, With numerous active and passive safety features offered, the new Morning is all about being prepared in the case of the inevitable.

With prices start at 10,750,000 Korean Won (P460,000/$9,300), it still is one of the most affordable cars ever offered in South Korea, although some small price to pay for delivery charges and optional extras you are gunning for. Still, with the robust backbone, a more efficient petrol engine, and some new tech, the new Morning really is a compact car that can really ring in the new year with a bit of a pop rather than a bang. Yep, Kia really is starting a New Year with a pop with the arrival of the Morning's full model change.

Available colors: Crystal White (Black/Metal), Crystal White (Lime Point), Milky Beige (Black/Metal), Milky Beige (Red Point), Aurora Black Pearl (Metal Point), Aurora Black Pearl (Red Point), Sparkling Silver, Shiny Red, Titanium Silver, and Aries Blue.

Photo: Kia Motors

Monday, January 16, 2017

Forza Horizon 3: Tricolore ~ Cante II

Not too long ago, the Holy Trinity of the Italian Supercar hierarchy dished each other to see which is the best. From the Ferrari F12berlinetta, Lamborghini Aventador, to the Pagani Huayra, the clear winner by a complete surprise is a turbocharged V12-powered Pagani Huayra, knowing that Modena's finest can really topple against the establishments. However, the fight between those three is far from over because they are flexing their muscles for more and now, the more powerful versions have arrived for a rematch.

Here they are, the more powerful versions of the three Italian V12 kings; the Pagani Huayra BC, the Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 SV, and the Ferrari F12tdf. With all the added firepower in the mix, deciding which of these three is the king will be similarly different from the last time when the normal three V12 machines fought against each other like Roman gladiators.

First, let's start with the Ferrari F12tdf, which is the most powerful of the three. For starters, the tdf name was derived from the legendary Tour de France endurance road race that Ferrari ruled in the 50's and 60's with the 250 GT Berlinetta which won four consecutive editions in a row. With 799 units ever made and sold, this special F12berlinetta features an upgraded version of the same 6.3L V12 engine from the normal F12berlinetta, producing 780PS of power, and when mated to a 7-speed Formula 1 gearbox, it can go from 0 to 100kph in 2.9 seconds and top speed of over 340kph. Apart from the added power, Ferrari reworked on the aerodynamics and the handling to make it more track-focused and more aggressive on the bends. It lapped the Fiorano test track  in 1 minute and 21 seconds, faster than the normal F12.

The Aventador LP750-4 SV, meanwhile, may have 30PS less than the F12tdf, as well as sticking with the 7-speed ISR gearbox rather than double clutches as seen on the Huracan, but with its improved power-to-weight ratio courtesy of its improved dynamics and weight loss (not to mention the removal of the sat-nav) resulted to a 0-100kph time of 2.8 seconds and over 350kph of top speed.

The Pagani Huayra BC's turbocharged 6.0L V12 engine may have the similar power output as the Lamborghini Aventador SV's as well as the same seven-speed automatic gearbox setting but this car is the lightest of the three, with 1,218kg of dry weight, 132kg less than the normal Huayra, courtesy of its new type of carbon fiber that is lighter and slightly stronger than a regular carbon fiber. This extreme version of the Huayra is surely a odd-defying beast that can unleash a typhoon at a mighty swing of a fan.

If you recall a quick comparison a while back at a certain street racing route in the Outback, the Huayra lapped quicker than both the established supercars from Ferrari and Lamborghini. Now, let's find out if the hardcore versions are any better than last time...

And now the results...
2015 Ferrari F12tdf - 2:25.979
2016 Lamborghini Aventador SV - 2:22.075
2016 Pagani Huayra BC - 2:17:337

Once again, the lone gladiator from Modena has toppled against the establishment even with a new set of twists in store for them and the Huayra BC remains the undisputed winner of the three. So, Pagani may have won the battle but the war goes on because pretty soon, the three kings of Italian supercar hierarchy will be showing their upgraded versions of their normal V12 machines of their lineup and they're going to be as good as...other cars can get.

In the meantime, let's give these three a chance to get their wow factor on the Horizon Festival around Down Under because after their long, grueling, battle, they now have the free time to let loose of their hidden talents and potential as cars and since they're having a leisure trip on Aussie roads, it would be the ideal time for these three to get some "extra service."

The F12tdf will be sporting a design heavily inspired from THE IDOLM@STER's Makoto Kikuchi, although the design layout is very similar to the one I made a while back, while the Aventador SV will be wearing a design similar to the Ad Personam personalization done by the Lamborghini Newport Beach dealership, which is very cool, and the Pagani BC wants to cloak itself with some specialized square camouflage.

Anyway, with their respective designs all set to go, the three V12 kings, recharged, are off to see how they perform when faced against different strangers of all kinds...

Although the age of V12 engines will come to an end someday, the rivalry between the three Italian supercar greats will keep on burning for many generations to come as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Pagani, no matter which path they'll be going, will keep on fighting until the very end. They may not be forever, but their rivalry between these three will surely becoming one of the automotive greats in history.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Fifth hearing of the President Park impeachment case

South Korea's Constitutional Court is holding the fifth hearing of the President Park Geun-hye impeachment case.

President Park's longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil appeared in court as witness, which is the first time the country has had a chance to hear Choi's side of the story in her own words, and not her lawyer's. Choi did acknowledge that she had been to the presidential office for personal reasons but didn't elaborate further as to how frequently she visited. Choi has also denied knowing Kim Ki-choon, the President's longest-serving chief of staff and one of several former presidential aides who are suspected of influence-peddling.

 Meanwhile, acting president and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn met with South Korea's ambassadors to the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and the United Nations today. At the meeting, Hwang said the recent challenges surrounding the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia are very difficult, and underscored the rising North Korean threats. The discussions centered around concerns about the diplomatic vacuum in South Korea, due to the political unrest. Also, tensions with China and Japan, due to the THAAD, and the recent installation of a comfort woman statue, respectively, were given spotlight.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se is expected to discuss these issues and ways to implement the major diplomatic tasks of the year at a separate meeting with the key ambassadors.

Source: Arirang News

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

- A party-list lawmaker decided not to implement the controversial "vanity tax" on cosmetic products and beauty services following backlash from netizens. Last week, Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe proposed the imposition of 10-to-30 percent vanity tax on cosmetic products and beauty services as an alternative to the VAT implemented on gasoline.

- The first Philippine eagle, Pag-asa, turned 25 years old yesterday. Pag-asa is the first to be produced under the captive breeding program of the non-profit Philippine Eagle Foundation through the combined artificial and natural incubation technique taught by the World Center for Birds of Prey. In 1995, it replaced the maya as the national animal of the Philippines under President Fidel V. Ramos' decision.

- The Catholic Church reiterated their stance against the legalization of divorce in the Philippines suding the feast of Sto. Nino or Child Jesus yesterday. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo warned that divorce would destroy the foundation of families and that children would be the ones to suffer most.

- As the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump draws near, a growing number of Democratic lawmakers who will boycott Trump's inauguration following the Martin Luther King weekend spat between him and Congressman John Lewis that the Trump team tried to tamp down on Sunday. VP-elect Mike Pence and Reince Priebus expressed disappointment in the Georgia congressman's remarks on Trump's legitimacy.

- Meanwhile, Donald Trump said that he will lift sanctions against Russia in exchange for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Vladimir Putin. Trump said he wanted both the world superpowers' nuclear arsenal to be "reduced very substantially."

- Following the resignation of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, UK's Northern Ireland minister is set to call an early election in the province on Monday. McGuinness stood down in protest at First Minister Arlene Foster's handling of a controversial green-energy scheme, risking political paralysis in the region as Britain plans to leave the European Union. Secretary of State James BRokenshire will be obliged to dissolve the assembly if the Sinn Fein party fails to name a replacement within the 1700 hour deadline.

- Comedian and Late Late Show presenter James Corden will be joining the cast of the upcoming Ocean's Eight film.

- American pop star group Fifth Harmony will be officially performing in Manila on the 5th of April, 2017, part of their 7/27 Tour. Their Philippine leg of their tour will be at the SM MOA Arena on the said date.

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