Saturday, June 24, 2017

Driving Music Vol. 79

It's the weekends again and this calls for another road trip and if by road trip, this calls for another set of Driving Musics you need to stock up before the trip! Ready?

1) Polovtsian Dance - from the Daewoo Arcadia commercial

2) Riding In My Car (Car Song) by Woody Guthrie - from a Toyota NZ Corolla commercial

3) Look In My Eyes by The Chantels - from a VW Golf commercial

4) Unstoppable by Corleone - from a VW Golf commercial

5) Lightning Bolt by Jake Bugg - from a Mini Countryman commercial

6) Fools Rhythm by Two Fingers - from an Audi Q5 commercial

7) Amazing by Alex Lloyd - from a Ford Australia Territory commercial

8) Feeling Good by Nina Simone - from a Toyota Australia Avalon commercial

9) なんてったってアイドル by 小泉今日子 - from a Subaru Stella commercial

10) EVERYTHING WILL BE ALLRIGHT by 20世紀Jr. - from an Autozam Carol commercial

Driving Music from Leopaul's Blog is the segment where solves every car enthusiasts' questions about the title of the song of car commercials...with the risk of MATCHED THIRD PARTY CONTENT on their status. It's your jam. Drive to the Music You Love.

Bubble Gang - June 23, 2017 #BGAnnulment

In the June 23, 2017 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Hostage gags

- Have we agreed on this annulment?

- A woman's secret to draw attention

- A chance encounter with the most generous man in the world

- Istambay, Istambay Sa Looban, May Bagong Nauuso Sa Bayan, Makinig Dito Sa 'Ting Kantahan, Para Di Ka Napag-i...IWANAN?!

- Today's Patikim Ni Kim recipe is...Fried Chicken

- Welcome to Half Tiyan Restaurant

- A male in his period.

- Basa-basa-pik!

Forza Horizon 3: Everything or Nothing

Here it is, my new and shiny second-generation Porsche Cayenne Turbo SUV that I picked it up after doing a very difficult task at this weekend's Forzathon event and now that I got it, let's see if this modern take on Porsche's first ever SUV can do more than just being a SUV built for hauling people from one place to another.

Although purists dislike the Porsche Cayenne for being a treason to its sports car heritage, it was proven to set a performance benchmark for sport utility vehicles, thus nicknaming it the Porsche 911 of the Sport Utility Vehicle regime. For this variant, it comes with a 4.8L V8 turbo engine producing 500HP of power output and with the 7-speed PDK, it does 0-100kph in around four seconds and onwards at 278km/h, making it one of the fastest SUVs money can buy. Anyway, enough blabbity about the Cayenne because it's time to do something special with this heavyweight now that I got my hands on it...

Of course, for an SUV of this size, you might think that there's no way an SUV can survive the twists and turns in the fantasy world of Hot Wheels Thrilltopia and it should go back being a soccer mom car made for picking up kids at school and go grocery shopping rather than enjoying a rollercoaster moment here. In this case, let's see who has the last laugh.

Who's laughing now, ladies and gentlemen? It maybe a soccer mom car but it's still a Porsche. It's an SUV made for the driver who has everything or nothing at all and it makes them feel as interesting as...hmmm...The Most Interesting Man In The World. I don't usually drive Porsches but when I do, they're extraordinary. Wait, why did I said that line? Anyway, you got this weekend only to get the Porsche Cayenne while you still can, my friends.

Friday, June 23, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: NBC monitors Korea tensions as it preps for Winter Games

US broadcaster NBC is monitoring the situation on North Korea and so far does not expect to change its plans to send a more than 2,000 person workforce to the Winter Games in South Korea.

Tension has been high for months over North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, and due to fears it will conduct a sixth nuclear test and more ballistic missile launches in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Next year's Winter Games see South Korea’s alpine town of Pyeongchang and the coastal city of Gangneung host thousands of athletes and officials when the Games start in February.

NBC, a Comcast-owned network, is the exclusive broadcaster for the Olympics, and it usually uses the games to host its best advertisers and clients on site. However, NBC would not be inviting guests to the Games in South Korea and would instead be hosting them in the U.S. ski town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, according to NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel.

Source: Reuters

Let's Do The News! (June 23, 2017)

- Government troops confirmed that six members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters responsible for the attack in a school in North Cotabato, were killed. Meanwhile life in Brgy. Malagakit is back to normal after residents were evacuated due to the clash between the military and BIFF.

- Ahead of next week's vote, Senate Republicans made their healthcare bill public, which if approved, would repeal most of Obamacare once and for all. This 142-page Senate health care bill cuts health care spending for low-income and middle-income Americans and uses the savings to finance large tax cuts for the wealthy and the medical industry.

- A strong magnitude 6.8 quake rattled off the coast of Guatemala on Thursday, damaging buildings and downing trees as well as causing powerful tremors in neighboring El Salvador. There were no reports of casualties.

- Following the Grenfell Tower fire in London that killed 79 people, the government is urgently conducting safety checks on an estimated 600 high-rise buildings in England which have exterior cladding panels.

- Peruvian leader Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said that it was time to evaluate pardoning the country’s imprisoned former leader Alberto Fujimori, an apparent bid to placate the powerful opposition party led by Fujimori’s daughter.

- Nissan showcased another teaser of their next-generation Nissan Leaf, this time it's the steering wheel with the ProPilot button on it, confirming its autonomous tech.

- The FIA announced its inaugural Intercontinental Drifting Cup at the fifth FIA Sport Conference in Geneva. Setting unified world regulations for drifting, it will be held in Daiba, Tokyo, Japan from September 30 to October 1, 2017.

- Shooting for the 25th series of BBC Top Gear has commenced as presenters Matt LeBlanc and Chris Harris are in Norway.

- Shooting for a movie adaptation of Downton Abbey will commence this summer of 2018, according to NBCUniversal.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Let's Do The News! (June 22, 2017)

- Weeks after the tragedy, Resorts World Manila is investing billions of pesos for the resume of its operation. The casino's operation was halted after gunman Jessie Carlos attacked where it took several lives.

- A collision of seven vehicles caused heavy traffic on Thursday morning at the southbound lane of the North Luzon Expressway near Camachile, Quezon City.

- Over five million children are in urgent need of aid in Iraq, according to UNICEF, describing the war on Islamic State as "one of the most brutal" in modern history.

- Australia would resume air strikes into Syria, ending a two-day suspension implemented after the downing of a Syrian military aircraft triggered a Russian threat against Washington-led coalition planes.

- Kim Kardashian said to have hired a surrogate to carry their third child after a doctor advised the reality star against another high-risk pregnancy. Reports told that the couple paid the surrogate over $113,000 to carry a child.

- In case you really missed it; Sir Daniel Day-Lewis will retire from acting after his next film directed by There Will Be Blood's Paul Thomas Anderson.

- All 1000 units of the 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS were sold out following its surprise announcement at the E3 2017.

- Jaguar teases their next crossover addition to the range and it's officially named as the E-Pace. It will be unveiled this July 13.

Jaguar E-Pace teaser

- Ford Motor Company announced that production of their next-generation Focus hatchback will be shifted to and sourced from China instead of Mexico with production starting in the second half of 2019. The Michigan Assembly Plant, which produces the current Focus until mid-2018 will be converted to build the Ranger and the Bronco.

- The winners of this year's International Engine of the Year are Ferrari's 3.9L biturbo V8 engine, Porsche 2.0L six-cylinder turbo, BMW 1.5L 3-cylinder electric-gasoline hybrid, Audi 2.5L five-cylinder turbo, Tesla powertrain, PSA 1.2L three-cylinder turbo, Porsche 2.0L turbo, and the Ferrari 6.3L V12 engine.


2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup - FireKeepers Casino 400

Michigan, the US state that gave birth to the American motoring industry, and it's the perfect venue for the FireKeepers Casino 400 leg of the 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series, and because this venue was held on Father's Day, this is the race dads will be remembered for, especially NASCAR drivers who are fathers to their families.

In this race, Kyle Larson's perfect restarts resulted him to his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race win of the of the season. Following his disastrous results in Dover last week, seems that Larson's efforts taught by Jimmie Johnson payed off and his win calls for a victory donut. What way to honor Father's Day with a win.

Next race is on Sonoma on the 25th of June.

The Lives of Captain Jack

Captain Jack Harkness; time agent, con man, Torchwood agent, and overall gay man we all love about him. He's a man of many mysteries but for some, he's a dead man walking with his problems, but for most, he's Captain Jack Harkness and he's one of the most famous Doctor Who characters ever remembered and Big Finish Productions brought in some of the best writers to compile four untold stories from Captain Jack Harkness, each connects to the events of past Doctor Who episodes.

The Lives of Captain Jack

John Barrowman reprises his role of Captain Jack Harkness in four new chapters highlighting the life and times of one of of our favorite homosexual characters from the world of Doctor Who and because it's already here in the time of the pride, that makes The Lives of Captain Jack a wonderful character study on the character we are strongly familiar with. 

The first chapter is titled "The Year After I Died" and following the events of the Series 1 finale, The Parting of Ways, after he was killed by the Daleks and later revived by the power of the Bad Wolf (thus leaving him stuck with his immortality ability), Captain Jack emerges for the biggest fight for his life as he tries to save Earth from a familiar enemy.

In the second chapter titled "Wednesdays For Beginners", Captain Jack teams up with Rose's mother, Jackie (played by Camille Coduri) to save the Powell Estate from a threat Jackie Tyler must not be named.

In "One Enchanted Evening", after the dramatic events from The End of Time Part 2, this is where a new kind of love story kicks in after a chance encounter between him and Alonso Frame (played by Russell Tovey) at a bar after being introduced by The Doctor before he left. What is the reason why The Doctor want them to be together? It's a tough question out there and it's going to be one heck of a typical love story out there.

And finally, "Month 25", and this is how Captain Jack Harkness became part of the Time Agency and works his way through the ranks but the ranks weren't very grateful to him or are they?

These four new stories are sure enough to whet our appetite and our love over our favorite Time Agent who tries to deal with different kinds of situations no matter how many times he got killed and revived and it doesn't take a considerable amount of cheap and nasty time travel to understand the man we are familiar with. With the best writers and cast collaborated with Big Finish Productions, this compilation of stories is a fitting tribute to Captain Jack Harkness himself and we have to owe them major gratitude.

Transformers: The Last Knight

Summer is already here and what better way to kick off summer by witnessing the ultimate Transformers experience in the cinemas and with The Last Knight, the Transformers adventure has come full circle as the so-called "final" installment of the Transformers films, directed by Michael Bay, promises to be the most explosive send-off to the Transformers films to date.

Transformers: The Last Knight

Picking up after the events of Age of Extinction three years ago, The Last Knight is a much darker installment where we get to see Optimus Prime transformed into a powerful enemy bent on destroying the world while the war between humans and Transformers are enraging like wildfire. With Prime aligned with darkness, Cade Yeager (played by Mark Wahlberg) and Autobot Bumblebee joined forces with a university professor (played by John Anthony Hopkins) to unlock the hidden truth of the Transformers defending Earth, thus this is the only key to end the battle once and for all.

While this film features a much darker storytelling where Prime became a villain while the main character races against time in the UK in search for answers to end the war, The Last Knight is a real kicker in the summer blockbuster season because while this was billed to be the "final chapter" of the Transformers movie saga, it promises heroic car chases, metal-shredding robot action, and explosions you'd always get from a Michael Bay-directed movie. 

In addition, The Last Knight welcomes some of the new and returning favorites. We get to see the rebirth of Decepticon Barricade in the form of the sixth-generation Ford Mustang, the new Bumblebee in the form of the sixth-gen Chevrolet Camaro, oh, there are new additions such as Drift (which is a Mercedes-AMG GT R), Hot Rod (which is a Lamborghini Centenario), Hound (which is based on the MB Unimog), the merciless Combaticon leader Onslaught, and so much more. These metallic beasts in this film are sure know how to upset this year's car-related films such as The Fate of the Furious and Cars 3 in so many ways and in a big way, it overshadows the human cast of characters by a long shot.

Although some of the machines never trace back to its cartoon roots, much like Bumblebee which is always stuck as a Camaro when the first film emerged ten years ago, its dynamism is what keep these metal monsters in this film alive and kicking and until the endgame reaches, you can really tell why we really love the Transformers back in our youth and this whole "More Than Meets The Eye" really is MORE Than Meets The Eye.

It seems a shame then that with The Last Knight, we're going to wave goodbye to the epic war of the machines for the planet Earth that was very exciting from start to finish but also very pointless. However, the people of Paramount thinks that while Michael Bay coined The Last Knight as his final film, there will be more for the Transformers franchise as a Bumblebee spinoff movie will come very soon as well as another one just to keep it alive for future generations. Now that is the future we're looking forward to for our love of Transformers.

My rating: 4 out of 5

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Can We Still Be Friends?

Is it possible for ex-lovers to become friends again? For Star Cinema's offering for the month of June, this film figures out if this kind of situation can be possible beyond the measure of two people who once broke themselves up for some reasons and later reunited by fate, trying to start over from the beginning and patch things up.

Can We Still Be Friends?

Can We Still Be Friends? is a film directed by Prime Cruz and it stars Gerard Anderson and Arci Munoz as friends turned lovers turned exes. After eight years of breaking up, the two went on their separate ways but later reunited to check things out until it became a match to see which one will fall in love first. It also stars Bryan Santos, Ria Atayde, Brian Sy, Gege Severo, Erika Padilla, Markki Stroem, and Emmanuelle Vera.

As this film suggests, there's nothing special about a romantic film about ex-lovers reunited by fate just to say hi, and by a long margin, it's a tad average. However, if love lessons and some hugot lines to sink yourself into, this film wasn't so bad to get into and if you can't get enough of love lives, hugot lines, and the story, it can be so rewarding but don't get too excited though because even though it's a great hugot film to get your hearts patching up, it's still as average as our usual Monday schedule. say at school or at work.

Although being a tad average film to watch, this romantic flick brings out the best of what a love story can do as well as the hugot lines it delivers and for Gerard and Arci, they tried so hard to show how ex-lovers can do in the name of love and friendship and it's something we can learn on this film.

My rating: 2.8 out of 5.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Trump says China tried but failed over North Korea

President Donald Trump criticized the Chinese government for their failed efforts to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme, ratcheting up the rhetoric over the death of an American who had been detained by the Korean Peninsula.

Trump wrote in a tweet “While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!”

Trump has held high hopes for greater cooperation from China to exert influence over North Korea, leaning heavily on President Xi Jinping for his assistance. They met each other in Florida in April and Trump lauded Xi and resisted criticizing Chinese trade practices.

It was unclear if his latest tweet represented a significant shift in his thinking in the U.S. struggle to stop North Korea’s nuclear program and its test launching of missiles or a change in U.S. policy toward China.

Source: Reuters

Let's Do The News! (June 21, 2017)

- The Department of Social Welfare and Development once again expressed their support for the H.B. 4982 (known as Anti-Discrimination Bill on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression Equality Bill) as part of the Pride Month celebration this June. DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo believes that the SOGIE Equality bill will lessen the number of hate crimes in the Philippines and create a safe haven for members of the LGBTQ community to express themselves without being judged and discriminated.

- The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters attacked a school in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato, as tensions between them and the government troops are growing.

- PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa warned the personnel behind the leaked intelligence memorandum regarding the alleged attack of Maute Group in Metro Manila will be held liable.

- 11 people have died in western Guatemala after heavy rains and a mudslide that swamped homes, spilled onto a highway and buried two buses, according to emergency services.

- Polestar, Volvo's wholly-owned subsidiary, will launch a range of electrified high-performance cars in the future.

- The Roush P-51 is a pre-facelifted current-generation Ford Mustang tuned by Roush Engineering and for $42,500, customers get three-way adjustable coilovers, special lightweight wheels, sports tyres, and tuned 5.0L Coyote V8 engine delivering 727HP of power.

Roush P-51

- France and Germany will return to next year's Formula 1 championship season.

- The first teaser video of Bandai Namco's .hack://G.U. Last Recode game for the PS4/PC has arrived. Coming this year, it's the remastered version of the .hack://G.U. honor of the franchise's 15th anniversary.



After CYaRon's Kinmirai Happy End and AZALEA's Galaxy HidE and SeeK, now it's the turn of Aqours' third sub-unit Guilty Kiss to kick your butts out of the window with their second single titled KOWAREYASUKI.


Anyway, you know what this is but for some, this is the second single by Guilty Kiss comprising of Riko Sakurauchi, Yoshiko Tsushima, and Mari Ohara from Aqours as seen on Love Live Sunshine and this is part of the Aqours Next Step Project. Needless to say, all three sub-units released their own second singles, completing this first phase of the project.

But before talking through this, this latest single packs two new songs that will surely have your butts kicked out from the window and if you want more of Guilty Kiss, there's an audio drama included so you can get yourself be part of Guilty Kiss' latest adventure. Did you know that these two new songs will soon be featured on Love Live School Idol Festival app game?

With the sub-units' second singles now out in the running, the Next Step Project continues with new duo/trio performances from your favorite Aqours heroes, adding up to Aqours' 2nd Love Live -THE HAPPY PARTY TRAIN TOUR- later in the summer and the second series of Love Live! Sunshine!! coming this fall. Another main reason to come back for more of Aqours!


01. コワレヤスキ
02. Shadow gate to love
03. コワレヤスキ (Off Vocal)
04. Shadow gate to love (Off Vocal)
05. 十番勝負❤沼津やまやの陣

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: President Moon urges North to return detainees quick

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said North Korea should quickly return South Koreans and Americans detained in the peninsula.

Moon expresses condolences to Otto Warmbier, an American university student who had been held prisoner in North Korea for 17 months and died on Monday, according to the presidential office. The Blue House cited Moon as saying “it is deplorable that North Korea does not respect human rights”.

Source: Reuters

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

- The Philippine National Police is investigating the memorandum allegedly from Valenzuela police on security threat in Metro Manila. The memorandum contained the appeal to investigate the alleged threat of Maute Group to launch bombing in the Metro.

- Senator JV Ejercito opposes the resumption of the negotiations between the government and National Democratic Front in the Netherlands. Ejercito states that the leftists have frequently violated the terms of the peace talks and has not followed the ceasefire.

- Senator Panfilo Lacson believes that the Department of Justice should be criticized since the agency ignored the law and failed to dispense justice. Lacson regret that Superintendent Marvin Marcos and other members of the PNP-CIDG in Leyte were freed after being allowed to pay bail.

- Senate Republicans will vote on whether to repeal the Obamacare by next week.

- Last Sunday, in Seattle, a black pregnant woman named Charleena Lyles was shot dead by policemen  who they say confronted officers with a knife. Reports told that the 30-year-old woman had called police to report a possible burglary.

- Following Wal-Mart's acquisition of for three billion US dollars last year, Amazon last week are on collision against Wal-Mart with its $14 billion purchase of grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc.

- The Cadillac XTS is now on its 2018 model year with new technical, chassis, and appearance changes.

2018 Cadillac XTS

- For the first time in Goodwood FoS history, this year's event will highlight on former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. Goodwood describes Bernie as “a man who, through good times and bad, has been an overwhelming power for good in motorsport.”

- Capcom and Bandai Namco enter cross-licensing agreement for games like Street Fighter and many others following their successful collaborations through the years.

- You Watanabe joins the Love Live Sunshine figma range and it's now available to order starting at 5,833 Yen plus tax and delivery and arrives this November.

figma You Watanabe


Monday, June 19, 2017

Toyota Aqua/Prius C - 2018 minor change

The Toyota Aqua (known in the world market as the Prius C) has been on the market for six years now and for its second minor change, it's now even more stylish and even more economical than ever just in the hopes to give everyone a chance to notice it for just a little while.

2018 Toyota Aqua
2018 Toyota Aqua

Here is your 2018 Toyota Aqua. Now, pay attention, for its second minor change, the Aqua received a brand new front face, redesigned rear lamps, and reshaped wheel arches. That's it. The one that used to be called the "X-URBAN", meanwhile, has been renamed into Crossover. Yep. Aqua Crossover. To differentiate the Aqua Crossover to the normal Aqua, it has been given a unique front face as well as some added ruggedness on the exterior design and exclusive Beige paint but even with the rugged look, it still behaves like the usual Aqua.

2018 Toyota Aqua interior
2018 Toyota Aqua interior

The interior has been slightly revised with new upholstery and new dashboard as hinted by the hazard light button that used to be square-shaped but now it's round, as well as the new instrumental panel that packs some vivid display for the drivers monitoring their driving progress. Even though the interior is new to us, it still packs the same generous boot space and the same five-seater capacity you would hope for the most fuel-efficient hybrid compact hatchback in its class.

In the previous minor change three years ago, the Aqua had a fuel efficiency of 37.0km/L by JC08 Mode standards. For this latest minor change though, the fuel efficiency has gone up by one, meaning it's now 38km/L based on JC08 Mode standards, that's about 0.8km/L more than last year's Nissan Note e-Power, however, that's only when it doesn't had some concessions of comfort such as rear seat power window and sound insulation materials. One word of warning, however, in some models, they can only go up to 34.4km/L, due to the added weight that makes up to health and safety regulations. That sounds awkward why the latest minor change had some slight weight gain but despite that, Toyota managed to upgrade the ride quality and stability, which makes it perfect to take it on city centers with ease and while this is not essentially a fun car full-stop, its city car charm would not go unnoticed.

The 2018 Aqua now comes with Toyota Safety Sense C, comprising of Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, and the Automatic High Beam function. Judging by the results, perhaps this tech is what sums the Aqua up while figuring out how this latest model gained weight a theory.

Prices start from 1,785,240 to 2,089,800 Yen (around $18,000 to $21,000) and while this is slightly expensive than the previous minor change, it's still the most affordable hybrid car Toyota offered on the market so even though with all that went happened with this latest minor change, let's hope that all eyes are on to this Aqua because it's time to ditch the chitter-chatter and turn your attention with this Aqua, just for once.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

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

- Jeepney drivers and operators hold a protest against the phase-out of old units. About thousands of drivers and operators launched a "protest caravan" under the coalition of PISTON gathered together in front of National Housing Authority in Elliptical Road in Quezon City.

- The Armed Forces of the Philippines said that the end of the Marawi Siege is fast approaching as government forces now focusing to four remaining barangays where around 100 members of Maute are believed hiding.

- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will likely reshuffle his cabinet to try to shake off his appallingly low ratings due to his suspicions that he helped a friend get favored treatment for his business. Reports citing government and ruling party sources said Abe would change his cabinet in August or September.

- The US Navy confirmed that all seven missing sailors on the USS Fitzgerald were found dead after the destroyer's collision with a container ship off Japan over the weekend. All seven were found in flooded berthing compartments after the collision with a Philippine-flagged container ship south of Tokyo Bay early on Saturday.

- Gunmen attacked a luxury resort outside Mali's capital, Bamako, killing two people in what the security minister called a terrorist attack, while 36 guests were saved. Four gunmen arriving on mootrbikes and a car stormed Le Campement Kangaba, near Dougourakoro, to the east of Bamako, a resort popular with Western expatriates for weekend breaks.

- A blast in the home village of Shi'ite Muslim spiritual leader in Bahrain has killed a member of the security forces and hurt two others. There were no immediate details on the blast in Diraz village, home to Ayatollah Isa Qassim and has been a flashpoint for violence. Five people were killed during a police raid on the village on the 23rd of May.

- The new VW Polo VI has been unveiled and for the first time, it will be offered exclusively in five-door only. The new model will boast new tech, new engine lineup, and new way of driving for VW's compact hatchback in the lineup.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTi

- Airbag manufacturer Takata is expected to file bankruptcy protection according to reports. This follows the world's biggest automotive safety recall caused by its defective airbag inflators, which saw the Japanese manufacturer of automotive safety components plead guilty to criminal charges and agree to pay one billion US Dollars in settlement.

- Bandai Namco's IDOLISH 7 multimedia project has spawned its long-awaited anime adaptation as well as its spin-off series.

- Three former members of SMAP; Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, and Shingo Katori, left John & Associates Agency as their contracts will end on September 8,


Winners of 2017 24 Heures du Mans

It's that time of the year again when one of summer's biggest endurance racing event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, returns and no matter the current political climate here and globally, this event is here to stay for the most demanding few to take on this legendary endurance match in history and this year feels a bit less livelier than the past few years now that Audi has withdrawn from endurance racing for good, leaving the makes of Toyota and Porsche the only car companies to bring on their LMP1 titans while other teams have their own issues to deal with.

From winners, losers, even the cheaters who never respect the true nature of Le Mans, that means you Corvette Racing, every hour in Le Mans is a story for the drivers and cars themselves and after zero hour, there are some dirt that needs to be shaken off.

With the race well and truly over, time to jot down the winners of this year's Le Mans race...

LMP1 - #2 Porsche LMP Team 919
LMP2 - #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson
LMGTE Pro - #97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage
LMGTE Am - #84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE

Full results:

Congratulations to all the winners of this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Subaru WRX STi (VAB) - 2018 facelift

The Subaru WRX STi has been proven to be a track-proven sportscar that works not just for rallycross purposes but also tackling racetracks such as the Nurburgring, just to demonstrate the full capability of Subaru's Symmetrical AWD on and off the road as well as on track, and for the 2018 minor change, it has elevated further.

2018 Subaru WRX STi
2018 Subaru WRX STi

The new 2018MY Subaru WRX STi has been given a revised front design that brings out the sporty character as Subaru's flagship high-performance sports saloon built for speedo boys from across the globe and apart from the revised front face comes with yellow-painted brake calipers reminiscent of the WRX Concept a few years ago. It may not do justice but the new look begs us for more WRX STi action than seeing it by ourselves.

2018 Subaru WRX STi interior
2018 Subaru WRX STi interior

As for the inside, there has been some slight changes around the dashboard and just by noticing the new, larger high-definition multi-function display, as well as the new auto climate control, it's easier to spot the difference between the old and the new. Also, the revised interior comes with new RECARO sports seats that matches the WRX STi's sporty flavor and because speedo boys love a car that has a RECARO on it, this WRX STi is the ultimate expression of a speedo boy's car that they can take it on track days or midnight drives with the other speedo boys.

It still has the same EJ20 BOXER DOHC 16-Valve Dual AVCS Twin Scroll Turbo as the last time, producing 308PS of power, 422Nm of torque, and 9.4km/L of fuel economy while mated exclusively with a 6-speed manual gearbox standard. It also still comes with the Active Torque Vectoring applies brake pressure to the front wheel while the Vehicle Dynamics Control provides more settings such as VDC Normal, Traction, and Off, each provides lesser degrees of system engagement. Easier said than done but for the 2018 model, it comes with retuned suspension as well as its new DCCD AWD System, which now uses electronic control for quicker and smoother response. That yellow brake calipers in question is known as the improved Brembo Performance Brake System with stronger monoblock 6-piston calipers in front, monoblock 2-piston calipers in the rear and larger, drilled rotors all around for better heat dissipation. It also comes with new brake pads for better stopping power with a bit more feel.

While designated as a speedo boy's car, the WRX STi can be offered with the Advances Safety Package, which comes with Subaru Rear Vehicle Direction, High Beam Assist, Front and Side View Monitor, as well as headlamps that turn left or right when you turn the steering wheel,

The new 2018 Subaru WRX STi starts at 3,866,400 Yen (tax included) and you can spec it out with optional extras including a rear wing that completes the WRX STi look you expected from Subaru's best.

Photo: Subaru Corporation

Volkswagen Arteon

This is Volkswagen's better-looking replacement to the better-looking CC luxury four-door coupe, known as the Arteon, and judging by its status as a cut-price luxury car that you can really buy one for 39,675 Euros plus taxes and fees, think of the Arteon as a cut-price alternative for the Audi A7 without the premium pricing to pay for a Volkswagen like this.

2018 Volkswagen Arteon
2018 Volkswagen Arteon

Compared to the CC it replaces, the brand-new Arteon features a strikingly attractive design that is quite unheard for a Volkswagen. From its coupe-like silhouette, stylish front view, dramatic rear view that is arguably mistaken for the coupes of Mercedes-Benz, and stylish wheel arches, one look at the Arteon and you know that it's luxury from beginning to end, which isn't so bad for a German.

2018 Volkswagen Arteon interior
2018 Volkswagen Arteon interior

On the inside, you get the same level of luxury that you get from the expensive German big threes thanks to its impressive state of the art features such as this digital instrumental panel, heads-up display that displays rather well in its "safe zone", gesture control that mimics the ones from BMW, and an impressive infotainment system fit for yuppies to understand what it is, Tech aside, with those Nappa leather seats as an optional extra, spacious seating at the back despite its sloping roofline, 700-watt Dynaudio Confidence sound system, climate, Air Care Climatronic, and many luxury appointments offered, the Arteon really brings everyone inside in a relaxed state of mind wherever they go, and that's pretty good for a four-cylinder luxury car with the aesthetics of a six. Even though it's a luxury saloon, the Arteon's rear door opens like a sportsback and what's in the boot can carry from 563 to 1,557 litres, which sounds unheard for a luxury saloon.

2018 Volkswagen Arteon

Can't blame on VW but the Arteon, despite its luxury saloon look, really is a four-cylinder car because the engine choices are a 2.0L TSI and a 2.0 TDi engine. The most powerful in the range is the 2.0 TSi 4MOTION with 280PS of power output, 350Nm of torque, and with the 7-speed DSG standard, it does 0-100kph in 5.6 seconds and top speed normally limited to 250kph. Now that's German luxury to you, folks. Meanwhile, the 2.0 TDi with 4.5l/100km of combined fuel economy is the most fuel efficient Arteon offered in the lineup but because VW's amassed with the diesel fiasco, there could be doubts about this variant but it's too early to tell right about now.

Because it runs on VW Group's MQB platform, the Arteon is a no-brainer when it comes to its dynamics and with the 4MOTION four-wheel drive, it feels so good to handle through different road conditions no matter the weather forecast be but on the downside, it's way too grippy for a Volkswagen so in normal conditions, it behaves like a front-wheel drive car, making it just another commoner on the road, and it will only show its four-wheel drive capability when things are about to get wet and wild and if things get rough, better start bring some painkillers while you get there. Despite not adept for sporty driving due to its grippy nature, it's surprisingly smooth and comfortable and this is just another thing you would expect for German engineering like the Arteon. Take things carefully with this car and you can see how civilized the Arteon is as long as you understand how it's made and with a wide array of safety features that adapts to the roads of today, it's clever as well.

Time will tell how people will react on the Arteon on the first time they got their hands on this one but for a clear start, its surprisingly alluring design and luxury car comforts sets this saloon a class apart and while the 4MOTION works rather well in most conditions, its understeering woes can warn drivers to bring as much painkillers as they can before going hard on the corners, but needless to say, the Arteon really fits well for those who can't afford an Audi A7 for the time being and for a company car like this, the Arteon really is a fine art in the making.

Available colors: Pure White, Uranograu, Atlantic Blue Metallic, Chilirot Metallic, Crimson Red Metallic, Kurkumagelb Metallic, Mangangrau Metallic, Pyritsilber Metallic, and Deep Black Perleffekt.

Photo: Volkswagen AG

Doctor Who S10E10

As the crow flies in square circles, the latest episode of Doctor Who Series 10, titled "The Eaters of Light", sees The Doctor and his friends landed and separated on 2nd century Scotland, where a war between two sides became sidetracked by a powerful threat emerging through the darkness.

Doctor Who S10E10

Sidetracked, Bill ended up at the hands of the Ninth Roman Legion while The Doctor and Nardole ended up with the Picts. As a powerful threat emerges through the darkness, the gang are finding their way to reunite themselves while having both factions work together to stop this powerful threat. That really is a history-changing moment ever witnessed and just like last time, how the episode ends is a major surprise for the viewers who witnessed this episode from start to finish.

The two-part Series 10 starts next week and you will witness familiar threats returning for The Doctor's biggest threat ever witnessed. But in the meantime, the latest DW Fan Show webcast had a word with Rebecca Benson, who guested in this episode as Kar in this week's episode.


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