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I have almost always enjoyed Top Gear, admiring the team's knowledge of cars and sharing their interest in them and often amused by the commentary and good old-fashioned japes that men of my generation do seem to get up to when left alone for a while.

The Patagonia adventure had all the makings of being great, and the publicity that preceded it regarding Argentinians being upset at a number plate led to quite a bit of anticipation that this would be a good few hours' viewing. It started well and I loved the idea of taking some great V8s on a journey and the scenery in this part of the world was wonderful.

It went wrong for me, though, when all three cars seemed to get completely wrecked by many of the roads, or not particularly close approximations to roads, chosen. We could go along with a few difficult miles, deserts and even some fields or river crossings. Trying to take these cars across a track strewn with logs and boulders or, the most ridiculous, along a beach with barely two feet clear of debris larger than anything other than a jeep would get over, was not so good.

There was no reason why the Mustang should be shoving along some massive tree trunk nor the Lotus or Porsche being crunched into and over massive rocks. However well-made originally, they were never going to survive that sort of treatment. It was, indeed, remarkable how well the Lotus managed throughout and that was quite heart-warming but you did wish it hadn't been put through quite such challenges at the same time. It had earned its stripes long before.

I have a feeling that a massive amount of repairs must have been conducted behind the scenes and my hearty congratulations to whoever managed those - usually miles from anywhere. 

This year's show, once you get over those way too tough track elements, was fun and the ending genuinely quite worrying. There were no signs of the three stars in the last segment when stuff was being thrown at cars and you do wonder whether they had been quietly flown out via another route. It probably would have been a good idea to put another plate on the Porsche. I take the view that it was genuinely its original plate - that one being reissued as it had been on a private plate before. We are told in one article that the crew did see that it was possibly something that could be a problem at an early stage but no-one seemed that bothered. The intention to have a football match was real and we're told that they would have removed the plate at that point if not before. So one does have to wonder why they didn't do something very simple like buy any old plate for it before setting off.

I do think, however, that the demonstration was not so much about one of the registration plates but just a general opportunity taken to whinge on an international scale. Top Gear has the most extraordinarily wide following across the planet and I reckon a group of Argentians who will probably never be reconciled to the idea of the Falkland Islands being British saw a chance to project their objections across the world.

Disrupting Top Gear wasn't very difficult by the look of it. A few hundred men throwing eggs and rocks would have been pretty terrifying for a crew more familiar with hoards of autograph hunters. It would have been quite satisfying for the protesters to see what was a surprisingly big fleet of TV crew vehicles scurrying away, battered and more than a bit baffled that night.

I wonder what happened to the cars? After surviving so much before it seemed a bit sad that they may well just have been wrecked by a mob.

Jaguar Land Rover is researching technologies that will offer drivers a 360 degrees view out of their vehicle, uninterrupted by the pillars that support the roof.

They plan to do this by embedding screens in the surface of each pillar inside the car which would carry live video feeds from cameras covering the angles outside the car usually obscured in the blind spots created by the A, B and C-pillars.

The 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen would increase the overall safety features of the car by making pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles all around the car visible. The system would automatically make the left or right-hand side pillars transparent when the driver indicates to change direction, when they move their head to look over their shoulder during an overtake manoeuvre, or as the vehicle approaches a junction.

According to Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover:
“Our ultimate aim is to reduce the potential for accidents and enhance the urban driving experience. The Jaguar Land Rover research team is developing this technology to improve visibility and to give the driver with the right information at the right time. If we can keep the driver’s eyes on the road ahead and present information in a non-distracting way, we can help drivers make better decisions in the most demanding and congested driving environments.”

The virtual windscreen would be connected to the Cloud and could present information ranging from petrol station prices to the number of parking spaces available, so drivers won’t have to look for this information themselves. The connected car could also enhance navigation by advising the driver to turn left or right at more visible landmarks, such as pubs or shops, rather than just road signs or street names.

Another interesting technology under development is their ‘Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation’ which projects an image of a vehicle in front of the driver’s car for them to follow, turn by turn, to their destination.

The Mitsubishi ASX is one of the cheapest compact SUVs in Malaysia at RM114,743.50 (TR without insurance) for the 2WD version with 2.0-LITER 16-valve inline-4 DOHC MIVEC engine. This is because they assemble it in Malaysia.

They recently worked together with Malaysian designer Rizalman Ibrahim, to come up with the Mitsubishi ASX Designer Edition. The model only comes in "Titanium" grey with racing stripe running down the front and back of the car. It is only available in the 4WD version. The grey theme is carried in the interior as well with grey leather seats with yellow trims. Leather (grey and yellow) covered gear knobs and matte finished black alloy rims. The car also has a large rear spoiler and fin-type antenna as opposed to the bee-sting type antennas. Another unique feature is the panoramic tinted glass roof

Behind the scenes video:

The Designer Edition model is priced at RM131,801.50 (OTR without insurance).

A woman from Chitungwiza was thoroughly assaulted with a belt by her husband after she refused to let him insert his fingers into her privates at the onset of a bedroom session.

32-year-old Peter Kumusamala arrived home on the night of November 14 at about 11 pm, sloshed.

He asked his wife to undress and told her he wanted to engage in intercourse, a request she obliged to. He reportedly told his wife that he wanted to ‘warm’ her engine up by revving her ‘honeypot’ with his fingers.
Woman Bashed For Refusing Hubby’s Attempt to Finger Her
The wife, Fadzai Mahwite, objected saying it was too painful.

The snub drove Kumusamala up the wall, he went berserk, armed himself with a belt which he mercilessly used to thrash the hapless woman.

A report was made to the Police leading to the arrest of Kamusala and Mahwite was medically examined after the assault.

Kamusamala was fine $50 by Chitungiza Magistrate Don Ndirowei for physical abuse.

Film-maker Luke Aker decided to put up his beloved 1996 Nissan Maxima on Craiglist with a humorous video accompanying it - "Luxury Defined" as he put it.

It was so good, Nissan actually decided to buy it and later restored it to it's former glory and will be displayed at their North America’s headquarters.

Nissan came out with an equally funny video to mark the occasion:

Auto companies do have a sense of humour.

Adokiye Kyrian, popularly called Adokiye, is one Nigerian singer who is not afraid of controversies which has dogged her short career since Nigerians became conscious of her existence a few years ago.

Though she has struggled to make a mark in the make belief world, she is known for stiring up one issue or the other.
Adokiye Kyrian - I wish I could offer myself in exchange.
The Imo State Peace Ambassador who is making an incursion into the movie industry with her appearance in the movies My Brother, My Enemy and Ogbanje, has made another stunning dare to members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect in exchange for the kidnapped female students of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, who have been in captivity for over two months now.
Adokiye Kyrian - I wish I could offer myself in exchange.
Adokiye, whose nude photos became viral on social media, claims to be a virgin and that she is ready and willing to give her virginity to Boko Haram in exchange for the Chibok girls.

This is what she said:

This is 11pm in the night and do you know what I am thinking about? Those little girls, where they are and what could be happening to them. It is just unfair. They are too young. I wish I could offer myself in exchange.

They are between 12 and 15 year old girls for Christ sake. I am older and more experienced. Even if 10 to 12 men have to take me every night, I don’t care. Just release these girls and let them go back to their parents.

WE hope Abubakar Shekau and his band of terrorists read this and come for Adokiye.

Nigerian pop star has offered up her virginity in exchange for the release of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Adokiye Kyria, who describes herself as a United Nations Peace Ambassador on her website, gave an interview to Vanguard Showtime magazine in which she mused on the fate of the girls.

The 23-year-old said: “This is 11pm in the night and do you know what I am thinking about?

“Those little girls, where they are and what could be happening to them. It is just unfair. They are too young. I wish I could offer myself in exchange.”

“They are between 12 and 15-year-old girls for Christ’s sake. I am older and more experienced.
Adokiye Kyrian Offers her Virginity to Boko Haram
“Even if 10 to 12 men have to take me every night, I don’t care. Just release these girls and let them go back to their parents.”

In April Kyria announced she was a virgin adding “Any man that buys my mum the private jet I had promised her, wins my heart.”

Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in April, sparking international outrage and the #bringbackourgirls hashtag.

A month after the abduction, a chilling video purportedly filmed by the jihadi extremists was released.

It showed the Islamist militants and girls in floor-length Islamic dress speaking to camera.

Speaking for around 17 minutes Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau said the girls have been converted to Islam and would not be released until Boko Haram prisoners are freed.

The girls are seen wearing black and grey Islamic dress called a chador (loose cloak) in an undisclosed rural location.

The group was founded in 2002 in Nigera's northeastern Borno district - where the schoolgirls may have been taken - and is committed to creating an Islamic state in Nigeria, where Sharia courts would dispense criminal justice.

Boko Haram - which means "Western education is sinful" - is only a nickname. Their preferred name is Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad, which means "people committed to the propagation of the prophet's teachings and jihad".

Rihanna has never been shy about flashing her flesh. In fact, Wha’anda thinks she is shyer of being seen in too much clothing than she is of being accused of nudity.

Well, sex sells and Riri is making a brisk business in the flesh market.

Just search “Naked Rihanna” on Google and your eyeballs might pop out of their socket when you behold her many naked and near-naked moments that have managed to keep her in the public eye.
Barbadian Beauty - Some Rihanna's most flesh flashed moments
And to be fair to the Barbadian hottie, she owns a body you can’t help but love — pampered and curved in the right places.
Barbadian Beauty - Some Rihanna's most flesh flashed moments
So we gathered of this naked moments we think are the ‘nudest’.

Moments like her cover shoot art for the 25th anniversary issue of British GQ, her dress to the 2013 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A where she won the Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist award or the infamous sheer Swarovski gown she wore to the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards.

She just knows how to remain relevantly sexy.

Check out the pictures and see if you got better moments…

Meanwhile, Riri might well be cooking something as Christmas approaches.

Different people buy cars for various reasons - for many a car is an extension of their self image - representing their lifestyle. Almost everyone I talk to has a dream car - one they aspire to even if they cannot afford it. However, there are also a lot of people for whom a car is just a machine useful to get from point A to point B. My dad happens to be one of them. He has been driving the same Proton Wira 1.3 manual transmission hatchback for more than 8 years now and asked him whether he wanted to update to a new car. He was not really keen.

He calls luxury cars, houses on wheels because with the price of some of the cars, you can actually buy a house.

He is really fond of the car and I am not surprised. The car has only done 127,800 Kms and recently had timing belt in the engine changes. He proudly mentioned that the car has not broken down even once and starts up immediately.

However, I was sure that the aging car was bound to have some problems and this was confirmed when I recently had it serviced at the local Proton Edar service centre near my house (SENAXIS Sdn Bhd). One of the tyres needed to be changed immediately as it was nearly bald. They also pointed out that several parts need to be replaced and even suggested that it be better to actually buy a new car. However, my dad was not having any of it - his reasoning was that the estimated total cost of the repairs was about RM1000 but to buy a new car would cost at least RM45000 for the Proton Persona 1.6 M version. This was because he does not want a small car and does not like the look of the Saga. I guess he does have certain preferences.

Anyway we decided to go ahead with the repairs and overall a total of 27 parts were replaced (big and small) and the overall damage came to RM1642.80 including tyre allignment (RM40), labour (RM250) and 6% tax (RM15).

The major parts included:

1. Insulator assys x2 = RM188.24
2. Rubber bump x 2 = RM151.56
3. Link control assy LH and RH = RM127.53 x 2
4. Shock absorbers assy RR, RH and LH = RM102.12 x2
5. Strut FR suspension LH and RH = RM185.07 x 2 (the costliest parts).

Other minor parts included rubber bumps, pads, tyre nuts, bushing coils, rubber stabilizers.

I know that official car service centres are more expensive but I choose to go there because I wanted genuine parts.

Do you think we could have got them cheaper elsewhere?

Anyway, I think we have extended the life of the old car for a few more years.

Exotic cocktail beauty, Cassie Ventura, is beautiful in every imaginable way. Perhaps that is why P. Diddy decided to give Drake a beating for eyeing her.  We heard P. Diddy has taken to the boxing ring...

Yup, the 45-year-old played the role of jealous boyfriend at a Miami nightclub on Monday, knocking out repeated 'girl-friend-snatcher' and infamous 'stripper-lover' Drake.

The rumour mills say Diddy was irked after the 28-year-old Drake continuously hit on his girlfriend Cassie Ventura, an American recording artist, dancer, actress and model.
Sexy Cassie Ventura So hot P. Diddy beat up Drake for hitting on her

Cassie, same age as Drake, started modelling at age 14 and you can't help but appreciate her exotic beauty which she owes to her mixed roots.

Wha'anda heard her mother is of African-American, Mexican and West Indian descent while her father is Filipino — talk about a cocktail beauty!

But Daily Mail is saying "Diddy allegedly was upset over the song 0 To 100/ The Catch Up, which recently earned 28-year-old Drake two Grammy nominations."
We heard P. Diddy has taken to the boxing ring...
Do you believe that?

Meanshile, Drake is chilling in the hospital with a broken shoulder.

Truth is, Wha'anda will also punch anyone that comes near his gurl, especially one as hot and rare as Cassie.

Check out her smoking hot pictures...

SHE may have been voted off Strictly Come Dancing a few weeks ago, but Ola Jordan is determined to stay in the limelight.
FLYNETOla Jordan's 2015 calendar is set to be a hit with her male fans
The 32-year-old star has released more snaps from her upcoming 2015 calendar, and this time she's stripped off completely.

In three hot new shots, the Polish dancer shows off her enviable figure using just a white curtain to hide her modesty.

Holding her long blonde hair up with one hand and clutching onto the curtain with another, Ola gazes at the camera lens whilst pulling a moody pout.

Another shot shows Ola relaxing on a white leather sofa whilst flashing the flesh in lacy lingerie. With her hair blowdried to perfection, Ola looks totally at ease at being in her underwwear as she relaxes one arm above her head.

This isn't the first teaser she's given of her 2015 calendar, and np doubt her male fans will be heading to their nearest store to buy one soon.

However, they're unlikely to see her strutting her stuff on Strictly Come Dancing next year as she is reportedly planning on quitting the BBC show.

Ola is said to be taking part in Channel 4 reality show, The Jump, in the New Year and will be heading to Austria for the winter sports series.
FLYNETOla sports huge blowdried hair for her latest snaps
However, according to reports, her husband James has been banned from joining her on set.

A source told the Sunday People: "It has all kicked off now James is furious. He is very ­protective of Ola and wants to make sure she is OK.

"This is a big deal for her. She is ­confident at dancing but skiing is ­different.
WENNOla's husband James Jordan has reportedly been banned from The Jump set
"She is very good at it but it isn’t ­something she knows as well as ­dancing."

They added: "This is so far out of her ­comfort zone and James likes to be at her side at times like this. Ola hasn’t stepped in and tried to push for James to go – she doesn’t want to upset things.

"She’s really excited to take part in something other than Strictly Come Dancing. Who knows where this will end, James isn’t prepared to let this happen."

TAKESURE “Zamar” Ncube has reached a great milestone in his music career after signing for renowned South African gospel group Joyous Celebration.

He will feature in the Joyous 19 live recording in Soweto on December 19 and 20.

Ncube joins Mkhululi Bhebhe, who became famous for being lead vocalist in Joyous Celebration’s song Ichokwadi.

He is the leader of local group Worship Addicts that has released seven albums to date. Ncube told Southern Eye that it was an honour for him to sign with Joyous Celebration.

“I didn’t apply for it, but it so happened that when Lindelani Mkhize (Joyous founder and leader) visited Bulawayo and saw me performing,” he said.

“He appreciated that I have talent and then invited me to feature for Joyous Celebration.
Another Zimbabwean joins Joyous Celebration
“Joyous Celebration gives you a platform to minister to Africa, so it’s a big platform to market your talent. Joyous Celebration also gets to benefit since they get a new genré and a new brand from Zimbabwe.”

Ncube has been signed to sing some Shona tracks and this might see more South Africa-based Zimbabweans attending the concert.

He has previously shared the stage with other South African gospel singers such as Keke, Benjamin Dube and Solly Mahlangu. Locally, Ncube has performed with gospel ensemble ZimPraise.

He could not say whether or not he would continue performing with Joyous Celebration on other projects, indicating that he was currently focused on fulfilling the existing contractual obligation.

Self-proclaimed Dancehall King, Winky D-real name Wallace Chirimuko insists that he still rules the roost when it comes to the bubble gum like music genre and is not going anywhere!

Despite the emergence of a new crop of talented dance hall artistes over the last few years, Biggie-as the chanter is fondly known-says he has been at the helm for the past decade.

The Kambuzuma bred chanter opened up in his latest single titled Dancehall Igwe.
Self-proclaimed Dancehall King, Winky D-real name Wallace Chirimuko insists that he still rules the roost when it comes to the bubble gum like music genre and is not going anywhere!
Part of the song lyrics go: “Ngavandiwaridzire chi red carpet…buda munzira separi kuuya motorcade. Ninja security yakabata ma machete..chingamidzai dancehall Igwe, ten years ndiri panyanga and handibve.

“Crown inenge woolen yangu saka haibve…Biggie ndi dancehall igwe.”

He goes on to brag he was the first Dancehall artist to play for Arabs and White people, he however adds that in the same track that it’s not boasting but merely stating a fact that he has shaped the genre to be what it is to date and he has been rewarded by a high number of endorsement deals.

He also urges dancehall artistes to desist from using Juju so that they rule Dancehall since it does not last.
Download The Song Here

Written by The Herald Entertainment
It appears Winky D and Soul Jah Love have signed a binding pact if their joint performance at Takashinga Cricket Club is anything to go by. Winky D, who graced Soul Jah Love’s 25th birthday bash held over the weekend in Highfield as a special guest, thrilled the crowd with his hit “Paita Party” before the two performed their duet “MaGaffer”.

Energy was high on and off the stage and the security had a torrid time in maintaining order as scores of fans moved closer to the stage.
WInky D and Soul Jah Love form pact, Biggie now Big Brother
Apparently, the song is about how the two have shrugged off competition from their contemporaries.
It says the two are in a class of their own and whoever wants to dare their dominance does so at their own peril.
Winky and Soul Jah Love perform together
Winky D, who had never attended birthday bashes for any artiste since hitting the big time, said he felt honoured to be invited by Soul Jah Love, who is now known as “Chibaba Chacho”.

However, Soul Jah Love, who took delight in introducing Winky D as “Chimukoma Chacho”, came prepared for the bash with his sweetheart Bounty Lisa in tow.

By any measure the joint performance was the climax of the gig, which had other heavy hitters in the likes of Kinnah, Killer T, Shinsoman, Cello Culture, Dhadza D and Ricky fire.

The absence of Seh Calaz, who is perceived as Soul Jah Love’s arch-rival in the genre, did not in any way dampen the spirit at the show as Killer T put up a splendid act.

Killer T, who is also known as the Chairman, was on point from start to finish. He did not waste time and churned out hit after hit to which the crowd sang along.

Another fiery artiste Kinnah made his presence felt with a flawless act and at one time the crowd called for encore and he obliged.

Dhadza D did not disappoint for a minute and he did justice to his set performing all the crowd’s favourites.

It has been a roller coastal these 65 days and finally it has come to an end this final day December 7th and the winner finally chose, Idris. we did make our predictions known earlier and we had indeed predicted that the lad, as against our very own, Tayo, would take home the prize and so he did. Here is how the night panned out up until this very glorious moment.

Butterphly and Ma’m Bea, first to be evicted
The final show was definitely not lacking in the pomp, glitz and glamour the Big Brother show has come to be known for. The show kicked off with interesting performances from music artists including “Eja Nla” D’banj who had the audience asking for more of his performance.

IK then went straight to the eviction of as the representative of the auditing firm brought the envelope containing the names of the six housemates that would first be evicted. IK asked all the Hotshots to stand just as he called the names of Butterfly and Ma’m Bea to leave the house as they were the first to be evicted.
[UPDATED] BBA Hotshots Grande Finale: How The Winner [Idris] Was Selected
JJ and Sipe are next evictees
A musical performance by Nzonzi helped to douse the highly tensed atmosphere. After the musical interlude, IK welcomed Butterphly and Ma’m Bea to the stage and asked them how they feel. Butterphly said she felt like crying for leaving at this stage while Ma’m Bea said she learnt a lot the last week. Butterphly said the house brought out the real her even as it took her long to adjust. Ma’m Bea said she had a caring heart which she picked up from her mother. IK presented a medallion as gift from Biggie to the duo, saying it will help serve as a reminder they made it to the finals.

IK moved on next to the housemates for the next set of evictions. He announced the names of JJ and Sipe as the next evictees from the Big Brother house.

The Moment The Winner Was Picked

The final moment was upon us. Tayo and Idris were brought through via a limosine and went on stage with IK, waiting to hear which one of them would be crowned this season’s winner, Africa’s Big Brother Hotshot. They made a great entrance to the live stage. Idris was speechless, Tayo watched his final video of his 63 days in the house as he shuffled around nervously.

Idris clearly enjoyed his video and watched himself intently. IK talked to Tayo and he said that things changed for him in the house. They discussed their fight but it was water under the bridge. He talked about having fun in the house in the last week, IK asked Tayo if the pressure got to him, Tayo said that he chilled for the past week as he felt he had done everything he had done already. Tayo then mentioned that if he won, he would give a “grand prize” to the woman who “walked into his house”. Idris said that he will “give the money back to Africa”.

IK stood on stage with the final envelope that revealed the winner. “The winner of Big Brother Hotshots is…” IK left them hanging, the drone kept droning on, IK extended their agony, and then said. “That person is Idris.”

Idris is the winner! Africa has chosen as Idris charmed not only the women of the house, he charmed the entire continent of Africa. The Tanzanian is now USD300,000 richer. Tayo played an amazing game but Idris is the ultimate winner and there is much celebration.

Congratulations to Idris, the ultimate Big Brother Hotshot.

How Africa Voted
According to the final votes of this season, the housemate with the most number of country votes is Idrs.

Idris received five country votes and these were from Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

The runner-up, Tayo received two country votes and these were from Nigeria and Mozambique. The rest of the finalists received country votes as follows:

Macky2 got two country votes from Zambia and Rest of Africa, Nhlanhla also got two country votes from South Africa and Botswana, JJ got one country vote from Zimbabwe, Sipe also got one country vote from Malawi and Butterphly received 0 country votes.

For the housemates who received the same number of country votes, the tie breaker rule came into effect for those housemates.

According to the Big Brother Africa rules: If the Popularity vote does not yield clear evictees and there is a deadlock between two or more housemates, the percentage vote from each of the 15 regions is added together and divided by 14 in order to generate an across the board percentage, which is then used to ascertain who stays and who goes.

Proton Holdings Bhd today unveiled the Suprima S Standard model and made it more affordable with prices starting at RM69,438 for solid colour and RM69,888 for metallic painted cars. That's nearly RM7000 cheaper than the executive version which cost RM76,760.05 (Metalic) and RM76,410.05 (Solid) respectively.

However, in making this car more affordable, a number of safety features present in the Executive variant have been removed. The new car model has only 2 air bags - the side and curtain airbags have been removed. It also loses the TC (Traction Control), ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and hill hold features.

I wonder whether their ad may be misleading as removal of all these safety features may result in different NCAP ratings. Fortunately ABS With EBD is still present. The touch screen and GPS are gone as well and the steering wheel does not have paddle shifters or radio controls.

The headlights are no longers LEDs but the normal bulbs and you would have to adjust the side mirrors manually. Sometimes I am amazed when I remember that these features were standard on my old Volvo S40 which was more than 10 years old.

What message is Proton trying to tell its customers?

This will definitely not improve the perception that most consumers have about the national car brand.

Don't get me wrong. I have been a long time supporter of Proton and I even did my MBA dissertation on the national car. They have come a long way but is still in no position to compete with other brands if the Government policies were removed.

The new car is still not which I call "affordable" cheap and we recently bought the Proton Preve Premium version with all the features - all the bells and whistles - at almost the same price. With the cars getting cheaper and the variety of choices in the market, I forsee Proton coming up with a number of promotions to try and get rid of unsold stock in the near future.

The engine is still the same CamPro 1.6 Turbo engine with 7-speed ProTronic CVT. The car runs on 16" alloy wheels fitted with 205/55 tyres.

This new variant is available in five colours: Tranquility Black, Solid White, Genetic Silver, Atlantic Blue and Fire Red.

Almost Famous

It's quite light and fluffy and behind the scenes with a 1970s rock group looked so much cleaner than I'd reckon they were whilst Rolling Stone seemed to have no sense of time whatsoever and were quite unbelievable. For all that I really enjoyed this but still can't quite understand why. Peter Frampton and The Herd, Humble Pie and, er... Stillwater.

American Beauty

This went in totally different directions to what I might have expected. Uncomfortable viewing at times but overall a memorable film, very well acted and presented.


I suppose you can guess the ending but there are nice touches along the way. The music and dancing are superb.

Three films I really didn't expect to enjoy and certainly wouldn't have chosen had it not been their featuring in a Top 100 films of this Century list. 

Car audio company Clarion is in the process of restoring an iconic 1974 BMW 2002. As part of the project, they got their hands on original 30-year-old Germany built BBS RS 001 wheels. They hired VR Wheels in Los Angeles to restore them to mint condition - actually the end product looks better.

Check the amazing video of how they refurbished the old wheels and gave it a new life:

Related link: Clarion Builds

How I Live Now

Much better than I had expected from the start. Ending a bit soggy but otherwise impressive.

City of God

Smart but simple film. Tells the story. Cool acting by people I've never heard of or probably will see again.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

One of those 'I think I need to see that again' movies. I ahve tried on several occasions to explain it to someone without any success whatsoever. Nice.

The Lives of Others

The best so far in the last few years' viewing. Not something to cheer you in summer time but worth sticking with through to a very smart ending.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I like films with slightly crazy and wacky but smart girls who are a little unpredictable and this is another. Much better than I had expected it to be.


Another film that far exceeded my expectations. Really very good.

Super 8

With those two names on the cover you just know that there should be some good writing and it won't be easy to predict where it goes. This doesn't let you down but may not be their best commercial work. Different enough for me, though.

Just updating X Factor UK news here, in case you haven't been following the main blog for the show.

So far it all all been pretty dull with the pleasant and tubby Andrea doing good things for Anglo-Italian relations although we're all wondering why he didn't enter Xa Facta Italia instead of messing up so many others chances here? Whilst he is the bookies' firm favourite, my own feeling is that Lauren or Ben could take this. I would really like Only The Young to win as they are easily the most experienced and deliver a great performance every week, or, at least, have so far. They're bouncy and child-friendly and could move in where S Club 7 or Steps left off but with slightly less sugar.

The ridiculous Stevi is still looking idiotic and as surprised as most of us that he is still there. Cheryl brought him back from obscurity and I suspect that Sinita will not be speaking to her for a while as the latter had definitely had him excluded from almost as soon as he appeared at Judges' Houses. In fact, I am not entirely sure I understand how he got there.

There's a big boy band with one memorable lead singer and the others, nice as they may be, are pretty forgettable. I can't see them winning and they seem to scrape through each week but may well make a final yet as they sound good all together and older viewers will like them.

Fleur is quite a star although I don't see her getting past 3rd or 4th position. That's nothing bad and many of our best known X Factor subsequent successes have been in those positions! She will get some work, I'm sure, and possibly get some more modern singles out which could do well if she gets well-backed.

That leaves Jay who is a nice bloke but seems to be losing some support. That may be just because of some less than inspiring songs recently. He has a good voice and is the ultimate 'respectable' candidate so, if that's where the show is heading this year, he will do well. However, if he has to sing off against almost anyone else I  see him losing out. And that'll have to happen at some point, I'm afraid.

The Nissan Datsun Go car which is aimed at the Indian market was recently tested for safety. The car failed spectacularly getting 0 out of possible 5 stars. The car comes without air bags and looking at the video of the test, it would not have done much good even if the car had been fitted with them. If the car can get this badly damaged at just 40mph speeds, I am just wondering what would happen at UK highway speeds of 70mph.

MNCs need to stop pushing lousy products into the emerging markets. And India definitely needs to have some minimum safety standards put in place.

One thing is sure about the new Citroën C4 Cactus - you will definitely get a lot of attention. It features unique Airbump® side panels which is supposed to protect from knocks and occasional bumps. The Airbump® panels are made from supply TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) and include tiny air capsules.

I suspect that reactions to the Airbump® feature is going to be split into 2 groups - "either you like it or you don't".

Other unique designs include sleek roof bars, a floating quarter window and clean lines. The front end features nice lights with daytime running LEDs emphasising the slim headlights as well as 3D-effect back lights.

Inside, the car features slim dashboard and 7 inch Touch Drive interface and a huge glovebox.

Check out the Citroën C4 Cactus for more information.

"A car company with a positive environmental effect" sounds like an oxymoron. Well Toyota is trying to show that this is not impossible with the launch of Toyota hybrid technology!

Their new Fuel cell vehicle (FCV) shows that cars can be eco-friendly.

In case you are wondering how a Fuel Cell Vehicle works, read on....
IN a FCV, the Fuel Cells generates electricity through the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to power the motor driving the vehicle. Hydrogen, which replaces conventional fuels (Petrol and Diesel) is an environment friendly energy source that can be produced from various raw materials. However, the most amazing thing in FCVs is that they have zero emissions or in other words, zero CO2 emissions during operation.

The dominoes picking themselves up in this clip captures the essence of the spirit of Toyota innovation.

Explore Toyota's Global website to learn more and watch more videos on their YouTube page.

This post is sponsored by Toyota, but all of the thoughts are our own.

Jaguar Land Rover has opened its first overseas manufacturing facility in China. The award-winning Range Rover Evoque will be the first model to be built in a joint venture with Chinese auto company Chery Automobile Company Ltd worth RMB 10.9 billion. This is in fact the first Chinese-British automotive joint venture.

The 400,000 square-metres plant, is located in the Changshu Economic Development Zone north of Shanghai.

They expect to build three Jaguar Land Rover models with total production capacity of 130,000 units a year by 2016 (for the Chinese market only). The facility features highly-automated press shops – including cutting-edge aluminium and steel technologies – along with a steel body shop comprising 306 robots, an energy-efficient paint shop and an ergonomically-friendly final assembly line.

Some interesting information:

  • Jaguar Land Rover first established a presence in China just over a decade ago.
  • China is Jaguar Land Rover’s single largest market with over 100,000 vehicles sold in the last fiscal year
  • In addition to China, Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed plans to create a local manufacturing facility in Brazil and has a local assembly facility in Pune, India.

I was thankful that once we came back to Malaysia, a lot of people have been helping us out, especially our parents. Initially, we used my mother-in-law's old Proton Wira and later on was my dad's old Wira, which I am still using. Since both my wife and I are working and not at the same place, we needed to have two cars as I could not send and pick here up from her office. We start looking around for cars here and we decided to live within our means and set out a budget of RM 65000 for the new car. My wife also had one condition - that the car must be automatic as she was still recovering from her leg fracture. We also did not want a small Perodua car and we came up with a list of cars (in the so called popular B-segment) which we could buy with our limited budget, namely:

1. Honda City (starting at RM75800)
2. Toyota Vios (starting at RM73213)
3. Nissan Almera (starting at RM66827)and
4. Proton Preve (Starting RM61471)

Looking at the list, we realised that we could only afford the Proton and if we wanted a better car, we would have to increase our budget.
After driving a Volvo S40 in the UK for several years, we were not really looking forward to driving a Proton. However, the more research I did about the Proton Preve, the more impressed I was with the model. We went to see it at the Proton showroom near our house in Taman Megah, PJ and we decided that the Proton Preve Premium version was what we wanted. However, it was still beyond our budget at around RM72K (approx. £13650).

We were very fortunate because Proton suddenly announced a Merdeka/ Hari Raya discount of 5% across their complete range of models. This suddenly brought the Proton Preve Premium version within our range at around RM68,000 (solid colours) and really great value as it has loads of features not present in the basic Honda, Toyota and Nissan models. This includes a Turbo engine, touch screen with built-in sat-nav, 6 air bags, push button start, automatic lights and wipers, etc.. The offer also included 3 years free service and range of gifts including free in-car wifi hub with access for a year, free SmartTAG, full tank fuel, etc.

So that's the story in brief about how my wife ended up with a Proton Preve 1.6 CFE CVT Premium car powered by the Campro CFE 1561cc turbo engine with 7 speed ProTronic transmission and mounted on great looking 17" alloy wheels with 215/45 R17 tyres.

Watch out for a more detailed review of the car later.

(updated 22 October 2014).

According to a recent Auto Study on the future of mobility conducted by New York based company MRY, via Whitman Insight Strategies, owning a car is still an important part of our day-to-day life.

This study surveyed 1,000 smartphone owners – 500 Millennials, 500 35+) and cover everything from consumers’ thoughts on the “connected car,” to which automakers are perceived to be the most innovative (and how that translates to sales).

The findings reveals that unsurprisingly that mobile phones matter a lot more to people, slightly less than cars. Among adults 35+: 94% say their cars are important vs 82% phones. But for Millennials, it’s 87% cars, 86% phones. Overall, SMS comes in at 72%, high def TV 55%, Facebook 47%, newspaper subscription 32%, and Twitter and Instagram around 20%.

Across ages, access to a car (90%) trumps helping others (77%), raising a family (73%), voting (68%), and being wealthy (43%). However, the youth just want to get rich as being wealthy is a FAR bigger deal for Millennials (53%) vs adults 35+ (33%) - one of the biggest value gaps MRY found in the study.

As for car ownership, 96% of surveyed individuals own or lease a vehicle, and 91% think that owning a car is still an important part of their day-to-day. Even 87% of the Millennial population, which is more aware of car-sharing services and other transportation options, agrees that owning a car is essential. This means that auto manufacturers need to keep people happy, because at least 40% of surveyed individuals are likely to use car-sharing services if offered in their communities.

To put things into perspective: new vehicle sales are around the 16 million mark, with the average sticker price north of $30,000 (See link). That’s $480 billion. A shift in attitude leads to changes in purchase behavior and even a 1% change could mean a $5 billion impact on sales.

However, car-sharing still has a long way to go. Even though Uber ranks above all of the major auto brands when measured against the intersection of innovation and personal connection, it is still a relatively unknown entity. Only 22% of surveyed individuals were familiar with Uber, falling behind Zip Car (33% familiar) and just ahead of Lyft (18% familiar).

Had the chance to try out the new Proton Iriz a few days after it was launched. There were three variants at the showroom at  Taman Megah, PJ, near my house in Malaysia.

Quite impressed - Proton has indeed come a long way.

The green one is the manual variant.

There was an automatic white car outside (for test drive). Loved the sound of the exhaust. They have tuned it to sound like a much more powerful sports car.

The grey one is the premium variant with six air bags, rear cameras, touch screen GPS, turbo engine and loads of other extras.

Welcome to the age of printed cars. Arizona based car manufacturer Local Motors has come out with the World's first 3 D printed car - the Strati. It won the 2014 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award in New York yesterday.

The car chassis/frame, exterior body, and interior features are made from ABS plastic reinforced with carbon fibres. The electric engine, wheels and other parts were sourced from Renault’s Twizy. It takes the company around 44 hours to print out.

It only has a top speed of about 40mph (60km/h) but I am sure the speeds will improve as time goes by. I am just thinking at the possibilities. In the future, you can probably print out spare parts at home.

The second generation Proton Perdana was unveiled last year and is only available exclusively to Malaysian Government officials. The car is available in 2.0 and 2.4 litre models and according to reports, is based on the 8th generation Honda Accord.

Saw one a few days back in PJ and it really looks nice.
Stuck at traffic lights when I took this picture.

2014 Proton Perdana Front Three Quarter CC BY-SA 3.0
Paul Tan's contribution to Wikimedia

Subaru recently launched the Japan only WRX S4 in Japan. The model is based on the WRX STI model which was launched in Europe earlier.

It is powered by a direct injection 2.0 litre turbo engine which is tuned to produce 300hp. The engine is combined with Subaru's Lineartronic 7-speed gearbox.

Subaru Global vehicle production was up 17% on last year while total number of exports also increased by 15%.

Malaysian car company is launching their new compact car the Proton Iriz today. Blogger Paul Tan is streaming the launch live.

Even before the launch of the car, it has received five-star rating in Adult Occupant Protection and four-star rating in Child Occupant Protection by the New Car Assessment Programme for Southeast Asian Countries (Asean NCAP).

The car will come in 3 Trim lines and 8 variants and in 7 colours.

Prices of the car (on-the-road) will be between RM42,438 and RM62,888.

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