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The month of June starts with the end of The Amazing Race 29

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2017 by vincentloy

I have been following every episodes of The Amazing Race Season 29 each week. I have actually followed this reality television show for several continuous seasons by now. I love this program which sees a number of teams in pair travelling across the world, completing tasks, having arguments within themselves or with other teams, experiencing difficulties, brace the extreme challenges and sweating it all out to win the final grand prize of US$ 1 million. In this Season 29, the teams are formed by choosing within the group of individual participants who are completely stranger to one another.

I look forward to the new episodes every weekend and they traveled to countries like Panama, Brazil, Norway, Italy, Greece, Vietnam, South Korea, etc to complete tasks. Matt and Redmond are a great team that I first foresee their potential to win this season of The Amazing Race. They have been performing very well and consistently in every episodes. However, their poor decision of choosing train as their mode of transport in Seoul and the carelessness of their taxi driver later on the same day who brought them to other location has cost their opportunity to win the race. What a bad day that turns everything over for them! They were the last team to get kicked out before the final leg which is so unfortunate.

The final 3 teams that successfully proceed to the final leg are Scott and Brooke, Tara and Joey, and London and Logan. These 3 pairs were always considered the underdogs earlier on as they have not performed very well in the earlier legs. And to my surprise, luck is on Scott and Brooke’s (picture below) side on the last two crucial legs. Everything seems to be very smooth for this pair and they indeed win the race in the end and won the 1 million dollar. A huge congratulation to them! I actually find it unexpected because they are actually one of the weaker teams as compared to the rest. I also cannot stand the consistent whining by Brooke in every legs. She is too annoying and unbearable throughout the whole race. She can’t even do a simple task properly and loves to scream ‘I’m dying’ even at simple task of just running around. Scott should just get the whole bunch of the 1 million dollar just for putting up to her. Brooke do not deserve a single cent from this win. She should seriously work on her attitude. She now literally becomes my most hated person in The Amazing Race series, and will not be remembered as the winner of this reality show. Now, I have to wait for the next one, The Amazing Race 30 and I hope it will be out very soon. That will be the iconic 30th edition of the show!

On the other hand, did TVB has no new own dramas to show now? It has two timeslots every evening on the television. TVB ended up putting a mainland China drama and an old local drama made 10 years ago currently. This is a very bad move. People will just move away from their dramas for now. TVB should really appreciate the viewers and not letting them leave with such move especially in this year when the station will celebrate its 50th anniversary. I’m sure you have a lot of other completed dramas in shelf ready to be released out. I have no choice but to watch ‘Phoenix Rising’ now, a drama that was actually made a decade ago and they choose to release it now. They did release this drama earlier on though in oversea market.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Contradicting early predictions, Donald Trump won the US Election 2016 to become the next President

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2016 by vincentloy

I kept refreshing news website today to check on the updated results of the election for the United States presidency as live updates keep rolling in. Eventhough the election is supposed to be none of my business since I’m not an American, but we have to certainly admit the impact this election may have to the world’s economy and politics from some major political decisions in future.

The two candidates running for the top post are Hillary Clinton of Democratic Party and Donald Trump of Republican Party. The current President, Barack Obama is of course supporting Clinton since they are in the same party. Before the elections, there were many early polls and predictions going on and most of them were expecting Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, to win this election. Then, as the final days before the election arrive, people are predicting a much tighter race as Trump zooms ahead in popularity.

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And then, election came and the result is now made known. Donald Trump won the election and will become the 45th President of the United States of America from January 2017 onward. He had won over 270 seats required while Clinton has nothing to do besides than accepting this shocking defeat. She could not make history by becoming the first female president of the country unfortunately.

I don’t really like both of them as the candidates for this top post. I don’t think both are capable for this job. Electing either one of them is considered a joke for me. Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman who suddenly ventured into politics and made a lot of harsh and racist remarks. Hillary Clinton, a former president’s wife who is physically weak and couldn’t propose something really good for the country. But if you let me to vote, I’ll pick Clinton.

But right now in reality, Donald Trump won. He better think before he act from now on because he now has a real huge responsibility as his actions will not only impact his country but also may affect the whole world. He immediately promised he will go a great job (we will see) after election result confirmed that he will be heading successfully to the White House.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

‘Fury’, another good film and with my brief review for it here…and in the other news, Malaysia did it again in TVB International Chinese New Talent Singing Competition 2014.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2014 by vincentloy

Just a day after watching a magnificent film about Stephen Hawking ‘The Theory of Everything’ (a movie review for it is in my previous post if you want to check it out), there’s another movie that lives up to my expectation too today. It’s ‘Fury’, an American war drama film that starred Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia Labeouf, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, etc. It tells the story of a sergeant and his four crewmen in command of a Sherman tank in a battle against Nazi in Germany during World War II.

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Just like ‘The Theory of Everything’, the main praise to ‘Fury’ film also goes to the excellent performances by the main casts; Pitt, Lerman and Labeouf. They took on their respective roles (each with different type of characters or personalities) very well, as the film allows every three of them to shine in it respectively. Of course, I find that Logan Lerman’s character is being more heavily emphasized in this (he is the only one that survives in the end and his screen-time is even more than Brad Pitt) but Lerman nailed it. Previously, I always thought that he may not be able to handle this kind of army role but he did it fantastically here surprisingly.

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The story is solid and is pretty intense. I like it. It’s a well-crafted war film that also deals perfectly good with the emotions and the true reality of the men involved in war unwillingly in the past. Of course, some parts of the film can be better. But currently, it is good enough for an interesting and engaging 2-hour movie experience. The action sequences are also cleverly made and climax-reaching especially in the final encounter with the Nazi group when the five men were left only with their limiting weapons and immovable tank.

That’s all I can comment on this film. Not the best, but definitely one of the appealing films this year for me. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Fury’ a total of 7.9.

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On the other news, TVB held its annual International Chinese New Talent Singing Competition just now. And as usual, Malaysia sent in representatives (Uriah and Elaine, our champion and second runner-up from Astro Star Quest 2014 competition) to compete at Hong Kong. Many must be surprised why Sean (our first runner-up and having a very good voice) could not attend. It is believed that he has some health reason. That’s a pity. Anyway, I would still be in front of my TV to watch the competition live and support my country.

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Since the other competitors aren’t outstanding or having impressive voice or skills this year, there should be not much resistance for our talented Malaysians in the competition. I didn’t watch the first 30 minutes of the show and so I didn’t realize that Elaine got kicked out of the race so early. But luckily, Uriah performed steadily well and in the end, he won this competition too with the selection of his mastered songs (previously used them and gained high marks in Astro Star Quest). He must be very excited now. We are also happy for him and that win made Malaysia very proud. The winner of TVB International Chinese New Talent Singing Competition this year goes to Malaysian. Congratulation to Uriah!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Germany is the FIFA World Cup 2014 Champion!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2014 by vincentloy

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All eyes and cameras on Germany football team! A huge congratulation to them for winning the FIFA World Cup 2014! It appears that my predictions for the semi-final, third-place playoff and the final matches were all right. Wonderful. I guess now I can call myself quite a good forecaster. Haha…And my favourite team, Germany won in the end! Simply amazing! Do you know why I support Germany? I don’t know why. Ever since I started watching World Cup since 2002, I have been a silent (not crazy) fans of this country for no reason. But I guess I’m fated to be favoring Germany since my Chinese name (excluding my family name) if directly translated means ‘German language’.

So, the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament concluded with all the 64 matches taken place at this beautiful South American country. Out of the 64 matches, I only watched the last two; third-place playoff yesterday between the host nation, Brazil and Netherlands. Brazil delivers another lousy performance and that gave way for Netherlands to score three goals quite easily. Hence, Netherlands is the second runner-up. At least consolation to Netherlands which went into the final (but lost) in the previous edition back in 2010. Brazil team was sent home with quite another complete humiliation due to the two consecutive defeats on their home soil, the worst in the history of their games.

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Try again next time, Brazil. Now, it’s time for Germany to shine and celebrate! Even the iconic Statue of Christ the Redeemer at Rio de Janeiro, the city where the final match was held just now is brightly illuminated with colours resembling the German flag. The team must have made their country very proud of this achievement. This is now their fourth World Cup title (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014). The gap from the last time they won it is quite huge; 24 years! Finally, the prestigious trophy landed on their hands again! They astonishingly defeated Argentina at 1-0 in overtime match as both teams score nothing in the 90-minutes game, hence given extra 30 minutes to compete. And Germany finally scored a surprising goal at 113′ minute by Mario Gotze, few minutes before the extra-time is going to end too.

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final

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It was quite an intense and brilliant game just now. Both teams played very well, both in attack and defense. I can see it’s very hard to score even a goal as their levels are almost on-par. Hence, no goal for such a long time and most of the audiences were already emotionally-drained. There are some mistakes from both teams, but in the end, luck was still on German’s side before the need for the crucial penalty kicks. Argentina played very well, and Lionel Messi is superbly great as usual. But this is not the day for him unfortunately. So, Argentina is the first runner-up.

So now, Germany is the official champion of the just concluded FIFA World Cup 2014 held at Brazil from 12 June to 13 July. On the other hand, the individual winners are James Rodriguez from Colombia  for Top Scorer (6 goals), Lionel Messi from Argentina for Best Player, Paul Pogba from France as Best Young Player, and Manuel Neuer from Germany as Best Goalkeeper. Congratulation to them and the overall champion, Germany once again! The world is cheering on them! Wonderful game! It’s okay for me to sacrifice my sleep (it’s midnight here in Malaysia when the final match took place). See you for the next edition of the World Cup, Russia 2018!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Japan won Thomas Cup for the first time. No luck for Malaysia this time.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2014 by vincentloy

Ohh….that was the last word I shouted before we turned off the TV. That is sad. The FINAL match between Japan and Malaysia in Thomas Cup, world’s most premier international men team badminton championship had just concluded. And unfortunately, Japan won. My country, Malaysia lost. The match started at 5.30pm (3pm at India time as the event was held at New Delhi for this edition) and had just ended approximately on 11.30pm (took six long hours). Must be a five neck-to-neck matches in the FINAL. Yes it was.

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As expected, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia overpowered Kenichi Tago of Japan (21-12, 21-16) easily in the first men single match, proving that he is someone very hard to be defeated in this sport eventhough he is now almost 32 years old. We were very confident of him and he secured the first point for our country. Fantastic. We were very happy as it is a good start for our national team. Next came our first men double pair; Hoon Thien How and Tan Boon Heong against Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa and Hiroyuki Endo. Our pair won the first round, and we thought that we could win this match too. Then, everything should be safe and smooth for us.

However, we were disappointed in the end. The Japan’s pair fight back to win the second game before triumphing again on the deciding game. Our Malaysian pair contributed quite a fair performance and I can see that both of them fight very hard. However, luck is not on their side especially on the last few crucial points which were then awarded to the Japanese pair. The result of this match is 12-21, 21-17 and 21-19 in favor of Japan. Now, it’s 1-1 (draw).

Then, came the second men single match. Our team had Chong Wei Feng and Japan sent in Kento Momota. Chong appeared to have better statistics in early matches of this tournament, but now truly facing a great challenger. In the end, he lost out in two straight games (21-15, 21-17). Opps…not good, not good. The standing is now at 2 for Japan, and 1 for Malaysia. We had to depend on the second men double to save the day. And yes, fortunately, they successfully brought joy for Malaysia back as they won the match in three games (21-19, 17-21, 12-21). They delivered outstanding performance and put back the standing to a draw. Wonderful.

Now, all hope is on the last men single match to decide on the winner of this year’s Thomas Cup. We had Liew Daren and Japan brought forward Takuma Ueda. The high pressure mounted on the players of this match is inevitable. I find that Daren doesn’t have the spirit or energy to play in the first game, hence losing it easily to the Japanese. He also tend to make a lot of serious mistakes eventhough his opponent was showing quite poor skills on court too. That was bad. However, he fought back with much effort and won the second game. This eventually led to the final rubber game. Heartstopping moments then started. And….haaihh….we were all excited as their points were very close to each other but Japan permanently stood ahead two to three points. Accompanied with little luck only to the Malaysian, Japan won the last match (21-12. 18-21, 21-17). Hmmm…

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(Uber Cup trophy on the left which was won by China after winning Japan yesterday and Thomas Cup trophy on the right. Uber Cup represents female team championship)

All our hope ended. So near yet so far. We couldn’t manage to bring back the prestigious Thomas Cup trophy back to Malaysian land. The last time we celebrated the win of this tournament was way back 22 years ago in 1992. This time, we lost again unfortunately. We can see obviously the looks of all Malaysians especially our local supporters over there in the stadium. Luck is not on our side. Year 2014 must have been a bad year for Malaysia. Anyway, both Japan and Malaysia had made this FINAL very intense and awesomely displayed some of the best badminton ‘shows’ I have ever seen in recent years.

A big congratulation to Japan on winning the Thomas Cup for the first time in history. Their performance now stunned and surprised me. They had seriously improved a lot until that they can even defeat China (always regarded as the badminton giant) back in the semi-final. They were proven to be a dark horse, and they successfully won it. Hope that our national team don’t give up, get up for further training on improvement, and fight back on the next Thomas Cup in 2016.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Wow…Malaysia make it to the Thomas Cup 2014 Final!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2014 by vincentloy

Thomas Cup, held once in every two years is no doubt one of the sport tournaments that Malaysians are very much looking forward to. Our country had won the tournament five times, including the first three in its history of over 65 years (first Thomas Cup was in 1949). The record looks great to Malaysia. However, in recent years, with presence of many other competitive countries in this particular sport (especially China) and the feeling of our badminton team’s dropping performance, Malaysians did not harbour much hope as compared to the good old days.

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The Thomas Cup, the international male team badminton championship together with the Uber Cup (for female) is held at New Delhi, India in 2014. Uber Cup, our women team have lost. That’s predicted. So now, topic only on Thomas Cup. Placed in Group C, Malaysia won all the matches (against South Korea, India, and Germany) to top the group and succeeded to the quarterfinal. Winning the first few rounds would be quite expected for our team. There should be no major concern or resistance on the way. Then, Malaysia went on advancing to the semi final after defeating Denmark. That’s a good achievement. And I would think that Malaysia’s journey would ends soon.

I was wrong this time, but I was happy for the result, which is quite surprising. In the semi final yesterday, our team delivered a strong performance and successfully defeated Indonesia, our old rival in 3-0 and is now ready for the final against Japan tomorrow. Yes, I didn’t type it wrong. We are against Japan in the final. But where is China? China had been winning Thomas Cup from 2004 to 2012 (five times) consecutively. The most surprising of all is that China was defeated by Japan in their semi final match. Very unbelievable. Lin Dan is not even given the opportunity to turn things around as he is fielded as the third singles (last match) but Japan had already scored 3-0. This marks the first time Japan entering into the final in Thomas Cup’s history.

They are proven to be a team to watch out for. We cannot take it easily. Hmm…I predicted that it would be a tough match tomorrow in the final tomorrow. Very excited to watch it. Of course I’m rooting for my own country, Malaysia. We had last entered the final back in 2002 (lost) and the last time we had won the cup was way back in 1992 (22 years ago). We would love to celebrate the moment of winning the cup again! To be honest, I have never predicted they could go to this far. With only Lee Chong Wei being the most confident on securing a point for us, other players are mostly unfamiliar, new and not experienced enough. Their performance in this tournament took me by surprise completely.

Good luck and wishing all the best to our Malaysian badminton team! ‘Malaysia Boleh’ spirit is still there! Very excited for the final between Malaysia and Japan tomorrow at 3pm (India time) – that means 5.30pm here in Malaysia.

‘The Shard’ won Emporis Skyscraper Award 2013.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2014 by vincentloy

The Emporis Skyscraper Award for the year 2013, which is considered the world most renowned prize for skyscrapers, goes to London’s ‘The Shard’. The tallest building in western Europe, ‘The Shard’ was chosen by an international panel of experts from more than 300 skyscrapers of at least 100 metres in height and which were completed during the previous calendar year. The award, given by Emporis (www.emporis.com), the international provider of building data. is now in its 14th year.

The 306m tall building designed by Renzo Piano, won over the jury, thanks to its unique glass fragment-shaped form and its sophisticated architectural implementation. Hmm…I had seen this building on my trip to Europe last year. I find that it is just a tall full-glass building that ends sharply at the top. Nothing special or worthy to be awarded the top honour for this skyscraper prize. That’s my personal opinion. Perhaps I didn’t know in detail of how the design is that great or maybe that last year’s competition isn’t strong, and so ‘The Shard’ stands out.

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Second place went to DC Tower 1 at Vienna. The building at 250m high, is now Austria’s tallest building. The interesting feature of the building is one of its four sides that came with folded glass facade (creating ‘in’ and ‘out’ effect). In contrast with the other three typical flat sides of the building, the faceted facade creates a shifting pattern of light and shadow that animates the surface and lends it a rippling quality.

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Coming in third place is Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort at Huzhou, China. It is a luxury hotel and resort by a lake with a height of 102m. It is not a very tall building, but is bold enough, thanks to its massive glowing light at night, striking reflection, and also particularly its torus/ ring-shaped form that leads to several nicknames given to the building like ‘Horseshoe Hotel’ or ‘Doughnut Hotel’.

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For the full list of the top 10 winners of 2013’s Emporis Skyscraper Awards, go to this link: http://www.emporis.com/press/press-releases. Hmmm…I don’t think Malaysia (my country) has any buildings that have won this prize before since its inception. If this prize is started out earlier (before 1997), then I’m sure Petronas Twin Towers will win.

(Information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)