Monday, February 28, 2011

Chris Brown Goes Blonde! (PHOTOS)

In case you missed it, not only did Justin Bieber change his hair last week, so did Chris Brown! What do you think???

Lady Gaga: "Born This Way" Music Video

Lady Gaga gave birth to her seven-minute Sci-Fi epic "Born This Way" today. She says this symbolizes the birthing of a new "race which bears no prejudice."

Watch the video below and let us know what you think!


Inside Line: 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Long-Term Test

By Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor Published Feb 28, 2011

Our staff is growing up. We've got two new babies and a new hire with a 5-year-old, so it seems fitting that our long-term test fleet should add a little bulk. In the spirit of baby announcements, please join us in welcoming the 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring to our growing family. This rather large delivery took place on February 1, weighing in at 4,541 pounds and measuring 202.9 inches.

What We Got
There are five Honda Odyssey trim levels, with our Touring model ranking second only to the Touring Elite. Included with our Topaz Metallic minivan are 18-inch alloy wheels, dual power-sliding doors, a power liftgate, a sunroof, foglights, front and rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, memory settings for the driver, retractable third-row sunshades — deep breath — a fold-down armrest for third-row passengers and both the navigation and rear-seat entertainment systems. Opting for the range-topping Touring Elite would've added xenon headlights, a blind-spot warning system, an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system with a 16-inch HD widescreen video monitor (with HDMI input) and a premium 650-watt, 12-speaker surround-sound audio system.

Like all 2011 Odysseys, ours is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Touring and Touring Elite models get a six-speed automatic, while lower trims make do with a five-speed. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 19 city/28 highway mpg and 22 mpg in combined driving.

The 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring is priced at $41,535 with no notable options to kick that figure higher. That makes our latest addition the second most expensive minivan on the market — $2,495 less than the Odyssey Touring Elite. Fortunately, Honda provided the car to us for 12 months, so those children of Edmunds still have a college fund.

Why We Got It
The entire minivan segment has seen significant revisions or complete redesigns for the 2011 model year, and the new Honda Odyssey benefits from a roomier interior, better fuel economy and a longer list of features.

In our most recent minivan comparison test, the Odyssey (in midrange EX trim) tied for 2nd with the new Nissan Quest. The 1st-place Toyota Sienna SE is already in our long-term fleet. Before the Sienna, the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan was the last minivan in our lot. While the new DGC is a vast improvement, it still finished last in the comparison test.

This latest long-termer addition is almost $10,000 more than the Odyssey EX from the comparison, with plenty of other bells and whistles to evaluate. Are these added features worth it? Do they function as advertised? These are questions that we hope to answer in the next year.
In our reviews, we list the Odyssey's agile handling, fuel economy, quiet cabin, configurable second-row seat and easy-to-fold third-row seat among its strengths. On the other end of the spectrum, we count the high sticker price and button-heavy dash among its drawbacks. We'll see how these hold up during the next 12 months and 20,000 miles.

Follow the long-term road test blog for updates about our 2011 Honda Odyssey.

Current Odometer: 1,373
Best Fuel Economy: 23.8 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 19.6 mpg
Average Fuel Economy (over the life of the vehicle): 20.8 mpg
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.


Honda's 'road to zero emissions'

Honda is very much looking to the future - and a clean one too. It will use the Geneva show to strut its environmental credentials

"Road to Zero Emissions" is the theme of Honda's stand at Geneva, where it will showcase its EV Concept electric vehicle and a platform for mid-sized plug-in hybrids.

The concepts - first unveiled at the LA Auto Show in November 2010 - aim to illustrate the current technology of hybrids, alongside the "near-future" technology of plug-in vehicles and the ultimate goal of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, such as the company's FCX Clarity.

Both the EV Concept and the plug-in hybrid platform are integral to the "Honda Electric Mobility Network", the company's approach to reducing CO2 emissions through innovative products, energy-management and energy-production technology.

Honda says its EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for its forthcoming production battery electric vehicle, the Fit EV, which will be introduced in the US and Japan in 2012. The EV Concept is designed to meet the daily driving needs of town and city dwellers and has the same five-passenger layout as the Jazz. It will achieve an estimated 100-mile driving range per charge.

The plug-in hybrid platform showcases Honda's next-generation, two-motor hybrid technology set to debut in 2012. Integrated into a mid-size saloon, the plug-in hybrid is aimed at motorists who make short, frequent trips in all-electric mode, but also need long-distance capability.


2012 Honda CRV Rendered Speculation pt2

This is another from Japan Car Design Corner, a really good site for Japanese car enthusists! Second time I have seen this pic, this would be something that I'd have to warm up to, the front end is not grabbing me. Anyway, they say style is subjective....


Scoop: Next Gen Honda/Acura NSX Rendering

This car has has so many renderings that I am starting to get dizzy just trying to keep up with what all the speculations are, - V8? 3.5v6? High performance 4cyl? Hybrid (please no)? 4WD? Boxter? and so on....

Click on the link to get even more speculations!

Next Gen Honda Odyssey for Japan

The Honda Odyssey is a smaller van in Japan, much in the same vein as the old 1995-1998 Honda Odyssey that was here in North America. This was taken from a MagX (Japanese auto mag) cover. Anyway, not coming here, but nice to see none the less.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

TWEET OF THE WEEK: These Two R&B Divas Had It Out On Twitter!

This past week, these two divas had it out on Twitter and got the entire social network in a frenzy. It all started when R&B singer, Ciara was on the E! channel's show "Fashion Police" and called out Rihanna for "not being so nice to her."

Listen to the Tweet of the Week below, as featured on Tiffany aka Lady T's show on Power 95.3 in Orlando:

Click here to see Ciara call Rihanna out on "Fashion Police" and read the tweets!

TALK OF THE WEEK 2/21-27: Justin Bieber, Carmelo Anthony, Rihanna, Lil' Kim And More! (AUDIO)

Between Justin's new hair and Rihanna's new brutal photos being leaked, it's been week full of surprises and drama. If you missed anything, Lady T got you!

Listen to the "Talk Of The Week" below:

New Photos Of Rihanna Beating Leak Out! Chris Brown Responds (PHOTOS)

Justin Bieber Cuts His Hair!! Auctions It Off On Ellen's Show (PHOTOS)

Lil' Kim Talks To Lady T on Power95.3! (VIDEO + #MP3)))

Carmelo Anthony Going To The New York Knicks!

Apparently, I'm A Masochist. Who Knew?

If being a Mets fan has made anything clear it's that I, apparently, have an insatiable lust for pain. Yesterday I realized that hadn't changed when I got an e-mail from the team offering five-game flex ticket packs for the upcoming season. Typically, I ignore these e-mails because the tickets are too damn expensive, but I was blinded by a huge segment of block text said "NO ORDERING FEES".

You know those things: the transaction fees that enable teams to needlessly add five bucks onto every ticket, but in actuality are complete nonsense.

So I, foolishly assuming I was about to get a deal, promptly bought a Mets flex package for this season, a season that is sure to be disappointing just like they all are. For any evidence of that, look no further than yesterday's spring training opener against Atlanta that ended in a 5-5 tie.

Yes, a tie. In baseball.

Sister kissing is an unusual phenomenon in this sport, which, as we've seen, could theoretically go on forever in a regular season game, but in the spring training no one really has the patience, which means when a game is tied after nine innings, the managers debate whether or not they really care to bake out in the sun much longer. In this case, Terry Collins and Fredi Gonzalez decided that 10 innings would be enough, and it seemed like it would be for Atlanta after they took a 5-3 lead in the top of the inning. Of course, then former-Met killer Willie Harris, who was signed this offseason with the apparent idea of "even if he sucks he won't kill us anymore", smacked a two-run homer to tie the game in the bottom of the 10th, and that was how it would stand. Were it not for my discovery that my supermarket now sells Sunset Wheat, this would have been the highlight of my week.

Considering that this was the second rally by the Mets to tie the game I'm pretty sure Saturday's tie marks the high point of New York's 2011 season. It's all downhill from here.

And when it goes downhill, I'll be there to watch six times. I made a point to pick games in my plan, since it gives you the option of choosing, that were generally in the first half of the season so that my delusions of the Mets still having a chance wouldn't have been shattered yet. Highlights include the Subway Series opener the first weekend of July, a meeting with the defending-champion Giants and Ike Davis bobblehead day on July 19th against St. Louis.

Now comes the hard part. Finding six people dumb enough to go to each game with me.

In other news, some of you might have noticed that the Oscars are tonight and I, something of an Oscar junkie as you can see from some of my zanier columns in the past, am as excited as always even though I somehow managed not to see half the Best Picture nominees this year. I bring this up because I came across a rather startling discovery this afternoon involving one of my favorite films of all time, L.A. Confidential. For those of you who have seen L.A. Confidential you know that it is, well, incredible in every way. As such, it is a constant reminder to me that the Oscars are total bunk since L.A. Confidential lost Best Picture in 1997 to some boat movie.

Either way, what I did not realize is that one of the stars of the film, Guy Pearce, who so deftly pulled off a turn as the film's protagonist Lieutenant Edmund Exley, is also a tremendous sports fan. This I should have assumed because he's also Australian and Australians love their sports. And most importantly, they love their footy.

And Guy Pearce loves his footy.

But almost more important than the fact that Guy Pearce loves his footy is that he loves one footy team in particular. And it's the right one. I was entirely unaware that Pearce grew up on his mother's deer farm in Geelong, where he endured a rough 40 years of his life before he finally saw the Cats get their first championship since four years before he was born. As far as Geelong fans go, apparently Pearce is one of the more famous ones, something that the club has noted on its own website for no apparent reason other than to say "We have a celebrity that roots for us."

Pearce is apparently such a big fan of the club that he was the no-brainer choice to narrate a special video segment on the most crucial moment of Geelong's 2009 Grand Final victory over St. Kilda.

It makes one wonder if Pearce had a bet on the match with Eric Bana, a diehard St. Kilda fan who was shown on TV in the crowd of the Grand Final that day about every four seconds or so.

In any event, it's nice to know that the main man of one of my favorite films shares a bizarre team in kind with me. Unfortunately, Pearce isn't up for any Oscars tonight, nor did L.A. Confidential take home the big prize 14 years ago, but the 2007 and 2009 Grand Final victories are far more meaningful anyway.

Besides, it could be worse. He could have been duped into buying Mets tickets.

Rihanna To Play Whitney In New Bodyguard Movie

In 2009 we reported that there is a remake of 1992 hit film The Bodyguard in the works and Rihanna is being linked to the lead role. The original film, starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner made an impressive $250 million worldwide and sold over 44 million soundtrack albums, the highest sales figure for a film soundtrack.

The talks of the remake is circulating once again. Sources say, they are going to update the story to show a singer being stalked and harassed via Twitter and other social networking sites. The bodyguard character will be an Iraq War veteran who lands the job after returning from military duty, a source close to the project revealed.

The source said:
“The new film is similar, including the love story, but the bodyguard will be a former Iraq War veteran who gets the job protecting the star as his first gig after leaving the Army.”

According to, Rihanna’s name has been mentioned in connection with the female lead role that would see her covering the original film’s hit song “I Will Always Love You”. Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus have also been mentioned in connection with the same role.

This wouldn’t be Rihanna’s first film role however – she will appear on our screens in Battleship with Liam Neeson and Alexander Skarsgard, currently in post-production and due for release in May 2012.

The producers’ aim is to find a new Whitney Houston for the remake. According to the website
“The goal is to take a young female singer with global appeal and give her the platform that The Bodyguard did Houston.”

Hopefully if Rihanna ends up with the role, she won’t end up going the same route as Whitney did – that is, marrying someone called Brown, throwing away her music career, developing a huge drug habit, and then cleaning up and making a very unsuccessful comeback 18 years later…

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2012 Honda Civic Trim Levels and Colours available for Canada

2012 Honda Civic DX Sedan Manual Transmission (no Automatic)
-Base model, not expecting Air Conditioning (?).....
NH-578 - Taffeta White with Grey Interior
NH-700M - Alabaster Silver Metallic with Grey Interior
NH-731P - Crystal Black Pearl with Grey Interior
NH-737P - new Grey with Grey Interior
B-561P - new Blue with Grey Interior

2012 Honda Civic LX Sedan Manual and Automatic Transmissions
-Expect Air, Tilt, Cruise, XM, Bluetooth, etc....
Same colours as above only adding;
R-543P - new Red with Grey Interior
YR-578M - Urban Titanium Metallic with Grey Interior

2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan Manual and Automatic Transmissions
-Expect Moonroof, etc....
Same colours as above only changing;
YR-578M - Urban Titanium Metallic with new 'GG' (???) Interior

2012 Honda Civic EX-L Navi Sedan Automatic Transmission (no Manual)
-Expect Leather, Navigation, Backup Camera?!?, etc....
Same colours as EX

2012 Honda Civic Si Sedan 6 Speed Manual Transmission (no Automatic)
-2.4Litre 200hp engine, performance version, etc....
NH-578 - Taffeta White with Black Interior
NH-731P - Crystal Black Pearl with Black Interior
NH737M - new Grey with Black Interior
B-561P - new Blue with Black Interior
YR-589P - new Orange with Black Interior

No pricing yet, and no official equipment list yet, except the fact that there is now a Civic with Navigation!

Honda Canada

Brazilian companies "Petrobras and Vale" earned huge profits

Brazil's two leading companies have gained highest profits for the year 2010, in the most recent mark of the South American state’s mounting economic strength.
The oil gigantic Petrobras, which is partially nationalized, earned US$ 20billion.
The mining company “Vale” earned US$17.3billion more than three times its profits of the previous year. These two Brazilian companies have earned profits due to high international prices and growing demand for oil and iron ore. Both are setting up huge development in the next couple of years. Petrobras's earning profits were up 17% in the previous year, mainly as a effect of higher oil prices.
The oil gigantic raised $70bn in finances last year in the world's greatest-ever public contributing offer. That capital will be utilized to finance the growth of massive oil capitals recently exposed off the shore of Rio de Janeiro.
Vale - the world's second largest mining company and major iron ore manufacturer said its biggest-ever net profits were the result of an "astral performance".
Roger Agnelli, company’s chief executive said in a statement that we are enjoying an excellent days of our history. I also assure you that further best days are waiting for him if we provide the size and incoming development projects amongst a picture of constant international demand expansion for our products. Currently Vale runs in at least 30 countries but its export of Iron ore higher all to China almost two third of its profits.
It has been gaining huge profits since it stimulated from a yearly to a periodically system for discussing ore prices.
Other main oil and mining companies around the world also gained greatest revenues for 2010 as the effect of higher product prices and mounting requirement in rising economies, joined with economic revival in industrial nations.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff had declared the cuts of 30 Billion on public expenses last month on account of restrain inflation and assist stop the economy from overheating.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Foxy Brown Responds To Lil' Kim's Recent Nicki Minaj Rants

The drama continues. Just a few days ago, Power 95.3's Tiffany aka Lady T spoke to Lil' Kim and she continued to sound off about Nicki Minaj.

Now Billboard speaks with Foxy about Kim's recent rants and Fox says,

"Had [Kim] let the people say, 'Oh, you're trying to be Kim, you're a fake Kim,' then it doesn't come directly from her. But when you're using that as a platform to bring your new album out, that's like, 'Oh my God, wait a minute.' I don't condone it at all; I don't think it's cute."
She also commented on Nicki,
"Nicki has always been cool with me. She and I have something online I did for her -- it was a video shoot with Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, she wasn't signed yet. And she was like, 'Foxy is the first female artist who ever embraced me.' She was classy; she was articulate. I'm so proud of her.

Of course, people everywhere clearly are saying, 'She wants to be Foxy, she wants to be Kim.' Everybody's going to say that. But do I think she's doing an incredible job at branding herself?

Yes, I do. When you're an icon in the music Mary J. Blige. Keyshia Cole came out after her, you didn't hear Mary J. Blige starting a beef with her just because they compared her. Mary J. Blige stayed clean. She does what she does, and I do what I do."
Foxy's name was brought up a few months back when Nicki Minaj spoke to Angie Martinez and mentioned that Foxy told her that Kim didn't like her. Foxy later released a song called "Mascare" addressing everything.

If you missed Lady T's interview with Lil' Kim - click here, and let us know how you feel about this whole mess!

Ciara Calls Rihanna Out On "Fashion Police," RiRi Responds & Starts Twitter Beef (VIDEO)

In the Twitter world you never know what's gonna happen. Tonight, Ciara was on E! channel's show hosted by Joan Rivers, "Fashion Police" and called out Rihanna for "not being so nice to her."

Rihanna got wind of what Ciara said and took it to Twitter, which started a mini-Twitter war:

My bad ci, did I 4get to tip u? #howrudeofme

Ciara quickly responded with:

Trust me Rhianna u dont want to see me on or off the stage

Rihanna fired back:

U gangsta huh? Haaa

Good luck with bookin that stage u speak of

Rihanna suddenly had a change of heart and tweeted:

Ciara baby, I love u girl! U hurt my feelings real bad on TV! I'm heartbroken! That's y I retaliated this way! So sorry! #letsmakeup

Ciara then said her and Rihanna need to have a talk:

Rhi u know its always been love since day 1! Doing shows/everything. you threw me off in that party! Apology accepted. Let's chat in person

Check out the VIDEO of Ciara calling out Rihanna on "Fashion Police" below:


This is exactly why these two R&B divas made our TWEET OF THE WEEK!

Click below to listen to the Tweet of the Week, as featured on Tiffany aka "Lady T's" show on Power 95.3 in Orlando:

New Photos Of Rihanna Beating Leak Out! Chris Brown Responds (PHOTOS)

New leaked of Rihanna have been published, which appear to have been taken at a hospital back in 2009 ... following the brutal attack from now ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.

Jjust this week, a judge agreed to allow Brown to once again have contact with his ex-girlfriend.

Chris Brown responded to the leaked photos via Twitter,

“It’s ironic how ’somebody’ put this out right around my album time! Wow! I guess that’s supposed to be strategic chess move. Unbelievable. The Devil is always busy!! But when u have a destiny, nothing or no one can stop what God has planned!”

Chris’ PR people quickly put a muzzle on his Twitter rant because shortly afterwards, all the previous posts were removed and replaced by a more positive message, reading:

“The beauty is inside you!!! Don’t let em bring you down!!!!! Beautiful people!”

No comment from RiRi's camp so far.

Beyonce, Usher, Mariah & More Paid Millions To Perform For Gaddafi Family (VIDEO)

Last year, we reported that Beyonce was paid 2 Million to perform at party hosted by Muatsim--Billah Gaddafi, who is a family member of those who support terrorist acts. According to documents obtained by WikiLeaks, several other of the hottest pop stars in the world such as Usher and Mariah Carey were paid extravagant amounts to perform for members of Moammar Gaddafi's family as well.

Gaddafi's son, Muatassim, Libya's national security adviser, hired Beyoncé and Usher to perform at his New Year's Eve party in St. Barts. Gaddafi's other son, Seif al-Islam el-Gaddafi, allegedly paid singer Mariah Carey $1-million to sing four songs at last year's New Year's part in St. Barts.

Reports say that the United States welcomed Gaddafi's regime during the Bush administration as an ally in the war on terrorism, these pop stars are being criticized for accepting money from a violent and oppressive regime.

It is not uncommon for pop stars to be hired to perform at private events, but it could be argued that performing for the Gaddafi family and taking their money could be construed as condoning the family's actions and politics.

Terrorists performance or not, it's still 2 MILLION DOLLARS.......right?

If you could, would you have done the same as Beyonce and take the money?

Madness In Libya: Gaddafi Orders Troops & Snipers To Shoot Protesters. United States Imposes (VIDEOS)

First Egypt, now Libyans are digging their heels in protests all over their key cities. World leaders are rounding on Libyan authorities - calling for an immediate end to the clashes.

Increasing numbers of protesters are demanding for an end to the 41-year rule of Colonel Gaddafi. Hundreds have been killed and over a thousand injured during a week of unrest, with reports of airstrikes from the country's own military on Monday.

The unrest in Libya started out as a series of protests inspired by popular revolts in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia but was met by a fierce security crackdown and the use of militias.

Witnesses say troops and snipers have been instructed to and have opened fire at protesters, check out this report:

Here's a video of a recent protest..

Now The United States has imposed...

Eminem f/ Dr. Dre "I Need A Doctor"Music Video

The doctors back to life, check out Eminem and Dr. Dre in their new video, "I Need A Doctor, below:

Lil' Wayne "I Hate Love" (#New #Music DOWNLOAD)

Here's an unreleased track recorded back in '09 for Weezy's Tha Carter IV album, but won't be making the cut. You can listen or download it below:

Eminem f/ B.o.B. "Things Get Worse" (#MP3 DOWNLOAD)

After the success of their collaboration in "Airplanes Part II" which got a Grammy nomination, Eminem and B.o.B try to recreate their magic in another duet "Things Get Worse". Check it out...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Update on the 2012 Honda CRV

Well, I have confirmation that the next generation CRV is indeed pretty much ready to go, however won't be released until the fall this year. Your guess is as good as mine as to what this incarnation is going to look like, however I have been told that this won't be a dramatic departure from the current formula. It would sure be nice to see the 2.2l diesel engine make it's way here, but as far as I know that's not even on the table.

Honda has been doing a great job of keeping this one under wraps, I have found a few drawings out there as to what the vehicle may end up looking like (Crosstour front end?), and when I asked a Honda Canada rep (who had seen the 2012) about the Crosstour front end they just looked at me and said 'nope'. That doesn't mean much to me, due to the fact that this is the same person that said the spyshots of the 2012 Civic a few months back were inaccurate (bang on).

Anyway, when I find out more, I'll let you know!

Honda Canada

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kobe's Wife Has Him On Lock Down!

We all know Kobe and his wife, Vanessa Bryant, have had their drama in the past. It looks like it may not be over for Vanessa, she's still holding on real tight to her man. Ladies is she wrong for this? Fellas?

They were at Boulevard 3 Nightclub in L.A. Our sources tell us Kobe's "people" swept the club a few days before. Meaning they went to the club days before to make sure everything is perfect, and the VIP is good for him. According to the source, no women servers were allowed to serve Kobe or any of his friends drinks. His wife, Vanessa made the drinks for him at the table!

We want to hear from you. I mean he did cheat on her and made her feel she needs to look out and make sure no women come next to her man.

Or is this just going overboard?

Justin Bieber Cuts His Hair!! Auctions It Off On Ellen's Show (PHOTOS)

The Biebs had his famous swooping bangs cut into a shorter, cropped look, and he told talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres he doesn't "really care" what people have to say about his 'do.

But his fans have been weighing in on the new hairstyle anyway, and many of them approve of the haircut.

"I really like it and it actually makes him look older!!!! And for all u down there hating on Bieber well if it was Angelina Jolie I'm sure you'd have something to say so don't hate 'cause he's sexy and he ain't even legal yet,"

Says one fan.

Justin Bieber dropped by Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show earlier to drop off a lock of hair that he’d promised her. The talk show host has placed the hair on eBay to benefit The Gentle Barn.

Here is a description of the charity:

The Gentle Barn Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1999 as a safe haven and place of recovery for abused farm animals and children. We are home to over 120 rescued animals and we are host to at-risk, inner-city and special needs kids.

The auction has already received 32 bids at the time of this writing and is at $1,125. She tweeted about the auction, saying,
“My @JustinBieber hair has been up on ebay for an hour and it’s already at $10,000!”

Rihanna Celebrates Her 23rd Birthday w/ Jay-z, Beyonce, Diddy - Katy Perry A No Show (PHOTOS)

Rihanna celebrated her 23rd Birthday at a Beverley hills party, inviting a whole host of A-list pals - including Beyonce, Jay-Z, P Diddy and even Zac Efron. Take a look inside...

Wondering where her Bestfriend Katy Perry is? Katy couldn't make it, she tweeted RiRi saying,

"happy birthday boo. Wish I could b there to blackout! Luv U!"

Rihanna hit her back with,

"bitch are u kidding? I missed ur WEDDING!! This is small stuff boo! #whenworkcalls".


The Carnegie Deli Sparks The Great Sandwich Debate

Those of you who have seen me either at meal time or in my pre-16-year-old days know that I enjoy eating quite a bit, and as a result, from time to time I have to face startling questions of a gustatory nature. Periodically, I even take up those issues right here on this blog, which is to say I've done it once. But make no mistake, the debate of cake vs. pie remains volatile. In any event, I bring this up to you because the Knicks' acquisition of Carmelo Anthony this week has prompted the Carnegie Deli to make a bold foray into the sports arena that has torn the very fabric of New York's sandwich community asunder.

And that, my friends, is the 'Carmelo Anthony'.

Yes, the Carnegie Deli knew there was a power vacuum in the sports-themed sandwich hierarchy in this city and the biggest trade to clog up our twitter feeds maybe ever provided just the opportunity for Carnegie Deli owner Sandy Levine to steal the throne. Indeed with this collection of corned beef, pastrami, salami, bacon, lettuce, tomato and Russian dressing on rye bread he makes a compelling argument as for why this sandwich should rule the roost, particularly since each ingredient was chosen for a specific reason, like a master tactician composing his cabinet of advisers. For instance Levine noted that the sandwich includes bacon because, "we want Carmelo to bring home the bacon to New York." In a quirky touch the inclusion of Russian dressing was an obvious jab at bold, and possibly crazy Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, though Prokhorov may have made a fairly bold statement this morning anyway.

Now, this is hardly the first time sandwiches have made their way into the sports world. Peppi's Old Tyme Sandwich Shop made waves several years ago in Pittsburgh when they introduced the Roethlis-burger, a hearty collection of sausage and hamburger topped with fried egg and American cheese. It sells for an appropriate seven dollars.

But while I keep up on my dietary news from other cities around the country -- some particularly worrisome news has sprouted up in Chicago recently -- New York is where I spend most of my time and therefore it is the place I'm primarily concerned about. This is why the moves by the Carnegie Deli strikes such a chord, but there is some awkward tomfoolery afoot that could only be caught by the true aficionados.

The Carnegie Deli has done this before. Enter the Mo-Licious.

Yes, after the Mets acquired rotund first baseman Mo Vaughn in 2002, the Carnegie Deli staked its claim to sports-themed sandwich superiority with a devastating combination of corned beef, pastrami, turkey and cheese piled so high on rye bread that it literally was as tall as Vaughn's head. The always weight-conscious slugger even noted at the sandwich's introduction, "To endorse this sandwich is not really the message I want to send to the club."

Don't worry, Mo. You backed up your dedication to fitness with that .784 OPS you compiled in your two seasons with the Amazins.

It is clear that this is not the first time the Carnegie Deli has attempted to use a major trade to boost sales with a remarkable new sandwich, and while I can't speak for which sandwich is the better of the two -- I never got the opportunity to try the first and have yet to taste the second -- I do hope for the sake of all of us that these sandwiches don't provide an ominous portent for Melo's tenure in New York. Granted, by the time Vaughn arrived he was a shell of himself suffering from numerous physical ailments. Anthony is 26 and has little in the way of injury concern.

But either way, the Carnegie Deli has given us some deep introspective thinking to do. What impact will these sandwiches have on the New York spectrum of edibility? The results are yet to be seen. However, if you can still breath after eating one of these, you'll have to decide which side you're on.

As Chris Berman will attest, it's serious business.

All I know is I'm looking to try it. Anyone interested in tagging along, please step to the front of the line.

Vancouver Sun: CRV Review: A compact sport-ute evolution

First introduced in 1997, the Honda CR-V is nearing the end of what has been a successful third generation of this compact utility vehicle. It was the first utility vehicle produced by Honda and has been an unqualified hit both for this auto maker and with its owners . . . just ask one.

Outstanding in terms of its reliability and excellent resale value retention, the CR-V has evolved over the years and the 2011 edition has also embraced a more stylish cross-over design trend.

Yet, it still retains excellent interior functionality and off-the-beaten track driving capability.

Last year, CR-V received a mid-life cycle refit, receiving more power out of its one and only engine without compromising fuel economy. Its 2.4-litre four-cylinder powerplant employs variable intake valve timing and can now produce 180 horsepower. That’s an eight per cent increase in power, plus a four per cent improvement in fuel economy was also achieved.

Engineering tweaks used to achieve the power boost included a higher compression ratio, larger intake valves, lower-friction piston rings, and fuel injectors that deliver a finer spray. The engine’s maximum torque is unchanged at 161 lb.-ft, but it’s achieved at a slightly higher 4400 rpm.

All 2011 models come with a five-speed automatic transmission and drive is sent to the front wheels or all four, via Honda’s Real Time 4WD. It’s a system that doesn’t involve any driver decisions and defaults to front-drive for best fuel economy.

Built on a rigid unit-body structure, the CR-V has no noteworthy changes for the 2011 model year, unless you count some new paint colour choices. Buyers also get to choose from three models: the basic LX; mid-range EX; the top-line EX-L, which comes with leather-upholstery and there’s a navigation package option.

The Looks
The requisite two-box utility design configuration is almost unrecognizable in the 2011 CR-V. Long gone are the days when its spare wheel hung on the rear door. It sports a cleaner, more car-like design these days, with prominent fender flares that give it a solid and planted appearance on the road.

Tapered side windows add to the sporty fast-back look of CR-V and at the rear there are distinctive tall high-mounted taillights. The rear liftgate design is also unique in that this door spills over into bumper. The idea is that it provides a lower cargo entry way, which lines up with a perfectly flat cargo floor. That said, the liftgate does look like it`s more venerable to rear-ender damage.

The Inside: The big inside pull-handles on the doors, which look like engine connecting rods, fit-in with the decidedly practical personality of the CR-V’s interior. There`s no third-row seat to expand seating to seven or even eight people, like some competitors. Instead, the CR-V offers comfortable seating for five and lots of cargo room.

Head and leg room in the rear seat are generous; passengers can also slide their feet under the seat in front, and the split (60/40) seats have high backrests that recline. To increase cargo space the rear seatback first folds and then the entire seat tumbles forward against the back of the front seat.

Up front, there’s a second and smaller (upper) glove box with a multimedia USB connection inside. The transmission shift lever on a pedestal sticks out from the centre stack and there’s storage underneath. In fact, there are all kinds of storage nooks and pockets in the CR-V.
And my top-line EX-L trim came with a centre console between the front seats.

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in the US has introduced tougher crash test program with a more stringent new 5-Star Safety Rating system that’s no longer comparable to 1990–2010 vehicles.

The 2011 Honda CR-V received four-star ratings (out of five) in front, side rollover and overall ratings. That’s as good, if not better, than any other small compact utility vehicle that the NHTSA has tested to date.

An electronic stability system, called Vehicle Stability Assist, is standard on all CR-Vs. It’s also coupled with four-wheel disc brakes (vented in front and solid in the rear), ABS, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution.

The Drive
It’s easy to understand why this size of utility vehicle has become so popular. It’s small enough to park with ease and use in an urban environment. The seat height makes it easier for many people to slide in or out and that extra height also gives occupants better all-around vision.

Driver vision in the CR-V is very good, the back window is large and the side mirrors are also an extra-large size. My test CR-V came with a backup camera, which comes with the optional navigation system package.

You sit tall in the driver’s seat in a more chair-like seating position, looking down at the instrument cluster, and a wide left-foot dead pedal is a welcome feature. In addition to the added comfort, it can be used to brace the left leg in an emergency braking situation.

Honda has, commendably and like some of its competitors, resisted chucking a V6 engine in to the CR-V to get more power. It’s a move that should pay off in the long run, if as predicted we are moving into a season of higher fuel costs.

A five-speed automatic transmission matches well with the four-cylinder engine. There`s an overdrive on/off button on the side of the shift lever that gives the driver limited control over shift functions, as manually down-shifting with the level is cumbersome.

The CR-V handled better than expected and is more stable while cornering than most in this class. The steering is on the light side, a little too much assist for my taste, but it is precise. Most impressive was low level of interior noise, even a highway speeds.

The Score
The Honda CR-V is a sturdy vehicle and a benchmark in the compact utility class . . . a “can’t go wrong” purchase.
The Specs
2011 Honda CR-V
Trim levels: LX, EX & EX-L
Sticker Price: $26,290 to $35,590
Power (SHO): 2.4-litre I4, 180-hp
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Fuel consumption (fwd):
9.8/7.1 L/100 km (city/highway)
Fuel consumption (awd):
10.1/7.5 L/100 km (city/highway)
Basic Warranty: 3 yrs / 60,000 km
Powertrain Warranty: 5 yrs / 100,000 km
Rust Warranty: 5 yrs / unlimited km

The competition
Ford Escape: $24,499 - $34,549
Hyundai Tucson: $22,995 - $34,449
Kia Sportage: $21,995 - $35,995
Mazda CX-7: $26,495 - $36,690
Nissan Rouge: $23,198 - $33,098
Toyota RAV4: $24,345 - $34,390

Globe and Mail: Honda unveils 2012 Civic

New model will start rolling off the assembly line in April;

Just as the Honda Civic Coupe “concept” was making its Canadian premiere at the Canadian International Auto Show last week, the company released details and photos of the actual production coupe, sedan and hybrid versions, scheduled to arrive this spring in Canada.

The 2012 Civic is to start rolling off assembly lines in Alliston, Ont., and Greensburg, Indiana, in April, and it’s obvious that fuel economy will remain a calling card of this Civic, even in non-hybrid versions. Its base 1.8-litre engine will produce 140 hp, as well as fuel efficiency ratings of 7.2 litres/100 km city/5.0 highway, a 12 per cent improvement over the miserly current Civic four-door.

But Honda is also dropping a notably larger 2.4-litre engine into the Si versions of the Civic, both sedan and coupe (no hatchback yet, unfortunately). Top-end power is not much changed, at 200 hp versus 197, though the driver is most likely to feel the added torque, which is bumped up to a peak of 170 lb-ft versus the current model’s 139 lb-ft.

So the top-line performance Civic will not require as much redline-screaming for quick passing, although a new six-speed transmission for Si models may still encourage such shenanigans for fun. Even with the increased displacement and torque, fuel economy is said to be increased by 2 per cent.

For those enamoured with the rakish Ford Focus sedan or hatchback, or the similarly eye-catching Hyundai Elantra, the Civic is not going to come close to generating the style points of those two, or of the current-generation Mazda3. Redesigned for 2010, the Mazda3 was the vehicle that came closest to knocking the Civic off of its 13-year perch at the top of the Canadian car sales charts. In the long tradition of the Civic and Toyota Corolla, it's steady as she goes on the design front, lest some wayward curve offend any particular aesthetic sense anywhere in the world.

Granted, this is no major surprise, since the “concept” versions of the Civic coupe and sedans shown at the Detroit, Montreal and Toronto auto shows were clearly very near production models. Still, some may lament the loss of the concept’s striking centre-mounted exhaust, smoked grey wheels and LED fog lights didn’t make it to production.

During a visit to the Alliston plant last fall, Honda executives said the delay in rolling out a new Civic was because spiking fuel prices in 2008 convinced the company that the ’12 Civic had grown too heavy, and that it had to focus on fuel economy and stop the perpetual enlargements that have come with every new Civic generation. But other accounts say the delay was a result of a spending freeze prompted by the global financial crisis, while some reports say Honda execs saw what was coming down the pipe from other auto makers, Ford and Hyundai especially, and simply knew they had to do better.

No fuel economy estimates were released for the Civic hybrid sedan, but it will be powered by a 110 hp 1.5-litre four and a CVT, similar to the CR-Z, though with no manual option.