Unique ‘green’ livery for Honda F1

Honda F1 2007

The Honda F1 Racing team have unveiled a new livery for the 2007 season, a picture of the planet earth.

The Japanese manufacturer are moving away from traditional advertising featuring sponsor logos on the car. With this ‘green’ themed RA107, the team are hoping to raise awareness on the environmental issues facing the world.

A new website has been devised for those interested in supporting the idea adopted by Honda. By making a donation to myearthdream.com supporters can pledge to the ‘lifestyle change’ to be more environmentally friendly, and in return their name will be featured on the car and the Honda F1 website.

Music giant Universal Music and sports drink firm Gatorade are the first to sign up to this exciting new concept, while other companies – including Fila, IBM, Instron, Oliver Sweeney, Perkin Elmer, Showa Denko, TUV and GF Agie Charmilles – have also joined up.

“Climate change is probably the single biggest issue facing the global community and F1 is not immune from it,” said Nick Fry, Honda F1 team boss.

“On the contrary, we believe that F1 with its huge global profile and cutting edge technology can play an important role in not only highlighting the issues but also playing our part in developing solutions.

“In addition, the FIA recognises the opportunity for F1 to showcase innovative technologies for the benefit of society for the long term. For example, by 2009, devices for energy recovery will be in place on the cars.

“So we at Honda F1 are proud to dedicate our car to the environmental challenge. We believe that practical solutions can stem directly from engineers working on our F1 programme.”

Fry added that the team’s plan for the year would not only raise awareness of global issues but also encourage the general public to do more to help the situation.

“First and foremost, we are a race team and F1 is very much a team sport. We achieve our racing objectives only by working together, and parallels can be drawn with the way that we must all join together to address the environmental challenge.

“We hope that in raising awareness and highlighting the issues we will encourage members of the public to come together and help take on the challenge of climate change.”

Honda F1 Racing chairman Yasuhiro Wada added: “Honda constantly strives to be innovative in both its technology and its thinking and to sincerely respond to the demands of customers and society.

“Honda has always made great efforts to contribute to the preservation of the environment in its corporate activity.

“We hope this new initiative for Honda in F1 will help to further stimulate awareness and interest across the world for these important environmental issues.”

The beautiful world of Okami

This truly magnificent game from Clover Studios is a masterpiece. ?kami is unlike any role-playing game you have come across on any platform.

Set in the Nippon region in an unspecified time in the classical Japanese era, ?kami combines several Japanese myths and legends to tell the story of how the land was saved from darkness by the Shinto sun goddess named Amaterasu, who has taken the form of a white wolf.

The game playing experience is very similar to The Legend Of Zelda, with dungeons to explore and side-quests. But the game set itself apart with a distinct sumi-e-inspired visual style (that looks like it is lifted straight from a Japanese painting) and the Celestial Brush (a gesture-system to perform miracles).

With the Celestial Brush, you can call up the canvas in any point of the game and ‘paint’. This is a unique feature in ?kami as your brush strokes can unlock secrets, solve puzzles and even attack enemies.

So far, I have played over 25 hours and every moment in this beautiful cel-shaded game has been a joyful experience.

Hirvonen leads Ford whitewash in Rally Norway

Mikko Hirvonen

Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen led home the first Ford 1-2-3 finish since 1979 by beating Marcus Grönholm and Henning Solberg in the second round of the World Rally Championship.

Hirvonen dominated the Rally of Norway from start to finish – taking his second victory of his WRC career. His maiden victory came in Australia last year, when Sébastien Loeb was absent with a broken arm and Grönholm crashed on the first day, but this time the Finn had to battle against the former champions.

“It’s been a fantastic rally,” said Hirvonen. “I rate this higher than Australia, because we were leading from stage one and we were really fighting with Marcus and Sébastien.”

Grönholm now leads the world championship with his second place finish in the Ford Focus. As for Sébastien Loeb, the Frenchman finished in a disappointing 14th position, after making some mistakes in the event.

Finishing in third was Henning Solberg, who managed to hold off his younger brother Petter.

Here comes the Fuzz

Hot Fuzz

How do you follow up to the critical acclaim Shaun Of The Dead? That was the scenario for Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright after setting a true high standard in film making with a romantic comedy featuring zombies.

And yet the former Spaced team has done the impossible and managed to create a film that feels fresh with new jokes and clever references to other action movies.

Simon Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, one of the finest police officer in London. He is so good at his job, that he makes everyone in the police force look bad. So his superiors decided to send him off to a place where his talents won’t be quite so embarrassing – the sleepy and seemingly crime-free village of Sandford, where there hasn’t been a recorded murder for twenty years.

Once there, Angel meets an enthusiastic police officer named Danny Butterman (played by Nick Frost). Danny is a huge fan of action movies and after a few drinks with his new partner; he invites Angel back to watch a couple of his favourite cop films.

Danny believes that Angel has seen all kind of action in the big city including gunfights and car chases. But he stressed the point that this wasn’t the case.

All this changed when a series of grisly “accidents” rocked the village. Angel becomes suspicious that all these were linked somehow but no one believed him – apart from Danny.

Angel sets out to investigate and was shocked to discover that a secret organisation named NWA (not the rap group, but Neighbourhood Watch Alliance) was behind all these accidents.

The NWA members were murdering anyone who lessens the character of the village, claiming that it is for the “greater good”. But this obsession of claiming the title of Village of the Year was madness for Angel.

So Danny and Angel set out to dispatching the members of the NWA in a series of frantic and over-the-top gunfights. That’s one way of settling the matter!

Hot Fuzz is packed full of references, which will take multiple viewings to catch. Director Edgar Wright’s continuous use of quick cuts moves the action at a rapid pace but for the viewer, it’s an entertaining ride in this 120-minute movie.

Both Pegg and Frost certainly make this film worthwhile due to their chemistry together. They are good mates in real life and it shows on-screen.

But it was ex-Bond star Timothy Dalton who stole the limelight. To see the former spy playing the sinister Mr Skinner with a moustache twirling relish!

Hot Fuzz is definitely the film of the year so far and it goes to show that the British can do Hollywood-style action movies.

Grönholm takes first WRC win of the year

Marcus Gronholm & Sweden

Finland’s Marcus Grönholm has taken his first world tally victory of the 2007 season with a comfortable margin over Sébastien Loeb in the Rally of Sweden.

The Ford Focus cruised to victory once Loeb conceded defeat on day two. But the three times World Rally Champion still leads the drivers’ standings by only two points.

“It’s been a good weekend,” said Grönholm. “We’ve had no problems with the car, everything has been perfect.”

Sébastien has admitted that it would have been a difficult task to beat the Finn but overall he was pleased with the performance of the new Citroën C4 in only its second outing.

“To finish second behind Marcus here is a good result,” said Loeb. “I was happy to see the car had the pace to fight with him, and it looks like we will have a good battle all year.”

Mikko Hirvonen completed a good weekend for Ford with third place.

Williams aims for past glories with new FW29

Williams-Toyota FW29

British motor racing squad Williams have unveiled their new Toyota-powered FW29 in its bid to return back to winning ways after a disastrous 2006 season.

The AT&T-sponsored team finished in eighth position in last year’s constructors’ standings after a winless season and hopes that the new race car will help regain their past glories.

“Without question, 2006 was not our finest year but I am delighted to see how the entire Williams workforce has pulled together and redoubled its efforts over the winter,” said team boss Frank Williams.

“We begin this year with a completely new brand identity courtesy of our new partners AT&T, four new or upgraded sponsors including Lenovo, a wealth of new engineering talent and, of course, what we hope to be the focus of all these efforts and ambitions, the FW29.”

The FW29 will be powered by a Toyota engine and will be the same specification as the works Toyota team.

The new car certainly looks great and I like the dark blue and white colour scheme. As for the aerodynamics, it is quite aggressive-looking in particular the radical front wing.

Hopefully in the hands of Nico Rosberg and Alexander Wurz (who is making a return to racing after years as a test driver), the new car can reward the Oxford-based team with solid points finish and maybe that elusive win.

New Reuters articles written by Leaf

Oldboy Reuters article

Back in December, I’ve posted ten direct links to Reuters, one of the leading online news agencies. It was an honour to have my articles written exclusively for eMagi appearing as web links to the news site.

I thought this was a one-off, but it proves that my news stories on eMagi are truly special. In total, I have twenty articles on Reuters ranging from the best of entertainment, video games and technology. I certainly have the knack of writing something appealing!

Anyway, see the ten headlines listed below for the link to Reuters.

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