Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: February 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Recap: My Visit to the 2016 Chicago Auto Show on Social Media Day

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I never miss a chance to attend the Chicago Auto Show. I love seeing all the makes and models under one roof and checking out the concept cars.

Last Friday was Social Media Day at the Chicago Auto Show and I attended as a guest of Kia Motors USA. Not only did I learn about Kia’s 2017 lineup but I got the scoop on their $10 billion, five-year plan to take their green cars to another level. Read on and you too can be in the know.

Leyla in a 2017 Kia Sportage
Leyla at the wheel of the Kia Sportage - scroll down to see me with

This is a sponsored post, I received compensation for the purpose of this review but opinions are entirely my own.

Chicago Auto Show

What you may, or may not, know about me is that I’m a bit of a gearhead. Well, maybe not a gearhead but I am certainly a car enthusiast - despite the fact that I choose not to drive. I’ve attended the Chicago Auto Show since high school and truly enjoy learning about cars. But I hate crowds. That’s why I am grateful when I can experience the Chicago Auto Show sans the general public. So… thanks for making that happen, Kia. If only there was way for me to experience Disney World without the crowds, I’d REALLY be grateful. Kia, my fate is in your hands.

Kia Motors EcoDynamics: highlights of the eco-friendly lineup

Last week Kia shared plans for their environmentally friendly sub-brand, Kia Motors EcoDynamics. And they introduced a new Hybrid Utility Vehicle, Kia Niro, taking their eco-car platform to another level. As of 2017, Kia will have four green cars in their lineup with a plan to triple that number by 2020.

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid

Unveiled: Kia Optima Hybrid + Optima Hybrid Plug-In
The new Kia Optima models were announced at the Chicago Auto Show last week, which is pretty exciting. The 2017 Optima will be available two models: Optima Hybrid and the all-new Optima Plug-in Hybrid. Both models were designed with an emphasis on improving driving experience - something we heard a lot about last week.

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid Engine

The Optima Hybrid is fully redesigned for 2017. The new model comes with two turbo engine options, targeting a 10% improvement in fuel economy over the previous model. Modern styling and fuel efficiency give the new Optima Hybrid a functional yet sporty look and feel.

2017 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid

Similar to the Optima Hybrid, the Optima Plug-in Hybrid has a 2.0L engine, DOHC, four valve / cylinder and 154 horsepower. The Plug-in model also has an electric motor and gets an estimated 40 MPG. The Optima Plug-in gets a 600 mile range and an all-electric range of 27 miles - or an estimated 99 MPGe. Apparently, this makes the Optima Plug-in a “class level leader”. Fantastic!

2017 Kia Niro - Unique Hybrid Utility Vehicle

Global Debut: Kia Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle
Kia Niro was the show stealer last week at the Chicago Auto Show. Everyone was excited to learn about the mystery vehicle that was announced as part of Kia’s Green Car Roadmap.

Brand New for 2017: Kia Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle

The balance between style and functional utility, coupled with the fuel efficiency of a hybrid, is what makes the Kia Niro special. And no kidding on the fuel efficiency, they’re estimating 50 MPG combined. Even a non-driving city-gal (like me) knows that’s a big deal. 

Here’s a quick lowdown on the Kia Niro:
  • Spacious cargo area sets it apart 
  • Loaded high-tech interior
  • Enhanced UVO, i.e., on-screen apps, navigation, music storage, etc.
  • Smart cruise control
  • Lane change assist (I could use this, even when walking)
  • Blind spot detection
  • Predictive energy control -- this is interesting: Niro uses the nav system and cruise control to anticipate topographical changes in the road ahead and predict / manage energy flow -- when to recharge the battery, when to use and when to store energy
  • And a plug-in model of the Kia Niro is in the works!

Learn more about the Kia Optima Hybrids announced at the Chicago Auto Show 

Here it is --> Leyla with BLUE hair!
 Photo edited with Perfect365, VSCO and ColorStory

I almost forgot! Here’s the edit of me in the Kia Sportage with BLUE HAIR. It’s hard not to get carried away when you have 10 million photo editing apps on your phone.

Follow me, friend me, add me! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Bowl 50: My Thoughts on Peyton Manning and Cam Newton

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Peyton Manning vs. Cam Newton - a comparison and contrast of Super Bowl XLI quarterbacks based solely on their looks. Sexually objectifying the football players is how I prep for Super Bowl Sunday. 

I don't do sports but the Big Game isn't about sports this year, it's about age! To make sports enjoyable, and to counter balance the blatant ageism surrounding Super Bowl 50, I focus on a different ism - sexism

Super Bowl 50 - Leyla's POV
photo credit: Source (WP:NFCC#4), fair use.

Even sports heroes are subject to age discrimination 

Most years, I barely notice the Super Bowl until the morning of Super Bowl Sunday but this year was different. The media attention around Peyton Manning's age and retirement was impossible to ignore. I'm slightly older than Peyton Manning AND I work in an industry riddled with ageism, so the buzz caught my curiosity. 

I recognized the Super Bowl guy from the Nationwide commercials but I wanted to know more about the man and his talents as a football player.
  • Who was this ancient man called Peyton Manning? 
  • What position in the game of football could such a fragile man play? 
  • Who was old-man Manning's opponent? 
  • What did the media contrive about the much younger and exponentially more handsome opponent called Cam Newton?
  • What does Cam Newton look like in a sport coat, in a tux and without a shirt? 
  • Which begged the question... What does Peyton Manning look like in a sport coat, in a tux and without a shirt? 
  • What sporting teams did these football fellas play on? (I don't remember this answer)

Peyton Manning's age discrimination is underscored in The Onion 
Jokes aside, age discrimination should be taken seriously because everyone gets old... if they're lucky.

How Peyton Manning and Cam Newton stack up in the LOOKS department

Let's start with a side-by-side comparison of both men in the field dressed in their sporting clothes. Note how they both embrace their inner "football player". Both men seem equally natural in their element. I see confidence, passion and strength when I look at these two quarterbacks. 

Cam Newton - Peyton Manning in their sporting attire on the football field.

Cam and Peyton together on the field engaging in a sportsmanlike handshake.

Now let's take a look at the two men individually in the first category of the comparison and contrast. First, we'll examine Cam Newton in his football attire, followed by Peyton Manning in his football attire. Focus on the facial expressions of each man. Notice how each quarterback smiles as he makes love to the camera in his own special way. 

Cam looks great in those sunglasses and his pointer finger commands respect without intimidation. 

Cam's boyish good looks are hard to resist, very disarming, and his Winter Blue gum matches his uniform.

It's Peyton's turn.... Let's see what he brings to the table. 

Peyton's smile is strong yet friendly and the certainty in his eyes is accentuated by the soft wrinkles.

Peyton looks cold but he is alert, attentive and acutely aware of his surroundings. 

Moving into the next category, we leave the football field behind.  Here we'll compare and contrast the personal style of each quarterback. Take note of how each man handles himself off the field and in the wild. The personal style round kicks off with Peyton Manning.

Peyton is self-assured and sexy as he disembarks this plane, he has swagger and his style is on point.

Peyton's choice of soft hues complements his fair complexion. A good look, the sport coat is his friend.

Cam's turn.... Let's see how his personal style stands out. 

Cam owns the runway with this look. He's able to play off sexy and stylish while remaining playful.

Cam goes for bold colors, he isn't afraid to take a risk with his look. This outfit is classic and fun.

Let's progress. Formal wear on the Super Bowl quarterbacks is what we'll compare / contrast next. Keep in mind that the two men have very different personal styles and review their formal attire with a thoughtful eye. This round starts with Cam Newton. 

Cam plays on his youthfulness once again. He looks sharp in this cool blue tuxedo and bright bow tie. 

Cam really mixes it up and I love it! Navy blue tux, gorgeous lapel pin and velvet slippers. 

Tux time for Peyton... Let's see how this plays out.

Peyton is wearing a formal attire with a long black tie. Not sure if this is a tux but it's certainly a miss for Manning.

Peyton's traditional tuxedo is the best option for this Midwestern looking football pro.

The final round in the Super Bowl quarterback comparison and contrast is a wild card. I selected the best look I could find of each football player. This is where each man is free to shine on his own. Peyton goes first.

Peyton is most appealing in casual attire. Golf clothes and a baseball hat, or an easy-going sport coat, is a winning look for Manning.

Peyton's wife hanging off his arm, this is his best look. He looks relaxed, comfortable and happy.

Cam's turn to bring it home... see how it goes down.

Cam's boyish charm is his best asset. Whether he's dressed up or down, Newton wins when he brings out that smile. 

Cam's bare chest, this is his best look. He is ripped! He looks super hot! I don't even like guys who have muscles like this and I can't believe how good he looks.  

I think we're ready to declare a winner.... In the first annual Super Bowl Quarterback Comparison and Contrast, the winner is Cam Newton! Cam Newton is the best looking quarterback of Super Bowl 50!