One of the best Stanford treats that we came across while walking around Stanford during our weekend away at the Blue Gum Country Estate, was without a doubt the quirky green ice cream shop that is Don Gelato!
That said though, I suspect that the wonderfully over-the-top Italian owner would not be pleased with me referring to his gelato as lowly ice cream!
Situated at 23 Queen Victoria Street, Don Gelato prides itself on making authentic homemade Italian gelato, using the best in organic ingredients. In fact, Don Gelato has become pretty well known for its incredible quality, with the result being that now in addition to the Stanford headquarters, one can now find a branch in both Hermanus and the Waterfront!
Chantelle and I were eager to taste what all the fuss was about, and after agonizing over which flavours to pick, we made our choices and strolled over to the back courtyard to enjoy the most delicious of treats!
Well, well worth it.
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My introduction to the Impala as a boy growing up in the 80’s was of course through promotional images of the Silver Falcons proudly flying these distinctive jet airplanes throughout the country. In other words, it is about time I featured the Impala on this site then!
Introduced in 1962, the Aermacchi or Macchi MB-326 is a light military jet aircraft designed in Italy. Originally conceived as a two-seat trainer, there have also been single and two-seat light attack versions produced. It is one of the most commercially successful aircraft of its type, being bought by more than 10 countries and produced under licence in Australia, Brazil and South Africa. It set many category records, including an altitude record of 56,807 ft (17,315 m) on 18 March 1966. More than 600 were built.
South Africa obtained a license to produce the MB-326M (similar to the ‘G’ model), as the Impala Mk I in 1964 with production starting in 1966. It received 40 Italian-built aircraft followed by about 125 built locally by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation, using them both as trainers and in an armed configuration. Seven examples of the MB-326K were also bought as light attack aircraft, with a further 15 assembled from kits, while around 78 were license-produced and known as the Impala Mk II. Licence production of the single seat version began in 1974. The Impala Mk II, locally manufactured and equipped with French armament, was also advanced with a South African ECM suite.
The South African Defence Force employed Impalas during campaigns against the Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA) and Cuban expeditionary troops in Angola between 1975 and 1989. Impala pilots typically flew at 550–650 km/h at a height of 15 m to avoid Angolan air defences. Over the course of the South African Border War, one was downed by an SA-7; another returned with an unexploded missile in its exhaust.
The aircraft had many advantages over expensive supersonic jets. Although slower, it could operate take off from relatively primitive airfields and strike swiftly. The South African Air Force (SAAF) used up to 6 x 120 kg or 4 x 250 kg bombs. The main armament consisted of 68 mm SNEB rocket-launchers (four x 6 or two x 18), and two 30 mm autocannon (with 300 rounds). These cannons were the real bonus for the Impala Mk II, helping to give a superior performance compared to earlier two-seat versions. The latter could also carry a pair of 30 mm DEFA guns in under-wing pods. However, dual capability as trainer-attackers was better appreciated, as was the availability of six hard points and so dual-seat versions were far more common. Six squadrons were equipped with the Impala Mk II in the SAAF during the 1970s and 1980s. Prior to Operation Moduler, most Impalas were withdrawn from their operating bases in South-West Africa, leaving the work to Mirage IIIs and Blackburn Buccaneers.
Impala Mk IIs were also opportunistically used as interceptors. In several encounters in 1985 with Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters, they shot down a total of six. This happened during a crucial phase of the ground war, when Angolan and Cuban troops were checked in an offensive against UNITA bases. This ended in disaster for the Angolan/Cuban alliance when their supplies were cut off by UNITA and the SAAF and front line troops ran out of ammunition. Helicopters were being used to supply the besieged troops and the SAAF cut off this link. Two Mi-24s were shot down in the first encounter while escorting Mi-17s. The MiG-21s that escorted them flew too high to react in time. Two days later the Impala Mk IIs struck again, downing two Mi-24s and two Mi-17s. Attacks on unsuspecting helicopters were carried out with only two guns per aircraft. The single seat Impala Mk IIs were also sometimes armed with Matra R550 Magic air-to-air missiles for self-defense. The Impala Mk II operated at extreme ranges and had to fly very low, climbing only when helicopters were seen at medium altitude. After each attack they returned to low level to avoid interception by enemy MiGs.
And as I started this whole passage off, the Silver Falcons, the SAAF aerobatic team, were of course equipped with Impala Mk Is for a long period of time as well.
Italian cosplayer Pamela Colnaghi has role played quite a vast array of characters over the years, this time choosing to dig into her more “butch” side as she tackles Rumiko Takahashi’s space biker chick from her hit manga Urusei Yatsura, Benten!
Urusei Yatsura is a comedic manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi that premiered in Weekly Shōnen Sunday in 1978 and ran until its conclusion in 1987. Its 374 individual chapters were collected and published in 34 tankobon volumes. The series tells the story of Ataru Moroboshi and the alien Lum, who believes she is Ataru’s wife after he accidentally proposes to her.
The series makes heavy use of Japanese mythology, culture and puns. The series was adapted into a TV anime series produced by Kitty Films and broadcast on Fuji Television affiliates from 1981 to 1986 over 195 episodes. Eleven original video animations and six theatrical movies followed, and the series has been released on VHS, Laserdisc and DVD in Japan.
Benten is Lum’s childhood friend. Her character is named after Shichifukujin Benzaiten (one of the Seven Lucky Gods), the Shinto goddess of knowledge, art, and beauty. This Benten is a “space biker chick” who wears a plate-mail bikini, sports a “butch” hair style, tears around the sky on a red airbike, curses like a longshoreman, and carries a high-tech bazooka. Her arrival on the scene is often heralded by artillery fire. She holds an annual battle against Lum’s Oni clan on Setsubun.
Aside from being a good hand-to-hand fighter and having the aforementioned bazooka, she appears to have no special powers. As children, Benten and Lum often instigated trouble that usually resulted in Ran getting hurt.
Mai Shiranui is pretty much the poster girl for the Sexy Girl in fighting video games phenomena, recognized for her skimpy clothing, ample bust, and of course dripping sex appeal (and she’s not that bad a fighter either!).
Popular and well-known Italian cosplay star Giorgia Vecchini takes it upon herself to bring to life this premier fighting lady for this particular cosplay shoot!
Mai Shiranui is a player character in both the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series of fighting games by SNK and in related media, also appearing in a large number of other games. Since her first appearance in 1992, Mai has been converted and recognized as the main sex symbol of SNK, becoming one of the most popular female characters of video gaming in general.
Mai Shiranui is the granddaughter of Hanzo Shiranui, the now-deceased master of ninjitsu and an art of Shiranui-ryū ninja hand-to-hand combat called koppo-ken. In her mind, Andy Bogard, who studied Shiranui ninjutsu with her grandfather since their early teens, is her fiancé; the relationship between the two is often ambiguous (usually on the part of Andy). Mai has also studied at her grandfather’s friend, the judo master Jubei Yamada.
She uses a closed fan while fighting and is able to create and control fire (“Shiranui” is the Japanese name for will-o’-the-wisp).
Well known Italian cosplayer Giorgia Vecchini goes to town and does a great job of bringing the femme fatale spy that is Black Widow to life for today’s cosplay entry!
Black Widow (Natalia “Natasha” Alianovna Romanova, also known as Natasha Romanoff) is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics Universe. She was created by editor and plotter Stan Lee, scripter Don Rico and artist Don Heck, and first appeared in Tales of Suspense No. 52 (April 1964). Originally a Russian KGB agent, events eventually see her rebelling against her own country and siding first with S.H.I.E.L.D followed by the Avengers.
The Black Widow is a world class athlete and gymnast, expert martial artist (including karate, judo, aikido, savate, various styles of kung fu, and boxing), marksman, and weapons specialist as well as having extensive espionage training. She is also an accomplished ballerina.
The Black Widow uses a variety of equipment invented by Soviet scientists and technicians, with later improvements by S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists and technicians. She usually wears distinctively shaped bracelets which fire the “Widow’s Bite” electro-static energy blasts that can deliver charges up to 30,000 volts, as well as “Widow’s line” grappling hooks, tear gas pellets.
She wears a belt of metallic discs, some with disc-charges containing plastic explosives, others have been shown to be compartments to house other equipment. Her costume consists of synthetic stretch fabric equipped with micro-suction cups on fingers and feet, enabling her to adhere to walls and ceilings.
Italian cosplayer Giulia, better known by her cosplay alias of IvyCosplay, pulls out all the stops by grabbing her bow, strapping up, and bringing to life Final Fantasy XII’s fierce Viera warrior Fran for this excellent cosplay entry.
Fran is a Viera warrior, mechanic to the Strahl, and Balthier’s copilot. Like all Viera, she is exceptionally sensitive to the magical Mist that permeates Ivalice, and is affected by it on three separate occasions: in the Tomb of Raithwall, when Judge Ghis heats the Dawn Shard in his airship’s engine, and when she is in the presence of the Sun-Cryst. When the party reaches Giruvegan, she can detect the Mist nearby has cooled and is less intense.
She also happens to be the oldest of all the Final Fantasy XII characters despite her youthful appearance, thanks to the longevity of the Viera people.
Fran once lived with her sisters Jote and Mjrn in Eruyt Village, the secluded Viera settlement in Golmore Jungle, but became restless and desired to see the outside world. This was a major source of conflict between her and the other viera, especially her elder sister Jote, who served as the village matriarch. Fran argued that although all Viera begin their lives in the forest, they are not necessarily bound to remain there to the end. When the party encounters an impassable Viera barrier on the path through Golmore, Fran is forced to return to the village and ask for help. She learns from Jote that their youngest sister Mjrn has run off to the nearby magicite mines. When Fran finds her and brings her back, Mjrn reveals she wishes to leave Golmore, but Fran advises her against doing so, relating how her own independence has cost her her family and the ability to commune with the Wood.
Fran accepts that she is now part of the Hume world, and asks for a confirmation from Jote that the Wood accepts her before she leaves. In Revenant Wings, Balthier and Fran are searching for the Cache of Glabados.
Fran was voiced by Nicole Fantl in English and by Rika Fukami in Japanese. She also appears in Itadaki Street Portable.
Litchi Faye-Ling is a renowned doctor living in Orient Town, located in the 13th Hierarchical City of Kagutsuchi. She is a playable character in the BlazBlue series, and is expertly brought to life here by Italian cosplayer Giorgia Vecchini.
Litchi Faye-Ling owns a clinic in the main throng of Orient Town, and is helped by her assistant Linhua. For a time, she worked with Tager and Kokonoe in Sector Seven, until an incident, where a man by the name of Lotte Carmine, who seemed to hold much importance to Litchi, became Arakune. She defends the local townspeople from Arakune’s assaults, and seeks to restore him to his former self through any means necessary; even through death.
She also seems to respect Bang, apologizing to him if she defeats him in a match, although she remains unaware of the true extent of his feelings for her. She is often subject to adoration for her noticeably large breasts, and can be quite persistent when inebriated.
The problem with being immortal is more often than not, you get treated like a human pin cushion. This fun bit of comic book art featuring the cast of Valiant Entertainment’s Archer & Armstrong series comes to us courtesy of Italian comic book artist Emanuela Lupacchino.
Lei Fang’s sexy black costume has always meant that only the most confident of female cosplayers could tackle bringing the character to life, and as you can see from this great cosplay photo shoot, Italian cosplayer Pamela Colnaghi packs loads of confidence!
Lei Fang is a college student and Tai Chi Quan prodigy from the Dead or Alive series, who made her debut in the first Dead or Alive. She is one of the first females to appear in the series, alongside Kasumi and Tina Armstrong.
A girl who grew up in a wealthy family, Lei Fang is a woman of justice and bares a very independent spirit. Throughout the series, she seeks to fight Jann Lee, who is thought to have saved her life at one stage in her past, to prove herself to him that she too is a strong individual. However, Lei Fang had lost to Jann in almost every tournament, but she managed to defeat him in the last one.
Related Link: http://deadoralive.wikia.com/wiki/Lei_Fang