Tag Archive: japan


O.E.C. Japanese Express

So yesterday I went to to O.E.C Japanese Express that just open here in Grenada. school 021

This is the first Japanese restaurant Grenada has had so I had to try it out. I order the Titanic Roll. school 017

It was EPIC!!!!!! It was the best thing I have ever eaten. Not only was that good the fried rice was really good.school 018So if you’re in the Grenada area and haven’t tried O.E.C. Japanese Express go and try. school 019It’s right next to Game Stop.

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it’s been to long

Hey people! It’s been too long since I’ve actually done a blog so I thought I would feel ya’ll in to what’s going on in Aprilslife. College has started. It’s been pretty busy with helping Steven apply for college and the actives we’re involved in. This year I’m involved in SGA (student government). That has been fun! πŸ™‚ I’ve never been involved in SGA before so this is all new to me, but so far it has been great. I’ve gotten involved with Wesley this year. I involved in Wesley last year but not as well as I should have been. Sadly, I can’t attended BSU (Baptist Student Union) due to classes. We, also, taken year book photos a few weeks back. Between classes, Wesley, and SGA things have been pretty crazy. But, it’s all good though. lol

Japan’s music sensation: a band chosen by its fans

http://news.yahoo.com/japans-music-sensation-band-chosen-fans-071526524.html

TOKYO (AP) β€” AKB48 is not exactly a band. It’s an army of girls-next-door, ranked by its fans, and after taking Japan by storm it’s getting ready to go global.

More than 60 girls and young women, split into four teams, make up what is arguably Japan’s most popular pop group. It performs almost every day, has spawned affiliates across the country and has given rise to sister mega-groups in China, Taiwan and Indonesia.

AKB48’s big event is an annual vote β€” by almost 1.4 million fans this year β€” to determine who gets to record their next single, which inevitably becomes a hit. AKB48 raked in more than $200 million in CD sales last year alone.

The girls pranced and sang on stage before last week’s vote as their fans waved glow sticks and sang to familiar tunes. When the winners were announced, the girls cried, bowed deeply, thanked fans for their loyalty and promised to live up to their expectations.

Their singing and dancing aren’t always perfect, and the group’s ever-changing members are hard to keep track of. But fans are very forgiving to their flaws and view them as their friends or little sisters, not out-of-reach superstars.

There are other mass girl pop groups, such as South Korea’s Girls’ Generation and KARA, but they are more polished and have a set membership and no elections.

AKB is also much more accessible: Fans can visit their daily shows in downtown Tokyo, attend handshaking events or exchange messages via social media. After each show, all the girls line up outside the theater to see off the fans with high fives and exchange a few words.

“You get to watch them grow. In the beginning, perhaps they weren’t very good, but then later you see them evolve and shine on stage,” said Kao Yi-wen, a Taiwanese student who was among three overseas fans selected to attend last Wednesday’s election results at Tokyo’s Budokan hall.

Founder and producer Yasushi Akimoto formed the group in 2005, calling them “idols whom you can go and meet in person.”

Fans get to see a slice of their ordinary lives by reading each girl’s blog. The organizers have published DVDs showing backstage scenes, including personal struggles and conflicts among teams.

But performances can seem orchestrated. As the girls sing and dance in unison, fans follow a cheering formula, shouting “A! K! B! 48!” Fans know exactly when and what to do β€” like an experienced Kabuki audience that knows when to yell an actor’s name at the right moment during a play.

Now Akimoto is taking the enterprise abroad, creating what are essentially AKB48 clones in Jakarta (JKT48), Taipei (TPE48) and Shanghai (SNH48).

JKT48 is the farthest along. The Indonesian group follows the AKB routine exactly, down to the opening cheers, with the same songs and choreographed dancing. The only difference is the Indonesian translation of most lyrics.

“I wasn’t fully confident (AKB) could make sense to anybody but the Japanese, and I thought hurdles would be higher overseas,” Akimoto said in a recent TV interview. “But I want to tell everyone that ‘let’s have confidence.’ Today the world is watching Japan, and we are also watching the world.”

The main group got its name from the location of its theater in the downtown Tokyo district of Akihabara, sometimes called “Akiba,” the birthplace of Japanese “otaku,” or geek, subculture dominated by comics, anime and video games.

AKB is still shaped by those influences: Many of its members dress in schoolgirl uniforms like characters in comic books, and some members talk in a cartoon-like, high-pitched sweet voice.

Many Japanese, including self-described “geeks,” are not seeking a superstar like Lady Gaga, said Takuro Morinaga, an economist at Dokkyo University who is also an expert of Japan’s “otaku” culture.

“They are certainly cute, but not outstanding beauties,” he said. “You can probably find one in your classroom, and that’s what makes them likable.”

Core fans are mostly men, but AKB is gaining a following among teenage girls and older women.

Some critics say they come across as sex objects that encourage men to exploit young women. They sometimes perform in itty-bitty bikinis for video clips or pose for photo books.

But others say they have a positive, hard-working image: They are required to devote themselves to AKB, wash their own laundry and aren’t allowed to have boyfriends.

The group initially had three 16-member groups β€” Team A, Team K and Team B β€” hence the number 48 in its name. It has expanded to at least nine sister groups and teams of “interns” around the country β€” including SKE48, NMB48, and HKT48, representing various cities.

Only people who bought the latest AKB CDs or joined fan clubs are allowed to cast ballots, which can be done online.

People gathered in front of TV screens in downtown Tokyo for last week’s election. Morinaga said it “seems to be monitored even more closely than the real elections.”

The top 16 performers will record the next single, and the number-one vote getter sings in the center position. For most girls, the primary goal is simply to make the top 64, which brings more TV and other media exposure.

Yuko Oshima, the winner two years ago, returned to the top seat with 108,837 votes.

“I really wanted to be up on this stage again,” the tearful 24-year-old said. “I was under enormous pressure (to win).”

She praised the younger girls for their ambition and said “that is what will keep us going.”

Many of the performers β€” aged 14 to 26 β€” said they have “no special talents” but vowed to improve and continue to pursue their dreams to become a top singer, dancer or actress, and eventually “graduate” from the group to go solo.

So far, no AKB alumna has made it big on her own.

Joseph Salmingo of El Monte, California, found AKB48 through the Internet while studying Japanese. He was among the three overseas guests who won tickets to the election by submitting what’s considered the most enthusiastic cheers for the girls.

He said he enjoys the drama that he sees in the group β€” friendships, rivalries and dreams.

“There’s just so many of them and each one has their own story,” he said. “It’s kind of like a reality show.”

Duggars Plan to Honor Lost Baby

http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/yahoo-tv/duggars-plan-honor-lost-baby-183611465.html

Reality star Michelle Duggar (TLC)The recent announcement that “19 Kids & Counting” star Michelle Duggar, 45, suffered a miscarriageinspired waves of sadness and sympathy. The miscarriage occurred during the second trimester of her pregnancy. The baby, who was due in April, would have been Michelle and husband Jim Bob’s 20th.

 

The family had been discussing baby names the night before they learned the news. The Duggars have said they plan to choose a name for the baby after they learn if it was to be a boy or a girl. They also plan to hold a funeral.

Michelle says Jim Bob and the children are taking good care of her. “The kids are mothering me now,” she said. “Jill brought me some food and they are taking good care of me.” Daughter Jill is 20 and studying to be a midwife.

According to People magazine, Michelle is resting and recovering at home. Michelle and Jim Bob learned that she’d miscarried while at a routine doctor’s appointment. They’d gone in to see if the doctor could determine the sex of the baby. Instead, the doctor gave them the terrible news that the baby had no heartbeat.

Huge Japanese earthquake cracked open the seafloor

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45583975/ns/technology_and_science-science/

SAN FRANCISCOβ€” The March 2011 megaquake off the coast of Japan opened up fissures as wide as 6 feet (3 meters) in the seafloor, a new study finds.

The fissures now scar the seafloor where peaceful clam beds once lay, according to Takeshi Tsuji, a researcher at Kyoto University in Japan. Along with seismic studies, the fissures, revealed by manned submersible vehicles that investigated the seafloor after the quake, show how the crust around the quake’s epicenter expanded and cracked.

Tsuji and his colleagues had a unique opportunity to see how the seafloor changed after the magnitude-9.0 quake struck on March 11. Before the quake, the researchers had taken video and photographs of the seafloor on the continental side of the Japan Trench, near where the crust would later rupture, generating an enormous tsunami that killed about 20,000 people.

Those videos showed a quiet seafloor broken only by occasional clam beds, Tsuji reported here Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). After the quake, however, the seabed shows evidence of the massive forces released there.

About 10,500 feet to 17,500 feet (3,200 to 5,350-meters) below the ocean’s surface, the researchers saw open fissures in “many places,” Tsuji said. They ranged from around 3- to 6-feet (around 1- to 3-meters) across, though the researchers couldn’t measure how deep these new cracks extended.

By combining their direct observations with seismic surveys of the seafloor, the researchers uncovered a series of complex faults around the zone where the continental crust off the coast of Japan is being forced under the Pacific tectonic plate. They found when the crust ruptured some 12 miles (20 km) below the planet’s surface, it was powerful enough to rip all the way to the surface.

That rupture pushed up a massive amount of seafloor, which in turn triggered the huge tsunami that devastated the coast.

Egypt closes Great Pyramid after rumors of rituals

http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-closes-great-pyramid-rumors-rituals-104026490.html

 

CAIRO (AP) β€” Egypt’s antiquities authority closed the largest of the Giza pyramids Friday following rumors that groups would try to hold spiritual ceremonies on the site at 11:11 A.M. on Nov. 11, 2011.

The authority’s head Mustafa Amin said in a statement Friday that the pyramid of Khufu, also known as Cheops, would be closed to visitors until Saturday morning for “necessary maintenance.”

The closure follows a string of unconfirmed reports in local media that unidentified groups would try to hold “Jewish” or “Masonic” rites on the site to take advantage of mysterious powers coming from the pyramid on the rare date.

Amin called all reports of planned ceremonies at the site “completely lacking in truth.”

The complex’s director, Ali al-Asfar, said Friday that an Egyptian company requested permission last month to hold an event called “hug the pyramid,” in which 120 people would join hands around the ancient burial structure.

The authority declined the request a week ago, al-Asfar said, but that did not stop concerned Egyptians from starting internet campaigns to prevent the event from taking place.

“It has been a big cause now on Facebook and Twitter for many people to write about,” al-Asfar said.

The closure was unrelated to the rumors, he said, adding that the pyramid needed maintenance after the large number of visitors during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday last week.

The rest of the complex, which includes two other large pyramids, numerous tombs and the Sphinx, remained open Friday, though security appeared to be heavier than usual.

Dozens of police officers and soldiers were posted throughout the complex. Some patrolled on camel-back. One soldier stood next to his machine gun near a souvenir shop selling miniature pyramids.

Speaking by phone from the pyramids after 11:11 had passed, al-Asfar said he’d seen nothing out of the ordinary.

“Everything is normal,” he said. “The only thing different is the closure of the Khufu pyramid.”

Khufu is credited with building the Giza complex’s largest pyramid, now one of Egypt’s main tourist attractions. Khufu founded the 4th Dynasty around 2680 B.C. and ruled Egypt for 23 years.

Journey reunion unlikely, Steve Perry says

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20127812-10391698/journey-reunion-unlikely-steve-perry-says/

CBS/AP) While the resurgence of Journey’s hit song “Don’t Stop Believin'”
provided some reunion hope to longtime Journey fans, former lead singer Steve
Perry says a it’s not likely.

 

 

“It’s like any emotional, committed relationship,” he said to the Associated
Press. “At some point, they seem to all have a shelf life and bands are no
exception.

 

“Life has moved us all on in different places in our lives. They’re doing
what they’re doing – they have been since ’98. And I’ve been doing what I’m
doing, which is living my life and having a personal life.”

 

 

Perry’s interview came ahead of Tuesday’s release of Journey’s “Greatest Hits
Vol. 2” and the remastered version of Perry’s 1984 solo album, “Street Talk,”
which included the No. 1 hit “Oh Sherrie” and the ballad “Foolish Heart.”

 

Perry’s former band mates have continued on since his departure 13 years ago,
performing as Journey with a new lead singer, Arnel Pineda. Even though Perry
says they have all moved on, he said he still delights in the songs he did with
Journey that keep getting airplay.

 

Thirty years after its release, Journey’s most memorable hit, “Don’t Stop
Believin,'” is still heard in movies and on TV. Most recently, the song appears
in Brad Pitt’s “Moneyball.”

 

The song has managed to reach an even younger audience through the hit TV
show “Glee,” which has also featured other Journey hits “Faithfully” and the
medley version of “Any Way You Want It/Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin.'”

 

“It’s very shocking because now I’m getting it for 7-, 8-, 9-, 10-year-olds
coming up to me, and they love that song and they’ve made it their song,” said
Perry, 62. “It’s just amazing to me.”

Palestine wins UNESCO seat

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/envoy/palestine-wins-unesco-seat-143002573.html

 

Palestine won full admission into UNESCO, the United Nations science, education and cultural heritage organization, in a closely watched vote in Paris Monday. Global diplomacy hands view the 107-14 vote as a benchmark carrying larger implications for the Palestinians’ bid for state recognition before the UN Security Council. Both the United States and Israel have strongly opposed both initiatives.

 

The United States, Israel, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Australia were among the 14 nations voting against the Palestinians’ UNESCO bid, while 107 countries–including France, Spain, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, India, Russia, China, South Africa and Indonesia–voted in favor. Fourteen nations–including the United Kingdom and Italy–abstained.

Washington, which called the UNESCO vote “premature” Monday, has threatened to cut off funding to UNESCO if Palestine is granted membership. The United States currently accounts for about one-fifth of the organization’s budget.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also rejected the UNESCO vote, and warned it would set back peace process.

“This is a unilateral Palestinian maneuver which will bring no change on the ground but further removes the possibility for a peace agreement,” the Israeli ministry said in a statement.Β  “This decision will not turn the Palestinian Authority into an actual state yet places unnecessary burdens on the route to renewing negotiations.”

Palestine’s successful UNESCO bid comes as Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair is due to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House Monday.

Blair has been trying to advance the Quartet’s efforts to get the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, asking each side to lay out their specific terms for resolving the issues of borders and security for a two-state solution. Meanwhile, Israeli officials have been depicting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as an unworthy peace partner.

Abbas, in turn, has recently reiterated his periodic threat to dissolve the Palestinian Authority–a move that if carried out would presumably give Israel the burden of administering, funding, and coordinating security for the West Bank’s Palestinian population.

Arab strongman: With Gadhafi death, an era passes

FILE - This undated photo shows Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. A U.S. official says Libya's new government has told the United States that Gadhafi, 69, is dead. The official said Libya's Transitional National Council informed U.S. officials in Libya of the development Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. His death on Thursday, confirmed by Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, came as Libyan fighters defeated Gadhafi's last holdouts in his hometown of Sirte, the last major site of resistance in the country. (AP Photo/File)http://news.yahoo.com/arab-strongman-gadhafi-death-era-passes-151535237.html

CAIRO (AP) β€” He often looked like a comical buffoon, standing before audiences, bedecked in colorful robes, spouting words that most of the world considered nonsense.

Yet the death of Moammar Gadhafi was a milestone in modern Arab history, in some ways more significant than the overthrow of lesser autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt.

Gadhafi was the last of the old-style Arab strongmen β€” the charismatic, nationalist revolutionaries who rose to power in the 1950s and 1960s, promising to liberate the masses from the shackles of European colonialism and the stultifying rule of the Arab elite that the foreigners left behind after World War II.

He was swept aside by a new brand of revolutionary β€” the leaderless crowds organized by social media, fed up with the oppressive past, keenly aware that the rest of the world has left them behind and convinced that they can build a better society even if at the moment, they aren’t sure how.

Gadhafi was the last of a generation of Arab leaders such as Gamal Abdel-Nasser of Egypt, Hafez Assad of Syria and Saddam Hussein of Iraq who emerged from poverty, rising to the pinnacle of power either through the ranks of the military or the disciplined, conspiratorial world of underground political organizations.

None of the latter crop of Arab autocrats, including Assad’s son Bashar, Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh and even Egypt’s colorless, ousted president Hosni Mubarak, could rival them in their heyday in terms of charisma, flair, stature and power.

Their model was Nasser, the towering champion of Arab unity who ousted Western-backed King Farouk in 1952 and inspired Arab peoples with fiery speeches broadcast by Egyptian radio from Iraq to Mauritania.

But Nasser’s dreams of Arab unity and social revival crumbled in defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, when Israel seized East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Golan Heights from Syria and the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. Nasser died three years later, and the fellow strongmen left behind led their countries instead into a political swamp of corruption, cronyism and dictatorship now challenged by the Arab Spring.

The hallmark of the Arab strongman was unquestioned power, the use of state media to promote a larger than life image and a ruthless security network that stifled even a whiff of dissent. That worked in an age before the Internet and global satellite television which opened the eyes of the strongman’s followers to a world without secret police and economic systems run by the leader’s family and cronies.

The Arab political transformation is far from complete. Autocratic rulers are facing challenges from their own people in Yemen and Syria. Bahrain’s Shiite majority is pressing the Sunni monarchy for reform. Rulers in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are maneuvering to contain the Arab Spring.

Iraq is struggling to build a democracy eight years after American-led arms brought down Saddam’s rule.

With Gadhafi’s passing, however, a milestone has been passed. The future belongs to a different style of ruler, whoever it may be.

It may be difficult to imagine that the Gadhafi of his final years β€” with his flamboyant robes, dark and curly wigs and sagging, surgically altered face β€” was a trim, handsome, vigorous 27-year-old when he came to power as a strong and vigorous leader. Over the years he had become a caricature figure associated with grandiose dreams such as a “United States of Africa” or seizing all of Israel and sending Jews “back to Europe.”

Even when he was younger, eccentricity was the mark of Gadhafi’s public persona.

A generation ago, President Ronald Reagan described him as the “mad dog of the Middle East,” and his fellow Arab leaders such as Egyptian President Anwar Sadat considered him a dangerous megalomaniac.

Journalists covered his speeches and international visits primarily for amusement.

Images of Gadhafi’s final moments β€” toupee gone, terrified, confused, powerless in the grip of men who may be about to kill him β€” make the ousted tyrant appear more pitiable than powerful.

All that was far from his image when he and his comrades toppled a Western-backed monarchy in 1969 in a bloodless coup, promising to transform his poor, backwater country into a modern state.

Promising a new era for his people, Gadhafi closed a U.S. air base, forced international oil companies to hand over most of their profits from Libyan oil to the Libyan state and shook the world with his unabashed support for terrorist or insurgent movements in Northern Ireland, Palestine, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Oil gave him a reach beyond his sparsely populated desert land and enabled him to pursue his revolutionary dreams.

In the 1980s, the lobbies of Tripoli’s few hotels were populated by representatives of what the West considered the most dangerous groups on Earth β€” stiff North Koreans wearing lapel buttons of their leader Kim Il-Sung, Palestinian extremists huddled over cups of sweet tea, European anarchists and revolutionaries β€” all come to town to seek the oil-fueled largesse of the “Brother Leader.”

While insisting that Libya was the freest nation on Earth, Gadhafi ruthlessly suppressed dissent, dispatched agents to assassinate his opponents abroad and drove thousands of Libyans into exile.

It all came crashing down in the final battle in his hometown of Sirte. A man who came to power as an Arab revolutionary and self-styled leader of the oppressed and downtrodden died a brutal and inglorious death at the hands of the people he purported to lead.

___

Eds: Robert H. Reid is Middle East regional editor for The Associated Press and has reported from the Middle East since 1978.

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