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Mika Nakashima
Thursday. 12.21.06 1:03 pm

Born in Kagoshima-Ken, Kyushu, Japan, she had always dreamed of becoming a singer since she was a child. She decided not to attend high school, and pursued her dream in a musical career. The very first demo-tape she sent to a record company had given her the chance. She was chosen out of 3000 girls, as the heroine of the 2001 fall season drama, Kizudarake no Love Song (Scarred Love Song) of the Fuji TV station. In November, she made her debut from Sony Music Associated Records, with the song "Stars", which was also the theme song of the drama. Her second single "Crescent Moon", an 80's themed song, was a limited product of 100,000 copies only. Amazingly, it sold out the first day of its release. In March of 2002 she released her third single "One Survive" (which received great feedback) and her first video "Film Lotus", in May her 4th single "Helpless Rain", in August her 5th single "Will" was released, tying-up to the sales of over 200,000 and Top Ten hits.

Her first album True released in August 2002 was a #1 hit in the Oricon charts. In only 3 weeks, True became a million seller. Then as commemoration of one year since her debut, Mika released a Premium EP Resistance, which hit the charts #1 spot two weeks in a row. On December 18, a documentary video Kiseki: the document of a start was released.

Mika has won her a vivid public recognition and aroused the excitement in many listeners of her generation. It was not a surprise that 2002 was a great year for Mika as she received "New Artist of the Year" from The Japan Gold Disc Awards, "Best New Artist of the Year" from All Japan Request Awards 2002, and "New Artist of the Year" from the 44th Japan Record Awards.

Mika became one of the most popular female vocalists in Japan. Her most popular songs include Gundam Seed's ending song "Find the Way", "Sakurairo Maukoro", and "Yuki no Hana" which was covered by Korean male singer Hyo-Shin Park and this covered song is inserted in popular Korean drama Mianhada Saranghada (Sorry, I Love You). It was also one of the most popular karaoke songs in Japan in 2004. In 2004 she sang the ending theme of the anime series based on the manga Hi no tori as aired on NHK.
Nana starring Mika Nakashima
Nana starring Mika Nakashima

In 2005 she costarred alongside Aoi Miyazaki in the live-action movie Nana, based on the manga of the same name, which was released September 10, 2005. Mika also sang one of the theme songs for the movie, which was released as a single under the name "Nana starring Mika Nakashima". The single, titled "Glamorous Sky" was written by the manga's author, Ai Yazawa and composed by L'Arc~en~Ciel frontman Hyde. It was Mika's first #1 single on Oricon charts. The single has sold over 423,000 copies making it the best-selling female single of the year and the tenth highest selling overall. The single continued selling well into the next year and sold 442,000 copies, which was about 25,000 copies less then her Nana co-star, Yuna Ito's "Endless Story".

Mika was recently nominated at the MTV Video Music Japan as "Best BuzzAsia from Japan" for "Amazing Grace '05", and the "Glamorous Sky" video was nominated as "Best Female Video" and "Best Video from a Film". She won the "Best Video from a Film" award.

Due to the success of Nana, a sequel will be released in December, 2006 as well as new songs by Mika under the name Nana starring Mika Nakashima. The theme song to Nana 2 movie is "Hitoiro", which is also written by Yazawa, while the music is composed by Glay's leader Takuro, who is also the author of the coupling song "Eyes For The Moon". Besides the single, Mika will release the mini-album The End, featuring all her songs under the name Nana starring Mika Nakashima.


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Final Chapter in "WORRY FOR HER SAFETY"
Tuesday. 12.19.06 11:40 am
My sister had not called me in awhile and it was two days before she was to leave for Oahu. She finally called me and this was the conversation:

Me: "So, are you ready to go home and start your new job?"

Her: "Oh yeah, I haven't talk to you in a while huh?"

Me: (furious inside because this statement means that she has changed her mind)

Her: I decided not to go.

Me: Huh? What did you do about the job?

Her: I told them that I would not be taking it and that I am going to stay here instead.

Me: After all of that, I cant believe that you are choosing to stay. (I was furious and angry. I have put so much energy, time and worry into this and she chooses to stay with him?? This is your CLASSIC battered wife syndrome!!) Aside from being upset for my own convienience, she is insisting on staying in an abusive relationship. She is so blind to see what is going on. I cant do anything else to help her. I told her, "if things go bad, dont call me because I am going to tell you I TOLD YOU SO!!"

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Playing games
Tuesday. 12.19.06 11:27 am
Since we brought the WII home, I have been playing games a lot more often. You really get a work out.The boxing and the baseball are alot of fun and you cant help but to just get into the game. Both of my sons say that their arms are hurting. I wish I had a video camera of them on there. It is hillarious!!

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WII, WIII All the home!
Sunday. 12.17.06 5:44 pm
This morning was so super busy. I got up at 5am to head out to the nearest gamestore to buy a Nintendo Wii for my boys. To my disappointment I was too late. They only had Wii's and I was number 10 in line. I hopped back into my car and then proceeded to the next nearest game store to wait there. It was 5:30 am and I was number 2 in line!!!! I was so excitted. My daughter came with me and I had her wait in the car because outside was too cold. I sat there with warm clothes on and a sleeping bag. It was still cold so then I wrapped a sweatshirt around my head and covered my nose and mouth with the sleeves. After waiting in the cold with no sun for 4 hours the manager came out to make an announcement. He said that they only have 6 Wiis and that was it. Alot of people were pissed. Not me! I was excitted. I got my number and was waiting to walk in then he said they opened at 10. That was another whole hour! My daughter has a hair appt. at 10am! I had to call the hair dresser at 9am to tell her that I needed to reschedule.

I am so happy that my patience and perseverence paid off. I got myself a WII!!! The boys are so happy with their christmas gift. As for my daughter, we went back to the game store and traded in her NINTENDO DS for $55. She then bought Sims 2 Holiday edition and I helped purchase the items pack. All three kids are happy this year with their christmas gifts and I am happy for that.

Christmas is about sacrifice. I traded in my DS LITE to make up the difference on the WII and also the difference on the SIMS item pack. I also sold back all of my games. Unlike some, I played with my DS often! Therefore, it WAS a sacrifice for me. But I am happy with my decision...

I cried, WII WII WII all the way home! :)

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Cash Cab
Friday. 12.15.06 3:08 pm



There are 13 thousand cabs in New York city but there is only one that pays YOU. You take quizzes all the way to your destination. If you get skunked you can ask for help from the street or call a friend. However if you get 3 questions wrong you are OUT. This means you get out of the cab eventhough you are not at your destination and you are out of cash.

Passengers have the choice to be IN the game or OUT. Most people say yes! Questions are about politics and general knowledge. The driver asks the questions and the first question is usually $25. Then as you go along and get closer to your destination the stakes get higher. Once you are there and you have not received 3 strikes, you have the option of taking the cash and walking away or you can play DOUBLE OR NOTHING by answering a video question.

This is a podcast show and it is hillarious as well as educational. It is almost like mobile jepordy!

You can subscribe to it on the Discovery Channel podcast. :)

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Friday. 12.15.06 11:40 am
My bf bought me a 30GB ipod video. I am such a gadget junkie and I just really wanted one. I know that the graphics are better on the Creative Zen but I wanted the Podcasts that Ipod offers.

I feel like a WHOLE new world has just opened up to me. I am loving the podcasts!!! I will blog more about it later. Back to work for now!

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Too Much Bread Raises Kidney Cancer Risk
Tuesday. 12.12.06 3:41 pm

Too Much Bread Raises Kidney Cancer Risk

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Just as the final nail is being pounded into the coffin of the low-carb diet craze, a new study suggests that there may be important benefits to limiting refined carbohydrate intake. Published in the International Journal of Cancer, the study by Italian researchers warns of a link between high consumption of cereals, breads and other refined carbs and the risk of developing kidney cancer. Researchers monitored more than 2,000 patients over the course of two years, concluding that those with the highest bread and cereal consumption were a stunning 94% more likely to be diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, the most common kidney cancer. A diet high in pasta and rice also raised the risk of kidney cancer by 29%.

What This Means for You
Meanwhile, stocking up on vegetables and lean meats such as poultry was associated with a one-third lower risk of kidney cancer. Doctors recommended limiting your intake of refined carbs and replacing them with breads and cereals made from whole grains.

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Blood for diamonds
Tuesday. 12.12.06 1:21 pm

Conflict Diamonds Today

The wars in Angola and Sierra Leone have ended. The political situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is fragile, and diamonds may be fuelling some of the instability, but there are no major pockets of conflict diamonds.
Liberia’s long and terrible war has also ended, but the country remains under a UN diamond embargo. With assistance from international agencies and companies, Liberia is currently developing a diamond monitoring system in accordance with Kimberley Process standards. It is expected that the UN sanctions will be lifted in 2007 and that Liberia will join the Kimberley Process once a review team has inspected its new controls.

The only major source of conflict diamonds at present is in the rebel-held areas of northern Côte d’Ivoire. An October 2006 UN report stated that as much as $23 million worth of conflict diamonds has been entering the legitimate diamond pipeline from Côte d’Ivoire, some of it smuggled through Ghana. The November 2006 Kimberley Process Plenary meeting agreed on several courses of action with the government of Ghana:

* For a three month period, all Ghanaian diamond exports will be inspected by an independent diamond expert provided by the World Diamond Council, to ascertain origin;
* Ghana will revise all of its internal control procedures, including the licensing of diggers, dealers and exporters;
* A data base of Ghana’s known diamond resources will be drawn up for comparison against exports from Ghana;
* A Kimberley Process Review Team will visit Ghana in February 2007 to review the findings and the new control systems, with a view to endorsing them or taking further action.

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