Friday, November 02, 2007

Nova is dead: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Nova is dead: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Recently, while I was home alone in Yokohama, Japan, and my wife was away in the glitzy supercity of Shanghai, in the south of the People's Republic of China, I wondered what she might be getting up to in her comfortable hotel room, with no male family member to supervise her. Later, she confessed, so I found out.

Unleashed, she had chosen to dabble in the exotic, and had spent her evenings watching NHK Japanese-language TV sourced from the Land of the Rising Sun. On NHK she had seen news that Nova, the English Language Conversation School That Tried To Eat The Universe, had gone bust.

I was stunned. Could this possibly be true? After all those brave plans? I mean, the daring strategy of opening up branches in the systems of Alpha Proxima and Betelguese, and then pressing on to the Andromeda Galaxy. Had those meticulously wargamed plans somehow come unstuck?

My wife having returned, we assumed our own exotic homelife, spending long hours chasing the dragon (ie smoking heroin) and decrypting mysterious letters from the heartland of China.

(The most recent missive in the series was one that arrived today, a bill demanding payment for the abduction of a certain number of North Korean slave brick kiln workers, the expenditure of quite a large quantity of machinegun ammunition, and the wanton destruction of some very expensive high-tech landmines.)

Thus occupied, it was a while before I could go to Google News to check out the "death of Nova" story. But, when I did check, I found, to my horror and consternation, that it is true. Nova is no more.

[Japanese Lesson: How Do You Say, 'Taken for a Ride'? Wall Street Journal]

[Nova staff 'fed by students' The Age
Students feed foreign teachers as Japan school fails Reuters.uk]

[Union reveals plan for feeding unpaid starving NOVA teachers ...
Mainichi Daily News, Japan - ]

[Union representatives of the scandal-plagued NOVA Corp.' foreign employees met the foreign press in Tokyo on Thursday, to unveil their relief plans for their fellow instructors who struggle to survive while their wages remain unpaid.]

[The announcement at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo's Chiyoda-ku came a week after NOVA, Japan's largest English conversation school chain and the nation's largest employer of foreigners, applied for court protection from its creditors under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law.]

[# NOVA plans to decide on firm to bail out business by next week
# Company-funded luxury office of ex-NOVA boss unveiled
# Ex-NOVA boss Sahashi suspected of profiting unfairly from video phone equipment]

[OSAKA -- Collapsed English-teaching company NOVA Corp. has unveiled the luxury office used by its former boss Nozomu Sahashi to the public, showing a bathroom overlooking the night scenery and expensive champagne and scotch whisky lined up at a bar counter.

The 330-square-meter office, which has its own sauna and tea room, is located on the top floor of a 20-story building in Osaka's Naniwa-ku. The 70 million yen makeover of the apartment and the monthly rent of 2.7 million yen was picked up by NOVA, but hardly any NOVA employees have been there.

"I had heard rumors about it, but I never imagined it was as luxurious as this," one surprised company employee who saw the office said.

A lawyer serving as a protective administrator for NOVA, which has sought court protection following its collapse, said the office was a symbol of how Sahashi had used the company's profits to his advantage.

"We decided to unveil it as a symbol of Sahashi's misappropriation from the company," the lawyer said.]

Meantime, in other news, Japan has abandoned its Indian Ocean mission. It has been supporting America's war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan by bravely refueling American warships at sea, but now the Japanese military is signing off, pleading terminal boredom, and citing the following statistics:

Japanese military personnel dead or injured as a result of Japan's valorous participation in the War on Terror: zero.

Naval battles at sea: zero.

Japanese fighters downed: zero. (But two of the latest and greatest crashed and burnt this week while test pilots were trying to land them at an airport in Japan.)

Medals for Valor awarded in the Long Campaign: zero.

Number of Japanese nationals kidnapped from Japanese soil by North Korean agents during the War on Terror: Unknown, but believed to be non-zero.

Number of Innocent Japanese Tourists kidnapped in the People's Republic of China and forced into brick kiln slavery: Unknown, therefore anything is possible. For all we know, could be in the tens of thousands.

[Japan ends 'war on terror' mission
AFP - 20 hours ago
TOKYO (AFP) — Japan on Thursday ordered home ships engaged on a refuelling mission in the Indian Ocean, halting the close US ally's main role in the "war on ...]

While no Japanese nationals have died recently as a result of either the Nova meltdown or Japan's participation in the War on Terror, one enterprising Japanese video journalist made headlines here recently by getting himself killed in Myanmar.

[Hundreds bid farewell to Japanese journalist killed in Myanmar ...
International Herald Tribune, France - Oct 7, 2007
AP TOKYO: Hundreds of Myanmar expatriates in Japan joined family and friends at the funeral Monday of a Japanese journalist killed last month during the ...]

"Kenji Nagai, 50, was among at least 10 people killed in the Sept. 26-27 crackdown when soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of pro-democracy demonstrators."

Meantime, back home in New Zealand:

[Naplam link to terror traning camps
TVNZ, New Zealand - Oct 15, 2007
A napalm bomb at an alleged weapons training camp in the Bay of Plenty prompted police anti-terrorism raids on Monday. A huge police operation saw raids ...]

Image of a pear appeared in the New Zealand Herald with the following rubric:

"Here's something to refer to next time someone complains of being described as pear-shaped, says Anna Curnow of her fruity find at Warkworth New World. "Funnily enough it was……"

Sidebar: if you Google "napalm recipe" you get "about" 740 pages.

Here's one snippet, the degenerate culture of the West evidently in full swing just before being taken down by the fanatical teetotalers of the Caliphate:

[Fuzzy Napalm recipe
A delicious recipe for Fuzzy Napalm, with grain alcohol, peach schnapps and orange juice. Also lists similar drink recipes.
www.drinksmixer.com/drink11613.html - 15k - Cached - Similar pages]

Mysteriously, "starving Nova teacher" DID NOT MATCH ANY DOCUMENTS.

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