Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category
The finals day of the Oxford Schools Debating Tournament 2013 was sucessfully held yesterday at the Oxford Union. I rather brutal tournament where 87 teams competed to break into the Grand Finals.
After four tough rounds of debating, the following teams emerged atop the tab:
1. Westminster A (Ellie Shearer, Louis Willis) – 11, 658
2. Eton ET (Harry Elliott, Toby Tricks) – 10, 670
3. Dulwich KP (Arnav Kapur, Patrick Kenny) – 10, 640
4. TWGGS A (Lucy McCann, Elly May) – 10, 635
On the motion that TH Opposes The Funding And Arming Of The Syrian Rebels By Western Nations, Closing Opposition, Eton ET, emerged as Champions of the Oxford Schools Debating Tournament 2013. I understand there was a recording of the Finals but I’m not sure where it might resurface.
A full tab may be released by the organisers, the speaker and team tabs as relased on the evening are included below.
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One of the last things that I managed to do in my winter holidays was to get a preview showing of Gangster Squad. Good timing too because I left Hong Kong the next day. The late showing in TaiKoo was also close enough to home for me to actually get around logistically.
Strangely enough, I found some of the usually annoying movie trailers at the start quite interesting. I think The Great Gatsby is going to be a cool movie, although I should probably read the book first so as not to ruin the original. Who knows. I am not a big fan of Jack the Giant Slayer. Somehow the film just doesn’t feel right, and way too fake. Man of Steel is questionable for me too. Just not sure about another Superman film. It doesn’t seem to add much by way of storyline either. It might just be the trailer, but I wouldn’t mind skipping it.As for the Gangster Squad, it was a good typical guns blazing movie. Lots of shooting and fighting. It actually managed to maintain the suspense most of the way through. The story-line was a bit thin, but the scenes were cool enough for you to wanna see what would happen.
My problem was with the ending. Given that it had to be rewritten following the batman-shooting in the US, I can’t say whether this new one was better or worse. I can see why they decided not to release the film after the batman shooting of course. But the ending in the hotel lobby didn’t work for me. It was too fake for someone to rent out the entire hotel. Quite fake how it was entirely empty. I mean even a powerful guy has limits in basically taking over a hotel with no staff or anything else. And the slow-mo shot of them running around the table was cool, but was ultimately useless.
That said, the ultimate ending scene was good. Slightly fake but less so and a fitting ending I think, having O’Mara beat up Cohen.
Probably not something I’d pay to go watch, but not a bad movie overall.
At midnight (UK time) last night, I was walking back home from College when I encountered what I thought would be a highly annoying bout of rain. I haven’t had to use my umbrella since I got back and I was not looking forward to having to pull it out. Thankfully, it turns out to be something much better, although not necessarily less annoying. SNOW! Finally, what didn’t happen over Christmas or the New Year was now falling onto my nicely wrapped and protected head. It was only a few flakes, but I was happy enough that I’d seen snow.
I thought it’d be the sort that disappears once it hits the ground. That’s exactly what they were doing at midnight. S oI was pleasantly surprised to wake up and find the grass and everything outside covered in a nice blanket of white snow. So glad, although now I’m going to have to make use of those boots of mine. Here’s some photos of Oxford in snow.
Another year, and another term. I’m now back at Oxford at the start of what looks to be an incredibly busy Hilary Term (yes, they have strange names). The winter holiday was an eclectic mix of down-time and a sudden realisation of the immense amount of work that I had left unfinished. Can’t say I managed to finish much or most of it, but that isn’t a very good excuse, so off I went on another multi-leg hop across 8 time zones.
This trip was a rather special one, mostly because of how uneventful flights usual are for me. This one had its fair share of movies, but the first leg to Dubai was marked by a mysterious stomach bug that had me doubling over, oscillating between cold and hot, and totally loosing my appetite. Sadly no energy for movies. I tried my best to just sleep it off, but planes are hardly the best place to sleep and the rather full plane didn’t leave a lot of leg/body room. Even the food decided it didn’t like the shape of my stomach. The paper bags were useful other than for writing on – for once.
Landing in Dubai didn’t seem to help matters either. I still felt pretty out of shape. Walking around the massive airport trying to get from one end to another was a much bigger problem than usual. Not only that, but the flight was in Zone A which is a train-ride away from the normal zone B and C. So I basically had to walk like an aged, dying person with a carry-on-luggage in tow. I eventually managed to get to the waiting area and decided I needed to sleep. So I did.
I slept so much that when I woke up, the waiting area had been emptied of people entirely. Not a soul was in sight. I totally freaked out. Jumped up looking panicked. I was so worried that the plane had left. Thankfully it hadn’t, there were still some stragglers making their way. I wonder whether they’d have woken me up, especially since I had to be a passenger to be in that area. Rushing onto the plane didn’t make me feel any better. In my catatonic state, I managed to sit in the wrong seat, forget where I put my carry-on and then almost destroy the toilet door.
Thankfully, the sleeping seemed to have done some good and I was able to enjoy the whole of Hotel Transylvania while we were stuck on the tarmac, The Words, Arbitrage and 2 episodes of Alcatraz. So quite similar to the usual travel experience in movie count. But the most uncomfortable plane ride I have ever had to endure without a doubt.
The flight back to the grand ole United Kingdom was enjoyable enough. despite of the massive Emirates queue that I managed to skip thanks to a little thing called online check-in, I quite enjoyed Emirates with large and spacious seats, an entertainment system that was operational even before we took-off and just about every amenity that one could imagine needing on a flight. I managed to watch Men in Black 3, The Avengers and even 4 episodes of Veep. I’d been dying to watch Veep for a while, especially after having dabbled in the West Wing and the Thick of It. Love the A380 we were on between Dubai and London, and Safe, Prometheus, Brave and Game Changer helped make time pass faster.
I had thankfully arranged to arrive in Oxford a few days earlier than most freshers were supposed to arrive. It meant that most of the accommodation and the college itself was empty and devoid of people. Thankfully, I was able to do quite a bit of shopping in the meantime, unpack my backs and sort myself out before everyone arrived. That’s when Fresher’s week started. I didn’t exactly go clubbing that often, but between the movies, musical shows, murder mysteries, Pizzas and work (3 tutorials on consecutive days!), it was all fun and good. I also managed to avoid Fresher’s flu, most likely the result of not having trade too many germs with others in the warm, sweaty environment of clubs.
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Open Champions – BPP A (Harish, Andrew Tuffin)
ESL Champions – Leiden A (Karin, Daan)
Open Best Speaker – Mark Haughton (UCD L&H A)
Novice Best Speaker – Tash Rachman (Oxford RH)
ESL Best Speaker – Syed Saddiq (IIUM A)
The Tabs Read the rest of this entry »
The results of the 2012 Oxford IV. now updated based upon the final tab.
Main Break Champions: Hart House A (Veenu Goswami, Joshua Stark)
Grand Finalists: TCD Phil A (Johny Eagle, Adam Noonan), UCU L&H A (Mark Haughton, Christine Simpson), Edinburgh A (Marlena Valles, David Norris)
ESL Champions: Leiden C
Best ESL Speaker: Radu Cotarcea (BBU A)
Top 10 Speakers (Main Break)
- Fred Cowell – 423 (ULU A)
- Christine Simpson – 421 (UCD L&H A)
- Pam Cohn – 419 (ULU A)
- Ashish Kumar – 416 (Cambridge A)
- Mark Haughton – 415 (UCD L&H A)
- Sam Ward-Packard – 414 (Yale A)
- Rebecca Meredith – 412 (Cambridge A)
- David Norris – 409 (Edinburgh A)
- Matthew Arons – 409 (Princeton A)
- John Engle – 406 (TCD Phil A)
Thus the discussion from the non-compromising parties at the Security Council demonstrated that the question of the peaceful use of resources in the Arctic calls for the development of global partnerships like never before – only the creation of an intricate and universally acceptable solution will ensure peace and stability in one of the world’s most politically, economically and environmentally fragile regions.
Representing the Kingdom of Norway in the OXIMUN 2012 Security Council(http://live.oximun.org/?p=127)