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Top Posts of the Year 2012

Another year, and a rather busy year, and the world hasn’t ended. So time permitting, PaulLau.com can continue. I haven’t quite managed to post once a day, but somehow I think reality is going to put a damper on that idea either way. There were as many views in 2012 as there have been since this blog started in October 2009. We also had the best day so far with nearly 2,000 views January Here’s a look back at the top posts of 2012.

1. WUDC 2012 Tab and [RESULTS]
Once the prize of WSDC related posts, it seems that WUDC has managed to claim the first position this year. A lot of interest in this post, particularly at the end of 2012 with WUDC 2013 Berlin happening at the same time.

2. WUDC 2012 [MOTIONS]
I’ve stopped posting event details, but I still think motions are incredibly useful both for recording purposes and for other people to use as a reference.

3. WSDC 2012 Team Tab by Speaks [RESULTS]
WSDC sneaking back into the picture here. An interesting post given the unconventional nature of the way of sorting teams. Some interesting ingishts could nevertheless be gleaned though.

4. WUDC 2012 Grand Final Video
A very strong Grand Final performance by all the teams involved. Well recomended!

5. WSDC 2012 Top 10 Speakers
6. WSDC 2012 [MOTIONS]
7. WSDC 2012 Round-up [RESULTS]
8. WSDC 2012 Final Team Rankings
9. WSDC 2012 Grand Final [RESULTS]
10. Exams
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Blog Action Day 2010: Bottled Water

This post is written in support of Blog Action Day 2010, the 4th year where bloggers around the world join together to debate, brainstorm and raise awareness around an international issue. This year’s issue is Clean Water.

I’ve been at AC now for nearly 2 full months. And one of the weirdest things about living in the UK is that its tap water can be drunk. Having come from Hong Kong, I was used to the daily toil of having to boil water, clean out old water bottles and the pour the boiled water into containers to use for the day. Now in the UK, people could just as well have drunk straight from the tap. I am still not exactly used to this. But that’s beside the point. Despite the ease of finding drinkable water here at AC, even in the middle of nowhere, I still see people walking around with plastic water bottles that they’ve brought from our nearby town, Llantwit Major.

Currently 3.6 million people die each year because they don’t have clean water to drink and every day 4,000 children younger than 5 die from preventable, water-borne diseases. At the same time, in the last 10 years, per-capita consumption of bottled water in the U.S. has doubled to an average of 200 bottles per person each year.
In Hong Kong, I know for a fact that the majority of people are still perfectly fine with buying Watsons or Vita water. There’s nothing wrong with that per-say. But as amongst the most financially conscious cities in the world, it would seem to be amongst the most stupid financial decisions we make.

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Manila’s hostage crisis

From http://interuwcmag.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/manilas-hostage-crisis

Paul Lau (Hong Kong, AC 10-12)

Hong Kong and the Philippines are two countries with deep ties; an estimated 140,000 Filipino migrants work in Hong Kong while the Philippines is amongst Hong Kong’s top travel destination. However, the recent hostage crisis has put relationships on hold with animosity and distrust from both parties. On the 23rd of August 2010, former senior inspector Rolando Mendoza hijacked a tourist bus of 25 people in a desperate attempt to win his job back. 12 hours later, following a ‘bungled’ and ‘incompetent’ rescue assault that required 90 minutes, Mendoza and 8 Hong Kong tourists lay dead while 9 others were injured.

It all began when Rolando Mendoza, a former officer who had been accused of robbery and extortion and was fired last year, boarded a Hong Kong tourist bus, shortly before announcing the hijacking. A 10 hour standoff subsequently unfolded with stop-go negotiations throughout the day. Neither side took the issue seriously; Mendoza told his hostages he would only hold them until 3pm while a tour guide was able to call the assistant customer services manager that he had been held hostage.

9 hostages were later released by Mendoza leaving 17 people on the bus, including himself. By this point in time, numerous TV stations had begun live coverage of events including TVB and Cable TV from Hong Kong. The BBC, CNN and Reuters also began reporting on the situation along with a handful of local stations. The media coverage continued as negotiations dragged on between Mendoza and Chief Inspector Romeo Salvador and Superintendent Orlando Yebra. Yebra later testified that “Officially there is no negotiation unit yet in the PNP [national police]”

Read the full article at UWC Student Magazine.