HK

Hong Kong’s Tiger Tutors

Lots of people have probably heard me joking about the asian stereotype of studying all the time. If you’ve got some free time, then I’d encourage you to watch this documentary.

Admittedly it is somewhat exaggerated and of course this sort of experience isn’t universal (so don’t go around talking to everyone from HK as if they did go through all those), but certainly it’s representative of the experience of lots of people. It also gives you an idea why I dislike the tutorial system in general. It’s not that it doesn’t help people, but rather that it should be a necessary component of the education system.

All that said, having not been through this system myself, my own experiences are only peripheral.

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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Finding green in a concreate jungle

Hong Kong is hardly known for its green landscape. The blue (or now brown) harbour, the reflective surfaces of massive office towers, even the red lights of continuous traffic, green is hardly a colour that can easily be associated with Hong Kong. Unless the green is associated with gunk and other waste products that our waters are teeming with.

Thankfully, large swaths of Hong Kong is in fact government protected country park. But venturing out far is often a hassle and drags us away from our office filled lives too much. So why not go out and discover the trees and green landscapes that dot the city’s more built-up parts?

The Government’s produced a number of regional maps just for that purpose, identifying green landscapes and some old trees for your enjoyment in-between the report and the presentation. Check it out!

http://www.greening.gov.hk/en/people_tree_harmony/tree_landscape_map.html

A history of National Education in Hong Kong

I’ve been rather reluctant to comment on the National Education furor in Hong Kong that anyone with even half and eye on the news will have noticed. (It has been well noted that even foreign and international news organizations have covered this issue.) This is because (1) as a general rule, I prefer not to make hasty comments in the heat of any particular issue and (2) because I frankly have not had the time nor interest to truly inform myself of this issue to the level that I feel is required for any comment to be made.

An aspect of this is the need for context which is so often easily lost in the heat of the moment. So before we all blow our heads off on this issue, let’s consider the events that have led up to this point, a neat little summary from the SCMP.
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The 97%

HK Magazine isn’t usually of the sort of material that one wants to share on a serious blog. But they usually have some very nice features, and this week’s feature on Hong Kong’s Glass Recycling System is one of those well thought out and well researched articles that is worth spreading. Let’s do something about the 97% of glass that isn’t recycled, go check out the full article at http://hk.asia-city.com/city-living/article/hong-kongs-glass-recycling-system.

To share our concern about Hong Kong’s underdeveloped glass recycling infrastructure, as well as to fulfill our social responsibility as a media organization, HK Magazine has created a digital petition with the goal of urging the Environmental Protection Department to set up a glass recycling bin on SoHo’s Bridges Street. If you want to show your support, simply visit http://www.hk-magazine.com/glass-recycling and complete the form. The petition will last for 10 weeks from Aug 29, and the number of signatures we have collected will be revealed at the end of that period.

Typhoon 8 topples tree at Siu Sai Wan

Just got back home to find the whole of Siu Sai Wan Road stuck with numerous buses and taxis in the way. Apparently a tree had fallen over, one of those times when you remember that all the stuff in the news could be happening to you too.

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Appearance, Appearance, Appearance

After much attention on the 2012 Chief Executive Elections, Leung Chun-ying ultimately emerged the new Chief-Executive elect. Although not seen as the ideal candidate, he certainly held the lead in terms of opinion polls, and probably has some genuine support, more so than many of his rivals. A major part of his victory was down to his ability to project a sense that he was the public’s choice and Henry Tang merely China’s choice. This appearance was certainly helped by his visits to public housing estates etc.

What is surprising is his failure to recognize the importance of public perception in the aftermath of the vote. His first order of business, visit the Chinese Liason office. Certainly there are good reasons to do so, though I am doubtful of his explanation. However, for argument’s sake, let’s put aside the suggestion that he went to thank the Chinese Liason Office for their unofficial official support at the end of the campaign. Even if he had a legitimate reason for visiting, he should be well aware of the perception that it would give. I think it is safe to assume that he doesn’t live in a vacuum of his own, which means that he would be fully aware of media reports on the heavy show of hand by the Chinese Liason office as well as the fear that the Chinese government was unnecessarily meddling in Hong Kong affairs. Then it should be clear, even if there is a good reason to visit the Liason Office, such as visit would best be done at another time, in another place, in a more sensitive way. What baffles me is how a candidate can be so conscious of public sentiment during the campaign, and almost instantly ignore or fail to even consider public perception.
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