Postaday2011

Top Posts of the Year 2011

2011 is coming to a close, and PaulLau.com has grown another year older, 27 months and counting. There have been over 88,700 views since this blog began in October 2009, and over 550 posts (recall just 12 months ago, that number stood at a little over 180) which means that the “Posting at least once every week in 2011” commitment became more of a ‘Posting once a day’. It’s been an amazing year in terms of the blog, nearly 66,000 views just this year. So here’s a look back at the top posts of 2011.

1. WSDC 2011 – Team Lists [1st all time]
Part of the WSDC 2011 series, the posts resided in sidebar of PaulLau.com for over 8 months in the run-up to WSDC 2011 in Dundee, listing the team members attending WSDC 2011, at least those I could find.

2. Fire at UWC Atlantic College [2nd all time]
Other than debating, this was undoubtedly the second biggest story of the blog this year. I started this post 2 hours after the incident itself and continued updating it as a running summary of the situation.

3. TOK Essay – May 2012 [3rd all time]
Let’s just say this has not been the highlight of my Christmas holiday.

4. Fire at UWC Atlantic College – Photo Set 1 [4th all time]
The first images of the aftermath of the fire. Incidentally, April 14th was the busiest day on the blog with just under 1,300 views in just 24 hours.

5. [RESULTS] LSE Open 2011 [Tab]
A tournament I attended with David as my debating partner, joined by other Team Wales member Cat and Sarah. An amazing experience and my first peek into university level debating. You can read about what happened in my de-facto diary entry 1, 2 and see how Team Wales fared.

6. WSDC 2011 – Official World Rankings
Also part of the WSDC 2011 series, the official world rankings followed my earlier, and rather more controversial, post with my own calculations (which were quite accurate, even if I say so myself)

7. AC IB Results 2011
A good year for AC and some good results all together for my dear second years. Sadly, that puts the bar quite high for the UWC AC class of 2012.

8. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Round-up
The ultimate summary of my final high-school tournament – WSDC 2011 – before I left the high-school debating scene. An amazing tournament and some unforgettable memories. Thank you to everyone.

9. Fire @UWC Atlantic College – Photo Set 2
The second set of photos regarding the Sunley fire, this time with my own photos.

10. SCMP – Profile: Chris Lee (IS) IGCSE Top of the World
A not so original post, but an article that did catch my eye, and clearly attracted quite a bit of attention too.

Honorary Mentions

I think it is worth noting at this point that although only 3 WSDC 2011 related posts were found in the top 10, and only 4 debating related posts, the next 10 posts are exclusively debating related, 8 of which are WSDC 2011 related as well. August 2011 was also the most popular month for PaulLau.com with nearly 14,000 views. A final thought: isn’t it interesting that Team Singapore, Team Canada and Team England come in as top posts on their own?

11. WSDC 2011 – Team Singapore
12. WSDC 2011 – Media Guide [UPDATED]
13. WSDC 2012 – Prepared Motions [UPDATED]
14. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Round 1 & 2
15. WSDC 2011 – Team Canada
16. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Break, Round 7 & 8
17. WSDC 2011 – Team England
18. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Round 5 & 6
19. ASDC 2011 – Participating Institutions
20. WIDPSC 2011 – Grand Final [RESULTS] + Analysis

Osama is killed. A historical footnote or a turning point?

Osama bin Laden (not Obama bin Laden, or even President Obama as a few people have accidentally named) is dead. Reportedly killed by US military in a late-night operation in the middle of Pakistan. For any of you who have yet to find out this little piece of news, you are either taking IB exams (in which I wish you the best of luck), or you are simply living in outer space. But what comes of this news, will the world stop spinning? Will his killing be nothing more than a historical footnote, or will it be remembered as a turning point in our history?
(more…)

Year in Review

NOTE: While writing this post, an interesting observation came to mind. The many highlights of my year, as recognized in this post, also popped up on a regular basis in the annual list of ‘Top Post of the Year‘.

The start of this decade, the year 2010 can most accurately called a year of transition. It may have lasted only for 12 months, but it sure fells like I’ve done a heck of a lot of stuff in that time.

By the start of the year, preparations were in full swing for WSDC 2010 in Doha, Qatar. We had long hours of preparation, debates and meetings, often going from 5pm to 10pm in our little SIS hide-out. But we nevertheless felt quite prepared as we set off for Doha in Feb 2010. WSDC itself was a joy and an honor as can be gathered from my WSDC Reflection. We didn’t get to the quarters, but lost gallantly to Australia in the Octo-finals and everyone on the team ranked in the top 50 speakers. Coming in 45th in such a competitive and tough year was delightful. Many thanks to Annette, Ben, Heather, Prakash and Greg who taught me so much.
10 months later in Dec 2010, I transitioned from Team Hong Kong to Team Wales and once again, I’ll hopefully be blogging all the way to WSDC 2011 in Dundee, Scotland.

Domestically, I was able to graciously bow out of HK Debating with sweet victory in the Grand Final of the 25th Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition after loosing out in 2008-2009. We also saw the beginning of the Hong Kong Schools Debating Council in April 2010 with the website http://hksdc.wordpress.com still going strong after overtaking PaulLau.com in about half the time.

It was just before the Sing Tao finals that I received an unassuming phone call notifying me that I had been accepted to UWC Atlantic College in the UK, sparking the biggest transition of this year, and certainly of my life so far.

Despite this, I still had my remaining IGCSE exams to finish, themselves stretching from late April to late May. I had to wait all summer for the results to come out. When they did, they didn’t really come as a surprise with a string of poor runs together with the odd gem. It was a tough pill to swallow, but by then I’d had the IB to worry about.

My home away from home - Morgannwg


That was because I was many miles away in South Wales, starting at Atlantic College. By all counts, it hadn’t been an easy transition. I’d been studying at South Island School for a full five years now and the things that the time has build are things not easily replaced. My last moment with the class of 2012 was a Dinner Dance 2010. It not only marked an end, but featured a first, the first time I participated in a ‘dance’, if you can call it that.

When one door closes, another opens. And so in late August, I transitioned many miles, from HK to the UK to begin my studies at UWC AC

2011 will see fewer changes and a whole lot more of building upon existing structures. Hopefully though, it will be just a colorful as 2010.

Top Posts of the Year

We’ve just turned a corner and now are in 2011. PaulLau.com is now 16 months old and still going strong with over 23,000 views and over 180 posts. 2010 was my first full year of blogging and featured all the expected ups and downs. Here’s a round up of the top posts of 2010.

Notably in 2010 was the WSDC 2010 series covering the 2010 World Schools Debating Championships in Doha, Qatar which featured 29 posts and stole 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th spot in this Top Posts of the Year list. Whether a result of reader interest or just because it was the most common topic on my blog, debating related posts took 7 out of the top 10 and 15 out of the top 20 posts of 2010.

1. 2010 World Cup Broadcasting [1ST ALL TIME]

This post came out in March, when the issue was gaining considerable media attention. Interestingly enough, come May, the issue was the topic of the Sing Tao Grand Final (see the 10th Top Post). The issue may have been resolved for now, but it won’t be until 2014 before we know if the stations have truly resolved similar disputes.

2. WSDC – Final Rankings [3RD ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, this post was the culmination of more than a weeks of debating. It brings together the team and individual results of the 2010 WSDC and by-in-large drew to a close WSDC 2010 for PaulLau.com

3. The Story Behind Football Shirt Swapping [4TH ALL TIME]

During my IGCSE Media Studies revision, I stumbled upon a New York Times Article that detailed the story behind the tradition of Shirt Swapping in Football.

4. WSDC – Results [5TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, this post had the immediate results following the Closing Ceremony. It helped provide instant information before the WSDC – Final Rankings post (see the 2nd Top Post) replaced it.

5. UWC Principal Personnel Changes [6TH ALL TIME]

Shortly after Neil Richard’s ‘resignation’ was announced, there was a lot of furor within UWCs around the world about Principal resignations, changes and departures. As a result, I summarized the 3 principal changes at LPC, AC and MI.

6. WSDC – Break [7TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, it took a while for me to calm down after learning that HK would break into the Octo-finals. But once I did, I was able to posts the full break, frantically copied down during a few tense minutes at the WSDC 2010 Break Night Party.

7. WSDC – Round 1-4 Team Results [8TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, the results after round 1, 2, 3 and 4 representing the mid-way mark at WSDC 2010.

8. WSDC – Final Draw [9TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, this is one of the few top posts related to the run-up to WSDC 2010. Indeed, many readers were first notified of their countries draw through this post.

9. Hong Kong Schools Debating Council [10TH ALL TIME]

After many frantic hours of work, messaging and coding on wordpress, me and Heather finally managed to cobble together the HKSDC website at http://hksdc.wordpress.com. The website and the organization, the Hong Kong Schools Debating Council was successfully launched in April.

10. Sing Tao Grand Finals 2010

This Grand Final was not only my last Sing Tao debate, it was also my last debate in Hong Kong and for South Island School. It capped a wonderful journey that really began at the Sing Tao Grand Final in 2006 and ended on the 4th May. Thank you to everyone that I’ve had the joy of sharing the journey with.

Honorary Mentions

11. Tabbing Software
12. HK Bid for 2023 Asian Games
13. WIDPSC Day 1 & 2
14. 10 Things to do if you Finish Exams Early
15. WIDPSC 2010 – Lithuania
16. WSDC – Quarter & Semi-Final
17. WSDC – Round 3 & 4
18. WSDC – Aus vs HK Octofinal
19. WIDPSC 2010 – Results
20. Chinese Sport School System