Saturday, May 30, 2009

Danscape 2009

Jazzart produce some exceptional dancers every year and this year is no different. I attended Danscape 2009, a student exhibition from the first year trainees and school outreach programs. The program was varied and displayed some interesting blends of African, Spanish and Asian influences. It is well worth the effort to see this performance every year and at R20 (for a block booking of 20 or more ticket are reduced from R50) its cheaper than a movie!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

UCT Symphony Concert

The UCT Symphony Orchestra performed tonight in the Baxter Concert Hall. I love the Baxter with its bizarre ceilings and the acoustics in the Concert Hall are phenomenal. The pieces performed included:
L van Beethoven : Fidelio Overture Op. 72
Hendrik Hofmeyr Concerto for Flute
A Dvorák : Symphony No. 9 in E Minor Op. 95 "From the New World"

Attending tonight's concert with an out-of-towner reminded me just how lucky we are to live in Cape Town and are able to attend so many cultural activities. I wish more people supported arts and music events.

Monday, May 25, 2009

IPL ends with a bang

I have had a fantastic 6 weeks while the IPL has played out in South Africa. I loved the final and the nail biting ending that could have gone either way to the last ball. The Deccan Chargers won and it is very interesting to note that they were at the bottom of the log in 2008. Hats off to Adam Gilchrist (even if he is Australian) for captaining the winning side.

The closing ceremony was an amazing fireworks display and getting Eddie Grant and Akon to perform topped the night off nicely. This tournament shows the rest of the world that South Africa can pull off a major sports tournament with little notice and without any apparent hitches (forget the guy driving into the spotlights). I look forward to the Soccer World Cup and Confederation Cup now. And the Franch Open which started yesterday.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I find it fascinating the number of cases of plagiarism the university sees very semester in computer science. JPlag is a tool to compare students code for similarity and reported 45 cases for the first tutorial alone. Its rather worrying that these are meant to be the "creme" of society that make it into university.

This brings me to my next point, practical tests. I despair at the new students and their attempt to make their lives more difficult. When you have a limited amount of time to complete a test and have access to your notes and past assignments, surely one would think of reusing old code or copying the basics straight the notes instead of trying to remember the basic syntax and wading through compile errors. Surely it is a logical option?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Medal Test woes

As many have discovered in the past, UCT Venue bookings are very disorganised, so much so that they triple booked halls on campus today. We worked so hard to clean the floor last night and prepare for the medal tests this morning only to arrive to another group in the hall and a completed ruined floor. So much for preparation. It seems the various administrations do not communicate, surprise, surprise!

My medal test went well, though I forgot how much energy it takes to be "on" all the time on the floor. Its frankly exhausting. Everyone seemed to have a good time overall and I hope they transfer that enthusiasm to Intervarsity.

Monday, May 11, 2009

IT Challenge Final

This last week has been rather stressful. The IT challenge at the head offices of Standard Bank in Johannesburg on Thursday was a six hour adrenaline rush as each team of 4 had 7 problems to complete and a curve ball to deal with.

Last year the curve ball was an extra problem with increased time penalties, this year was a half an hour computer shutdown for "emergency maintenance". When you only have one computer, this eats into your time and productivity quite substantially.

UCT came second overall and as prizes we received Dell 22inch flatscreens. Nice consoaltion prize :)