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FIFA World Cup 2018: A Roller Coaster ride

FIFA World Cup, an event, which every one in this planet looks forward to watch, irrespective of whether you are a football enthusiast or not. And this year’s edition is a revolutionary in nature. Even before the start of the event, there was news all over the world, when two well known teams i.e. Italy and Netherlands, did not qualify for the world cup.

Italy, four times world cup champions, for the first time missed to qualify for world cup, in over half a century. Whereas 2010 finalist, Netherlands, also missed to qualify after, missing to score seven goals against their match against Sweden.

Even post commencement, the event continued its surprise element and stunned the world, in the group stages, when Germany, defending Champions, trashed out of World Cup in group stages. The 2014 World Champions, were shocked and awe when they were defeated by South Korea, in the final group stage match.

Post Group Stages, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Denmark were not able to qualify for quarter finals, thereby rejecting the predictions of many well known experts. The match of Belgium vs Japan, could be consider as one of the highlights of this year’s edition, whereby, no one was in a position to predict that Japan who were leading 2-0 till 68 minutes, would face 3-2 defeat against the iron will Belgium.

Just like a classic Alfred Hitchcock movie, no one would have predicted Brazil, the five times world cup champions and favorites for this year’s edition, would be defeated by a sheer clinical and close to perfect Belgium Team. Croatia, on the other hand is writing a new script in this edition, by defeating the strongest contenders and reaching Semi finals in almost heroic manner. Besides the dark horses, Teams like England and France have also their share of Joy. England fans, were given their team’s first world cup penalty shootout win. Whereas, France, gave heartbreak to Messi Fans by Trashing Argentina out of the World Cup and clinically defeating Uruguay to reach semis.

So, unlike many previous editions, this year’s world cup, has given us a trailer of New Era, an era of new heroes, an era of numerous possibilities and an era ending the dominance of South American Teams in World Cup.

4 match remains to be played to decide who will be the new Champions. France – Belgium and Croatia – England will fight each other on 10th and 11th July 2018 respectively, giving them a chance to fight for the Finals.

For more information on FIFA World Cup 2018 statistics, click on the following link:

FIFA World Cup 2018 statistics

For information on FIFA World Cup History, click on the following link:

FIFA World Cup

 

Finance

World War III: An Economy Annihilator

We all know about World War 1 and World War 2, the destruction that it has caused to life, property and mother nature is something that, no one has forgotten. The effects of the war is still seen. Today we are again on brink of war, a war of money rather than weapons, “Trade War”.

According to Wikipedia, “A trade war refers to two or more states raising or creating tariffs or other trade barriers on each other in retaliation for other trade barriers. Increased protection causes both nations’ output compositions to move towards their autarky position”. Autarky is the quality of being self-sufficient. Autarky exists whenever an entity can survive or continue its activities without external assistance or international trade.

The world is on the brink of trade war, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he would impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports to the United States. Beijing quickly outlined new import taxes of its own on US products worth $3 billion.

The increasingly aggressive statement from both ends suggest that further escalation is possible: Trump described his actions targeting China as “the first of many,” while Beijing said “it is impolite not to reciprocate” and promised a “fight to the end.”

Some of the world’s top economists and business leaders were in Beijing for the annual China Development Forum, and one topic overshadowed the entire gathering: The looming threat of a trade war between the U.S. and China.

Nobel-prize winning economists Robert Shiller and Joseph Stiglitz were also at the annual meeting, and they predicted pain ahead for the U.S. economy if Beijing and Washington ramp up tit-for-tat trade penalties.

U.S. companies, Shiller warned, are not prepared to have China cut out of their supply chains or business models.

“The immediate thing will be an economic crisis because these enterprises are built on long-term planning, they’ve developed a skilled workforce and ways of doing things. We have to rediscover these things in whatever country after the imports are cut off,” Shiller told CNBC. “It’s just chaos: It will slow down development in the future if people think that this kind of thing is likely.”

Stiglitz, for his part, warned that China’s leaders are likely prepared to initiate tariffs based on “a very good economic map with which they will target certain places in the United States where the pain will be maximized.”

An escalating trade war, the Nobel laureate said, could have political ramifications for Trump — especially if trade partners’ retaliations hit the president’s base.

“If there is a broad range increase in tariffs, it would affect their cost of living, the inflation would lead the Fed to raise interest rates at a higher rate, it would certainly impose a risk to the return to the U.S. to robust economic growth,” Stiglitz said.

trade-war-

The beginning of the war has already started to have effects on world economy, China’s Shanghai Composite, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, Japan’s Nikkei and Korea’s Kospi all plunged sharply up to 3 per cent. Indian indices declined over 1 per cent after China threatened to raise tariffs on about $3 billion of US imports. The Dow DJIA, -1.77%  dropped more than 700 points on Thursday and declined by more than 400 points on Friday, leaving the blue-chip gauge with a weekly drop of 5.7%. The S&P 500 SPX, -2.10%  dropped nearly 6% on the week – marking the biggest one-day percentage drop for both since early February.

Both the sides are not intending to stop, forcing other countries especially emerging country like India to choose side whereby taking the trade war to another level. Thus, all in all, Trade War is a condition which always happens around the world, the only problem is its extreme form, every country wants to promote its product and taxing import is not a bad thing, the only problem is the extent and fairness of taxing and not considering the situation and product on which taxes are enforced, thus unbalancing the dedicated thread of trust between the leaders and thereby deteriorating the economic condition.

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Stephen Hawking: Death of an Immortal

Today, is one of the saddest day for everyone, our beloved Stephen Hawking had its last breath. Not only for me but for most of the people from all over the world, he is and always will be a role model.  Greatest physicist of all time, Visionary, inspirational and many other adjectives are and will always be used while saying few words about such a great personality.

SH1

Stephen William Hawking was a true fighter. To pay tribute to such a person, i am writing this blog, and can only try to give a glimpse of his personality to the readers.

Stephen Hawking was the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time which was an international bestseller. He was Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Founder of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge, his other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universe and The Universe in a Nutshell.

And the biggest reason, why he is the greatest role model is that, he had achieved such great achievement, by facing the greatest challenges a person can face. In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. From 1979 to 2009 he held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Professor Hawking has over a dozen honorary degrees and was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1982. He was a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Science. Stephen Hawking is and will always be  regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.

 

 

Few Achievements that shows the contribution made by our beloved:

Stephen Hawking along with English mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, did path-breaking work on singularities which proved their existence and theorized that the universe might have begun as a singularity. Their Penrose–Hawking singularity theorems attempt to answer when gravitation produces singularities.

With James Bardeen and Brandon Carter, Stephan Hawking discovered the four laws of black hole mechanics. These laws are physical properties that black holes are believed to satisfy and are analogous to the laws of thermodynamics. In January 1971, his essay titled “Black Holes” won the prestigious Gravity Research Foundation Award

Previously physicists believed nothing could escape a black hole. In 1974, Stephan Hawking showed that black holes emit radiation, which may continue till they exhaust their energy and evaporate. Stephen’s prediction of what became known as the Hawking radiation initially created a controversy but on further research was considered an important breakthrough in theoretical physics.

Introduced by Alan Guth in 1980, cosmic inflation is a theory in physical cosmology which proposes that following the Big Bang, the universe expanded exponentially before settling down to slower expansion. It is now widely accepted. Stephen Hawking was one of the first to calculate quantum fluctuations that were created during cosmic inflation and to show how they might give rise to the spread of galaxies in the universe.

SH

Few Quotes made by him that changed the mindset of the society:

  • Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.
  • The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.
  • We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.
  • My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
  • Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.
  • I have no idea. People who boast about their IQ are losers.
  • People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.
  • We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,
  • Not only does God play dice, but… he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.

Stephen Hawking was a man of words, who would never take a break or relax until the task gets completed. Rest in Peace, and thanks for so many great discoveries and teaching us that limitation is only in the mind, and once its removed, sky is the limit.

For more information on the great visit http://www.hawking.org.uk/ or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking

 

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Forged in Fire

Forged in Fire, is a show that airs on the History Channel. Its a competition between bladesmiths wherein they have to make an incredible powerful weapon within a given amount of time. The show has been a tremendous hit and i am a big fan of the show especially its concept, the different styles of blade, the different way of forging, the technical terms along with the explanation that they provide us during the show and the list goes on and on.

Winning Sword

Host and Judges:

The show is hosted by Wil Willis, who is an ex army ranger and ex air force pararescueman and has hands-on experience with a wide range of weapons in real battle situations. The show is judged by J.Neilson, Doug Marcaida, David Baker and Jason Knight. All the said names are considered experts or more like godly figure in bladesmithing.

J. Neilson has been making knives for 20 years and is one of the best all-round bladesmiths in the world. He was recognized in 2008 when he achieved the rank of Mastersmith in the American Bladesmith Society, a title held by less than 115 people worldwide

Doug Marcaida is an edged weapon combat specialist who also designs some of the world’s deadliest blades. Doug is a highly skilled martial artist who has also studied fighting styles and techniques around the world. From hand-to-hand combat to battlefield strategy, Doug is a walking encyclopedia in the evolution of weapons of war.

David Baker is a world-renowned swordsmith who specializes in recreating some of world’s rarest edged weapons. David is constantly challenging his scholarship of weaponry, researching forgotten techniques and examining world-class collections to ensure his replicas are as close to and as functional as the originals.

South Carolina’s sole Master Bladesmith, Jason Knight, has been making knives for 15 years. Considered by his peers as one of the most accomplished knife makers in the country, he has amassed numerous awards for his work, including the coveted B.R. Hughes Award for Best Blade by a Mastersmith. Jason employs only the finest materials and meticulous techniques to craft his signature knives, which are highly sought after by hunters, collectors and soldiers around the world.

Winning Sword(1)

Rounds:

The show comprises of 3 rounds, in the first round 4 bladesmiths are given different material from which they have to prepare a specific dimension of knife. For preparing the said knife, bladesmith are given 10 minutes of time for drawing and 3 hours to prepare the blade. The 2nd round comprise of making handle for the blade prepared in 1st round, for preparing the handle, bladesmiths are given 3 hours. After completing the blade by inserting a handle the blade is tested by ice chopping test, coconut cut test etc. After qualifying 2nd round, bladesmiths are asked to recreate an ancient weapon for which they are given 5 days. After several test, a person whose blade performs better, wins $10,000/- and the title of “Forged in Fire Champion”

Purpose of the Show:

The main purpose of the show is to promote bladesmithing. The show provides great intrinsic knowledge of what is meant by bladesmithing, and what are the challenges faced by bladesmithing. I have personally watched each and every episode that is aired. By watching this show, i came to know different types of blade like bowie knife, japanese katana, Chakara, Khopesh, Khanda, Scottish Claymore, Hunga Manga and many other, i also came to know different types of steel used to make blade such as Damascus, 1024 Steel, leaf steel etc., different ways of forging such as water forging, sand forging, oil forging etc., different problems that can emerged while creating a blade such as delamination, cracks, etc.

I have written about the show because i personally feel that a bladesmith is not paid and respected the way they should be. The effort they put by turning a scrap into a beautiful knife is extraordinary. And it is the only show which makes us aware about it and in a way gives respect to bladesmith. I hope that after going through above detail you would be tempted to watch the show. And Finally please, give your comment of what do you think about the show.

Sword

 

Finance

Time Value of Money: Holy word from Non Religious book

For many people money, means survivability, independence, a new hope, a mean to pursue happiness. Money is the only religion which everyone follows irrespective of religion, caste, sex, etc. and thus everyone knows everything about money or they don’t? What if i say that no one except few handful of people knows exactly what’s the TRUE VALUE OF MONEY. In order to understand True Value of Money, it is important to know  the following basic concept relating to TIME VALUE OF MONEY, which is the building block or foundation stone to understand the secrets of money.

WHAT IS TIME VALUE OF MONEY?

Money has time value in that individuals value a given amount of money more highly the earlier it is received. Therefore a small amount of money NOW may be equivalent in value to a larger amount received at a future date.

Time Value of Money is the principles governing equivalence relationships between cash flows with different dates.

The idea of equivalence relationship is relatively simple. For Example. If you pay $1,000 today and receives $900 today itself in exchange for the amount you have paid would you accept that? It is irrational to even ask, no one will accept, however say you will pay $1,000 one year after and will receive $900 now, will you accept it? the answer is yes, because a payment of $1,000 after a year would be less worth to you than paying it write now. This is the power of Time Value.

Example (TVM)

To understand the concept better in terms of its equation, it is important to understand what is interest rate, present value and future value.

Interest Rate, denoted by r, is rate of return that reflects the relationship between differently dated cash flows. Interest rates can be thought of as Required Rate of Return, Discount Rate and Opportunity Cost.

r= Real risk free interest rate + Inflation Premium + Default risk Premium + Liquidity Premium + Maturity Premium.

Present Value (PV) means the present discounted value of future cash flows: For assets, the present discounted value of the future net cash inflows that the asset is expected to generate; for liabilities, the present discounted value of the future net cash outflows that are expected to be required to settle the liabilities.

Future Value (FV) means the amount to which a payment or series of payments will grow by a stated future date.

EQUATION TO CALCULATE FV for a single cash flow:

                                                     FVN = PV(1+r)N

Where, PV  = Present Value of the investment

             FVN = Future Value of the investment N Periods from today

             r      = Rate of interest per period

             N     = Number of Compounding periods

The Fact that present value and Future value are separated in time has following important consequences:

  • We can add more amount of money only if they are indexed at the same point in time
  • For a given interest rate, the future value increases with the number of periods
  • For a given number of periods, the future value increases with the interest rate

The most important point to remember while using the above equation is that N and r must be compatible i.e. they are defined in same time unit.

(1+r)N is also known as future value factor, however, if compounding is more frequent than annual then the said is not future value factor. If compounding is more frequent than annual, then future value formula can be expressed as under:

FVN = PV(1+rs/m)mN

Where, FVN = Future Value of the investment N period from now,

              PV  = Present Value of Investment

                rs    = stated annual interest rate or quoted interest rate

              N    = Number of annual years

              m    = Number of compounding periods per year.

COMPOUNDING AND ITS RELEVANCE IN TIME VALUE OF MONEY:

In all the above equation, compounding word is often used, but what exactly is compounding? Compounding means the process of accumulating interest on interest.

For example: Say you invested $100 for 2 years at interest rate of 10%, at the end of year 1 year you will receive $10 as interest, assuming the same is reinvested for 1 year at the same interest rate, at the end of year 2 you will receive the following:

Principal amount  = $100, Interest for the first year $10, Interest for the second year based on original investment = $10 and Interest for the second year based on interest earned in the first year i.e. $10 x 0.1 = $1.

The said interest earned on interest provides us the first glimpse of the phenomenon known as Compounding.

Time Value of Money and Compounding are inseparable forces, when used simultaneously is quite lethal. The importance of Compounding increases with the magnitude of interest rate.

Conclusion:

Thus, Time Value of Money as a principle is equivalent to the principle relating to forces of nature both in terms of complexity and voluminous, by understanding, the above terminology and equation one has the foundation to understand the other principles and theories relating to time value of money.