Brazilian striker Neymar Jr. scores yet another ridiculous goal — from behind the net. He pulled off another ridiculous move yesterday putting just enough backspin to score from behind the net, during practice before a friendly football match against Honduras in preparation for the South American football championship — Copa America, which began today in Chile. Neymar scored a goal — even though he was on the wrong side of it. He’s six yards behind the goal line. How is this possible? Amazing technique, the perfect weight on the strike and the exact right amount of spin… all at the same time. We’re almost at the point where Brazil’s new king of Europe is defying the laws of physics. The craziest thing? If any mere mortal managed to pull this off, they’d be hopping around celebrating. Neymar? He acts like it’s all perfectly normal. He’s not even trying. He’s just messing about during a break – and he’s done this before. He pulled off the same move in practice before a friendly match against France this year.
With negative interest rate policy (NIRP) raging in the eurozone and over €1.9 trillion in European government bonds trading with negative yields, many were wondering whether this generosity will spill over to other debtors. Following consecutive rate cuts during this year by the Danish Central Bank, local Danish banks — Nordea Credit, Realkredit Danmark — are now offering a mortgage with a negative interest rate! Negative interest rates aren’t a new phenomenon in Europe, but they’ve been limited to inter-bank borrowing. FT reported Ms Christiansen received a negative interest rate for her three-year loan, meaning the lender — Realkredit Danmark, a part of Danske Bank — is paying for her to borrow money. The interest rate of minus 0.0172 per cent — which equates to her receiving about DKr 7 each month from the bank — is just one sign of the “Through The Looking Glass” effects of extreme central banking measures in Scandinavia. The Scandinavian central banks are going pretty far in NIRP. Sweden’s Riksbank became the first central bank in the world to take its main policy rate — the so-called repo rate — into negative territory. Denmark’s Nationalbanken in turn cut its deposit rate — the amount it pays or in this case charges banks for placing money with it — four times at the start of this year to a world record low of minus 0.75 percent. On April 8th, Switzerland became the first country to sell 10-year […]
As part of its €1.1 trillion quantitative easing plan, the European Central Bank (ECB) will buy government bonds due between two- and 30-years, including those with negative yields, President Mario Draghi said in January. The bond buying plan has left $1.9 trillion of the euro region’s government securities with negative yields. Germany sold five-year notes at an average yield of minus 0.08 percent on February 25, a euro-area record, meaning investors buying the securities will get less back than they paid when the debt matures in April 2020. By the next day, German notes with maturity out to seven years had sub-zero yields — reached minus 0.017 percent. The rates on seven other euro-area nations’ debt were also negative. The German bond markets are leading this historical phenomenon — 88 of the 346 securities in the Bloomberg Euro zone Sovereign Bond Index have negative yields. Euro-area bonds make up about 80 percent of the $2.35 trillion of negative-yielding assets in the Bloomberg Global Developed Sovereign Bond Index. The seemingly illogical willingness of investors to pay issuers to borrow their money is neither irrational nor driven by just noncommercial considerations (such as regulatory requirements or forced risk aversion). As the ECB prepares to start its own large-scale purchasing program next week, some investors believe they could make capital gains on such negative yielding investments. The ultra-low interest rate regime is likely to persist for now and this has caused challenges for banks. A growing […]
Kurt Vonnegut — author of novel Hocus Pocus — said: “My own feeling is that if adultery is wickedness then so is food. Both make me feel so much better afterward.” Anybody wants chicken for adultery? Well it's on the menu of a #restaurant in #Baghdad! A photo posted by I.RoyChoudhury (@iroychoudhury) on Jun 26, 2014 at 9:15am PDT You can openly enjoy adultery here as adultery is not a crime in this restaurant, it’s a dish. ‘Chicken for adultery’ and ‘For adultery meat’ at this restaurant in Baghdad are to make you feel better afterward … maybe! It’s not a case of food adulteration here, it’s just food adultery ;-) I later found that these are lasagne!!
Numerologists say sequential dates and times hold special significance. Now that we are more than a decade safely beyond Y2K and secure in our knowledge that the big calendar switch didn’t incite the collapse of the modern world, we can relax a bit and enjoy some of the cooler quirks that come along with living in the infant stages of a new millennium. This Saturday, November 10, 2012, is a special day, numerically speaking. For, it reads 10/11/12 – a classic sequential date – and, it becomes more interesting here, at 14 past one in the afternoon, the time-and-date sequence will read: 10/11/12 @ 13:14 hours. It could also do a bit of the same at nine minutes past eight in the morning on the day: 08:09 @ 10/11/12. If you start with the time of 12:34:56:7.89 (you’ll need a very precise clock) you get the golden sequence of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Wow! While that could be with any 10 November (not necessarily 10 November 2012), there are a couple of dozen patterns (yes, that is 24 patterns in all) recorded for Saturday, 10 November 2012. You can check all of them here. Worldwide, numerologists suggest that sequential dates and times hold special significance, which explains why there is a sudden rush of wedding parties and birth deliveries on such special dates, and some even try to zero-in on the rarest […]
Dot com is generally associated with virtual sites. The domain names, inter alia, end with .com. During my recent visit to Basirhat in West Bengal, I came across a banner with “Basirhat Dot Com” displayed on it. It’s not a website, but a club of local boys displaying banner for their Kali puja (worship of the Goddess Kali) and it has got no connection with cyberspace. The banner was displayed just across our house. I thought first that there is some cyber cafe there and they have named it like that. But, on my enquiry I found that there is nothing virtual or any connection to that. It’s a club of local boys and they have just named their club – basirhat.com. The kids nowadays have become so much used to dot-com that they named their club with dot-com. If it goes like this, then we may find people keeping their surnames as dot-com!
The image below is probably familiar to everyone. This particular Mickey Mouse impression, however, has been caught on planet Mercury by NASA’s Messenger spacecraft. This particular crater configuration is in Mercury’s south, near a crater named Magritte. “The shadowing helps define the striking ‘Mickey Mouse’ resemblance, created by the accumulation of craters over Mercury’s long geologic history,” says NASA in the photo description on Flickr. Messenger is the first spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury. During its one-year primary mission, Messenger acquired 88,746 images and other data sets. The spacecraft is currently in a yearlong extended mission, with plans to acquire more than 80,000 additional images of Mercury.
It’s remotely possible that the world will end in December 2012. But I don’t credit the ancient Maya calendar for predicting it. It’s true that the so-called long-count calendar – which spans roughly 5,125 years starting in 3114 B.C. – reaches the end of a cycle on December 21, 2012. That day brings to a close the 13th Bak’tun, an almost 400-year period in the Maya long-count calendar. But rather than moving to the next Bak’tun, the calendar will reset at the end of the 13th cycle, akin to the way a 1960s automobile would click over at mile 99,999.9 and reset to zero. For the Maya, the end of the long count represents the end of an old cycle and the beginning of a new one. Written references to the end of Bak’tun 13 are few. In fact, most Maya scholars cite only one: a stone tablet on Monument 6 at the Tortuguero archaeological site in Mexico’s Tabasco state. What exactly the tablet says, though, is a mystery, because the glyphs in question are partially damaged. Scholars have taken several stabs at translations, the most prominent by Brown University’s Stephen Houston and the University of Texas at Austin’s David Stuart. Their initial interpretation indicated that a god will descend at the end of Bak’tun 13. What would happen next is uncertain, although the scholars suggested this might have been a prophecy of some sort. Even if the Monument 6 […]
A 26-foot sculpture of Marilyn Monroe in her most famous pose was installed on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Passers-by wasted little time positioning themselves under her billowing skirt to get a subway-grate view of Monroe in the same stance as she appeared in the 1955 film “The Seven Year Itch.” The Marilyn Monroe statue will stand here though spring 2012.
I just read about the breast-touching festival and I really find it so laughable that in our modern world, such superstitions still exist. The Chinese have entered the seventh month of the Lunar calendar, known as the Hungry Ghost month, which began July 31. This period is considered unlucky for many Chinese as they believe that the ghosts are allowed to return to the human realm as the Hell Gate opens throughout the month. While the Buddhists and Taoists prepare offerings for the homeless ghosts, a minority tribe in China have their own interesting celebration. This eventually turned into a festival called Monai Jie (Breast-Touching Festival), where the men of the town are allowed to touch the breasts of single women! The Yi people in Ejia town of Yunnan province, those who are still single, will head to the streets for Breast-Touching Festival on the 14th, 15th and 16th days of the month. On these days, the men are welcome to touch the women’s breasts. This festival has been around for 1500 years! The festival began because of a local legend during the Sui Dynasty (AD 581 – 619) when most of the male teenagers of the town were forced into the army and died in wars. The people then carried out prayers to commemorate the dead, and it happened that the ceremony was held in the seventh month. According to the Taoist wizards, the dead could not rest because […]