June 16, 2007

A year on

The last time I wrote on this blog was a year ago. Ghana ended up beating the Czech Republic, Scotland are now ranked 14th in the world and I am now about to end my second year of university. However I must first still get through my two final exams in Macroeconomics and Development Economics. Then, very shortly afterwards, I’m being whisked off to London to intern at Deutsche Bank! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about it, but the prospect of being able to do well, impress people and make all those close to me proud in the process is something I’m really looking forward to. However this is conditional upon me doing well! I will be alone for the 9 weeks, so I’m sure I will have plenty of time to update this blog then!

June 17, 2006

17th June 2006

So, in just about an hours time, Italy are going to pummel the USA. Then the Czechs will pummel Ghana. If any group was the group of death I would say it would be this one; there is no way the USA are ranked 5th in the world, or that Ghana have a chance of qualification. Still, today promises to be an entertaining day of football, with Portugal playing Iran in the evening. I'll update later.

A New Start

Hi people, I decided that I'd try and revive this blog, having not posted in it since April 2006. My girlfriend Elena is constantly managing her blog and going on about other people's, so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm not one to follow the crowd, as is obvious from my lack of posts since I first created this blog, but having typed my name into google the other day I realised that this simple Warwick blog actually can get you noticed in the big wide world. Elena's blog by the way is elena–photos.blogspot.com, take a look at it!

I thought I'd revive this blog by first of all talking about something that a lot of people are currently interested in– the FIFA World Cup. For me this competition is exciting, but my flatmates fail to share my enthusiasm. The majority of them are not from England– I myself was born in Scotland– and it made me wonder if here in England we go a bit over–the–top when it comes to the World Cup. Usually I just look at my friends and wonder if they're from the same planet as me; how can someone not like the World Cup? They do come from different cultures, where 22 people running around on a patch of grass kicking a ball perhaps isn't viewed as being that appealing, yet there are people in England who share this view. For the record, my flatmates come from Asia (mostly)– is there a reason as to why football isn't that big in Asia yet it is in Western Europe? As an economics student I try to make economic links– perhaps institutions in Asia aren't that accomodating for sports, because they don't have the funding for it. Using North's model, and in major risk of being extremely sad and analysing my friends' tastes in football too much, are reasons for a lack of football enthusiam in Asia due to formal or informal institutions? Perhaps someone out there can tell me the answer. For the majority of you who have no idea what I'm talking about and wondering why I would want to restart my blog in this odd way, I shall explain this concept briefly. Formal institutions are those which essentially define legal and governmental decisions, such as property rights. Informal institutions are the views of the people in the economy, and non–official constraints between people, such as religion. So is the lack of football support in Asia (in relation to Western Europe, especially England) due to the fact their governments don't fund the football industry sufficiently, or because people throughout history just haven't been interested in football?

Anyway, I am interested in the World Cup, so I shall post my views on it.

First of all, I think the refereeing has generally been OK, but there have been some awful decisions. These aren't necessarily the fault of referees, as FIFA has told them what they should be doing, but I feel there is still room for common sense. There haven't been enough penalties, which as I understand it should be awarded for a foul in the penalty area, not for when the referee deems the foul to have been particularly bad.

Secondly, I really don't think England are going to win the World Cup, not unless they do some serious reshuffling. They aren't going to win against Sweden, the manager's Swedish for goodness sake, he'll probably put James in goal and tell him to go forward for every corner, or something stupid. I think England need to desperately sort their midfield out– in both matches their midfield has played too far back, trying to feed long balls to Owen and Crouch. Lennon is a natural right winger, so keep him in the team. Have Lampard at the back of a midfield diamond as he's better at getting forward than Gerrard (he times his runs better), play Gerrard at the front of the diamond and then have Cole on the left. Simple. Beckham can easily be used as a substitute, all he is good for is passing, which the other midfielders can also do well. That way England have a good back–up on the bench. For me Lennon proved himself for Spurs this season. As for captain, who cares?! Terry and Gerrard are captains for their domestic teams, they're more than capable of doing it. Crouch should play as he is good at holding the ball up in the final third whilst Gerrard and Lampard make their runs. As for the second striker, why not try Walcott against Sweden if Ecuador beat Germany? Otherwise Owen or Rooney. England's problem seems to be that they don't seem keen to look to the bench because their best talents are on the field.

Thirdly, I think if the Czechs put in a good performance against Ghana today, they will be up there as favourites.

It's getting late now guys and girls, so I'm going to bed.

October 21, 2005

Star Spell

At University I don't get time to watch much TV, but the other day my soul was destroyed upon watching Star Spell, the BBC Z list celebrity spelling competition. Lines such as 'We're making spelling more compelling' and 'Prepare to Spell' were awful, and the presence of the quiz person was terrible. The long pauses aimed at creating suspense were abysmal, and quite frankly, I would have had a better time slicing off my tongue with a wooden spoon. The winner of this farce was Vanessa Feltz, who has now proved that she is good at something else other than being fat.

A stain on all involved's careers.

Rating 2/10- for the fact it was so bad it was funny in places.

First Blog

Hi everybody, this is my first ever blog. I am writing this in the hope it will distract me from my first essay for the Macroeconomics 1 module.

The question is 'Japanís economic growth was substantially lower in the 1990s than it had been in previous years. Making use of the analytical tools you have learned, discuss the possible effects of a policy that a) discourages private savings (like decreasing compulsory pension contributions) or b) increases government spending. How would a change in the income tax affect the effectiveness of the increase in government spending in stimulating the economy?'

Oh fun. I also have an essay for World Economy: History and Theory, which is something along the lines of 'What was the Malthusian Trap. To what extent does this still hold today?', or something like that. If anybody has any ideas for these essays, please post a comment. Then other economics students doing this essay can benefit as well. I am assured by my CDA tutor that having a Warwick blog will put me high up the Google Search, so any budding economists out there give me a shout.

I have settled into Warwick well. The work has suddenly started to grow, my reading has increased, and I have 3 essays/ assignments to do, and am getting more work in class. I also have a test on Mathematical Techniques on Monday. This is likely to feature basic mathematics such as partial differentiation, homogeneous functions, Taylor Series etc.

Once I have completed my first draft I shall post it on the Web in the hope someone will tear it to pieces, criticise it, and allow me to improve on it. I am aiming for a First Class Degree, so help would be appreciated, even though first year marks count for nothing :(

There is a karate club here, although I am the most senior grade, and the lessons are at a more basic level. It is a KUGB club, and they tend to enjoy actually making contact with opponents when sparring. This is somewhat different to what I was used to at my previous club in Jin Sei Kai, but I guess its OK. I have been ill since I got here with the Freshers Flu, so I have only been to one session.

One thing I hate about Warwick is CDA- Compute and Data Analysis. It is a pointless compulsory module for 6 CATS, and teaches me how to write a word document and log on and off the university network. They get me up on Tuesdays at 9am for this. I don't finish on Tuesday until 8pm because of my German seminar, so it really annoys me.

However the people are all nice (Go Lakeside), and I have settled in well. The lecturers are all very good, and I am finding the seminars beneficial. When I say good I don't mean exciting in the slightest, they can be extremely dull…

Anyways, I am going to do my essay now.

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