Saturday, July 10, 2010

Slide Tackle, special edition - Paul the Psychic Octopus

From Website:
Jul 9, 2010, 15:39 GMT
By © Deutsche Presse-Agentur


PHOTO: FIFA World Cup 2010 at South Africa

Hamburg - A special edition of the slide tackle column on the occasion of Paul the psychic octopus' final World Cup predictions made on Friday.

BET ON PAUL - The Daily Telegraph says that bookies William Hill are accepting bets on the accuracy of celebrity psychic octopus Paul's prediction for the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. However, the number of bets was so colossal even before Paul predicted Spain to win on Sunday that odds were cut from evens to 10/11. William Hill said that if someone had placed a 10-pound accumulator bet on all of Paul's predictions he would have already won 1,426 pounds by now. 'This is the first time we've genuinely had punters coming into betting shops and asking staff about the predictions made by an octopus,' a spokesman said.

PAUL'S NEWS - Paul's final predictions attracted a huge television audience and all the attention of other news gathering bodies as well. Spanish and Dutch television reported live from the Oberhausen aquarium as Paul chose the mussel from the cube bearing the Spanish flag. German television was also also on air among others, and Paul's prediction was even worth an urgent for The Associated Press news agency.

PAUL'S BAD - British professor David Spiegelharter is throwing in the towel over Paul's predictions, according to The Times. 'Curse that psychic octopus. He makes me look a fool,' Spiegelharter tells the paper. Spiegelharter is a Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge University and, even though he doesn't consider Paul's predictions remarkable, still fears that students will make life difficult for him in the future by asking him about the psychic octopus during lectures.

PAUL HERE, PAUL THERE - Paul's astonishing World Cup accuracy opens the door for other predictions/choices or simply to steal his name to make the own product more interesting. Twitter user rupertg firmly believes that Paul has the capacity to solve the smartphone war for good: 'Can we sort this out once and for all, and give Paul the Psychic Octopus two boxes - one with an iPhone and one an Android?' British punk rock band Pick Your Weapon, meanwhile believe 'I bet LeBron James, Raoul Moat, and Paul the Psychic Octopus would dig listening to our EP at the British Grand Prix.'

IN SQUID WE TRUST - That is an almost standard remark after Paul's prediction of the final - unless you are Dutch. Reports have surfaced that they have come up with a cephalopod of their own - nicely named Pauline and nicely predicting a Dutch win over Spain on Sunday. Pauline's Sea Life Aquarium in Scheveningen has also offered Paul asylum after angry German reactions. 'We have a free aquarium and maybe he even hits it off with Pauline,' said a spokesman.

GRATEFUL PAUL - Paul is grateful that Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero is ready to send a protective team for him as he is not all too happy with German reactions after the semi-final. Speaking to the Time Magazine website, Paul says 'I'm fighting for my frickin' life here. I've read reports that there were calls over here for me to be roasted with lemon juice and olive oil or even turned into a plate of paella. Don't get me wrong: I can smile at the irony of the paella scenario. But it doesn't mean I want to end up on someone's plate. I will never go against Germany again.'
By © Deutsche Presse-Agentur

11:55 AM Jul 08, 2010
According to Der Western, a newspaper, there have been "a host of comments on Facebook, Twitter suggesting Paul should be fried, barbecued or turned into a seafood salad or paella ... Others wanted to throw him into the shark tank."

"We know that all octopus have nine brains so we know he has exceptional powers."

The container selected by the octopus is assumed to be the predicted winner and so far Paul has a 100-per-cent success rate for all six of Germany's fixtures during World Cup 2010 - including, unfortunately, the semi-final.

There have been no such death threats for Mani in Singapore who predicted all four winners of the quarter-finals correctly and has pecked for the Dutch.

The bird has rapidly gained cult status among gambling-mad soccer fans who have been flocking to its astrologer owner's shop in the hope of winning big.

Local media reports said Mani - dubbed "magical bird" and "homegrown psychic parakeet" - used its beak to pick a card bearing the flag of the Netherlands over one with Spain's national colours.
By Copyright © 2010 AFP