http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/Discoveries/2010/0712/Octopus-Paul-retires-international-dispute-over-ownership-begins

http://www.examiner.com/x-38149-Celebrity-Headlines-Examiner~y2010m7d12-Paul-the-physic-octopus-retires-after-winning-World-Cup-2010-pick-photos

Paul, “The Psychic” Octopus,

Predicts Obama’s Leanings

It’s been an absolutely exciting thirty-two days for an eight-legged celebrity who’s gone from obscurity, to becoming the toast of the World Cup soccer tournament, to death threats, to recently unveiling the truth about Barack Obama . . . . Unfortunately, because of those death threats, the expected well-deserved rest earned by the jaunty cephalopod “Oracle Paul,” the Octopus, has been put off until such a time as German authorities can guarantee his safety at his home zoo or in some other secure locale. By now the story is well-known but nevertheless astonishing.

Paul, an octopus at a German zoo, had already shown himself a crack prognosticator in the run up to the World Cup soccer tournament, but the eight-legged wonder, it seems, was just warming up. Not wanting to tire him, his German handlers put Paul at first on special duty predicting only the result of games where Germany was involved. They allowed Paul a tasty mollusk after each prediction on the eve of World Cup games. Shown two tanks with the flags of the countries involved in tomorrow’s game . . . Paul unerringly and immediately opened the tank and ate the mollusk of the winning team . . . . really, you can’t make this stuff up! See the links at the top of the page if you’re not already familiar with Paul’s exploits . . . .

In the three-game group phase starting the tournament, Paul immediately predicted a German win over Australia and Germany obliged with a 4-0 shellacking of the Aussies. Then for the second game, Paul showed himself not prone to political correctness by forecasting that lowly Serbia would beat the mighty Germans . . . German fans were outraged and called for sushi!

Serbia indeed, downed the Germans 1-0 in probably the single biggest upset in World Cup history. Paul’s handlers were flooded with octopus recipes from angry Teutonic fans. But those calling for his weird-football-shaped head were soon fascinated by Paul’s incredible accuracy in predicting the German victories over England and Mexico with absolutely no hesitation . . . by this time Paul had become a worldwide celebrity and film clips of him making his deft predictions flooded the internet. And then the unthinkable happened.

In the semi-finals of the knockout phase of the tournament, Paul again abandoned political correctness and chose Spain to end Germany’s hopes of holding the World Cup Trophy. When once again (the sixth straight time) the tentacled theorists was proved correct, bitter German rooters made several plays on Paul’s life and the octopus was forced to do his further predictive work wearing a flak jacket and odd helmet. Tasters were hired to ensure that the Oracle’s food was not poisoned.

It was a tense three days. However, most fans foregave Paul when he predicted German victory in the consolation game after which the German team held the 3rd place trophy aloft. And then, for the first time Paul’s trainers allowed the octopus to venture a guess on a game in which Germany was not involved, the championship game between the Netherlands and Spain. Once again without hesitation, the psychic octopus bravely made his selection within seconds of being offered a Dutch mollusk or a Spanish one . . . once again siding with Spain. When the Spanish won 1-0 with a goal late in the second overtime, Paul was vindicated with eight successful picks in eight opportunities.

Unable to return home because of the dangers awaiting him, Paul was loaned to a think tank attempting to deduce if the tentacled wonder was really soccer knowledgeable or just lucky. Soon convinced of his skill, the laboratory put Paul to the arduous task of identifying world leaders by the flag of their countries. Paul was in one afternoon able to connect the flags of Russia, England, France, South Africa, Brazil, Germany, Canada, Japan, to pictures of their leaders. Amazingly, he hesitated only three seconds before uniting the newly-chosen Polish leader with that country’s flag. However, given six chances to unite the only flag remaining with the only leader’s picture remaining, Paul refused to do so . . . finally after an hour, Paul entered the tank containing the picture of Barack Obama and formed his legs into a hammer and sickle . . . from the mouths of babes and beaks of octupi . . . and now Paul is headed to a secret location in a Swiss zoo until the heat dies down in Germany. By the way, he’s predicting a DJIA average of 11,300 for New Year’s Day despite 10.1% unemployment.

Ya’ll live long, strong and ornery,

Rajjpuut

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