Haters follow success as inevitably as sleeping in the bathtub follows mixing tequila with peppermint schnapps. Witness: a scant two days after a run of perfect World Cup predictions made him a media sensation, Paul the Psychic Octopus is fending off critics from all walks of life, from would-be winners who didn't heed his picks at the betting window to cynical biology types who sound like they have important science jobs they ought to be doing:
Matthew Fuller, the senior aquarist at the Weymouth park, judged the flag-shape theory to be plausible: “[Octopuses] are the most intelligent of all the invertebrates and studies have shown they are able to distinguish shapes and patterns so maybe he’s able to recognise flags.” Vyacheslav Bisikov, a Russian biologist, agrees that it is possible for an octopus to become attracted to a striped flag. However, Pascal Coutant, director of the La Rochelle Aquarium states: “It’s complete chance that guides his choices.”
Or, he's a psychic octopus.
The problem with all these arguments is this: However the selections were made, they were all made correctly. That cat lady from accounts receivable who wins your office pool because she likes the Duke point guard's hair gets your undying contempt, but she also gets the cash. And even her type doesn't seem quite so unbearable in cephalopod form.
HT: With Leather.