Ron Costello

Not too far right and not too far left — Can we meet somewhere in the middle on: Immigration?

Paul the Octopus Could Predict the Future

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If Paul can do it, why not Jamil Jamil?

Here's Paul selecting a World Cup winner.

Here’s Paul selecting a World Cup winner.

The eight-legged sea creature captured the world’s imagination when — by selecting food from boxes representing soccer teams — Paul correctly predicted not just the outcome of his native Germany’s matches but also the overall winner.

Here’s how Paul the octopus did it. For each match, he was presented with two boxes containing food, each marked with the flag of a nation football team in an upcoming match. He correctly picked 11 out of 13 matches. In the World Cup final, he predicted a win for Spain against the Netherlands by eating the mussel in the box with the Spanish flag.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) says that octopuses are some of the most intelligent of invertebrates, with complex thought processes, long, and short-term memories, and different personalities. They can use tools, learn through observation, and are particularly sensitive to pain. Paul died in October 2010, at age two and a half, a normal lifespan for the species.

The book Charter School General, based on real-life thought exchanges between a 13 year old African American kid growing up in South Philadelphia and zoo animals, was written on the assumption that animals have a special gift of perception. The book can be ordered in soft back or in Kindle or Nook.

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