Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Paul the Octopus RIP

Remember him? He was either the aquatic psychic that stunned and amused the football-watching world, or a very lucky guesser. Or some kind of heinous seafood stitch-up was taking place.



During the 2010 World Cup, Paul the Octopus correctly predicted the winning team in each of Germany's six games, by choosing a mussel from a box emblazoned with the country's flag. He then went on to predict the winners, Spain, in the final against the Netherlands.

Paul has sadly passed on to the great ocean in the sky to meet his eight-legged maker. But there is a replacement, imaginatively called Paul, now inhabiting the same tank as his predecessor. Will the prodigy prove to have the same psychic football-predicting powers? Will he last long enough to show us? - the European Championships are still 20 months away.

What are the chances of predicting the winning team in 7 consecutive football matches, if each prediction has a 50:50 chance? NCETM have provided a PowerPoint presentation for teachers on this very topic and the introduction to probability and chance can form the basis for an interesting mathematical investigation.

So long Paul, and thanks for all the super-natural ability.


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