Spain has won their first FIFA World Cup! Congratulations!
While the Spanish team and their countrymen delight themselves, another bit player shines in the limelight: Paul, the eight-legged oracle.
A salt-water tank octopus, Paul rose to fame within the context of the current World Cup by correctly predicting Germany’s win in all of its seven games. Everything was smooth for Germany, until Paul foretold their loss against Spain in the semifinals.
This eventually, came to pass.
Of course, Spain was thrilled with the positive outcome of the later predictions. They eventually accommodated the octopus under their protection from an aquarium in west Germany. Apparently, Paul received death-threats from German fans after the semifinal prediction. (TRAITOR!! WE WANT PAUL FOR THE PAN!! TURN HIM INTO SUSHI!!)
Note: The last that I checked, Paul and his “psychic ability” has been incarnated into an iPhone application.
Why the Fuss Over a Clairvoyant Octopus?
All the hype on Paul triggered a minor jolt to my mind. For the past two weeks, I gathered some predictions from the horoscope section of our broadsheet paper and tried to determine their accuracy. It was actually the first time, in a long time, since I last read the horoscope section. Actually, the peak for my obsession for astrology was when I was in sophomore high school. I eventually got rid of horoscopes after solidifying my religious and/or spiritual stand.
I remember those days of zodiac obsession. Every morning, before going to school, I would check the televised public service programs and get advice for my “color for the day” and “lucky numbers for today.” I didn’t care for the numbers—I didn’t join the lottery anyway. I paid more attention to the colors.
Oh no, I didn’t base the color of the clothes I would be wearing for a particular day on the zodiac. You know what people say about colors that correspond to different emotions? That’s the concept I followed in applying my “color of the day”—whatever emotion went with the foretold color, then that would be my general mood all throughout the day. However, there was a problem in “sticking” to the color assigned to me.
For instance, what emotion goes with neon green? Illuminated envy?
How about metallic red? Solidified love?
Blue-green. Being jealous and being peaceful at the same time?
Another thing that made me lose faith in the predictions was that more often than not, I would get ominous astrological warnings like:
“Avoid going out today. Danger lurks.”
“Be cautious on your way home.”
“Be careful of the people around you.”
“Friends will ask for financial credits. Avoid them.”
The Predictions and What Actually Happened
Like I said, I compiled some of my horoscope predictions and tried to determine the closest actual event that corresponded to a prediction.
July 7 (Wednesday):
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) You can sense what people are thinking. It’s not even hard for you. You see the thought zipping by, and you read it like a sign. Using this gift, you will make a sale or be otherwise influential.
What actually happened: I didn’t get a sale or became influential. I didn’t even sense anything ‘cause I developed a headache and slept mostly throughout the day.
July 8 (Thursday)
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) For some, a lie told isn’t always a bad thing; for you, it is. This is an admirable principle, but you may find yourself being tested when a loved one casually asks your opinion on a sensitive subject.
What actually happened: My mom casually asked where I was going and what I will be doing for the day.
July 9 (Friday)
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) You have excellent mojo when it comes to buying things. Do shop around, even for mundane purchases. You’ll be able to find a better deal on just about anything you’re looking for.
What actually happened: I bought pricey combo meals from a fast-food chain for two friends.
July 11 (Sunday)
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) All is well in your world. Keep believing that even when you look around mid-day and things are a bit of a mess. This is just the kind of mess that happens when you’re having fun.
What actually happened: Everything around (the house) was in perfect order. The only mess I could think of was me—I got dirty playing with the dog, only to find out that the water was out and I couldn’t get a decent bath.
July 12 (Monday)
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) You’re very creative now and will try to make something of whatever resources you’re given. The right tools and resources would be better, though. Ask for those first. Let your “make do” attitude be a last resort.
What actually happened: The only creative thing I did was using my debit card for my mom’s purchases ‘cause she ran out of cash while at the checkout counter thus, drastically dropping my remaining balance.
July 13 (Tuesday)
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) There are those around you who have been conditioned to complain. Their discontent is endless. Listening or joining in won’t help the situation one bit. You’re a problem solver, not a problem pointer-outer.
What actually happened: I listened to my aunt’s remark about the PAGASA‘s declaration of storm signal no. 1 in our location despite the full presence of the sun. I couldn’t solve, nor point that out.
July 14 (Wednesday)
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) Albert Einstein once claimed that the only thing that interfered with his learning was his education. Your teachers don’t know everything. Trust the instinctual information that comes to you, too.
Nothing related happened. But a word for Einstein: Good for you, but I think that getting a good education is the first step to a satisfying future.
July 15 (Thursday)
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) Prepare for the day. Run through it in your mind before you step out of the door. You’ll realize something you forgot and will have a generally smoother and more positive, productive experience.
What actually happened: I forgot two things: To greet a friend on her birthday, and to buy dental floss.
July 16 (Friday)
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) The one you want to hire wants to be hired by you. The one you want to hug wants to be hugged by you. And the one you want to feed is hungry. Everything works out in your social network.
What actually happened: I got hungry and fed myself.
They’re Not Predictions Anymore
Somehow, horoscopes have shed that mystical/astrological/vague element that once made them alluring. Now, they tend to give out general advice that is so common to everybody, you don’t have to be reminded about it time and again. Other times, horoscopes will put out daring predictions and just hope for the best (hoping that it will happen, if just to a single human being).
I noticed that in broadcast horoscopes, the on-air psychic would introduce a statement that modifies the purpose of predictions: “These are only guides. We, together with our Faith in GOD, are the true controllers of our lives.”
Do people still read the horoscope section? Seriously?
Other Predictions and What Really Happened
I got curious and decided to extract my family’s horoscopes on the day my dad died. Luckily, we just pile our newspapers in a corner and bind them every six months or so. Here’s what I found:
January 10 (Sunday)
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) You will make a concession so that a friend’s life will go more smoothly. It’s a selfless act, but it will work out for you. When your relationships are going well, your personal and financial pictures brighten, too.
What really happened: The only concession I made was telling my friends that my dad died.
My mom and dad’s prediction (both Pisces):
January 10 (Sunday)
PISCES (February 19 – March 20) You’re headed for happiness, and it’s time to get scientific about your destination. Recognize what makes you smile, and figure out why that is so. It’s the key to adding more joy to your life.
What really happened: My dad died and he had very well headed for happiness through some scientific destination. Whatever. And my mom got freakin’ fell apart.
I also got curious of what our horoscopes said on the day after my dad’s death. My mom and dad’s prediction crept me out:
January 11 (Monday)
PISCES (February 19 – March 20) Does the cyclical nature of life mean it is unending? You’ll feel a strong connection to a situation or person and may assign a mystical meaning to this resonance.
Did their horoscope hit the spot?
As for me, I remember making a lot of calls and text messages to everyone on my contacts list on that day. I also did a lot of explaining and storytelling to everyone about the events that took place beforehand—his illness, treatment, prognosis, etc. This was what my horoscope said for that day:
January 11 (Monday)
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) If you tell it like it is, everyone will fall asleep. The action is just too boring unless you give it a juicy spin. Embellish, even mythologize, the events. You have an amazing gift for storytelling.
What the . . . ? TANGINA!!
- Paul the psychic octopus iPhone application: Paul the Psychic Octopus Available as iPhone App by uTouch Labs [http://www.aolnews.com/article/psychic-octopus-theres-an-app-for-that/19557148]
- Paul the psychic octopus: Paul the Psychic Octopus: World Cup 2010 oracle picks Spain | Mail Online [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1293920/Paul-Psychic-Octopus-World-Cup-2010-oracle-picks-Spain.html?ito=feeds-newsxml]