by the Left Coast Rebel
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has an opinion on an octopus?
When I first saw this story out of the Telegraph, I thought for sure that it was an Onion piece. Ahmadinejad criticized a cephalopod mollusk named Octopus Paul?
Catch - it's not that Octopus Paul is a bad mollusk, it's that Octopus Paul predicted the Spanish World Cup win:
Paul, who lives at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre, in Germany, won the hearts of the Spanish by predicting their World Cup victory. He became an international star after predicting the outcome of all seven German World Cup matches accurately.
I'd like to take Paul with me to the Del Mar horse races - I wonder if that would turn any heads?
Anyway Ahmadinejad chalks Octopus Paul's oracle abilities up to a giant Western conspiracy of propaganda, superstition and what not:
However, the Iranian president accused the octopus of spreading "western propaganda and superstition." Paul was mentioned by Mr Ahmadinejad on various occasions during a speech in Tehran at the weekend.I can clearly see Ahmadinejad's need for distress here. Also, he clearly needs to preside over a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons. Anti-octopus tendencies aside - how about the little snippit from his tirade about Iran 'aspiring for human perfection'? Very Hitler-esque, no?
"Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values," he said
The Oracle Octopus Paul is no joke. Here are some of the odds that he has pulled off per Wikipedia:
Exit question - how do you think this octopus id able to do this? Do you think he may be a reincarnated Nostradamus?
Assuming Paul's predictions were no better than fair independent coin flips, the probability of at least 12 successful predictions from 14 attempts is p = 0.0065, or 0.65%. (154 to 1). And the probability of his 8 successful World Cup predictions out of 8 attempts is 1/28 = 0.0039, or 0.39%  (256 to 1). The first three matches were in the group stage where the outcome could have been a win, loss, or draw, resulting in a less than 50% probability of getting the result correct. Assuming a probability of 33.3% in 6 out of 14 matches instead, the probability for 12 or more successes can be simulated numerically to be 0.11% (corresponding to 3.2 standard deviations in gaussian statistics).
Paul started to receive international recognition after he correctly predicted Germany's win over England; after that he made four correct predictions. The chance of those final four predictions being correct is 1/24 = 6.25% (odds 15 to 1).
José Mérida, a data analyst from Guatemala City, used a coin tossing model to calculate that only 178 individuals are needed to have someone correctly guess/predict all the winners from a series of 8 matches most of the time; and points out that there were certainly thousands and thousands of individuals all over the world making predictions on this matter during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Via Memeorandum, cross posted at Left Coast Rebel.