Do you remember Paul the Octopus? During the 2010 World Cup, in what his Wikipedia page calls “divinations”, Paul was offered boxes of food labelled with different competitors. Whichever box he ate from first was considered his prediction for the match, with some success.
Yesterday morning, my son and I did something similar with our cat, Tabby. This is in response to Matt Parker’s latest initiative, Psychic Pets. Matt is hoping to get thousands of pet owners to make predictions, in order that the odds are good a pet can be found which predicted all prior results for both teams in the final. The good news is it’s fairly straightforward to take part.
Matt’s made a video which explains.
And, for readers who are teachers, there are teaching resources related to the project from Think Maths.
I figure there are teams people Matt reaches are more likely to pick and some that are likely to be less well-picked, and so chose Peru to help Matt get good coverage and because their first match was later the same day. I wrote out sheets with team names and ‘draw’, and offered Tabby the choice of each combination of sheets with a cat biscuit on it. (I’m not completely on top of the details of the World Cup, but the Psychic Pets website has all the info.) Tabby is the sort of cat who will do almost anything for a cat biscuit, even take part in one of Matt’s silly projects. She made her basic three predictions, which I videoed and uploaded to the site.
Made a contribution for @standupmaths’ latest stupid project, @PsychicPets.
You can do it too! https://t.co/yGgW5rI6YB pic.twitter.com/mmHRrmFH9Z
— Peter Rowlett (@peterrowlett) June 16, 2018
Well, it didn’t take long to learn that her first prediction, Peru for the win, wasn’t to be. Pat Parslow pointed out on Twitter that this doesn’t prove my cat isn’t psychic — she could be toying with me. But, either way, it doesn’t help advance Matt’s cause.
But, while it’s too late for Tabby, do you have a pet and could get involved? Get started at Psychic-Pets.com.