Monday, July 12, 2010

Paul the Octopus

Finally the world can rest in peace again after sunday's world cup final game between Netherlands and Spain. The most interesting thing that came out in the world cup for me was this octopus named Paul which created sensation when he predict the outcome on the winner of most of Germany's matches. To top it off with a fitting finale, he even went on to predict the outcome of the final match which was won by Spain.

You gotta give him a clap and a smile. Chef threatened to cook him. Spain even offered him diplomatic safety. Spanish prime minister Jose Zapatero jokingly offered to send Paul official state protection, and the Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian called for Paul to be given safe haven in Spain, when Germany lost to Spain.

Paul's scientific name is Octopus Vulgaris ( Common Octopus ). Currently housed at the Sea Life Oberhausen aquarium. 

Found this interesting article on the UK Daily telegraph

1. He's originally from Weymouth
Although he now resides at the Aquarium Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, Paul was actually born in Weymouth and moved from the town's Sea Life Park in 2006.
Fiona Smith, from Weymouth Sea Life Park, told the Dorset Echo: “He never made any predictions while he was living here but maybe he was waiting for a big event like the World Cup until he revealed his abilities.”
 2. He's a wanted man Octopus
Argentine chef Nicolas Bedorrou was so angry after Paul correctly predicted his team would lose its quarter-final clash with Germany that he suggested a way to cook the octopus.
He posted on Facebook: "We will chase him and put him on some paper. We will then beat him (but correctly!) in order to keep the meat tender and then put it in boiling water."
3. He's big news
Paul's predictions have gained so much popularity that German news channel NTV has started to broadcast his predictions live, with two reporters situated next to his tank so they can bring their viewers all the latest goings on.
4. He's the biggest celebrity in Oberhausen
Having wowed the world's media with his predictions, Paul has put the mundane Germany city of Oberhausen on the map. Oberhausen, which is twinned with Middlesbrough, also boasts such sights as Germany's biggest shopping centre and Europe's largest disc-type gasometer. Worth a visit then ...
5. He's got a good track record
Paul began to predict Germany's results during the Euro 2008 tournament, correctly choosing the winner in four of Germany's six matches. He predicted Germany to win every match but was wrong when they lost to Croatia and in the final to Spain. So far at the World Cup 2010, Paul has correctly predicted the winner of each of Germany's five matches.
6. He could have made you a packet
Having correctly tipped the winner of Germany's five World Cup matches, backing Paul's tips could have netted you a few squid (sorry).
A £1 accumulator bet on all five results would have won you £131, which could comfortably buy you a few bags of mussels.
7. He's an intelligent creature
Octopuses are highly intelligent animals and have been proven to have a strong short and long-term memory.
Fiona Smith, head of animal care at Weymouth Sea Life Park said: “Common octopuses like Paul are very intelligent. We equate their intelligence with that of a dog and they love problem solving and figuring things out."
8. He's a Twitter and Facebook sensation
Paul has become an online phenomenon over recent weeks and is now one of the most talked about topics on the web. The phrases "Paul the Octopus" and "Pulpo", the Spanish word for octopus, are both currently in the top 10 global trends on Twitter.
9. He doesn't cheat
Paul predicts results by opening one of the two flag-covered plastic food containers in his tank. Tanja Munzig from the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen has denied any suggestions that the containers are rigged.
She said: "There are no tricks, the food is the same and everything in the two containers is the same except for the flags."
10. He's not scared of death threats
According to his keeper, Oliver Walenciak, Paul is unfazed by a series of death threats sent by Argentinian supporters who blame the octopus for their World Cup exit.
He said: "There are always people who want to eat our octopus but he is not shy and we are here to protect him as well. He will survive."

Who know's 12 July next year maybe declared Paul the Oracle day hahahahaha

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Tribute to My First Fishing Rod

One sunday evening, many years after the little fish was caught in Raglan, I saw the Instant Fisherman rod advertisement on TV. It fitted my purpose exactly as I can quietly pursue fishing with a portable rod, since no one I know at that time was into fishing.

My Reasons for buying the Instant Fisherman:
1. I can quietly hide it in the car - doesn't take up much space when folded
2. I can put it in my backpack when we go hiking and use it when we camp by a river
3. Its only RM140 and I can afford it ... Yahooooo!!!

I whipped out my mobile phone and credit card and was dialing the number shown on TV when Ebekgila barged in the front door and asked me what I was doing and discouraged the purchase of the fishing rod by giving all kinds of excuses and finally telling me that I was getting conned.

With a heavy heart, I stopped the call and kept my credit card. I was disappointed that my one attempt at trying to connect back to the world of fishing was thwarted so easily. From that day onwards, I made up my mind not to think of fishing as long as I was with Ebekgila. Apparently, he was not going to be influenced into take up fishing by me.

Two years later, Ebekgila bought me the Instant Fisherman for my birthday. To tell the truth, I was not ecstatic about the gift anymore... but on the bright side, Ebekgila was starting to pick up fishing because my cousin who lives in Pahang brought him fishing and was constantly telling him fishing stories.  

I used the Instant Fisherman in a pond near my uncle's house in Jerkoh, Pahang. I remember the really fierce black Talapia that was hooked up in that pond. The line was peeling from the Instant Fisherman like mad and I gave it the strike of my life only to find out that the "giant" fish was a little fellow smaller than my palm. The massive strike I made jerked the fish clean out of the water and it landed in between branches of a tree behind me. I learned that day that the pond was obviously too shallow to actually accommodate any big fishes.

The biggest fish that I caught using the Instant Fisherman was the Rabbit fish at Ah Fatt Kelong. It was slightly bigger than the size of my palm, maybe about 300g. It was considered a big fish compared to the little Kerisi and Selar that was usually caught on Apollo.

After that sadly, the gear rusted and the lines somehow tangled on its own and that was the end of the Instant Fisherman.....

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Magazine article - Sometimes Can Angler Represented..............

It was a fishing trip in May that prompted me to submit a article for a fishing trip. This was our first attempt in Magazine whoring ( trying to get your pics on the magazine ) so that you can proudly show off to your family members that your fishing is not a waste of time.
This was the fishing trip that Lil Tamban scored the biggest Ebek of her life, proudly a 9kg monster. Enjoy the article. 

Monday, July 05, 2010

The fish that started it all....

One fateful day whilst studying in Uni, my housemates decided to take a one hour drive to Raglan, a little fishing town in the North Island of New Zealand. I tagged along as I had nothing more interesting to do.

At Raglan after a huge breakfast of fish and chips, we climbed down a sheer cliff (hanging on to a dangling rope with our picnic baskets) and settled on some huge rocks with some boat fishing rods (which we found in the store room of our rented house) and one surf casting rod.

By lunch time,  the guys have given up fishing as nothing has been caught, which left me free to play around with the one and only surf casting rod. I remember feeding the fishes more than catching them as I kept baiting the hook and the fishes kept stealing away all the bait until maybe for the tenth time before I actually hooked something up.

I reeled in as quickly as I could and I could feel the fish fighting hard at the other end. Once it was out of the water I had to pass the rod to one of the guys as the fish was wriggling so hard I could hardly hold on to the rod to continue reeling it up the cliff side. It was a shock to see such a tiny little fish coz it sure did eat a lot for one and I felt it weighing a tonne when I was reeling it in.

Although everyone else treated the fishing experience as another typical adventurous outing, I was quietly hooked on fishing...(after all the little fellow tasted real good baked in sambal)