July 14, 2010
World Cup Review: A Look at Paul the Prognosticating Octopus and the Jubulani Ball
Before I dive into some talk about the World Cup, I'd just like to briefly announce that I am proud to have Thoughts Explained join the Atheist Blogroll, to which a link is now permanently added to my sidebar. The Atheist Blogroll is a community building service on which many blogs with subject matter like this one can be found. If you have a blog that would like to be a part of this community then visit Mojoey, at the Deep Thoughts blog to get the information needed to join. I encourage you to explore and join the community.
That being said I'll get right into the great spectacle that was the World Cup, but this isn't a sports blog, so I'm going to talk about the two related subjects that really interested me, the Jabulani Ball and Paul the Octopus. These two topics are interesting for individual reasons. The Jabulani Ball is interesting because of its relation to physics and expectations, while Paul the Octopus is interesting though probability and psychic power.
I'll start with the Jabulani Ball because of the number of complaints that were made about it. Keepers through-out the tournament have complained about the ball. Englands keeper let in a howler of a goal against the USA in opening game and the players blamed it on the movement of the ball.
Despite the criticism Adidas says that the ball is the culmination of years of scientific excellence, made with bonded 3-D panels. It is also touted as the roundest ball ever and by, "Being towards the higher end of the allowed [weight] scale means the flight will be truer and more predictable making keepers happy, but also rewarding accuracy for strikers."