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July 13, 2010

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Paul predicts rush on stamps

HUNDREDS of visitors lined up in front of the DEVNET Pavilion in Section B of the World Expo site yesterday to get a stamp of Prescient Paul, the psychic octopus, on their Expo passports.

Paul, the octopus that correctly predicted the results of eight matches during the World Cup, is now leading a new round of stamp mania, with items featuring its image also extremely popular on the Internet.

Many visitors to the DEVNET (International Development Information Network Association) Pavilion believed the stamp of Paul's cartoon image could bring them good luck.

Freezeo Hong, an official at the pavilion, said the stamp was designed to celebrate the conclusion of the soccer tournament.

Hong said he had never seen so many visitors lining up in front of their pavilion.

But many Chinese visitors were still sticking to their old habits in regard to stamping - lining up for hours but leaving immediately after they got the stamp.

A security guard at the entrance said he was mainly asked two questions by Chinese visitors - "Where is the octopus stamp?" and "Where is the exit?"

Some visitors even didn't know which pavilion they were entering as they talked about the stamps with their friends on the phone, referring to the building as the "Octopus Stamp Pavilion."

"Paul is my new idol and I hope the octopus can lend me some of its power to see the future," said Cao Jin, a 14-year-old boy from Jiangsu Province.

Cao left the pavilion after getting his passport stamped, not pausing to look at the exhibitions inside.

"I hoped the visitors would spare some time to tour the pavilion as they had already lined up for hours outside," said Hong.

Items featuring Paul's image have become popular at online shops via the Internet.

On, items featuring Paul take up 16 pages, with more than 600 kinds of items, including T-shirts, toys, mobile phone accessories, photo frames, and even the latest Internet craze, bras for men.


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