Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

Old colleague in small tour group

On a recent holiday in Florence my wife and I booked a visit to the Vasari Corridor, which is a narrow passageway built between the Uffizi (north of the river Arno) and the Pitti Palace (south of the river). Because it is so narrow they only groups of a dozen visitors at a time. In our group, by chance, was a former colleague with whom I had worked 17 years ago and with whom I had had no other contact.

Cousins with the same Birthday

My husband has four cousins. The first child of one of the cousins was born on 30th March. Nine years later, my daughter was born on 30th March. One year later, another of his cousins had a child on 30th March. That's 2/8 cousins with the same birthday and they share it with their second cousin!

Same Name and numbers in our birthdates with my partner

I started to date and my partner was born on 5/3 and I am born 3/5. And we both share the same Name, I have a short "nickname", Alec but my real name is Alejandro, and her name is Alexandra (the same in english) and she has a nick name: Ale.

"I am that which throws sand in your eye."

This happened 35 years ago at work: a strange thought occurred into my mind early in the morning: "I am that which throws sand in your eye." Spontaneous thought such as this was a new thing to me, I noticed it, was curious then amused. A co-worker came over and during the conversation he mentioned having been in a war zone during a sand storm during WW2. Wind was so powerful that he still had some sand particles embedded in his body( his thigh and buttocks) that occasionally bothered him. I had not mentioned my thought but his story formed no association with it.

"As creepy as ever "

For some reason I have been thinking, reading watching of/on/about/ Phil Spector these days, the legendary rock Mogul, father of the "wall of Sound" and co-creator of unforgettable songs like "Be my Baby", "And that he kissed me", who was sentenced to 19 years jail for murder. I was dreaded and fascinated by his last prison photo, dated 11 June 2009. http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/see-murderer-phil-spector-without-399315 -- Yesterday night I even wrote some reflection on this latest mug shot.

Unlikely Midwife Coincidence

I work in a care home in Lincolnshire and in chatting with one of the elderly ladies discovered that she used to work as a midwife in my hometown of Bury st. Edmunds. Upon discovering the years that she worked there and talking to my mum about it, I discovered that The lady I now care for delivered ME!

Testicular Cancer

Once as rather petulant youth, while working as clerk in a hardware store, as an answer to the question of a patron as to how I was, I answered, "ok, except for this testicular cancer!" He did not laugh, but to my utter chagrin, told me how his brother had died of testicular cancer while he was a missionary! Seven years later, at another job, I was telling this story to a couple of male colleagues, when one informed me that he was with one testicle after having the other removed due to cancer!

unexpected meetup

In 1974, 4000km from home, visiting family, we were in a non-tourist suburb of Perth, Western Australia. One our first day, we popped into a small supermarket. We bumped into neighbours from our home town. We were unaware of each other's presence in Western Australia. There are many suburbs in Perth and, within any suburb, multiple shops at which one can buy milk and food.

Dune day

At the beginning of the nineties, one day after school I was reading novel Dune by Frank Herbert. Then I got wish to play newly acquired video game Dune. After couple hours of playing, I left home, and on the street met a friend who said that he is hurrying home because David Lunch’s movie Dune (from 1984) is due to start in 15 minutes on some local TV station. We went to his apartment , and watched the movie together. After 2+ hours (it was getting late) I returned to my home. And just before sleeping I turned on the radio to listen my favourite radio station .

Strangely linked

My mum needed to pick up a hire car and I didn't drive at the time, so my friends mum offered to drive mum and I into town to pick it up. My friend and I had known each other for around 5 years at this point, but our mothers had never spent any time together. The four of us were in the car and my Mum was staring at my friends Mum very intently. When I asked what she was doing, she announced that my friends Mum was in fact my Dads first wife (my parents had long been divorced too so there was no awkwardness).

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