Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Coincidence over time

While being assisted by a psychologist through a difficult marriage breakup, the psychologist recommended a book to me about 'Provocative Therapy," Dr Farrely - he said I would be good at it. The same guy helped a new lady friend also going through a difficult breakup. I ended up marrying her. Many years later, with the advent of internet, she befriended an Astrologer in USA. Meantime, we both achieved arts degrees. I featured some prominent q. physicists and a biologist, Dr Bruce Lipton in a piece of art.

Hitchhiking, 1980

Back in 1980, after leaving high school, a friend and I decided we wanted to spend a few months ravelling around the US. We had very little money and thought thta hitchhiking would be a great way of travelling on the cheap. My parents must have been utterly terrified at the thought of what could happen to us, and just a few days before we were due to fly out, they went to a dinner party where they met an American couple who were over the UK for a short working visit.

2 Layoffs, 1 Date

On June 21, 2011, I was unfortunately laid off from my job as a newspaper editor, where I had worked for 8 years. After six months of job hunting, I landed a position as a marketing manager. I worked there for a year and a half, until exactly two years later, on June 21, 2013, when I was again laid off. Each of the back-to-back layoffs were heartbreaking in their own rights, but the coincidence of losing the second job on the same date loomed over me for years.

The Answer's Always Right In Front Of You

One afternoon, I was trying to remember the word often used to describe a fluctuating economy. I pulled out a thesaurus and looked up the word 'fluctuate,' I read the Wikipedia article on 'economics,' I tried to find newspaper articles; surprisingly, none of these sources employed the word I was trying to remember. The following morning--not 24 hours later--I walked into the kitchen to find a shoebox from a shoe company called Volatile. I could not believe that I received the answer to my question in the most unusual of ways, and in such a quick time frame!

Old flame ignites two stunning coincidences in one day

When I was in college in New York in the early 70s, I dated a medical student for a couple of months, but I broke it off because the love of my life didn't love me. In the college dining room, I sometimes discussed the breakup with my best friend Lois -- the same woman who 20 years later attended my small, San Francisco wedding to a different man and even took the wedding photos. A couple of years later after my husband and I divorced, I told my friend I had hired a detective who had located my old college love who was now living in Los Angeles just 500 miles away.

Reappearing Book

During the 1960's, one of my father's books that I would occasionally read was "Electronics Made Simple" (Jacobowitz 1958). Jump ahead 4 decades. The daughter of a family friend and her husband were renovating an older house that they recently purchased. Behind some drywall they found some old books packed in, probably for sound insulation. One of the books was "Electronics Made Simple" with my father's name and address written on the inside. The odd thing is no one remembers throwing it out or how it got lost.

The ring wants to be found

When my (now) wife and I were dating, we were enjoying a stroll in a small park on a footpath that went around an artificial pond in the park's center. At one point, I stopped and looked down, next to a tree by the side of the path. There was a huge mushroom on the ground, and something glinting beneath it. I picked it up, and it turned out to be a silver ring, made to look like a ribbon wound in the shape of a heart.

Two Countries to Tours

In the summer of 2013 I traveled with my family to Spain and Israel. We spent 5 days in Spain and took a wonderful 1/2 day Bike Tour of Barcelona. The tour was great! We then traveled to Israel and toured around the country for two weeks. We spent our last 5 days in Jerusalem. We thought we might take a free tour of the old city of Jerusalem in the afternoon, but at the last minute we decided to take the tour at 10 a.m.

Running into child's teacher on subway platform in NYC

While on vacation in NYC from SC, I ran into one of my child's school teachers while waiting on the subway in the Upper East Side after visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Watch stolen and re-acquired after coincidental re-discovery

In South Carolina, in the early 70's, as a teenager, I made a leather watchband that, by the late 70's, bore a watch given to me by my girlfriend while I was in college. Within a few years, both the band and the watch's face had identifiable scrapes and scratches that I knew intimately. By this point, the watch was kept in my car on a dashboard shelf in plain sight. In the spring of 1980, I finished college and relocated to Warner Robins, Georgia for my first engineering job, taking an apartment in a complex along a street that skirted several complexes.