Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Cambridge Coincidence Coincidence

I noticed a gravestone in Newry, County Down that shows that of a mother, a father and a son who had all died on the same date - but years apart. I can submit a photo if required. Michael Toal 13th May 1940 his wife Margaret 13th May 1965 their son Patrick 13th May 1930. COINCIDENTLY............. when looking for the photo on my iPhone, (that has an application to show exactly in the world where a photo has been taken) the world map indicated that I had taken a photo in Nanjing, China (near Shanghai) - I've never been close and it's 5600 miles away.

Timing is our strong suit.

Some nine years ago I began a long-distance correspondence with a student living (at the time) in London; while we have never met, we shared plenty of 'chats' that usually took place during my early morning hours (her afternoons). One evening I was surprised to find her online - she was up early getting ready for school - and we fell into one of our long conversations. We'd never spoken at that hour before (or since) - and it was strange that it happened that particular morning: July 7, 2005. As a result of our chat, she missed her train to school.

Mr

I met one of my 3 brothers on a walk in Macclesfield forest. My brothers live on the Chesterfield side of the Pennines , I live on the Manchester side of the Pennines. We both hd not walked in this area and do not communicate on where we are going to walk. he walks about 20 times a year we walk about 20 times a year but mostly in Wales. It was a nice warm day so decided to go for a walk at short notice, he had planned the walk with friends in advance. What are the chances of us meeting on the same day?

Strange meeting

My Mum moved to Birmingham from Liverpool in 1943. In the early 1970s she went by bus from Birmingham to Rugeley to spend the day with my brother - the only time that she ever did this. When she got on the bus, she sat next to a lady and after awhile they started talking. The lady was on holiday in the area and noticed my Mum's accent. As the discussion went on, it turned out that although orginally from the midlands, she now lived in Liverpoool. In fact she lived in Aintree, next door to my Mum's sister!

I once met a professor of the public understanding of risk

A few years ago I went to a meeting in Cambridge. On the last evening I was dragged (willingly) to a talk about how J.S. Bach tuned his harpsichord. By some amazing coincidence I bumped into Prof. Spiegelhalter, who is now asking about coincidences. (in context this is more remarkable than it sounds, although not really much more)

Seats at Twickenham

We met some old friends in Leicester at a party and were very envious to hear they had tickets to a concert there when we hadn't managed to secure any. Anyway as part of our 40th birthday treats my husband promised to go on ebay and see if he could find any tickets being resold for the same day as their tickets. They gave him the number of the stand/block they were going to be in but not the actual seat details. We eventually found some tickets on ebay in the same stand and on the day, when we met up together, we realised we were actually sitting right next to them.

Have you listened to the radiolab story about the balloon?

The radiolab podcast (www.radiolab.org) had an episode called Stochasticity (I may have spelt that wrong) Had a story about a girl called Laura Buxton, who lived in Staffordshire, who let a balloon go with a note asking whoever found it to send it back to her. It was found by a girl the same age who was also called Laura Buxton. It's a great coincidence story - give it a listen if you're interested http://www.radiolab.org/2009/jun/15/ The main guy behind radiolab is on twitter: @jadabumrad if you want to get in touch with him

The Coindcidental Call

I started a job in a call centre. The very first day that I worked there, in fact within the first hour, a call came through from someone who lived in the town where my Granfather lives and where I had my Christening...I mentioned in passing that my Grandfather lived near him and he asked who my Grandfather was Low and behold he had been a friend and colleague of my Grandad & he had been at my Christening - 25 years previously

meeting neighbour

This happened three years ago. (sorry I can not be more specific with dates) I was visiting the Treck Cliff Cavern, Blue Jon mine in Hope Valley, Derbyshire on business. After the business was concluded I was taken down the mine and cavern by one of the guids. We (the guide and I) were in a bit of the mine not normally open to the public when a party of tourists passed on its way out from the cavern. In that party were a neighbour and his wife. I was so surprised I could not even speak and they passed by oblivious to my presence. To put this in context.

Chance meetings

I live in Durham, was staying in Edinburgh with wife, crowded restaraunt, asked to share table with two women - mother and daughter from NW Scotland mother was cousin of my ex's wife, daughter went to school with ex's children. On another occasion I parked my bike in an office doorway in Kinlochbervie to shelter from rain and sort out a problem withbike, it was a Sunday so didn't think it was a problem, it turned out to office of same ex-girlfriend's husband. Ended up having dinner at their house.

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