Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Waterloo

I live just outside Brussels and yesterday whilst driving from Mons to Brussels I put the radio on. I usually always listen to Premiere a French speaking news channel but for some reason instead of pressing pretuned Channel 1, I randomly pressed auto tune and it tuned into a Dutch channel playing abba singing Waterloo. I sang along for a couple of bars then - wait - it can't be, a huge sign on the motorway "Waterloo"; I am driving right past the exit for Waterloo as Abba sing it over and over. I only drive on that road about 8 times a year and always have the French news channel on to practise my French. What are the chances?!
Total votes: 1214
Date submitted:Thu, 12 Jan 2012 21:19:52 +0000Coincidence ID:3260

Twins and eggs

I cracked open an egg to make breakfast and it had 2 yolks. Later that day my friend informed me she was adopting twins.
Total votes: 1304
Date submitted:Thu, 12 Jan 2012 17:57:26 +0000Coincidence ID:3259

Meeting on a plane

I was due to fly from Los Angeles to UK but the flight was cancelled and I was rerouted on a flight via Chicago, where I'd have to have a stop-over. After take-off, someone asked if I would change seats so they could sit with a partner, and I moved to an aisle seat. I looked across the aisle, and saw a man reading a chapter in a book I knew on a very specialised academic topic that I have published on. There's probably about ten people in the world really interested in this stuff. Emboldened by free alcohol I introduced myself (can't remember how!). He turned out to be someone I'd corresponded with but never met, based in Chicago. It would have been a coincidence anyhow, but seemed all the more amazing since I shouldn't have been on that plane, and should have been in another seat. He was great : we spent hours talking, and he and his wife ended up putting me up overnight.
Total votes: 1431
Date submitted:Thu, 12 Jan 2012 17:53:11 +0000Coincidence ID:3258

The Glass Opera T-Shirt Incident

In the late 1990s I worked as a mastering engineer in a low-rent recording and mastering studio somewhere on the European continent. It was the days when access to a CD writer was a special thing. I had the original vinyl recording of Philip Glass' "Einstein On The Beach" Opera and did not want to play it to pieces, so decided to transfer it to CD, while assisting a freelance sound engineer recording a band in the studio next door. I had never met this engineer before, he was a bit older than me and worked at much better gigs than I did. The music he was working on could be described as "chanson". It should be pointed out that a) Philip Glass is not exactly mainstream music and b) he has extremely high standards when it comes to reproducing his work, which makes public performances rare. While fine-tuning the master sound before writing to CD, replaying segments loudly, the freelance engineer poked his head around the door, and gave a start. He then took his shirt off... ...under the shirt he wore the limited edition T-Shirt printed for the premiere of that Opera in that country, a momentous occasion several years earlier. It turned out that he had been the sound engineer at that event, it was a big step in is career, and he rarely wore the T-Shirt because it was so special. He could not recall what made him chose it for that day, but of course he had not expected to hear the music at our studio. I reckon one needs to know more about the market for sound engineers in the late 90s, Philip Glass music, the cultural clash of the Glass opera and our studio environment, and the lovingly preserved T-Shirt to understand both of our surprise. Or maybe we were just kidding ourselves. But it was a bit spooky. (Nevertheless, we both remained completely rational people :P )
Total votes: 1296
Date submitted:Thu, 12 Jan 2012 17:37:46 +0000Coincidence ID:3257

Friend of a friend of a friend......

At a university party I met a guy who wasnt from my uni but he told me which highschool and what university course he was studying. Also he was moving to Canada in afew weeks or so. The next day I was talking about this guy I met with some friends at univeristy. It so happened that one friend had a friend in the same course as him and knew him. Another friend went to the same highschool as him. The third connection was a week or so later when I was told by a friend that her colleague at work was going to a going away party for aguy who was leaving for Canade. Yes it was him again!
Total votes: 1415
Date submitted:Thu, 12 Jan 2012 17:36:24 +0000Coincidence ID:3255

Meet acquaintance the other side of the world

Im a postman. I have 440 houses on my round. About 5 years ago I went on holiday to India, Mount Abu and was chatting to a fellow in the hotel one evening and we realised that his house was on my round.
Total votes: 1369
Date submitted:Thu, 12 Jan 2012 16:10:42 +0000Coincidence ID:3254

Parralel holiday + Pokémon murder

I don't believe in fate or destiny or anything like that, and I see all these things as just amusing happenings of probability and large numbers, but there are quite a few. No1. So my girlfriend and I booked a holiday in Malta. We get to the hotel, and while booking in someone behind says "Adrian?". I turn round and my two friends who I haven't seen in years are there. Wierd, same hotel, same country, same time for a holiday? But then it turned out we were on the same plane over, going back on the same plane and their room the one directly above ours, we could hear them stamping.... among other things.... We'd booked with different companies and paid different prices so it wasn't like we both just grabbed the same deal. (Ours was cheaper... awww yeah). The flights were to/from Leeds Bradford, Me and my girlfreind went there because it was the cheapest flight there. They flew from there because they live in bradford and it was only a few quid more than the cheapest somewhere else. ALSO!!!! My name is Adrian... The guys name is Aiden.... that sort of increases the wierdness a bit .... right? His name is just a lazy way of saying my name. Another one (It's a two-fer!!!) When I was about 12, I stole a friends gameboy, ran into a room and locked myself in while he tried to batter the door down because he knew what was coming. I deleted his pokemon save, or rather I saved over it with a new save. His level 80 blastoise was dead.... forever. Anyway, he was more a friend of my cousen, I've met him 3-4 times since, have facebook but rarely speak to eachother. Anyway, My girlfriend mentioned losing a save on the Xbox or something, so I told her the story of how I made Joe cry by deleting his blastoise and how I felt mean really because he must have spent actual weeks getting it to level 80. Then, as I was half way through my last sentence, Joe messages me on facebook for the first time in a year or so and says "Pokémon killer!". It was the weirdest moment of my life and I was a bit scared I had my webcam on broadcast or something.
Total votes: 1337
Date submitted:Thu, 12 Jan 2012 15:58:45 +0000Coincidence ID:3253

Memory Card

I have a memory card whose serial number was my phone number (at the time)
Total votes: 1286
Date submitted:Thu, 12 Jan 2012 15:55:03 +0000Coincidence ID:3252

Wikipedian's burning ears?

Emailing a colleague about Wikipedia editing training, I mentioned that a few months ago I'd met a director of Wikimedia UK, and that we should contact him to find out more about training. The very second I pressed the Send button, an email came in from this same director making the first contact since that meeting, asking if we'd thought about Wikipedia editing training...
Total votes: 1307
Date submitted:Thu, 12 Jan 2012 15:53:22 +0000Coincidence ID:3251

Holiday Friend

When I was about 9, a friend of mine at the time was a girl called (for the sake of this) Mona. It was nearing the end of term, and I was heading off for a week in France with my family. We stayed in this small village, with only about 20 houses in the nearby region. You can imagine my surprise when we got there, and we found that inside the neighbouring house was my friend Mona and her family, also staying in the village! The two families hadn't collaborated or planned it, it had just occured.
Total votes: 1658
Date submitted:Thu, 12 Jan 2012 15:51:50 +0000Coincidence ID:3249

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