Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Gravestone Death

I was on Facebook and saw something in my newsfeed...a friend of mine tagged someone on their wall saying they missed them. Curious I had a look on the person's profile. The guy had died in 2015 and friends had been posting messages saying they missed him. I had a look through his photographs and noticed the lad died on my birthday. 20th of May. Ki d of freaked me out as I had an operation today and was scared of dying but luckily I am okay lol.

Election Week Serendipity

The week prior to the 2016 US Presidential election, I met privately with a consultant. In the course of our meeting he referenced a prominent businessman on three separate unsolicited occasions. The businessman is an unspoken hero of mine in Legal academia which makes the mention serendipitous. As is custom we exchanged gifts before parting ways. Given his appreciation of military relics I chose a rare German Handgun recently unearthed in my collection.<br /> A few days later whilst at work, I turned on the news to hear the Republican pundits as it was election week.

How'd you know

I just added privacy glass to a new iPhone and then left home quickly without putting the case back on the phone and a low battery. I met a friend and about an hour later en route to lunch my friend pulled her phone out and commented that she missed her privacy screen (1. I have never heard anyone randomly state they miss something that obstructs UI. 2.I just installed one hours not hours earlier 3.Comment was unsolicited). She then showed me her new case and highlighted the fact that it charges the device.

Chance Encounter

I just moved to a new city of 11,000,000 residents and only know a handful of people. I went to my local police station to report a crime that was committed against me by a person who is 2,000 miles away. When I arrived there were three people in the lobby of the station. I know the person at the counter, they manage the business affairs of the individual who I am attempting to report for multiple crimes including stalking.

Watching chance, reading chance

Today, I was watching Professor David Spiegelhalter's BBC Four programme 'Tails you Win: The Science of Chance' which explained the difference in probability, randomness, chance and coincidence. As I was watching I then thought to myself that nothing has happened to me in a while that I would call a coincidence. As I continued to watch, I decided to read the news like I do every morning on the Sky News app and to my surprise one of the first news article headlines that was on the home page read "Anne Frank 'may have been captured by chance'".

Prodigal local

Back in the 1970s when I was a boy living in the old family house in Torquay, Devon, England, a stranger walked off the street down the path at the side of the house and into our large garden where I was kicking a ball around. I asked him " May I help you?" He replied : "Forgive me wandering in but I wanted to have a look at the old place. I lived here until I was about 4, when we moved to America. It's my first time back in the UK." My father was a local GP and had his family medical practice in our home.

Long Lost Cousin

Growing up my parents used to tell me that my moms cousins wife loved the name they gave me (Lea). I was born in December and they were expecting a baby in June. They asked my parents if they could name their daughter Lea. My parents do of course. They also asked how they spelled it (Lea with no H is not common) Fast forward to a few years out of college. I started dating a guy I went to college with who just happened to live down the street from me. He had a roommate named John that he had met post college. John dated a girl named Lea. I hadn't met her yet but asked how she spelled it.

Boyhood friends/birthdays

In 1956/7 I attended a secondary school called St Michael and St George's (I think) near a town Iringa in Southern Tanzania. There I formed a close friendship with another 16 year old, David Leonard. His father was a miner on a small gold mine near Mwanza in Tanzania and we (my father was in the colonial administration) lived some 150 miles away in the same area. We both left the school in 1957, I joined the British army and came to the UK and he followed me to stay with relatives a little later.

Queen of Coincidence

Randomly rented an old movie once....thriller type and everyone in the movie had the same birthday May 10th. I was thinking to myself I'm glad its not May 10th today. Then I started calculated and thought what a coincidence it is May 10th. A smidge scary. The next day I was telling the story about the eerie coincidence and he says hey my birthday was yesterday....I looked at his ID, and yes it was true.

Saving a stamp on a christmas card

I was travelling in Vietnam with a few days left on my visa in December 2013. I bought a ticket to get me through to Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, via a short tour of the Mekong basin. I received an email from an old friend who I hadn't been in contact with very much for many years, asking me for my latest address, "otherwise you wont get a xmas card ...". It turned out he and his partner were about to fly out to Phnom Penh for a winter break. I told him to save the postage and bring my card with him.