Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Identity theft scare

Some years ago I registered the domain name for my website honeypi.org.uk. I checked on the Internet for existing associations between the words "honey" and "Pi" but found very few. One prominent one was the song "Pi" sung by Kate Bush on the CD "A sea of honey" in her album "Aerial". Being mathematically minded I bought the album and enjoyed that song. A few years later I discovered that someone else had registered the domain name honeypi.co.uk, very similar to my own. I looked up the owner of the domain and found my own name there!

RIPD

I was watching Kevin Bacon and Ryan Reynolds in 'RIPD' when I became aware of the annoying buzz of a housefly. As the two cops prepared for a drug bust showdown,the fly decided the TV was the most interesting place to be,and began traversing the screen, just as our heroes pronounced themselves before entering the hoods hideout. 'SWAT!!!!' The fly exited stage left!

London bus 1942

My parents were refugees from Prague. They were about to become homeless in Kent. My mother on a bus in London found herself next to an old school friend from Prague who was about to leave for USA. Her friend was looking for a tenant for their house in London.

Unlikely meeting

In the summer holidays after my first year at University, I undertook an epic trip across S America overland. At one point I was in the vast Pantanal wetlands, and had just arrived at a hammock camp made for backpackers in a fairly remote part of it. As I put my rucksack in a hammock, I heard someone say my name, looked up, and found the student who had been on the lab bench opposite me for all our laboratory practicals for the year was in the hammock hanging next to it.

Morocco

Many years ago my partner Benny & I gave up our lives in the city, bought a van and went off travelling around Europe. We ended up in the Costa Del Sol for the winter and met another couple Richard and Jenny who had been living on the road for years. They were buskers who lived from day to day. Often bars would let them perform but only offer them drinks as payment. We became and friends and they took us to places we would never have found ourselves to camp and we spent Christmas and New Year with them.

electrical fault

One day I was in the kitchen with my son and the kettle began to boil. I asked my son if he had put the kettle on and he said no. I said you must have because it wasn't me. He said it was you mum, stop messing with me. It was around the time of the anniversary of my sisters death and I had been thinking about her a lot. A few days later my son & I were in the kitchen again and the kettle began to boil. This time neither of us were near it and we both looked at each other. I said there you go... it's done it again!

Meeting David Spiegelhalter

At lunch with two colleagues, we were talking about the need to communicate statistics clearly to the general public, and of the good work that David Spiegelhalter has done on this. My younger colleague was getting quite excited and, even as we left the restaurant, kept singing the praises of the great man. About half way to our being back in the office, who did we chance upon? David Spiegelhalter of course. (Spoiling the magic: DS was in a meeting at the RSS, which is around the corner from us, so this was not quite an unexpected meeting place.

The early bird gets voting

I went to vote in California's primary on Tuesday at my local precinct. There are about 1500 people registered to vote in each precinct. There were 2 precincts in the room where I voted. The polls were open from 7 am to 8 pm. I arrived around 7:15. Shortly after I arrived, 2 other women arrived. All three of us were voting in the same precinct and all had the first name of Robin (and all spelled "robin" the same way (not robyn or robbin)!! What is the probability that this could happen? (I do not know if we all voted the same way.)

An expressive drawing

An expressive drawing I often make drawings. The other day I showed one of them to a jovial, friendly elderly lady. It is said to be "very expressive" and depicts a thin, bald, rigorous, bitter (?) man with a judgemental look. While she was watching and commenting it carefully (especially on the scrutinizing, judgemental expression of his face ) blood started flowing from her nose. "Does this often happen ?" - I asked. "Practically speaking, never. " - she replied.

link between unrelated "narratives"; a stranger no stranger.

I am the proprietor of Independent Bookshop, Scarthin Books, in Cromford, Derbyshire. From the shop counter one can clearly see the front door, but a part of the shop straight ahead is obscured by bookshelves. Some years ago, a mature lady unknown to me entered and began speaking in baby talk to a toddler hidden behind the shelves. I decided to make a joke out of the apparent absence of any other recipient of her bay talk and said to her "Ahhh, no-one's spoken to me like that in 40 years".

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