Lost and Found Glasses

As of the 23rd May 2022 this website is archived and will receive no further updates.

was produced by the Winton programme for the public understanding of risk based in the Statistical Laboratory in the University of Cambridge. The aim was to help improve the way that uncertainty and risk are discussed in society, and show how probability and statistics can be both useful and entertaining.

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When I was in college around age 21, I was on a week-long backpack in the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona (USA). Our group had flown in from New Jersey for spring break. On the fifth day, I noticed that my glasses were missing. They were bright-red, thick-rimmed prescription glasses that I LOVED because they were so unique and I'd never seen anyone else with glasses that looked similar. They really felt like a part of my personality. I'd noticed they were gone and realized they'd likely fallen out of my backpack the night before when I was getting ready for bed, so they were at least 8 miles back from where we were at that point. Other than walking an extra 16 miles, there was no other way for me to get back to that point to look for them, so while I was pretty bummed, I figured they were a sacrifice to the mountain spirits and kept it moving. We got back into Flagstaff a few days later and had some time until our flights back to NJ left the next day, so a few of us went to a thrift store near our hostel. We browsed for a bit in a BIG thrift store, and as we were about done, I saw a basket of old glasses. Right on top sat a pair of glasses with the *EXACT SAME* red frames that I'd just lost in the mountains two days before. But they weren't mine - the lenses were bifocal, but they were the same style, brand, color, everything. I'd never seen ANYONE wear glasses like these before. But there they were!!!! The exact frames I'd just lost, in this particular thrift store, in this particular town I happened to have lost them in, across the country from where I'd originally bought them. I bought those frames for $10 and luckily had a pair of old lenses from a previous prescription, so when I got home I popped out the bifocals and put the old lenses in. It was as if I'd never lost them at all!!! I ended up losing them permanently a few years later on the train. I knew I'd used up my favors from the universe, so that second pair became a sacrifice to the spirits of public transit. I hope they're out there somewhere working their coincidental magic!
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Date submitted:Thu, 19 Aug 2021 03:50:34 +0000Coincidence ID:11620