The Starfish Arrives

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.

Many of the animations were produced using Flash and will no longer work.

Many years ago, I traveled to Egypt with my sister. This was a trip that had many adventures, many highs and many lows. There were also several interesting coincidences. The most coincidental coincidence occurred in Cairo, near the great pyramids and the Sphinx. In a cab on our way to the historical landmark, for some reason we were discussing what animal we could be, if we could be any animal in the world. After I dimly suggested I would be a lion, my sister answered that she would be a starfish. "Why a starfish?" I asked. "I think because they seem so peaceful, as they float through the ocean." Interesting, I thought. A couple days later, we were in a bad spot. I had lost something of value the night before, and I was desperately trying to find it. A cabbie pulled over in the middle of the road, when he saw us frantically arguing about it. He offered to help. The item, though was lost at a bar, and none of the bars were opened. So, this kind cabbie dropped my sister back at our hotel, and we drove to his home to pass the time before the bars would open. When we arrived at his apartment door, I looked up and saw-- A LARGE STARFISH MOUNTED TO HIS BIRGHT BLUE PAINTED DOOR. When had I ever seen a starfish (or any sea creature?) mounted to someone's door? At that point, I knew that this man was here to help me, and he did. After a long night of searching around Cairo, we found the right place, and I returned to my sister.
Total votes: 231
Date submitted:Tue, 21 Sep 2021 02:02:47 +0000Coincidence ID:11763