Coincidences

escargot

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#31
I love coincidences too. They are entertaining and baffling.
A few years ago I had a bunch of them centring around my brother Ivor. For example, I got on a bus back to my home town, having missed the previous one, and Ivor got on at the next stop- having hitched a couple of hundred miles from college! Soon after, my kitchen was accidentally burned out. The ceiling fell down and when I came to repair it, the one remaining shred of plasterboard had the name Ivor printed on it. It was the first part of its trademark 'Ivory'!
This went on for a while, then petered out. Interesting while it lasted.
 
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Anonymous

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#32
There's a theory about that Haarp.

It goes something like this. There are only a limited amount of real live people in the world. Everyone else that you see in the street etc. is just there to make you think that the world is a big place full of people. Therefore when you go off to the Maldives the odds that you will meet with someone that you know is actually quite high. Which is why it happens to people all the time.

Now I'm not sure whether I've read this somewhere or whether it is a product of too much single malt and some real live friends at 4am....
 

harlequin2005

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#33
My odd coincidences

1) 1982

I was walking home from shopping, and saw on the road an ambulance (no lights flashing), a car identical to that driven by my Uncle, follwed by a hearse. I don't know exactly why it registered but it did. I pondered on the sequence, and on arriving home was told that my Uncle had called to say my grandmother had been rushed into hospital. She died a week later. Sort of strained and symbolic, but it stuck with me

2) 1989

Most of 1989, when I was writing a date, I kept putting 14 October, which, in May, is a pain. I really didn't think much of it, being slightly dispraxic, sometimes written communication gets screwed, as anyone who has seen my un-edited posts will testify.
On the 13th October 1989, my girlfriend's Father suffered a massive stroke and heart attack. He finally lost his battle on 14th October

3) 1997

In Waterstones in Chester,I was thumbing through 'The Nations Favourite Poems' and stopped at Auden's 'Twelve Songs' ('Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone...'). I pondered the next time I'd see that poem 'read in anger' as it were. On the Sunday morning, I awoke to the news that Diana (she of the Conspiracy thread fame) had been killed. A lot of news papers used it on the Monday.

I next picked up the book on another Saturday in December 1997, and was reading it, and when I opened to 'Twelve Songs', I thought, 'Last time I read this was before Diana bought the farm' and re-read it. On the Monday, I went into work to discover that a colleague had been killed in a car crash near Oxford, on the Sunday evening. The poem was read at his funeral.

I make no comments as such, other than they happened.

8¬)
 
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Anonymous

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#34
Regarding significant dates, coincidence, and probability, has anyone tried the exercise where you have approximately 30 people in a room, take down each of their birthdays, then look to see how many match? Most people think that with 30 people in a room and 365 days in a year that the odds would be pretty low. Due to some statistical quirks the odds are far higher than you'd think. Maybe some stats guru out there can explain this better.
 

harlequin2005

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#35
I think, at the risk of flippancy, we're getting into Pratchett Law territory:-

"One in a million chances happen nine times out of ten"



8¬)
 

rynner2

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#36
Dark Detective said:
...has anyone tried the exercise where you have approximately 30 people in a room, take down each of their birthdays, then look to see how many match? Most people think that with 30 people in a room and 365 days in a year that the odds would be pretty low. Due to some statistical quirks the odds are far higher than you'd think. Maybe some stats guru out there can explain this better.
That question was in fact covered in an OU maths course I did. I'll have to look up the exact details. (If I try it off the top of my head I'll probably make a monkey of myself!)
 

mikelegs

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#37
I'm gonna just go ahead and make a monkey out of myself. Feel free to correct me and argue with me and make fun of me wherever I go wrong.

1 person's chance of having a b-day on a given day = 1/365

chance of 2 ppl having the same b-day = 1/365 (if this doesn't make sense, consider you have 364 chances of not having my bday)

add a person, and the chance of 2/3 ppl having same b-day = 2/365

as you add people, the chance of 2 ppl having the same b-day in any group of n is n-1/365.

Then take sociological factors into account (ie. certain seasons of the year more babies are made), and you can reduce the denominator to the point where a group of 30 has a pretty good shot at two of the same bday.
 

rynner2

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#38
Common Birthdays

This is a case where it is easier to calculate the case of something Not happening, and then invert it. I think the maths go like this:

First person has a birthday sometime: the chance of the second person having a different birthday is 364/365. The chance of a third person having a different birthday from the first two is 363/365. And so on. The chance of the Nth person having a different birthday from all the others so far is (366-N)/365.

With me so far?

So the chances of N persons ALL having different birthdays is the product of all these probabilities. Now it may come as a shock to those who think that computers can do anything that if you try this on a calculator or even a computer maths program, you will probably get an 'Overflow' message, meaning the numbers are too big to be handled to the required precision!! (It can be done, with more care, however.)

But what we have is a number less than one being multiplied by a number slightly smaller, being multiplied by a number even smaller, and so on. Soon the result is less than a half, meaning that the probability of the N people having different birthdays is less than 50-50. This implies that at least two of them have the same birthday. This occurs for (I'm not sure of the exact number) N = 30 (maybe less).

I bet DD wished now he'd never asked!
 

Mattattattatt

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#40
Cold reading DOESN'T work as a chat up

The other night I was talking to a girl about music, and I suggested she liked a band better than my mates (as a joke) to which she replied "how do you know what I like."

As women are amazed when you get these things right (OK, women are *sometimes* amazed :( ), I made a guess which was Massive Attack, maybe Tom Waits and older Jazz stuff (probably a bit of Ella Fitzgerald that she hardly ever listens to).

I was spot on. Now she thinks I've been snooping in her bedroom :(

The logic I applied was this though - She was a couple of years older than me, therefore would've been into fashionable bands a couple of years before me. She was also an art student. Plus, she reminded me very much of another girl I know.

Therefore, I just guessed she had a similar musical taste to the other girl I knew, and listed her record collection hoping it would match. Also, being a bit of a trendy artist, she would've been more likely to go for the Massive Attack/Trip Hop route than Take That. Most people who like that kinda stuff like a bit of Jazz and Blues (I find) and the other girl I knew liked Tom Waits as well, and although I've never actually heard him, threw him in for good measure.

bingo.

It may have looked slick in certain circumstances, but instead I just scared the poor gal. Whoops... :(
 

escargot

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#41
I was once explaining to a colleague how cold reading works, and had reached the bit where the 'mindreader' gets something wrong but is able to recover the situation with bullshit.

So I said, 'I could tell you that your mother's mother's name was, er, Muriel!' - this name belonging to a long-dead friend of my own mother's who popped into my head at that moment.

Instead of denying it, when I would say,'Ah! Of course, Muriel was her best friend!' or somesuch, he went white and sat down hard.

Muriel WAS his Nan's name, and as a bonus, she was also dead. As far as this poor bloke was concerned I was psychic and probably in league with the Devil as well!
 
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Anonymous

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#42
Word coincidences

Sometimes, while I am reading ,exactly the same word will be spoken on the TV or in conversation as my eye falls on it in the book. I wouldn't be so surprised by the ordinary words but the unusual ones that keep poping up just floor me. Sometimes it's whole phrases.This happens over and over. I've only noticed it recently although it has to have been going on all my life. The oddest thing about it is that although I stop in surprise each time, I can't remember the words. I have tried to keep a list and I seem to be unable to do that either!

I'm not claiming anything paranormal about it, just a fuzzy feeling of strangeness. Does this bother anyone else?
 

_schnor

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#43
Yes, this also happens to me, and also if i'm talking to someone, the exact same word is spoken on TV. Not normal words like "cat", but odd words like "egypt"and "toothepaste" :confused:

I just put that to me talking all the time and it being pure coincidence :D
 

liveinabin

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#44
I know what you mean that happens to me all the time.
Don't you find also that if you learn a new word you hear it at least three times that day?
 

augustverango

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#45
It doesn't happen to me all the time, but I can definitely remember having it happen to me a few times. However, I have conveniently forgotten the details! (There's another thing...)

Don't you find also that if you learn a new word you hear it at least three times that day?
Hmm, I'm sure everyone has that. Something perhaps linked to the 'cocktail party' effect?
 

johnnyboy1968

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#46
Yup, happens to me a lot as well! A slightly different thing that often happens to me is that when I'm thinking of something, my brother will bring that very same thing up in conversation. Actually, not so often now that I live in Pompey and he lives in Halifax, but I bet that its going to happen least once at Christmas.
 

chiaa

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#47
Johnnyboy--I know what you mean about your brother. The same thing happens to me with my sister and father. It's really odd. Countless times I've been thinking about something, and almost simultaneously one of them has voiced the exact same thought. It's happened enough to make me wonder if something's up, but for some reason I can't recall even one instance of it happening with my mother.
 
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Anonymous

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#48
I would swear that in the universe I now live, the word "segue" was recently discovered. Where had it been all my life and now I hear it all over. Nice sensible useful word,too! In this universe they have lost the word "before". Everyone says "prior" This new universe also says "on accident" instead of my more familiar "by accident". I know, it's not a very reasonable theory, postulating a whole new universe I got lost in over a little "on" or "by", but what else could it possibly be?
 
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Anonymous

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#50
TV Coincidences

Happened to me last night - dropped the remote and said "Balls!" and found that in dropping it I'd switched the channel to UK Play or something, where a program about strange worldwide sports was on. You can guess that the name of the program was "Balls!".

I suspect that the "segue" problem is probably because you've suddenly become aware of the over-usage of the word, and now it's been marked as significant, your pattern-matching brain tries to be helpful and chooses to pick it out from the stream of babble.

I have the same problem, but with a sampled piece of children's laughter. I'm sure that there must be a competition to get this sample into every advert featuring a child, and since I became aware of it, It really annoys me (and my missus, as I tut every time I hear it).

I've heard the same laughter sample (a couple of high-pitched giggles) all over the place - for example, used in the ads for Domino's Pizza (in the ad breaks between the Simpsons), used in yoghurt adverts, bank adverts, computer games and I recently heard it in the film "Mrs. Brown". Every time I see a new advert featuring a child, I have a horrible feeling they're going to use the sample, and I'm pretty often right.

If I was of a paranoid bent, I'd think there was some sort of consipracy going on, but I'm sure it must belong to a frequently-used pack of samples that lazy advertisers pick up on. However, like the previous poster, now I'm "sensitised" to hearing it, I can't seem to stop picking it out !
 
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Anonymous

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#51
It happened to me several times that I start to sing a song, and then in a few minutes the radio plays it.

I know this could be common if we are talking about new and popular songs, but for example, the last time I was singing Paul Mc Cartney´s "Ebony and Ivory" while driving home (I have to mention that it´s not a song that I listen or sing often, I don´t even have it on any cd), and then about fifteen minutes later when I arrived home, the radio was playing it!!

Pretty weird...
 

augustverango

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#53
Re: TV Coincidences

Guru_saj said:
I have the same problem, but with a sampled piece of children's laughter.
Yes, I'm pretty damn sure I know the one you mean! I do rather more than tut though... it really is just... ARGH! :monster:

I'm sure it's probably called 'CHILDLAUGH001' and it's the first one that lazy soundtrack people get to on their sample CDs... rather than get a microphone and record one.

Whoa! Where'd that thread go?!
 
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Anonymous

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#55
i can relate to ya here. the other day i was watching the history channel and the history on like wirecommunication, and at the beggining they were talking about these old toweres that napolean used that had boards on top that would be moved in different directions to form different letters and stuff like that. anyway during all this i was doing my vocabulary homework for english well at the commercial brake after they were talking about i cracked open the dictionary to look for the word i needed and the very first page i turned too had the word that was what the towers on the history channel show were called i was like thats kinda strange. i then went upstairs to do watch jepordy and one of the answeres was this "old english knights used to decorate these" and it was the word was one of my vocab words that i had just got done doing. this was totaly strange anyway thats the latest word coincedence that has happened to me
 
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Anonymous

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#56
Happens to me too. Just the other day I had just read something about the movie Jaws, and flicked channels, and there on the screen (of 'Good Morning', I think) was the cover of the book.

Probability - so the non-synchronicity buffs argue - accounts for most of our experiences, but some coincidences seem too improbable to have happened by chance.

I recall the case of my parents, when, one morning, my dad had woken early and was reading a non-fiction history book (Elizabethan period), when my mum stirred from sleep and said "Oh, fiddle-faddle" - an expression not commonly used nowadays, I would think, and never in our household. Well, my dad turned over and said to her, "What did you say?"
"Fiddle-faddle. Time to get up." [something like that]
He showed her the words he had just read: Fiddle-faddle.
He then asked if she had peered over his shoulder to read them - which she could not have done, and in any case denied.
 

carole

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#57
I have an incense burner in my office, one of those you fill with water and scented oils and heat up with a night light candle underneath (hellps the stress levels, you know!) I must have used a faulty night light the other day, because it caught fire, just at the same moment that my Nigel Kennedy's 'Doors Concerto' CD started to play 'Come on Baby Light my Fire '. . .

Carole
 

marion

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#58
These things happen to me lots too - I have been looking for a copy of the original Buffy film for months , to rent , and just when I find one it is shown on channel 5 !
I was watching 'The Birds' in a holiday cottage when the coin meter ran out - it was pitch black and all we could hear was seagulls calling....
Another time I was watching Alien for the first time with my sister - in the dark eating oranges . 'These taste funny' says my sister . the baby alien bursts out of the man , we turn the light on . We are eating very fine examples of blood oranges .
As for the child giggling irritation - is anyone else driven nuts by that night-screaming animal in every night scene in every tv programme , drama , comedy that is set in the countryside . My guess is it is a fox on heat ?
As for single word coincidences , they happen all the time ,I read a word or even phrase and a newsreader says the same thing .
Marion
 

rynner2

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#59
Yes, it happens to me too. I often go through a lot of library books, and there often seems to be a thread linking them, like characters or places with unusual names, and the names turn up in two or three books in succession, despite the books havingdifferent authors, subjects and settings.

I do often record the most interesting of these - I'll go through my Syn Bin and see what I can find.

Later: I'm back, but no-one else has posted yet, so I don't get to make a new post (not that I'm counting, of course...)

This one involved words and a more general coincidence - an example from '96: I found the phrase "Cash on the barrelhead" used in a book by an English, male author. The very next book I read was written by an American woman, and it contained the same phrase.

But when I returned those two books to the library, the first two books facing me on the Crime shelves (specially displayed, not shelved normally) were by the same pair of authors! Naturally I took those out next! (I'm not superstitious, but I know when the Cosmic Joker is trying to tell me something - trouble is, I can never work out what he's trying to tell me...)
 
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Anonymous

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#60
...After reading "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and discovering that 42 was the answer to the meaning of life, I saw that damn number EVERYWHERE!!! I guess we see and hear a hell of a lot of data during the day and certain bits just "pop out" at us.
 
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