The Coincidence Connector

  • Weird Coincidence Survey Results April 9, 2015

    By the end of March, 2015 more than 1500 people had visited the site and 200 (13%) had taken the Weird Coincidence Survey. 

    57% were women and 43% were men.

    Fifty percent of those surveyed were between the ages of 46-65. The following diagram illustrates the age distribution.

    AGES ... Read more »

  • Aesthetics of Coincidence March 26, 2015

    After the initial surprise evoked by most coincidences, the person usually considers one of two meanings—explanation or use. Sometimes there is no good explanation and no obvious use.  Yet with some coincidences, there is a simple beauty in the synchronizing of the two events.

    We are fascinated by synchronization in ... Read more »

  • Oedipus at the Cleft Way March 12, 2015

    Coincidences serve the narrative thrust of many stories.

    The ancient Oedipus myth is sprinkled with dramatic coincidences. It was popularized by Sophocles in 429 BCE and reignited in modern times by Sigmund Freud and his Oedipus Complex.  The plot caught Oedipus and his father, Laius, in ... Read more »

  • Meaning in Randomness February 26, 2015

    Many people believe that coincidences are random events. Because they are random events, so the reasoning goes, coincidences cannot have meaning.

    Not true.

    Coincidences come into our lives with two prominent and very different kinds of meaning—usefulness and cause/explanation. Just as we use smartphones without knowing how they work, ... Read more »

  • Tennis Basket February 12, 2015

    On June 7, 2014, I went out to play tennis. As I started warming up, a woman with two preteens started practicing two courts down. She shouted instructions and compliments to the boy while the girl hit off the backboard. After about 10 minutes, Will, my tennis partner drove up and called to me ... Read more »

  • U.S. Network TV Does Coincidences February 5, 2015

    CBS News got into the coincidence debate on October, 12, 2014 by introducing Bill and Hillary Solomon who attribute their 16 year marriage to coincidences. Hillary believes that they would not have been married if not for this string of coincidences. Bill’s mother and Hillary’s father were out-of-touch high school friends who reconnected through a ... Read more »

  • Dennis the Menace and the Statistician January 30, 2015

    As of 1/29/15 , on the website for his book The Improbability Principle, statistician David Hand starts with the story of the simultaneous publication in the US and England of the cartoon character Dennis the Menace in March, 1951. Cartoonists in both countries introduced audiences to a trouble-causing little boy named Dennis, each of whom ... Read more »

  • What is a Coincider? January 21, 2015

    A person who regularly experiences coincidences is called a coincider. Previous terms have included “experiencer,” “percipient,” and “synchoner.”

    The term implies someone who shares an inside view with others as in co-insider. Coinciders are part of a developing group of people who find coincidences important, useful, and intriguing.

    There are several stages in the coincider spectrum:

    1. A major ... Read more »
    2. The Problem and Promise of Probability January 15, 2015

      Many people believe that randomness , chance and probability provide the best explanations for coincidences. Their belief is strongly supported by an almost unassailable axiom: In Large Populations Low Probability Events Must Happen.

      Read more »
    3. The Elephant, the Statisticians and the Faithful January 11, 2015

      David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University and David Hand of the Imperial College of London are among several statisticians who believe that they have solved the coincidence problem. Probabilities! Any event that can happen will happen given a large number of instances. If a coin is flipped an infinite number of times, there will sometime ... Read more »

    4. The Timely Old Friend January 8, 2015

      Erica Kosal desperately needed help. She wrote her story in Lois W. Stern’s Tales2Inspire: The Emerald Collection, one of several books in this growing series. Erica’s very ill husband was incapacitated by Lyme disease. She was trying to balance caring for him and their two young children with working as a professor at a ... Read more »

    5. The Goddess of Wealth January 5, 2015

      In this video clip Mike Myers is entering the office of Deepak Chopra when he spots a card pasted to the wall. Surprised, Mike pulls out a deck of Indian god cards. The one of top is the same card as the one on the wall—the Goddess of Wealth. On his way out ... Read more »

    6. The Four Meanings in Meaningful Coincidences January 2, 2015

      I have long been perplexed by the various meanings of meaning in coincidences. A book published in 1923 (and still in press) called the “Meaning of Meaning” only heightened my curiosity. Meaning and its related words have many meanings. For example, mean can mean “average” or “nasty”.

      Read more »
    7. Where’s Aussie? December 29, 2014

      While vacationing in Florida, a woman received word from her dog sitter that during an ice storm fallen trees had  broken  the fence in their backyard. Her dog Aussie had run away through the broken fence. By now Aussie, an Australian Cattle Dog-Pit Bull mix, had been gone for two nights of very cold ... Read more »

    8. Pilots Reunited December 21, 2014

      John Leahr, a proud fighter pilot of the Tuskegee Airmen, had escorted Herb Heilbrun’s B-17 in bombing missions in Europe during 1944.  B-17s were big, clumsy, and slow–easy targets for enemy aircraft.  Herb knew he owed his life to the shepherding fighter pilots. But John and Herb had never met. Fifty years later Herb ... Read more »