The Coincidence Connector

  • 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 »

  • The Simultaneous Deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams December 19, 2014

    On July 4, 1826 the last surviving signers of the Declaration of Independence died. Adams was 90 and Jefferson was 82. As he lay dying, Adams was supposed to have said, “Jefferson lives.” He was wrong. Jefferson had died 5 hours earlier. Adams was the second president of the United States and Jefferson, the third. ... Read more »

  • The Guy Next Door December 18, 2014

    A professor of Italian I knew had an apartment in Milan. He loved it!  He would spend his sabbaticals  there doing research and immersing himself in the culture he loved. One problem: The man in the apartment next to him was obnoxious to him and to the other neighbors. The professor disliked him.  And ... Read more »

  • Simultaneous discovery—Google and Stanford December 16, 2014

    Great discoveries commonly occur in pairs.

    Pattern recognition by machines has long been inferior to the human brain.  In 2012 it took an army of 16,000 computer processers to be able to recognize a cat.

    On Monday November 17, 2014, Stanford’s Computer Vision Lab and Google Brain separately ... Read more »

  • Carmen’s Dance December 10, 2014

    Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.

    In 2009 because of her excellent academic performance Carmen was one of two students selected to attend a national conference at her Costa Rica medical school. A problem arose. The translator for the American presenter, then chair of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, had ... Read more »

  • Finding my Friend, Again, Somehow December 8, 2014

    We have the ability to find our way to people without knowing how we do it.

    A few years ago Jane Clifford spent a month with the Bedouin in the Sinai Peninsula. She told us what happened:

    “My intuition kept giving me the message that I was to go to ... Read more »

  • Life is but a dream December 5, 2014

    Like dreams, meaningful coincidences can be hard to remember. So write them down! Josh Hotchkin wrote recently to the Coincider Website: “Synchronicity and coincidence have been hugely influential to my intellectual and spiritual growth. I encounter synchronicities quite often, and often multifaceted synchronicities with several degrees of complexity. Synchronicity has inspired my ... Read more »

  • Getting Around Munich December 3, 2014

    This  “things-don’t-work-out-but-they-do” story was shared with the Coincider Website.

    “In 2010  I was at the end of a driving trip round Europe and was in Salzburg and decided that rather than drive straight back to England I would make a detour to Munich to look up a friend I hadn’t ... Read more »

  • Just Joshing Around December 2, 2014

    Josh Hotchkins shared this remarkable series of coincidences with the Coincider Website.

    “One summer day between the first and second grade I went to my school playground to use the equipment and see what the other neighborhood kids were doing. On this day there were some kids who did not go to ... Read more »

  • To be or Origami December 1, 2014

    In the movie Bee Season (2005) 12 yo Eliza is being prepped by her father played by Richard Gere for the national Spelling Bee Championship. The last practice word he gave her was “origami”. She survived to the final word to be spelled. If she got it right, she would be national champion. ... Read more »

  • Birthday Surprise November 29, 2014

    A viewer was perplexed about this coincidence:

    The cashier at Whole Foods was quite surprised.  My total cost was $127.91 which was his birthday.  1/27/91.

    “I never saw that before” He has been there at least a year, probably more. He said it surprised him but he gave it no personal meaning.

    Not so ... Read more »

  • Spirituality and Coincidences November 21, 2014

    People who think of themselves as spiritual, report more coincidences. Why? Although being spiritual has many different meanings, a common feeling ebbs through them. The feeling of being part of something greater than just me. And not just a sports team or a business, or a country. Something less easily defined. Not just a family ... Read more »

  • A Cardinal Experience November 21, 2014

    Northern_Cardinal_Pair-27527A few years before her father died, Dot bought her avid bird-watching father a book called a Redbird Christmas because she thought it was about bird watching. She was surprised to see that it was about a lonely girl with a deformed leg and the old man ... Read more »

  • Rabbi in the Sky November 21, 2014

    In their 2014 book entitled Small Miracles from Beyond, best selling authors Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal tell the story of Cena, an excited mother who takes a long airplane journey to Los Angeles to be present at the birth of her first grandchild. There were a few complications with the pregnancy, but she tried ... Read more »

  • Of all the gin joints in all of the towns in all the world, she walks into mine… November 18, 2014

    In the 1942 movie “Casablanca”, Algerian nightclub owner Rick, played by Humphrey Bogart, is jolted by the unexpected appearance of his lost Parisian love Ilsa.

    Read more »