Tag Archive: new house

Watch This Coincidence

(Submitted by reader who prefers to remain anonymous.)

I grew up in Alaska, and didn’t move to Michigan until 1990. After a few years of marriage, my wife and I decided to buy a new house (2002). We just contacted a realtor and looked on the internet ourselves. We finally decided on a house in a town about 10 miles away, because we thought it was a great deal.

I was a construction worker at the time.  About 5 years later, I got into watchmaking, and 4 years after that I opened my own watch repair shop in town.  There were many open storefronts for rent, and we finally decided on the one that looked like it was in the best condition. Soon after, I started researching the local watchmaker who lived and worked in town (he died in 1910). Long story short… not only am I in a storefront literally across the street, but I’m related to both him, and one of the founders of the town.  I don’t think I need to tell you that watchmaking is not a common profession. My great-grandfather was the watchmaker’s second cousin. And I’m a descendant of the brother of one of the founders of the town.

The only thing that makes the story sound less coincidental is if I admit that my mother grew up in another town about 40 miles away, and that her family has lived in this area since the 1830’s.

The Cable Coincidence

(Submitted by reader Andy Harding)

We had just moved into a new house and couldn’t find the cable to connect my printer to my computer. I gave up looking and decided to go into town and buy a new one.

As I left the house I found the cable I needed laying in the road. The weekly garbage truck had passed a few minutes earlier.

No, it wasn’t the cable I had lost; it was shorter and a different color. I later found the missing cable in a different box.

When I tell people about this I get some funny looks, I don’t think anyone believes me.

Below are the extended notes provided by cognitive psychologist and statistician Barbara Drescher for use in Skepticality Episode 221.  Take a look and leave your comments below. Also, please be sure to listen to the podcast for our own sarcastic and hilarious commentary. Also, visit Barbara’s blog.

This is a very impressive story, but I have little analysis to offer.

It’s highly likely that the cable is very common, since most printer cables are pretty standard, but it’s not very often that people just throw out cables. To top that off, how often do those cables fall out of trash bins (or a car, or wherever it came from) to be found lying on the ground? And right when he needed it?

I’d say this one is just one of those extremely unlikely events that we must expect a few of in our lives.