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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Is there such a thing as a coincidence?

Sitting in the Coffee Scene this morning with seven other caffine- addicted souls, two were casually working different crossword puzzles as we talked. One was hung-up on an answer, so he asked, "destroyer hunter?" About three of us answered, "U-boat."

The other puzzle worker flipped his pen in the air. "Look," he said, pushing his work to the center of the table: He was answering the clue "kapitan's command" and was just writing in U-B-O-A- when the first question was asked.

Believe it or don't... but pretty interesting, I thought. Then, I wondered how far these 'coincidences' actually reached. There are so many examples, from the trite to the bizzare, but how about this one as a highlight:

It spans nearly 200 years in which three ships sank in the dangerous waters of the Menai Straits off the coast of Wales.

The first sank on Dec. 5th, 1664 and of its 81 passengers, there was only one survivor... William Hughes.

The second sank on Dec. 5th, 1785 and all aboard perished except for one survivor... William Hughes.

The third sank on Dec. 5th, 1785 and of its 25 passengers, only one survived... William Hughes.

Now this tells me that; a) Dec. 5th is an unlucky day to sail the Menai Straits; b) William Hughes is either a very lucky name or a very lucky, very old man; c) there are such things labeled 'coincidences' that are almost impossible to simply call matters of chance; d) all of the above.

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