(Submitted by friend of the blog, Brian Hart)
“Oh, well, this would be one of those circumstances that people unfamiliar with the law of large numbers would call a coincidence.”
Coincidence and The Law of Large Numbers
Season1 | Episode 04 The Luminous Fish Effect | Scene 4 The full context:
Leonard: Okay. I’ll let you get back to fixing your eggs. Sheldon: I’m not just fixing my eggs … (waving spoon) … I’m fixing everyone’s eggs. Leonard: (bowing) And we all thank you. (Sheldon gathers his cooked eggs and sits on the couch. He lays out a journal next to him and takes a photograph of the journal before scribbling a note. He tastes the eggs and pauses a moment in contemplation.) Sheldon: (scribbling a new note) Use … new … eggs. Penny: (knocks on door and looks inside) Hi, hey. I’m running out to the market. Do you guys need anything? Sheldon: Oh, well this would be one of those circumstances that people unfamiliar with the law of large numbers would call a coincidence. Penny: I’m sorry? Sheldon: I need eggs. Four dozen should suffice. Penny: (uncertain) Four dozen?
Quote source: SheldonFAN.com
[EDITOR: I'm a big fan of The Big Bang Theory, and particularly the way in which Dr. Cooper continually fights for accuracy, precision, truth, and knowledge, all while ensuring to alienate everyone around him as much as humanly possible, driving away everyone but his closest of friends; friends who remain by his side through thick and thin, but mostly only because of the strict written agreements binding them to do so. In this sense Dr. Cooper serves as a constant, incessant reminder of how NOT to do my job while making me laugh.]
(Submitted by friend of the site, Brian Hart)
At a restaurant in Los Angeles one recent Monday, I spotted Battlestar Galactica’s executive producer and writer, Ronald D. Moore, at a nearby table.
It should be noted that the highly acclaimed, re-imagined series went off the air back in 2009, and I saw Moore there in January 2012.
On Friday of the same week, I was watching the show Portlandia on the IFC channel, and one of the comedy pieces revolved around Battlestar Galactica. Fair enough.
However, the main joke became that the couple watching the show became obsessed with it, and demanded that Ronald D. Moore write new episodes specifically for them. Several original BSG members appeared on the show, doing a table read, along with Ronald D. Moore himself, playing a local Portland actor, “Kim Reynolds”.
Spin up the FTL drives, and make a Jump into coincidence, these odds are crazy!
So say we all!
[EDITOR: Brian seems to have a penchant for running into celebrities right around the time they're mentioned in podcasts or featured out of place on television. Maybe it's less coincidence and more that Brian relentlessly stalks them until they happen to line up to make a good story...?]
(Submitted by friend of the blog, Derek Colanduno)
So, I used to live in Las Vegas when I was a kid. My best friend Tony’s father was a test pilot for the Air Force out of Nellis Air Force Base.
One day, when I was at his house, some important military people showed up at his door to tell the family that his father had died while testing a new fighter jet. Tony later became the lead pilot for the Thunderbirds air squadron.
Fast forward to my life now; I have been good friends with astronomer Phil Plait since about 2005. Phil was able to get a pilot TV Show run on the Discovery Network for his program, “Bad Universe”. I was watching the second episode and in part of the episode Phil went to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas to be in the passenger seat of a fighter jet to show the effects of G-force on the human body. The video cuts to Phil standing near the fighter jet and I get to see a pilot coming out to greet him on the tarmac.
Across the bottom of the screen, “Tony Mulhare”. So, here is one of my newest good friends getting to meet my oldest friend on national television no less.
And, to make it ‘funny’ it centered around Las Vegas, of all places!
[EDITOR: In case you never saw it, Bad Universe was a killer show with a short run. Think Mythbusters, with an astronomy theme and constant use of the phrase, "Holy Haleakala!"]
(Submitted by reader Joey D)
While watching the third installment of the Shrek series, I wondered who was performing the voice of Rumplestiltskin so, naturally, I Googled my question. I clicked on the YouTube link, as I thought it would most likely show me the person doing the voice. It was video of a series of clips from the movie. As it began to play, the scene on the video was in perfect sync with the scene playing on my television!
[EDITOR: Now let's add Dark Side of the Moon into the mix and see what we get...]
(Submitted by reader Joey D)
I was working in my yard and I came across several plants that I found very interesting and unusual. I knew they were “weeds” as I hadn’t planted them myself, but I had no idea what they were.
I picked one, roots and all and went into the house to see if I could identify it on Google. I walked in and a woman on the television walked straight toward the camera, holding the exact same plant and said, “This is wild garlic.” I gasped! It wasn’t even a story on gardening, but rather, it was a news piece on how difficult it is for the care-givers taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient.
[EDITOR: All right, all right, this one IS just plain eerie. Even I'd be pretty darn startled by it.]
A coincidence of truly amazing proportions happened on a private mailing list. Two members of our group (Jim Underdown and Jeff Nuttall) posted requests to record Spike TV‘s 1000 Ways to Lie on a Wednesday night. I checked the listing, and there were several episodes that evening; it was an interesting coincidence that their performances were on the same series on the same night.
There were not enough details in their messages, so I randomly chose to watch the one about Natural Born Liars. Jim had said the show was starting at ten p.m., but I have DirectTV, and satellite TV has a different schedule than cable, and at ten p.m., there was a different show on. Jeff had called me and told me that he played the husband of a woman who told him she was giving birth to baby bunnies… so that sounded about right.
I saw Jeff, and a few minutes into the episode, I saw Jim Underdown explain how people will do anything to achieve fame.
Neither Jim nor Jeff had seemed to know that they were in the same segment of the same TV show.
As coincidences go, it was pretty amazing that two members of our group would be performing in the same brand new TV show, and not know about one another’s participation, and even have posted about it on our mailing list. As if that was not enough, a friend of another member of the group was the Supervising Producer of the show, and also unaware of the connection between the two performers.
Where everybody knows your name…
I spent most of my life as a professional actor, but in order to help ensure ends met I moonlighted on the weekend as a sales rep for a major electronics manufacturer. Every year in August they would hold a national sales training event in Texas, flying in a few hundred reps from across the country to learn about that year’s new products, the underlying technology, and some sales technique (although they eventually dropped the latter, as they realized their criteria for who to send to the training was based on the highest ranking making sales training superfluous).
One way they saved costs was to double up all sales reps in rooms, typically pairing people from very different parts of the country unless they requested a specific roommate. In this particular instance I was placed with someone from a different state who I had no prior contact with, but on our first night we stayed up late chatting, sharing “war stories,” and talking about our past. The TV was left on during all of this as noise and potential conversation topic. And then an episode of Cheers started.
The topic of acting background had come up previously, and I pointed out that I had done three episodes of Cheers. As I was saying this, I started to notice that the opening teaser on this episode seemed especially familiar. That said, I had always been a fan, so I didn’t think much of it until the opening credits finished and the plot became clear: it was my very first (and best-known) episode of the show, and I got to prove to my new roommate that I wasn’t merely blowing smoke about my past.
(Submitted by friend of the blog, Spencer Marks)
When I was just a wee lad, around 11 or 12 or so, I would go to my father’s office over the summer and work for him, doing little things, here and there. His office was on Wilshire Blvd., and our house wasn’t too far off of Wilshire, so I would jump on a bus to get to his office, and to get back home. One day, while I was sitting on the bus bench waiting to go home, there was this little old lady sitting on the bench next to me, and we started up a conversation. I asked her what she had done for a living (before she retired) and she said she had been an actress. I asked her if she would have been in anything I would have seen, and she said she had been in an episode of “Get Smart,” which to this day remains one of my all time favorite TV shows.
I asked her which part she had played, as the series was on every day (and by then in reruns), I had most likely watched every episode 3-5 times, and would know if she was lying! She described the scene, which I remembered, and I was excited to meet her! The bus came, and we continued to talk on the bus until I got off at my stop. I walked home the four blocks, and noticed from the TV guide that “Get Smart” was about to start in 5 minutes! I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t that be a GREAT coincidence if it was THAT episode?” AND GUESS WHAT?!?
It was a whole DIFFERENT episode! But it WOULD have been cool!
No, I’m kidding … it WAS the episode, and there was my new friend! I was watching her just 15 minutes after leaving her on the bus (very much ALIVE, if any of you were wondering!) That remains one of the coolest coincidences EVER to happen in my life! Hope you all enjoyed it too!