Tag Archive: Brian Hart

Occupy Art

(Submitted by friend of the blog, Brian Hart)

I went to an art opening being held in Santa Monica, California’s Bergamot Station.  One of the many galleries there had an exhibit called Just Occupy, which featured 3 artists’ representation of last year’s Occupy Los Angeles movement.  One of the artists was Ted Soqui, who had photographed a lot of the participants.

One picture in the exhibit that particularly struck me as amusing, was that of a man in a Guy Fawkes mask, relaxing on the sidewalk.  Since my friend, Paula, had attended Occupy Los Angeles, I thought about her, took a picture with my phone, and then e-mailed it immediately to her.

Image seen in gallery. Photo by Ted Soqui

When I checked my mail several hours later, I heard back from Paula.  She told me that not only was she there that night, but she had seen the photographer take that very picture with his high-end camera and had photographed the subject herself, seconds later!

Image from demonstration. Photo by Paula Lauterbach

Occupy this, OddsMakers!

[EDITOR: In this day and age of copyright infringement concerns, can Paula be sued for taking virtually the same photo within moments of original? I’ve seen crazier lawsuits lately…]

Battlestar Portlandia

(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, Brian Hart)

I was listening to George Hrab’s Podcast (episode #240) on my iPod while heading out to one of my familiar lunch spots in Santa Monica, CA.  In this episode, George did a bit called “The History Chunk”, where he tells what happened on this particular date in history, usually in chronological order, and then makes some kind of joke about it. He mentions how in 1982, boxer Duk Koo Kim died after a bout with Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini.

Thirty seconds later I see Ray Mancini having lunch in the very restaurant I was walking into.  I clandestinely snap his picture.

Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini

You could have knocked me over with a boxing glove!

[EDITOR: You’re lucky Ray didn’t knock you over bareknuckled for taking clandestine photos of him while he’s trying to have a nice meal. Watch your back…]

Justin Time!

(Submitted by friend of the blog, Brian Hart)

My wife and I were driving to Hollywood and she put on a random Podcast of Terry Gross’s Fresh Air for us to listen to for the drive.  It happened to be an interview with actor/musician Justin Timberlake.  We got out of the car and started to discuss the only movie of Timberlake’s that we had ever seen, Black Snake Moan.  Walking to our destination building, I a saw a glint on the ground and stooped to pick it up.  It was a home-made DVD of…Black Snake Moan (below)!

Odds Blood, that was quite a coincidence.

ComiCon Encounter

(Submitted by friend of the blog, Brian Hart)

My friends Derek, Paula and I are waiting on line at San Diego’s ComiCon July 2010.  We are in line to see the Mythbusters Panel, the first time that all five Mythbusters are appearing on the same panel at ComiCon.  The hall holds about 2000 people and we are way, way in the back of that line.  It looks like we might not get inside.

The line slowly creeps up and they let the three of us in, probably the last few people to get in the room.  It is packed with over 2000 anxious, excited fans.  I look for three seats together, but only find two empty ones, literally in the last row.  Derek decides to sit on the floor and charge up his iPhone, so Paula and I take the last two seats.  We sit down, and in the row in front of us, in fact, in the very two seats DIRECTLY in front of us are our friends, Amy Davis Roth and Phil Plait!

What are the odds?  Crazy?  Crazier? Craziest?

Chance Meeting in Vegas

(Submitted by friend of the blog, Brian Hart)

How are odds calculated in Vegas?  The only thing I know for sure is that the house will always eventually win.

My wife, Karen, and I stayed in Las Vegas over the Thanksgiving weekend at the Encore Hotel.  As we waited for the elevator in the lobby, which only served half the rooms at the Encore, we ran into 2 friends we know from Los Angeles.  Neither of us had any idea the other was in Las Vegas, let alone which hotel.  Both of us couples were staying at the Encore!  What are the odds of us meeting randomly in this elevator lobby?

Nineteen of the world’s 25 largest hotels by room count are on the Strip, with a total of over 67,000 rooms [source]
Total Number of hotel rooms in Las Vegas: 124,270 [source]
Total number of rooms at the Encore: 2034 [source]

Sounds like The Odds Must Be Crazy…

Dead Sea Stroll

(Submitted by friend of the blog, Brian Hart)

I was at the Hermosa Beach Crafts Fair with my friend John yesterday.  There were dozens of crafts booths and thousands of people.  During lunch in a small pizza place, we got into a quite friendly discussion of religion.  As we walked back into the fair and the the throngs of people, John asked me what I thought about the Dead Sea Scrolls.  A woman walking in the opposite direction stopped us and said, “What do you know about the Dead Sea Scrolls?”  We stopped and had a long conversation with her, and she turned out the be a biblical scholar, and had recently been to San Diego where there is a traveling Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit.

A hundred Shekels for anyone who can tell me the odds on that happening.  Dead men DO tell tales!

Parking Skeptically

(Submitted by friend of the blog, Brian Hart)

Yesterday my friend Dave and I carpooled to CalTech in Pasadena to see a lecture given by the Skeptics Society.  Dave had never parked in the CalTech parking lot, so I directed him to a spot at random.  Inside the full auditorium, we ran into our friend Julia, who we had no idea would be there as well.  When we walked back to the parking lot we found out that our cars were literally parked nose-to-nose!  With 300 seats filled, I guess around 200-250 cars were in the lot for this lecture.

What are the odds?

There is a Theme Here

(Submitted by friend of the blog, Brian Hart)

We were driving home from my wife, Karen winning a best-song contest one evening, and her cell phone rang.  The caller ID said: Gary Stockdale.

I practically slammed the car to a stop.  “Take it!”,  I screamed.  I immediately recognized the name.

Gary Stockdale:  The guy who wrote the themes for Penn & Teller: Bullshit and “The Aristocrats” and DJ Grothe’s Podcast “For Good Reason“.

He got Karen’s name from a friend.  “Can she be in Las Vegas on July 9 to sing backup for one of Gary’s songs? ” Then he says,  “Oh, and by the way, I hope you are a free-thinker, the song is about Atheism”.

Karen was needed to perform for the James Randi Fund Raiser Dinner at TAM8, which we were already attending!

What are the odds?

(Submitted by friend of the blog, Brian Hart)

My wife, Karen, and I are at a wedding in Santa Barbara.  The bride had made about 40 music CDs with their favorite songs wrapped in wrapping with a small ribbon attached.  All of them identically sitting on a table together.  The bride tells us to grab one as a permanent gift from the wedding couple.  Karen goes up and just grabs one at random, and when she returns with it to our table I see that the ribbons have little name tags on them which Karen had missed.  The tags on this one said Brian and Karen.

What are the odds?  1 in 40?