Tag Archive: video

(Submitted by friend of the blog, George Hrab, of Geologic Podcast)

Leave it to our good friend George Hrab to send us a music-related coincidence, and one of the nicest ones you’ll ever see.

According to the source article, this Berlin street performer was minding his own business playing “Smalltown Boy” by Bronski Beat when who should walk by? Jimmy Somerville, the group’s lead singer. I’ll let the video (sadly filmed sideways) explain the rest:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_DWWE3cjgg]

I can only imagine both people were just as thrilled by the moment, but for entirely different reasons.

Pictures of Pugs!

(Submitted by reader Jenny)

I work as a dogsitter part time, and for the past month, I’ve been taking two pugs, Tristan and Phinneas, to the Culver City dog park about twice a week.

Today I was browsing BuzzFeed articles and came across this one about excited dogs:


I was scrolling through, and at #17 saw the picture of a pug playing with a corgi. The pug, his harness, and the background looked like Tristan at the dog park, so I zoomed in and saw that he had the same (distinctive) pattern on his collar as Tristan!

After seeing the collar, I was sure that the picture was of Tristan, but there are other people who take those pugs to the park, so I didn’t know if I had been there that day. I went to an email I had sent to their owner a few weeks ago and saw that the video I’d attached was of Tristan playing with that same corgi! You can even see the girl with the camera walk into it in the last few frames!

As a sub-coincidence, that same day at the park, Tristan was bitten by a pit bull puppy (he was fine), and a few days later when I went to turn in some paperwork into an office at my school, the form-acceptance girl recognized me as the one whose pug got attacked, and it turns out she was the corgi’s owner, and the one who took the picture I later saw on buzzfeed!

I see this as a quintuple coincidence, composed of the following occurrences:
– I randomly came across a photo on the internet of a dog I know.
– The photo was taken on one of the 9 times I was with him.
– I am able to verify having been there by having taped the same encounter between the dogs.
– The person who took the photo happens to appear in my one 9 second video.
– The photographer works at my school, though neither of us recognized each other at the time.

As far as numbers, there are usually about 30 dogs at the park. I’ve been there 9 times, and have only seen a couple of people or dogs I recognized from prior visits. I have only taken pictures/videos of the pugs twice, so my collection consists of two photos and two videos. Aside from the pugs, I sit for other pets about twice a month, but the pugs go to the dog park.

I am a student at the UCLA School of Dentistry, and my school only has about 400 students and a similarly-sized staff. The dog park is one of two within 20 minutes of UCLA (and is the further of the two). Unfortunately, no data yet on the number of dog photos or buzzfeed articles I encounter per day!

Below are notes provided by cognitive psychologist and statistician Barbara Drescher.   Take a look and leave your comments below. Also, visit Barbara’s blog.

Let’s address the items that the author is excited about:

“- I randomly came across a photo on the internet of a dog I know.”

The author did not come across this photo “randomly”. Buzzfeed is an extremely popular site. In fact, I’m not even sure that it’s a coincidence that I saw this very post just last week, even though it was posted in March and it is now September. It’s a hilarious post, by the way. I highly recommend clicking that link; you won’t be sorry!

It also stands to reason that many of the content providers for Buzzfeed live in the LA area, given that it remains a large market for those working in entertainment.

“- The photo was taken on one of the 9 times I was with him.”

This is a bit of a coincidence, but not as much as the author probably thinks. It feels personal because it happened to her, but someone had to have been walking that dog when its picture was taken and the author is a dog sitter.

“- I am able to verify having been there by having taped the same encounter between the dogs.
– The person who took the photo happens to appear in my one 9 second video.”

Although there is some coincidence here, there is also the fact that the dogs were acting in a matter that made two people pull out their cameras.  I know that if I’d seen that cuteness, I’d have been shooting it, too.

“- The photographer works at my school, though neither of us recognized each other at the time.”

Keeping in mind that geography accounts for a lot of what looks like random chance, this is still probably the most interesting coincidence on the list, statistically speaking.

[EDITOR:  I’m with Barb on this – dog lovers, click on that link! – Wendy]


The Ring Comes Home

I’m shockingly realizing right now that an entire decade ago the film The Ring came out in theaters. For anyone who was around at the time and had movie-going friends, this was a phenomenon. It was impossible to avoid hyperbole about what a brilliant, shocking, terrifying horror film it was, and it simply, truly, positively could NOT be missed. I’m not a horror fan, but my then-wife was and I did my job and took her to the theater to see it.

Personally, I wasn’t impressed. I felt like most of the “terror” was cheap startles of either something jumping out or a quick cut to something gruesome. Maybe I missed something, or maybe I really did expect more from what had been sold as one of the greatest horror films ever, but it left me cold.

Now I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying the main concept in the film is that a person views this video that contains a series of weird, creepy, and oddly sickening images. After the video is done, the phone rings. When the person answers the phone they hear a girl’s voice tell them that they have seven days left to live. If they don’t get someone else to watch the video before then (transferring the curse to them), they’re dead. Predictably (to me, anyway), the film ends with that very video being shown full-screen to the theater audience, in theory to terrify them by transferring the curse to them. I’m sure that was exceptionally scary for anyone who enjoyed the film better. It did nothing for me. At least not at the theater…

When we arrived home afterwards I walked into the house to hear the sound of a ringing phone. Except the house phone wasn’t ringing. The ringing was coming from my computer in the bedroom. It was the ring it makes when the main line rings so I can hit a pop-up to allow it to receive a fax, except again, the main line wasn’t ringing. I checked the screen and there were no programs running in the taskbar that could have triggered it and the fax pop-up wasn’t visible. The phone continued to ring. I checked the notification area and found no fax application or anything else that appeared related to the sound. The computer kept ringing. I opened up the task manager and started closing process after process, working my way down to core applications. THE COMPUTER KEPT RINGING. Finally I initiated a system restart at which point the ringing stopped during shutdown and didn’t return after I started the system back up.

So while the film itself didn’t do much for me directly, one of the strangest bugs I’d ever experienced on my computer happened to occur perfectly timed against the plot of the film, and managed to do exactly what the movie failed to do: scare the crap out of me. And to this day I have no idea what happened.

One of our favorite people, Julia Sweeney, gives a little perspective on how her view of coincidences changed, and arguably became more fun:

Julia hits the nail on the head about what we do here. It doesn’t matter why coincidences happen, only that they do, and they’re frakkin’ cool when they do. And they’re even more fun when you remember to submit them to us! Hint, hint. Hint.


Okay, that’s enough hinting.

(See what I did there?)