Back to previous post: Open thread 85

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Robert Bork hasn’t mellowed with age

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

June 8, 2007

The fluorosphere bends back in upon itself
Posted by Patrick at 09:26 PM *

From the current Open Thread:

#237 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 05:49 PM:

2007: Am stranded in Mesa, Arizona with a dead laptop and very little connectivity.

#244 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 06:25 PM:

My widowed uncle is marrying a long-time friend who lost her spouse many years ago in Mesa tomorrow, if you’re in the mood for a wedding.

#258 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 08:35 PM:

Linkmeister (244):

“My widowed uncle is marrying a long-time friend who lost her spouse many years ago in Mesa tomorrow, if you’re in the mood for a wedding.”
What is your uncle’s name? Unless there are two weddings tomorrow morning in Mesa that answer to that description, he’s marrying my mother.

#260 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 08:48 PM:

Teresa @258, Oh, no. That would be way too big a coincidence. His name is Dowell.

It’s a jawdropping coincidence, but it appears to be true. The fellow Teresa’s mother is marrying is the uncle of one of our longtime commenters.

I think there are exclamations appropriate to this, but my mind is so blown that I can’t think of any of them.

UPDATE, dictated over the phone from our Arizona bureau: Linkmeister, Carol and all the cousins say hello, and thanks for the flowers!

Comments on The fluorosphere bends back in upon itself:
#1 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 09:39 PM:

Wwwwwowwwwww. Just... yeah.

#2 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 09:46 PM:

"I wonder what the real population of the world is?"

#3 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 09:46 PM:

Y'all think you're boggled?

#4 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 09:50 PM:

Linkmeister, reload the post for a Message Just For You.

#5 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 09:52 PM:

I got hit by a meteor today, while holding a royal flush. I'd've been OK, had it not been for all the air in the room suddenly deciding to be at the sides instead of the middle. To make matters worse, all the neutrinos in the universe suddenly rushed through my body.

#6 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 09:53 PM:

Good grief. There really are only 50 people in the world.

#7 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 09:54 PM:

You guys are step-cousins then, or will be in a short number of hours.

Family reunions on the internet, right? Who's gonna bring the potato salad?

#8 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 09:59 PM:

[Neo]Whoa[/Neo]

Congratulations to the Bride and Groom. Many years of happiness upon them both.

#9 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:01 PM:

Elise @ 7

And the green jello? Who's got the jello?

#10 ::: sdn ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:04 PM:

i don't think the world has 50 people, beth. i think patrick and teresa are the center of the universe. we all just orbit.

i want photos!

#11 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:07 PM:

It's gratifying to know the flowers got there so quickly, since we just ordered them this morning Hawai'i time.

The California branch of the family is on its way, and the Phoenix branch will be there for the ceremony tomorrow.

(Shakes head in disbelief.)

#12 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:08 PM:

What Randolph Fritz said at #2:

"I wonder what the real population of the world is?"


beth meacham at #6 is citing the answer "50".

I've heard the answer given as "600", but I don't recall where that's from.

#13 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:11 PM:

Wow....instant cousinhood. That's pretty cool. Congratulations to all your families.

#14 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:16 PM:

I don't know which is more appropriate: congratulations to all, or a chorus of 'It's a Small World'. Both are very much in order.

#15 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:19 PM:

It gets worse.

One of the wedding guests is, it transpires, a cousin of Harriet McDougal--the first editor-in-chief of Tor Books, and wife and editor of Jim Rigney, better known to readers as "Robert Jordan."

As some Making Light regulars are aware, Harriet and Jim were extremely close friends of John M. Ford.

This guest's niece-by-marriage is Jim's personal assistant.

As I said to Teresa when she phoned to pass this on, I have now officially passed through the Bogglement Event Horizon and am descending to the Bogglement Singularity.

#16 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:22 PM:

this just proves what eli lake said today, and it was in the national review, so i believe it, too:

"I bet at least half of the netleft are failed professors, over-educated literary theory PHDs, who make themselves appear more numerous than they arethrough their anonymity and deliberate manipulation of google."

it's worse than a coincidence--theresa actually *is* the same person as linkmeister, and this marriage violates *incest* laws!!

#17 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:23 PM:

Either there are very few real people in the world, or Reality is like Heinlein's time-travel story All You Zombies.

#18 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:25 PM:

elise #7: You guys are step-cousins then, or will be in a short number of hours.

Identical step cousins? Because then I would be boggled.

This? This isn't any more boggling than the time I fell out of an airplane, midflight, and survived with only minor cuts and bruises, or the time me and my brother both got struck by lightning at the same time in opposite hemispheres.

#19 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:27 PM:

kid @#16, Aside from all the other impossibilities that theory presents, if Teresa and I were one and the same, my blog would be a helluva lot more well-written than it is.

#20 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:27 PM:

Hail the wampeters of some karass or other!

#21 ::: sdn ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:27 PM:

actually, i am at the wedding and i am here, too. and i am patrick and teresa and the bride and groom, and also a martian zombie.

#22 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:28 PM:

You know, this is one of those things that make you start thinking that not only does God play dice with the universe - he's a cheating son of a rules lawyer with a penchant for fudging the numbers when he thinks you ain't looking...

#23 ::: Stephen Granade ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:34 PM:

Talk about six degrees of unbelievable coincidence.

#24 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:36 PM:

You want a truly scary bit of randomness? What's the likelihood of two compatible people coming together?

#25 ::: Jack ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:43 PM:

Teresa, if your internet connection is still lacking, you can come over to my place and borrow my wireless. :)

#26 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:43 PM:

sdn @ 21 -
actually, i am at the wedding and i am here, too. and i am patrick and teresa and the bride and groom, and also a martian zombie.

But are you Spartacus?

(Never mind answering - you are. We all are).

#27 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:52 PM:

As my co-worker from Ukraine would written, it is mind bugling.

#28 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:54 PM:

Sharyn is everywhere. She is a numinous possibility of Being.

#29 ::: Jennyanydots ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 10:58 PM:

Congratulations to the bride and groom!

"I wonder what the real population of the world is?"

I have noticed that when one visits a new town the same people are still hanging around in the background. Not people you know well, but people you vaguely know, glimpsed out of the corner of an eye, are sure you've seen in a cafe somewhere... I think that someone is skimping on the cast and the set dressing.

(This seems to be especially the case in university towns. Maybe it's just that there is a limited number of types of student and academic in the world.)


#30 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 11:00 PM:

Beth Meacham at #6, I know there have to be fifty, as my first cousins have not married each other.

600, now that sounds familiar, somehow.

#31 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 11:04 PM:

If Sharyn is a being of numinous possibility, who is everywhere, then why isn't she here?

#32 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 11:07 PM:

I'm way past boggled, right now. I just think it's incredibly cool.

#33 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 11:07 PM:

Ah, the Problem of Pain.

#34 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 11:26 PM:

What a beautiful thing.

#35 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 11:29 PM:

My jaw has dropped. I must go find it now. Wow.

#36 ::: jess a. ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2007, 11:44 PM:

Beth Meacham @ #31:

Did you look for Sharyn, you know, in your heart?

The world is, indeed, fascinatingly small -- and I think it's been made moreso by the internet. Best wishes to the bride & groom!

#37 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 12:12 AM:

Felicitations on the newfound family and the happy event. :)

#38 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 12:35 AM:

Congratulations to all!

And do please retrieve your dropped and misplaced jaws before the photographer shows up. You'll like the pictures much better that way.

#39 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 01:22 AM:

Everyone's wedding should have as many truly memorable moments as possible. I think that exchange of comments qualifies. May the marriage be as delightfully surprising.

#40 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 01:30 AM:

I think I've figured out what happened. Some things are so strongly fated, like certain people getting together and getting married, that there's a lot of fate left over at the end; it forms a vortex and drags all sorts of other people and events into it.

Everybody at the wedding, watch the skies over Mesa for signs and portents. Bog knows what's going to get stirred up by all that fate next.

#41 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 01:44 AM:

I have noticed that when one visits a new town the same people are still hanging around in the background. Not people you know well, but people you vaguely know, glimpsed out of the corner of an eye, are sure you've seen in a cafe somewhere... I think that someone is skimping on the cast and the set dressing.

(This seems to be especially the case in university towns. Maybe it's just that there is a limited number of types of student and academic in the world.)

Jennyanydots #29: Wow. When I first noticed this effect (going from Absolutebackofnowhere, Alaska, to Middletown, CT, to attend Wesleyan U.), I thought it was yet another symptom of a psychiatric problem that does not come into this thread. It's kind of nice to know that I'm not the only one who has seen this.

(There were exactly seven Alaskans there. But I kept seeing people I knew from the next aisle at Safeway back home. They were just dressed oddly . . . )

#42 ::: Jennyanydots ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 02:09 AM:

Jenny Islander @ #41:

Well, it is possible that I'm not quite mentally normal... But I think the real explanation is that there are a limited number of faces, or rather facial types, in the world, and if you meet enough people, they go around again.

I know I have several doppelgangers out there, because several times I have been told by some random person that I'm a dead ringer for someone else they know (who I never met). Once of them is a French lawyer and one is an Italian lady... I can't remember now what she did. (Some of these conversations may have been chat-up lines, but no reason to think they didn't have some basis in truth).

I also once met a Canadian girl, friend of a friend, who looked almost exactly like what you'd get if you merged my appearance with that of my sister. It was odd - felt like I knew her better than I actually did, because she had such a family face. No relation at all so far as I know.

So no, I think it is a real phenomenon.

Namesakes are another thing: our shared first name seems to be rather popular on Making Light, as shown on the 'sky isn't evil' thread...

(P.S. Always wanted to visit Absolutebackofnowhere, Alaska. Maybe I will some day.)

#43 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 02:48 AM:

Patrick,

When your boggle level comes back down, consider that it might be a nice gesture to put together a remembrance document, something like a certificate perhaps, for the newlyweds, using the comments that started this thread. Something from the Fluorosphere as a whole. I would be glad to assist with layout and graphics; I have Photoshop and several drawing and paint programs, a brand new tablet, and a lot of clip-art borders and other ornamentation.

#44 ::: Sara E. ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 02:51 AM:

Wow. How wonderful and strange. I hope a good time was had by all at the wedding! Mazel Tov!

#45 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 03:01 AM:

Best of wishes to Teresa's mother, Linkmeister's uncle, and the entire extended family. May the time/space continuum continue to warp in their favor!

(That wish includes good luck with Teresa's laptop, too.)

#46 ::: jane ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 03:02 AM:

Boggle indeed.

And about that 600--it is, besides being 66 away from the number of the Beast--the number of the New York elite back in the day of the Robber Barons. In other words, everyone one should know. The folks in the infamous Blue Book.

Jane

#47 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 03:05 AM:

Serge,

The expression I use that seems to fit this sort of occasion is "it boogies the mind." That's an outgrowth* of the 70's as you might guess.


* Yes, I'm having it surgically removed.

#48 ::: Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 04:04 AM:

There are forty people in this world.

#49 ::: Vassilissa ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 05:14 AM:

It was syzygy!

#50 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 06:36 AM:

Fandom is incestuous. Even to parents and uncles.

#51 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 07:35 AM:

Wow.

And congratulations to those to be wed today.

#52 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 07:36 AM:

If there are only 50 people in the universe, I want to know why =I= wasn't invited to the wedding!

signed, Miffed

#53 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 09:12 AM:

Bright blessings on the happy couple!

#54 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 09:32 AM:

What a wonderful story to remember a wonderful event. Congratulations!

#55 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 09:42 AM:

I have noticed that when one visits a new town the same people are still hanging around in the background. Not people you know well, but people you vaguely know, glimpsed out of the corner of an eye, are sure you've seen in a cafe somewhere...

If you see that happening around accident scenes... don't say anything. Especially don't post on the net about it! ;-)

#56 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 09:45 AM:

Please pass along my best wishes and congratulations to Teresa's mother.

May she be as happy in her new marriage as my own mother is in hers. (Subtext: I like Tom, my stepdad for the last four years, a lot.)

#57 ::: Nix ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 09:51 AM:

Ethan @#18: We know which person *you* really are, don't we? I wondered why James Nicoll wasn't posting on these threads, but now it turns out he is...

#58 ::: Naomi ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 10:20 AM:

Congratulations to Teresa's mother / Linkmeister's uncle!

And yeah, I've had many reasons to reflect lately that the world is much smaller than it seems like it ought to be. None quite this mindboggling, though.

#59 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 10:44 AM:

This is proof that life is stranger then fiction. If you based a novel on this coincidence, PNH would bounce it in a New York minute.

#60 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 11:22 AM:

Wow. If this had occurred in a work of fiction, I'd probably hurled it across the room as an outrageous coincidence. Wild.

#61 ::: zHeresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 11:25 AM:

Well, now I know where all you come from. But this zombie...

#62 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 01:16 PM:

My congratulations to the happy couple.

The world is a small place, and the fluorosphere is even smaller.

#63 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 01:24 PM:

Best wishes to the happy couple, and their relatives.

Oh, and the number of unique people in the world is approximately five hundred and thirty seven. It just looks like more because they move around a lot.

#64 ::: nobby ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 01:33 PM:

Jenny Islander @ #41:

Well, it is possible that I'm not quite mentally normal... But I think the real explanation is that there are a limited number of faces, or rather facial types, in the world, and if you meet enough people, they go around again.

I know I have several doppelgangers out there...So no, I think it is a real phenomenon.

I observed the same phenomena when I went from my small Lutheran high school on the West Coast to a small Lutheran college in the Midwest. People who I'd tried to get dates with, been friends with, had seen in the background, etc, all seemed to have body doubles at the college.

I chalk it up to:
1. small gene pool for Lutherans*
2. people from the same highly-fashion conscious** time period wear their hair, makeup, clothes in astonishingly similar ways
3. people younger than 19 or 20 tend to still have some adolescent body type similarities - a little bit of baby fat in the face, some stretched-ness in the arms and legs. And everyone has either good skin or acne. (or both, more's the pity)


*substantiated by personal interview. There was a lot of "oh, my Grandfather was the president of the college your mom went to."
**none more fashion conscious than those between the ages of 16-21. Seems to last longer for the long-term residents of college towns. Northampton, I'm looking at you

#65 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 01:47 PM:

So, what did they serve at the wedding reception?

Plate of shrimp?

#66 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 02:46 PM:

Connie H #52: If there are only 50 people in the universe, I want to know why =I= wasn't invited to the wedding!

Two words: Deliberately. Snubbed. As was I.

Miffed is right!

#68 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 03:01 PM:

Well, yeah, Clifton, but at least you and I live in the same town.

#69 ::: sdn ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 03:06 PM:

Sharyn is everywhere. She is a numinous possibility of Being.

exactly.

confidential to anonymous: i saw that

#71 ::: Varia ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 03:17 PM:

I think it's also that our brains have a tendency to interpret visual patterns as things that we've seen before, rather than looking at the details, especially when you're scanning a crowd or seeing things peripherally. You already have a filter that says "person X" and it's quicker for your brain to see visual stimuli vaguely similar to that and categorize it as "person X" than to keep looking and eventually see it as something different. Did anyone else see "What the Bleep Do We Know?" It was obnoxiously wrong about quantum mechanics, and neuroscience too, but the basic idea of how we filter visual information wasn't wrong, just oversimplified and exaggerated.

#72 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 03:59 PM:

Niall McAuley @#65:

Plate of shrimp?

*snerf*

#73 ::: Shannon ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 04:18 PM:

Since coming abroad to study (England), I've had more weird coincidences than I can count. I've met someone from Utah who worked with someone I worked with previously in upstate NY. I met someone whose sister was in my program in my undergraduate university. And in Dublin, within 10 minutes , I met two girls who were students at a university 15 minutes from my home in upstate NY, and a guy who went to the next high school over at the same time I was in high school.

But this story is exceptionally weird.

#74 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 04:28 PM:

So, Linkmeister, was there any chance at all that you might have attended the wedding? Now that would have been fun.
[long pause]
"Hi, Teresa, fancy meeting you here!"
[Thump] as Teresa falls to the floor from the absurdity of it all.

#75 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 04:47 PM:

Small world deparrtment: I was on the MARTA train one afternoon last year when a woman squeezed by me to sit down. We got to talking and discovered that we had gone to the same high school at the same time (she was one year ahead of me). When we got off the train -- we were going to the same station -- I took her to meet my wife who was waiting to pick me up.

#76 ::: little light ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 04:51 PM:

Heavens to Betsy.

Well, good evidence the union is blessed, anyhow. Congratulations to the lot of you.

#77 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 05:04 PM:

Before we were married my partner and I were living together in a small town on the Hudson River north of New York City, where she had gotten a job teaching. We only had one car, and she worked at six different schools, so it wasn't until several weeks after she started work that I got to see her at work, when I needed the car and she was at one school that whole day.

I walked into the teachers' lounge, and Eva introduced me to one of her colleagues, who, it turned out was familiar to me. She'd been in my class in high school for three years. Not a big coincidence, except that the class had 31 students and was in a school in another state 150 miles away, and we'd graduated 5 years before.

#78 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 05:09 PM:

I consider my hometown to be the small town in the south Puget Sound area where I went to school; I do this despite having lived in Cambridge for more years than I lived there.

One day at work I was talking to our recently-hired webmaster, and mentioned living "in a small town south of Tacoma". Jenn immediately asked if it was "anywhere near Steilacoom".

Uh, yeah. Very near. 100% near. Why?

"My best friend from college is from there." And, as it turns out, was also someone I'd known in 7th grade, whose mother was a long-time family friend who made the cake for my brother's wedding.

#79 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 05:23 PM:

John @ #74, Finances and airfare tickets from Hawai'i to Phoenix being what they currently are, no, unfortunately.

I'd have been introduced as Steve, not Linkmeister, so it would have been entirely up to me to point Teresa in the right direction. Boy, would I have enjoyed it.

(In fact, I'm still a little puzzled as to how my cousins made the connection, since AFAIK they don't read my blog or know the Linkmeister name. I'll have to call them when all the reception hooha dies down.)

#80 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 06:13 PM:

Christopher, did you happen to catch "Better Know a District" this week on Colbert? The Generic Congressperson for the Washington 9th was on.

They mentioned Prairie Days.

#81 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 06:47 PM:

And here I thought it was odd a couple of weeks ago when I got a wrong number that turned out to be a co-worker whom I've never actually met (but spoken to on the phone occasionally) who was trying to call a business a couple of towns over.

Our conclusion, "This state is too damn small."

Am beginning to believe that extends to the whole internets.

Anyway, congratulations to the appropriate parties!

#82 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 08:09 PM:

"...and so the House of Nielsen Hayden expanded its territories thru Alliances and Marriages..."

(Encyclopedia Galactica, vol.236555)

#83 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 08:25 PM:

Well, someone had to say it...

IM IN UR MESA
MARRYIN UR UNKLE
NOW UR CUZINZ!!! LOL

#84 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 08:33 PM:

One of the first people I met in fandom, many years ago, went to the same high school as me, but a year later. (It was, however, a big enough school that we'd never met while there.)

My borther was called in to consult on a project, and one of the other people involved turned out to have been living a couple of doors away when we were kids.

#85 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 09:18 PM:

Best of life to the newlyweds!

When you're going to Mesa,
A wedding to go see
You need uh...
Synchronicity, synchronicity!

Blog that trip
And what do you get?
You get uh...
Synchronicity, synchronicity!

Every pseudonym
Can now be met
With just uh...
Synchronicity, synchronicity!

Where do you think
It all comes from?
This powerful...
Synchronicity, synchronicity!

Through air flights
To Hawaiian best wishes,
They're bringing the...
Synchronicity, synchronicity!

Every blog
Must be connected
To use it uh...
Synchronicity, synchronicity!

Power posting
From remote connections
To make it uh...
Synchronicity, synchronicity!

#86 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 10:46 PM:

My grandparents live in a little tiny town in the Laurel Mountains called Boswell (which is quite close to Shanksville, so I spent a good half hour on the morning of 9/11/01 trying to find out about the plane crash and being very confused by the pictures of the NY skyline, which I didn't know very well). The directions to Boswell are, go east on 30 from Greensburg. After you go through Jennerstown, take a left at the light and go about two miles.

I was at a baby shower for someone I hardly knew at all, when one of the other guests started telling misspent youth stories and mentioning the tiny town she grew up in. I asked where and she said I'd never heard of it; I said "Try me" and she, of course, said "Boswell".

Not only that, but her sister was my grandfather's secretary when he was some kind of local official or other.

#87 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2007, 11:29 PM:

Well dang.

The best I've been able to do was make an acquaintance on the LJ community devoted to Davis Square (Somerville, MA) who turned out to have both grown up in my city and graduated from the same college as me (but ten years before me). Neither city nor college has any connection to Davis Square. It's really not the same class of coincidence as this.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

And what does that make Teresa and Linkmeister? Stepcousins? I like it.

#88 ::: dan ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 01:00 AM:

Linky *is* a coincidence singularity; I'll let him explain since he's better known here than I am...

#89 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 01:21 AM:

dan, just because we share a birthdate (all of 'em -- month, day, year), there's no reason you should say that.

#90 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 01:27 AM:

Oooh, speaking of birthdates, my brother and one of his closest friends were born in the same hospital on the same day and share the same initials. Both mothers have the same birthday (though not the same birth year), and in fact the friend, Nathan, was going to have the same name as my brother, Nathaniel, but ended up being named Nathan for murky reasons forgotten by time.

#91 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 02:11 AM:

Ok, Small world story.

My first day of Real Work in Seattle, And my cube neighbor:

* Went to high school with me, graduated in the same class of 350 (Virginia).
* Was one of 16 who went to the same college as me from that class (NY).
* 3 years later was working for an engineering firm in Seattle.

And I didn't know her all that time. She recognized my (rather unique) last name and we pieced together that we probably had just circled in different orbits all that time.

#92 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 02:47 AM:

Happiness to the newly-wedded! And bogglement for the synchronicity!

#93 ::: mk ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 04:32 AM:

Anyone here not yet in on "Send Scalzi to the Creation Museum"?

As posted on his blog:
"I will go to the Creation Museum and file a full, detailed and delightfully snarklicious report of the trip IF AND ONLY IF I receive at least $250 in donations via PayPal by 11:59pm NEXT FRIDAY, June 15, 2007. ALL the proceeds (minus PayPal's processing bite) will then be donated to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an organization which for sixty years has striven to keep the chunky peanut butter of religion out of the dusky chocolate of good government."

I just sent in my donation. Not sure if Mr. Scalzi realizes what he could be getting himself into: I'm a knitter. And I'm going to tell other knitters.

#94 ::: Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 05:12 AM:

John @ #74:

I am not sure that meeting people unexpectedly is sufficient of a coincidence to really amaze, though obviously it counts more when you travel to events. When I was about twelve, I used to like reading the columns by Hunter Davies in Punch. (Coincidentally, pnh will know of Davies because he's the Beatles' biographer). Anyway, he told of playing a game, which is that whenever he went anywhere, he looked out for the person he knew that he hadn't expected to be there; once he'd found them he stopped playing. I thought this was all rather amazing; at the time this had only happened to me about twice in my life.

But now of course, I live in London and I have a very large acquaintance. I'm probably about the age that Davies was when he was writing about this experience. So yesterday, I met a couple of unexpected people at the Royal Festival Hall; the other week I ran into someone from work at the Patti Smith gig; one of my Ministers was sitting two rows in front of us at the Gondoliers. That sort of thing.

Some events are just magnets; at the recording of 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' at the Palladium, I saw at least a dozen people I knew just in the small section of the theatre I was in.

I assume if I went so far as to seek out the people I know, I'd nearly always find one now, at any event of moderate size.

#95 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 06:23 AM:

Wow. How awesome. :-) Congratulations to Teresa and Linkmeister and their respective parental and avuncular relations!

(Also, Scalzi vs. Creation Museum sounds fantastic.)

#96 ::: Kevin Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 06:43 AM:

So does that make her Mom Nielsen-Linkmeister or Mom Nielsen-Linkmeister-KevinBacon?

Either way, I wish the couple serious doses of perpetual bliss. Love, after all, is ludicrous unless it's fun.

#97 ::: JaniceG ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 08:44 AM:

This blog has to be a hole in the Singularity or something. Last July when I was in Bangalore, India, for work, I responded to a MAKING LIGHT post about unseasonably hot NY weather by mentioning the irony of it being cooler in India. In response, someone sent me email to say she was in Bangalore for work, too, and could I use some company going shopping or whatever. I said great. First, we found that our employers were putting us up at the same 28-building apartment complex on the outskirts of town. Then, during lunch, we discovered that although we'd both moved within the previous 6 months, prior to that we'd lived within 10 minutes of each other in the SF Bay Area. (And we didn't even have Teresa or Patrick as acquaintances in common as she's never met them, merely follows the blog.) Just another data point in the Bogglesphere.

#98 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 09:16 AM:

One of our neighbors returned from a trip to Florida with a story. While they were camping out, a fellow approached them with: "New York State license plates? We used to live in New York State."

It was narrowed down through region, city, suburb, and street until it resolved that one set lived next door to the Rusicks, while the other had lived across the street.

When my parents first moved to upstate NY, one of their first neighbors shared the exact same wedding day. They still celebrate their anniversaries together.

#99 ::: Miri ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 12:40 PM:

Okay, I'm generally just a lurker (and doesn't that sound all dark and evil-intentioned and kind of creepy), but can't resist weighing in with my 'ooh, small world!' story, comparatively mundane though it be.

I grew up in Portland and Yamhill (Oregon), then moved to Corvallis to go to school and ended up staying. The first job I get out of college I'm sitting in my new office one day and one of the other people who works in the building walks up to introduce herself, sees the picture of my nieces, and says, "I know them!"

It turns out she and her partner had been good friends with my younger sister and her husband in Beaverton several years ago.

Good wishes to the newlyweds, and the newly-cousins! :)

#100 ::: John F ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 01:20 PM:

Congratulations to the happy couple! And what a cute coincidence it is.

#101 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 01:32 PM:

Once upon a time I was a doppleganger for Ed from the Chemical Brothers*. So much so, that people would tell me to try to get me and them into clubs/VIP sections on the strength of it.

Until the day that, minutes after I refused (as always) and we went into a club as members of the public, the Chemical Brothers turned up and DJed a suprise guest set**.

* If you don't know who the Chemical Brothers are, substitute "popular beat combo". If you do, look for an old picture, where Ed has long blonde hair.
** It proved that I did indeed look very like Ed, but the danger was that we were hanging around in clubs he might turn up at.

#102 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 03:02 PM:

I grew up outside Boston, and live in CT now.

I met my housemate online through RPG community. She grew up in the Albany area.

I have some other friends who live around Albany. Met them through online Potter fandom. While visiting them and going out dancing, I met the young man I'm dating.

Whose freshman picture appears in my housemate's senior yearbook. Boggled her thoroughly.

(Oh, and at least one ML commenter moved in the same circles as the friends in Albany -- they used to live in Texas, and were regulars at the Church, and the female half of the couple initiated the custom of performing the Macarena moves to the chorus of "Nemesis.")

Congratulations to the newlyweds and to the new cousins!

#103 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 03:07 PM:

Okay, my "small-world" story:

My landlord in Pasadena, CA went to the same high school in South Dakota that I did (ten years before me, we didn't overlap at all). Few enough people make it out of SD that this seemed pretty mindboggling in itself -- and then I learned that his mother was the teacher of my gifted & talented program all through elementary school.

#104 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 04:40 PM:

Congratulations to the (presumably) happy couple!

Small world story: after my year studying in Scotland (abroad from California), I spent some time travelling in Spain. I was walking down the street in Madrid, turned my head, and saw the distinctive profile of the woman who had lived across the street from me since I was eight.

I had no idea she was in Europe at all. She bought dinner on the strength of it, for me and my two travelling companions.

#105 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 05:01 PM:

lorax @ 103

The only person from South Dakota I know well always contended that everyone left, at least from Rapid City, where she was from. She seems to like Oregon a lot better.

#106 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 05:08 PM:

I keep forgetting I have another small world story. When Eva and I lived in the Boston area we had an apartment in Brighton a few blocks from the Charles River. After a couple of years we moved to California, and eventually ended up in Davis, near Sacramento. About 6 months after we moved into an apartment complex in Davis our dog introduced us to a friend of his* whose owner, it turned out, was an older lady who had lived through WWII with her small children in the same apartment building in Brighton, Mass.

* Just a playmate; although he was a male German Shepherd, and she was a female Doberman, they just liked to run around together, nothing romantic, because he was much younger, and queer for male Black Labs.

#107 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 10:53 PM:

Small world via Making Light Story, although I wasn't sure until today it was one.

Keith Fagerlund mentioned that he'd gone to Yelm Grade School, even though he lived on a bus route which traveled through North Thurston district lines; I suspected he might know old friends of mine, but I wasn;t sure until I remembered to ask them today when I ran into them at the Olympia Farmer's Market. Sure enough, they are neighbors of his parents. (Marlene and Roschay say hello, Keith, if you read this).

#108 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2007, 11:38 PM:

My bizarre coincidence: on arriving in Canberra on my way to Aussiecon 2, I find that the other two Yanks on that 1/3-full tour bus are from Slippery Rock, a bit of western PA whose population more than triples for a couple of weeks each August -- due to the Pennsic War, which I probably would have been leaving at just about that time if I hadn't been in Australia. It's one thing to run into fans around a Worldcon's time/space -- there are only so many places for people to be when they're funneling into the same destination (and in fact I ran into Marty Cantor and party that evening) but meeting random mundanes with that connection was unexpected.

#109 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 12:00 AM:

P J Evans @14: Oh, my. I haven't thought of that jello salad in years, but when you mentioned it, I could just about taste it.

And now I really want some.

I think I'm frightened now.

#110 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 01:23 AM:

My favorite "small world" story is actually my mom's. In the summer of 1969 my parents and my aunt and uncle were touring the western U.S. Mom and Dad were climbing a ladder at Mesa Verde*, and Mom said, "At Kennywood** they'd charge you to do this."

A voice came down from above (farther up the ladder), asking, "Where are you from?"

The voice belonged to someone from Munhall. Munhall is right next door to Homestead, where Mom grew up (so close that the Homestead Public Library is actually in Munhall***), both being only a couple of miles from Kennywood, and all being a couple of thousand miles from Mesa Verde.


* ancient Native American "cliff-dweller" ruin
** amusement park in the Pittsburgh area
*** You can see the library's website at http://www.einetwork.net/ein/homested/hours_loc.html which notes the mailing address as being Munhall, or the Wikipedia article (which oddly did not mention this fact until just now when I edited it, although it *did* give the usual explanation why. Which is that many of the good folks of Homestead were still mightily sore at Andrew Carnegie after the steel strike in 1892, when several steelworkers were killed, and didn't want his blood money/peace offering/library. In fact for several generations many people were still angry enough that they refused to use it. I have heard this story from several sources including my mom -- a rabid fan of all sorts of local history tidbits -- and a librarian at the Homestead/Munhall library, and so have no problem passing it on.)

#111 ::: Mary Dowell ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 04:44 AM:

As you all know, my father and Teresa's mother were married yesterday, in Mesa, Arizona. I want to extend my and my family's astonished gratitude to all those who expressed such good wishes for their happiness. We all know the world is small and getting smaller, but the intimacy of cyberspace can still shock. This story was the hit of the wedding (at least to those who were not completely bewildered by it). It brought Steve there in spirit, and gives the newly blended family an immediate shared story on which to grow. I wish you all could have been there, although it was very hot (thank you again, Teresa, for the fan!) because her/our sister threw a really great party with fantastic food. Bless you all, and may all your love stories, whenever they mature, have such marvelous happy twists!

#112 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 04:51 AM:

Varia, #71: That happens to me aurally, too. Growing up in Michigan, I could always tell my mother's voice from (e.g.) the next aisle over in a store. Apparently a significant part of that was her accent -- because when we moved to Nashville, suddenly it became easy for me to mistake other women's voices for hers.

My slightly different variety of small-world story: About 15 years ago, while contradancing in Nashville, I kept thinking that one of the new attendees that night looked familiar. So much so that, at the after-dance restaurant gather, I said so, and she said she was getting the same feeling about me. We ran thru all the usual "do you do this?" permutations without success. But something in the back of my head kept saying, "Michigan," and finally I mentioned that.

She: "I used to live in Michigan."
Me: "Where in Michigan?"
She: "Harper Woods."
Me: "OMG, North!* What's your last name?"**
She: Turns out to be the older sister of a girl I'd been fairly close friends with in junior high. We'd never known each other well, but there was enough memory there to be triggered when I saw her again.

* My high school -- the obvious connection point for someone of about my own age, from my old neighborhood.

** We were both wearing nametags with our first names on them. However, contradancing is one of the places where I've always used the nickname Celine, which was not the name she would have recognized.

#113 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 10:04 AM:

Thank you, Mary. You and your family were wonderfully gracious, and the accumulating coincidences made it feel like a circle closing.

Everyone: Mary is Linkmeister's first cousin, the sister of that Carol who's mentioned in the main post, and now my stepsister.

#114 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 12:48 PM:

Couple of small world stories:

I was at DLI (where I studied Russian). There was a vaguely familiar looking Airman in the PX. I ended up in line behind her. We'd gone to college together, some five years before, she was studying Arabic.

More interesting. I was home one morning and the phone rang. They asked if there was a Kim Ball there.

Ok, my roommate's last name was Kimball, and I explained as he was out.

Well, I'm really looking for (Terry's full legal name).

"Oh, well that's me."

"Oh, well we have your wallet."

Insert sound of my jaw falling open. Said wallet had disappeared something like nine months before. They'd called the first phone number they could find, which was the one I was at. It happened I had moved in with Kimball about a month earlier.

The wallet was found (complete, so far as I could tell, save for the 12 dollars which had been in it) in a "used car dealer" in the Sunset Strip (this was 1992 and the cheapest car in the place was $192,000. They were all collectables, and most of them were GT race cars and the like).

Needless to say I'd never been in the place, and the last place I recalled having the wallet would have been at least 20 miles away.

#115 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 01:08 PM:

Congratulations to the happy couple!

And neat-o for the new cousins -- or is it cousins-in-law? Or would that be Patrick & Linkmeister?

#116 ::: Sara Rosenbaum ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 05:12 PM:

I don't think this is actually a coincidence. I think that most of us inhabit a fairly small but spatially noncontiguous village.

#117 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 10:54 PM:

My only real small-world story is that when I went to see The Fantasticks on Sullivan Street (the original production), the Mute was played by a guy who went to my high school (he graduated in the spring of the year I started in the fall). In fact he played Curly in the Okemos High School production of Oklahoma!

A few months later I went to see the show again, and he was playing the Boy. Shortly thereafter he left to go be in soaps. His name's Peter Reckell. Anybody heard of him?

Btw, as I said he's four years older than me...or was, back then. Now, of course, he's much, much younger.

Tom Welling also went to my high school, but he was BORN the year I graduated! Besides, it's not in the same building any more. But I'll bet that if I talked to him we'd know some of the same people.

#118 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 10:57 PM:

I've been thinking about this some more, and I believe that if Soap Dowell were a generation younger, he'd be one of Making Light's fellow bloggers. There are just too many felicitous connections.

#119 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 11:09 PM:

Xopher: You went to high school with Bo Brady?!?!?!?

OMGx0rz and everything!

The one thing I miss about my crappy last job is watching Days of Our Lives on my lunch break.

#120 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2007, 11:19 PM:

ethan 119: My older brothers did. I went to high school with his younger brother (a hot dish at that time...dunno what he looks like now).

#121 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 01:38 AM:

Soap would do well at it.

And before anyone asks, yes, he's called Soap, but the reason for it is lost (to me).

#122 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 02:37 AM:

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that I know someone that knows someone else who reads/posts here.

The best I can do is that one of my friends is a friend of an author that David Hartwell edits for Tor.

Oh, and weirdly enough, my husband's uncle went to Westwood High School in Mesa from 68-72, so he probably had some overlap with TNH.

Isn't it time to start humming that annoying song from a ride in Disneyland?
It's a world of laughter...

#123 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 06:43 AM:

I was feeling very small-world a little while back when Patrick & Teresa were praising Jonathan Schwarz, of A Tiny Revolution, and quoting from it...because my SO of 11 years is his sister. It gave (still gives) me an odd feeling of, "I know him two different ways."

#124 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 08:45 AM:

#123: In fact, Jonathan Schwarz mentioned that fact to us.

#122: Actually, TNH went to Mesa High, not Westwood.

#125 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 12:12 PM:

As a child I went to this preschool: little red school house. It was separated by walls. And it was horrendous.

Snacks were nutter butters with a dollop of grape jelly. Still can't eat those.

the back yard was junk filled broken toys and had a metal rocket. the pigs in the pens were voracious and we were told not to stick our fingers through or that we would loose them.

then there were the tire pits. I still have a scare across my hand where I grabbed a tire after falling in one of the pits...kids got lost in there and they did not come to find you.

It all seems pretty unbelievable. But I was telling the story one day and one of my friends began to squirm on the couch. His soon to be girlfriend was laughing at me when he spoke up to say..."yeah well we used to through kids from the rocket too. And those pigs were scary. I have nightmares about those pigs."

Turns out...though we met in college...we went to the same preschool.

#126 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 12:15 PM:

All that preview and I still missed through...

It should be Throw

#127 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 02:07 PM:

PNH @ #124 - Whew! That was a little weird for me.

The uncle did get a good chuckle out of the "Apache" bit from a few months back, and agreed that the dancers resembled the cheerleaders from when he was in high school.

#128 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 04:08 PM:

Oh, I've been reminded of another small-world story!

A friend and I were browsing thru one of the 3 big annual crafts fairs at Centennial Park in Nashville, and chatting about our plans for the next couple of months, which included Rivercon. The vendor whose booth we were in suddenly piped up with, "Sounds like science fiction fans!"

She was David Weber's sister. She does handloomed fabrics and accessories (I bought a small handbag), and her husband does lovely woodcarving, including a beautiful rocket ship that I would have bought had it not been WAY out of my budget.

For the next several years, I made a point of looking for them at that fair and stopping in to say hello.

#129 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 04:25 PM:

Linkmeister 121: Must...not...joke...about Soap Dowell's...name!

Drop it, just drop it.

OH NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

#130 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 05:14 PM:

xopher, he's 80 or thereabouts. He's heard them all.

#131 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 06:12 PM:

But that was why I was trying to resist! If I met a man named SmokeToo Much, I would restrain myself, on the theory that any joke I could think up, he'd've heard a million times.

Besides, other people might still be offended. Like his new stepdaughter, who might not have heard them all.

#132 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 06:18 PM:

That's kinda what I meant, too; don't waste your time thinking up jokes about it. It's a nickname, anyway, but as I said above I don't remember its source.

#133 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2007, 10:37 PM:

Xopher, #117, yes, I see Peter Reckell on Days of Our Lives every weekday except when I'm at Minicon. I admit, it's the kind of show I can watch while I'm online or reading the paper, but it interests me enough to watch or tape.

#134 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 01:45 AM:

By the way, regarding the thread title — isn't a sphere that bends back in upon in upon itself a Klein bottle?

Is there a topologist in here? Or on here, as the case may be?

#135 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 02:08 AM:

On Klein bottles:

The Acme Klein Bottle company has possibly been mentioned here before*, but they're worth a reminder.

They also make Cups of Tantalus, perfect for sending a mixed message along when making a mixed drink.

And, of course, one-sided knitted hats.

-------
* Yes, but that's over 50 open threads ago.

#136 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 05:21 AM:

#134:
That motley drama - oh, be sure,
It shall not be forgot!
With its topic chased for ever more
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth it
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Wit,
And Humour the soul of the plot.

#137 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 09:37 AM:

The world I say's a tiny place
there aren't a lot of people here,
we know, from travel far and near,
we'll always find a well-known face.
I cross the sea, I've left no trace
of where I was, the ground is sere,
and yet I've come upon friends dear
whose travels also match my pace.
I never know from where they'll pop
but they are there when I turn round
surprised but still with cheery hail.
I have a feeling it won't stop
until my body's deep in ground
or else when all of life must fail.

#138 ::: Garrett Fitzgerald ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 10:50 AM:

My weirdest connection that easily comes to mind is:

In '98 or '99 I fell in love with Jeff Hitchin's "Tech Support". In '99, I moved out to the West Coast, living near Seattle. I got involved with a community theatre group called Eastside Musical Theatre. The third show I played in the band for was Man of La Mancha. At the first performance, I grabbed a program and was browsing through the cast list, and discovered that one of the Muleteers was... Jeff Hitchin. :-)

I went up to the dressing room and complimented him on the song. He was floored, because his filk and theatre activities had never collided before. :-)

#139 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 12:19 PM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @ 135

Do they make cross caps too?

#140 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 12:25 PM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale @ 135

Do they make cross caps too?

#141 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 12:31 PM:

Sorry for the double post. I've been getting timeouts off and on all morning from nielsenhayden.com, and this time it came in the middle of posting, so I reposted. Is there a problem with the site, or is it me?

#142 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 01:08 PM:

I think the story of Teresa and Linkmeister is amazing - congratulations to all concerned. Like everyone, I have a few fun coincidence stories of my own (e.g. my sister-in-law meeting my PhD supervisor and his wife at our wedding and recognising them because she had seen them while attending at a traffic accident outside their house a few months earlier (she's ambulance personnel)).

However, if anyone is interested in the science behind those "what a coincidence!" moments, Jack Cohen & Ian Stewart wrote an interesting article about this sort of thing. Basically, humans are pattern-recognising animals. It's a survival trait: run away from the tiger-shaped outline in the bush; if you do and you're wrong (not actually a tiger there), no harm done, but if you don't, and you're wrong, you're dead. So, we see patterns, and coincidences. What we don't see is all the "near coincidences" that didn't happen (they call it "coincidence space", as I remember). So you're exclaiming about the fact that you bump into a friend/colleague you haven't seen for years, at the Duty Free shop you suddenly decided to walk into, at an airport where you were not supposed to be - but you don't ever know about the ten other colleagues/friends you nearly met but didn't quite - different shop, different airport, same airport one day/hour earlier/later etc./ going through the airport you -should- have gone through etc. Okay, in this community, probably everyone already knows about it.

It's still a lot of fun when it happens, and to swap stories about.

#143 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 02:09 PM:

dcb, that's an interesting theory. When we discovered this connection it occurred to me that if I hadn't happened to be reading that open thread, and if I hadn't felt silly enough to make a frivolous suggestion to Teresa (I mean, who really goes to a wedding of unknown people for entertainment?), it might never have been discovered.

#144 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 03:13 PM:

@#143:

When we discovered this connection it occurred to me that if I hadn't happened to be reading that open thread, and if I hadn't felt silly enough to make a frivolous suggestion to Teresa (I mean, who really goes to a wedding of unknown people for entertainment?), it might never have been discovered.

And yet, at some point it might have come out in a different way. Frex, TNH could have said: "I'm in Mesa for my mother's wedding" (or in the future she could say that she had been), and you would then mention your uncle marrying in the same place and the same time, and the bogglement would simply be discovered later.

#145 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 03:38 PM:

#143 & 144: Along those lines, one thing I find interesting is thinking about whether or not TNH would have mentioned her being in Mesa at all if not for the malfunctioning laptop (which was the context she mentioned it in in the first place).

dcb #142: Have you read Stanislaw Lem's The Chain of Chance? It's a great novel about pretty much just that. (It even features airports prominently! What a crazy coincedence!) One day, when I'm a Great Filmmaker, you'll also be able to watch my movie version that I've been thinking about for the past two years and counting.

#146 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2007, 01:16 AM:

Ethan @#145: whether or not TNH would have mentioned her being in Mesa at all if not for the malfunctioning laptop

I was thinking the same thing. Certainly, I hope Teresa is able to get the laptop functioning properly again*; but if for some reason it's not fixable, it should be given some sort of dignified sendoff in honor of its role in this amazing coincidence, and this resulting thread.

*Shouldn't there be another word that's a more exact antonym for "malfunction[ing]", to indicate something that's functioning well? Maybe "bonfunction[ing]"?

#147 ::: Ericka ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2007, 02:22 AM:

Um, there's one more linkage here. Patrick, TNH's sister Ericka (me) and Linkmeister's uncle Soap (aka the groom) all share the same birthdate of Jan 2nd. Should there be an X-files reference in here somewhere?

#148 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2007, 02:14 PM:

Ericka @ #147,

(Waves) Nice to meet you!

#149 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2007, 02:53 PM:

Wow, you were all born on the Feast of the Circumcision. Jolly fun...

#150 ::: Ericka ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2007, 12:45 AM:

Linkmeister #148

Likewise! I'll enjoy your comments even more. And now...back to lurking.

#151 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2007, 01:57 PM:

Xopher #149: The Feast of the Circumcision is 1 January, not 2 January.

#152 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2007, 03:39 PM:

Is it? I thought...oh, wait, the bris is on the eighth day, not eight days after. Still, I could have sworn...I'll have to look in the OFA when I get home.

#153 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2007, 03:05 AM:

January 2, St. Basil the Great, 4th Century (A.D., or C.E. if you prefer) bishop and theologian.

Also, Isaac Asimov was born January 2, 1920.

(And my sister Naida, on January 2, 1954.)

#154 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2007, 08:57 AM:

Isaac Asimov was born January 2, 1920

At least January 2 was the day he celebrated his birthday.

According to Isaac's autobiography, the date he was actually born is uncertain, although it was sometime between October 4, 1919 and January 2, 1920.

#155 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2007, 03:26 PM:

Other January 2 births include James "Plains of Abraham" Wolfe, Sally Rand, Dennis Hastert, Jim Bakker, and Cuba Gooding, Jr.

As I've said on this site before, it's kind of an odd birthday to have, being as in most years it's International Go Back To Work Day.

As for #142, I'm sure all that logic and reason stuff is perfectly correct, but you can't fool me. Obviously Soap Dowell is a coincidence vector placed here by time-travellers from the future so as to enable the assassination of Joseph Li before he can rise to power at the head of the Pan-Asiatic Principled Utopia of Federated Trading States. This simple edit to history, carefully engineered by the finest chronosynclastic technicians, will help the Marvelous Empire of 2349 regain resources that would otherwise have been squandered in the Great Hiveoff of C22, without causing any of the interruptions, disappearances, and "grandfather problems" so common to less skillful interferences with the ti

#156 ::: Aquila ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2007, 06:43 AM:

That might be Northern Hemisphere Go Back to Work Day rather than International. It's a public holiday here, and the middle of the annual summer holiday period.

#157 ::: alison ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2007, 03:41 AM:

hullo teresa and patrick, i'm usually a lurker here as well, because i miss your wonderful minds, but i really must add to this thread. first off, i live in bisbee, az. and was disappointed that i was so close to this wedding and didn't know about all the excitement untill now. here goes:

when i first moved to bisbee i waited tables in a nice restuarant that started doing breakfasts. i had a lovely couple i always talked to who had moved here a month after me and we were all new in town. one day, he used his credit card instead of cash and when looking down at the name had to pause. william shetterly (a tor author--i used to be the mass market art director at tor). i returned to the table and asked if he was a writer, and then, is your editor patrick nielsen-hayden? emma? bull? i worked on your covers and read your books and would you like some more cream? amazing. we never met in 7 years at tor.

when i first moved to new york from berkeley, ca. i moved with my best friend rohana and we stayed with her aunt ruth until we found a place. several years later i got a job at tor and a month in was staring at a painting done by ruth's son tristan elwell (one of the many wonderful artists in the tor stable). i had seen it in progress before i ever got the job. i told teresa the story and she asked about ro. it turns out she knew rohana's mother millea kenin and had no idea she was tristan's aunt. and my first office i shared with the boyfriend of one of my closest judo friends. and tom wanted to hire my uncle. there were about 16 more of these coincidences at tor the first year and people started calling it "six degrees of alison."

but now it is clear, perfectly: patrick and teresa are the center of the universe. and like attracts like.

next time come visit me.

#158 ::: alison ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2007, 03:41 AM:

hullo teresa and patrick, i'm usually a lurker here as well, because i miss your wonderful minds, but i really must add to this thread. first off, i live in bisbee, az. and was disappointed that i was so close to this wedding and didn't know about all the excitement untill now. here goes:

when i first moved to bisbee i waited tables in a nice restuarant that started doing breakfasts. i had a lovely couple i always talked to who had moved here a month after me and we were all new in town. one day, he used his credit card instead of cash and when looking down at the name had to pause. william shetterly (a tor author--i used to be the mass market art director at tor). i returned to the table and asked if he was a writer, and then, is your editor patrick nielsen-hayden? emma? bull? i worked on your covers and read your books and would you like some more cream? amazing. we never met in 7 years at tor.

when i first moved to new york from berkeley, ca. i moved with my best friend rohana and we stayed with her aunt ruth until we found a place. several years later i got a job at tor and a month in was staring at a painting done by ruth's son tristan elwell (one of the many wonderful artists in the tor stable). i had seen it in progress before i ever got the job. i told teresa the story and she asked about ro. it turns out she knew rohana's mother millea kenin and had no idea she was tristan's aunt. and my first office i shared with the boyfriend of one of my closest judo friends. and tom wanted to hire my uncle. there were about 16 more of these coincidences at tor the first year and people started calling it "six degrees of alison."

but now it is clear, perfectly: patrick and teresa are the center of the universe. and like attracts like.

next time come visit me.

#159 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2007, 05:05 PM:

We'd love to visit you, Alison! Unfortunately, Mesa's a fair hike from Bisbee and Teresa was all booked up with family stuff.

Choose:
Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
Even larger type, with serifs

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.