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Old 23 January 2008, 05:54 PM
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Ponder Unbelievable -- What Are the Odds of This Happening?

Life can sometimes produce fascinating, extraordinary coincidences. Here are a few of the most amazing ones:

* In 1975, a man riding a moped in Bermuda was accidentally struck and killed by a taxi. One year later, the man’s brother, riding the very same moped, was killed in the very same way by the very same taxi driven by the very same driver -- and carrying the very same passenger.

* Twin brothers Jim Lewis and Jim Springer were separated at birth and adopted by different families. Unknown to each other, both were named James, both owned a dog named Toy, both married women named Linda, both had a son they names James Alan, and both eventually divorced and got remarried to a woman named Betty.

* Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and John Adams helped to edit and hone it. The Continental Congress approved the document on July 4, 1776. Both Jefferson and Adams died on July 4, 1826 -- exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

* A German mother who photographed her infant son in 1914 left the film to be developed at a store in Strasbourg, but was unable to collect the film picture when World War I broke out. Two years later she bought a film plate in Frankfurt, over 100 miles away, and took a picture of her newborn daughter -- only to find, when developed, the picture of her daughter superimposed on the earlier picture of her son. The original film, never developed, had been mistakenly labeled as unused and resold.

* In 1858, Robert Fallon was shot dead by fellow poker players who accused him of cheating to win a $600 pot. None of the other players were willing to take the now unlucky $600, so they found a new player to take Fallon’s place, who turned the $600 into $2,200 in winnings. At that point, the police arrived and demanded that the original $600 be given to Fallon’s next of kin -- only to discover that the new player was Fallon’s son, who had not seen his father in seven years.

* In the 19th century, the famous horror writer Egdar Allan Poe wrote a book called ‘The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.’ It was about four survivors of a shipwreck who were in an open boat for many days before they decided to kill and eat the cabin boy whose name was Richard Parker. Some years later, in 1884, the yawl, Mignonette, foundered, with only four survivors, who were in an open boat for many days. Eventually the three senior members of the crew killed and ate the cabin boy. The name of the cabin boy was Richard Parker.

* In 1930s Detroit, a man named Joseph Figlock was to become an amazing figure in a young (and, apparently, incredibly careless) mother’s life. As Figlock was walking down the street, the mother’s baby fell from a high window onto Figlock. The baby’s fall was broken and Figlock and the baby were unharmed. A year later, the same baby fell from the same window, again falling onto Mr. Figlock as he was passing beneath. Once again, both of them survived the event.

* In 1973, actor Anthony Hopkins agreed to appear in “The Girl From Petrovka”, based on a novel by George Feifer. Unable to find a copy of the book anywhere in London, Hopkins was surprised to discover one lying on a bench in a train station. It turned out to be George Feifer’s own annotated (personal) copy, which Feifer had lent to a friend, and which had been stolen from his friend’s car.

* In Monza, Italy, King Umberto I went to a small restaurant for dinner, accompanied by his aide-de-camp, General Emilio Ponzia-Vaglia. When the owner took King Umberto’s order, the King noticed that he and the restaurant owner were virtual doubles, in face and in build. Both men began discussing the striking resemblance between each other and found many more similarities.

1. Both men were born on the same day, of the same year (March 14, 1844).
2. Both men had been born in the same town.
3. Both men married a woman with same name, Margherita.
4. The restaurateur opened his restaurant on the same day that King Umberto was crowned King of Italy.
5. On the 29th July 1900, King Umberto was informed that the restaurateur had died that day in a mysterious shooting accident, and as he expressed his regret, an anarchist in the crowd then assassinated him.

* While American novelist Anne Parrish was browsing bookstores in Paris in the 1920s, she came upon a book that was one of her childhood favorites -- Jack Frost and Other Stories. She picked up the old book and showed it to her husband, telling him of the book she fondly remembered as a child. Her husband took the book, opened it, and on the flyleaf found the inscription: “Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs.” It was Anne’s very own book.

Are these instances merely coincidence, or are they something more? It all depends on how you look at it.

As the famous words of Albert Einstein sum up quite nicely: “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
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  #2  
Old 23 January 2008, 06:00 PM
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ElectricBarbarella ElectricBarbarella is offline
 
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I've heard most of those, but this one is true:
Quote:
* Twin brothers Jim Lewis and Jim Springer were separated at birth and adopted by different families. Unknown to each other, both were named James, both owned a dog named Toy, both married women named Linda, both had a son they names James Alan, and both eventually divorced and got remarried to a woman named Betty.
It's been covered on Ripley's Believe it or not many times and is on several twin sites.

toni
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  #3  
Old 23 January 2008, 07:57 PM
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In Monza, Italy
Hey, I live near Monza!

(Ok, I know it's not interesting)

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
2. Both men had been born in the same town.
That's no big coincidence, considering that the "town" is Turin, one of Italy's most populated cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
3. Both men married a woman with same name, Margherita.
The most common type of pizza (basil, tomato and mozzarella) was named Margherita after the Queen's name.

(Ok, that's not interesting too)

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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
5. On the 29th July 1900, King Umberto was informed that the restaurateur had died that day in a mysterious shooting accident
Not so mysterious: he was cleaning his gun and accidentally shooted himself.

Anyway, I can confirm that the story's true, or at least is considered true by italian historians.

The chain of coincidences is ever more amazing, because it all happened in just two days: on the 28th of July the King met the restaurateur, and on the 29th both were dead.

(As usual, I'm sorry for my english. I studied it at school, but nowadays I don't get very often the occasion to speak it, and...)

(...ok, that's not interesting too)
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  #4  
Old 23 January 2008, 08:09 PM
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I don't think you need to apologize for your english, your post was perfectly fine.
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  #5  
Old 23 January 2008, 08:27 PM
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I don't think you need to apologize for your english, your post was perfectly fine.
Perfect! So I'm ready to move in America.

Thanks, Silvertongue.

(Nice nickname, Silvertongue. Does it mean something, or does it just sound good?)
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  #6  
Old 23 January 2008, 08:34 PM
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I agree your post was fine. I wish I new any other language besides English as well as you.
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Old 23 January 2008, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by italian_guy View Post
Perfect! So I'm ready to move in America.

Thanks, Silvertongue.

(Nice nickname, Silvertongue. Does it mean something, or does it just sound good?)
It comes from Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' series. The first book, The Golden Compass, was recently made into a movie. I kind of love the books. A lot.
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Old 23 January 2008, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by lyra_silvertongue View Post
The first book, The Golden Compass, was recently made into a movie.
Oh, yes! I've seen it.

Dubbed in italian, of course. I don't undestand english that good.
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  #9  
Old 23 January 2008, 09:23 PM
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Oh, yes! I've seen it.

Dubbed in italian, of course. I don't undestand english that good.
I don't remember if the line is in the movie (I'm pretty sure it is) but after Lyra cons Iofur into the battle with Iorek, Iorek looks at her and says "Lyra Belacque? No, your name is now Lyra Silvertongue." (or something to that effect)

I don't know if the books are translated into Italian, although I assume they are, but they're fantastic. If you even slightly enjoyed the movie you should definitely read the whole series.

Sorry to hijack the whole thread.
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Old 23 January 2008, 09:35 PM
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* Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and John Adams helped to edit and hone it. The Continental Congress approved the document on July 4, 1776. Both Jefferson and Adams died on July 4, 1826 -- exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
This one also seems to be true, at least according to wikipedia.
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Old 23 January 2008, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jahungo View Post
This one also seems to be true, at least according to wikipedia.
Not quite. They died on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Indendence. It wasn't signed by most of the parties until the following month (and not by others until much later).

- snopes
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Old 23 January 2008, 09:50 PM
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I don't remember if the line is in the movie (I'm pretty sure it is)
Yes, it is, but in the dubbed version the name was translated too. So "Silvertongue" became "Lingua d'Argento."

Quote:
Originally Posted by lyra_silvertongue View Post
I don't know if the books are translated into Italian
Yes, recently. I know many people who has read and loved them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lyra_silvertongue View Post
If you even slightly enjoyed the movie you should definitely read the whole series.
The movie looked a little like a poor man's Lord of the Ring. But I've heard the books have got a more philosophical twist.

End of the Off Topic, sorry.
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  #13  
Old 23 January 2008, 09:52 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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Quote:
Twin brothers Jim Lewis and Jim Springer were separated at birth and adopted by different families. Unknown to each other, both were named James, both owned a dog named Toy, both married women named Linda, both had a son they names James Alan, and both eventually divorced and got remarried to a woman named Betty.
I've heard this before, as one of those "twins are all mysterious and psychic" things. I'd be more impressed if the men were named Alonso Galen, and their wives were Persephone and Allegretta. (BTW, they both married the same woman named Betty?) And I'll bet the dogs were Toy Poodles, or Chihuahuas, or something. If they both had Chihuahuas named Gargantua, now that would be something.
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Old 23 January 2008, 09:58 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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Quote:
In 1930s Detroit, a man named Joseph Figlock was to become an amazing figure in a young (and, apparently, incredibly careless) mother’s life. As Figlock was walking down the street, the mother’s baby fell from a high window onto Figlock. The baby’s fall was broken and Figlock and the baby were unharmed. A year later, the same baby fell from the same window, again falling onto Mr. Figlock as he was passing beneath. Once again, both of them survived the event.
While it's pretty amazing that the baby hit the same man, twice, and survived, twice, that the baby was in a position to fall isn't so incredible. Early in the last century, baby care advice was all about getting your child fresh air. You could actually buy a crib designed to be suspended out a window. I suppose in the days before buildings were well-ventilated, the "fresh air" advice wasn't too bad, but my grandmother said people used to get carried away all the time. It was very common to walk down a neighborhood street, and see playpens set out in front yards with unattended babies in them. For hours.
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Old 23 January 2008, 11:07 PM
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Some of these look better on paper than if you think about them. For instance the Bermuda one: it's not much of a coincidence that two brothers lived in the same area and that one inherited the moped from the other (and that the cab driver was still living and working in the same area a year later). If the place the accident happened was a blind spot or such, it's likely that a lot of accidents will happen there. As for the same passenger, if it was a tourist, it's not unusual to have vacation time at the same point as the previous year, and to stay at the same place if it was enjoyable (minus the car accident). If the passenger was a local, then the timing becomes a little more surprising I suppose. Granted it's still a rather big stack of circumstances, but it's not spookishly high.
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Old 24 January 2008, 03:05 PM
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What's incredible about that one is that the rider died, but the moped was still drivable.
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  #17  
Old 24 January 2008, 06:47 PM
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* While American novelist Anne Parrish was browsing bookstores in Paris in the 1920s, she came upon a book that was one of her childhood favorites -- Jack Frost and Other Stories. She picked up the old book and showed it to her husband, telling him of the book she fondly remembered as a child. Her husband took the book, opened it, and on the flyleaf found the inscription: “Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs.” It was Anne’s very own book.
OMG!!! I had a cousin named Anne Parrish!!! sppoooookkkyyy!!!elevenyyone32
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  #18  
Old 25 January 2008, 02:04 AM
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You could actually buy a crib designed to be suspended out a window.
Really? I would love to see a picture of that!
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  #19  
Old 29 January 2008, 01:47 PM
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* While American novelist Anne Parrish was browsing bookstores in Paris in the 1920s, she came upon a book that was one of her childhood favorites -- Jack Frost and Other Stories. She picked up the old book and showed it to her husband, telling him of the book she fondly remembered as a child. Her husband took the book, opened it, and on the flyleaf found the inscription: “Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs.” It was Anne’s very own book.
I know it's not the same, but it's similar:

Glurge-y version: I had a very beloved doll (Sally) since I was a baby, but I gave it away when I was seven. It made me happy that someone else was enjoying Sally, but I missed her terribly. When I was a senior in high school, I was going through donated items for a garage sale/fundraiser and who did I come across... but Sally! I held her and cried, and my daughter plays with her to this very day!

De-glurgified: I gave Sally away to a missionary's daughter. The items I was going through was donted by members of a church. The church supported said missionary and the family had just come back on sabbatical. The fact that the daughter (who was about 14 at that time) decided to donate her doll wasn't really earth-shattering. I started to cry because my grandmother, with whom I was very close, had just passed away a couple of months earlier, and seeing Sally brought back happy memories. My daughter does like her a lot, though.

But hey... the glurgified version is better, right?
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Old 11 December 2009, 01:23 AM
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Mmkay. Once a dinosaur drank a water molecule. Sixty-five billion years later I drank the EXACT SAME WATER MOLECULE. Spooky
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