Can you explain this coincidence?

Last night, in between snatching bits of old sit-com reruns on TV, I was enjoying the CS thread What’s the dumbest thing a celebrity has ever said? and I moved across to The Slipup Archive. I just started to read about Neil Armstrong’s ‘flub’ (‘One small step for man …’ instead of ‘a man’), when I turned around to check the state of the TV commercials. When I released the mute button, a promo for the next night’s quiz show came on, showing an embarrassing moment where a contestant could not complete the saying … you guessed it!: ‘One small _____ for man, one giant leap for mankind’

Now, I swear that I had no inkling that there was a quiz show promo coming up. The question was asked immediately I turned the sound up, which I did immediately I faced the TV. I had not seen that promo before – my memory has played tricks on me before this, but not so that I would fail to recognise a commercial from the last couple of days if it contained text I had just seen on my computer screen. I made a definite note about all this so that I would be clear about the sequence when retelling the story. I have since seen the promo again, so the odds of seeing it initially were more than one in a whatever, but still, isn’t it amazing?

Is God playing with me by demonstrating his control of fate thru a trivial display, just as Uri Geller shows his telepathic powers by spoonbending rather than by removing cancers or finding missing persons? Or am I being groomed for bigger things? Or is someone else controlling the SDMB to force people to attend to commercials all over the world?

It’s a coincidence, by definition.

Don’t listen to Micco. The correct answer is (D) All of the Above.

Yes, God is toying with you, and yes, you are being groomed for bigger things, and yes, of course, the SDMB, the Internet, and in fact all media worldwide are under the control of one organization–the

Coincidence; if it [hadn’t happened], you wouldn’t have been struck by the strangeness of it [not happening] and you wouldn’t be asking us “wow, can you explain why this [didn’t happen]?”

A short while back, I was watching TV; a particular cookery show came on which made me think of my mother’s apple pie, I thought to myself “It’s been too long since I spoke to her, I’ll call her right now”.

At that precise moment, the phone rang…

…it was the garage telling me that my car was fixed.

You say “I have since seen the promo again” but you weren’t reading the same thread when that happened were you?

Whenever I come up to a red light I point at it and say “turn green!” The first time I did this it worked, and maybe 1 in 100 times after that it also works.

(slightly off topic)
You do know that Uri Geller was proven to be a fraud don’t you?

(getting more off topic)
A great deal of people don’t realize he even confessed to the fraud yet the media perpetuates this fraud to this day.

(whew! back to the topic)
I think it was a coincidence. I had a similar event happen when I was a teen. I was up late watching the late-late-late show and doing homework. I had just started a new page and was writing my name at the top and low and behold! On tv was an old movie with opening credits. The lead-male actor shared my name. I was so freaked I looked around thinking my mischievous brother was playing an elaborate joke on me. He wasn’t.

(getting off topic again…Run Away!!!)
So anyway, the other day I was doing my laundry…

“If Uri Geller bends spoons with divine powers, then he’s doing it the hard way.”
–James Randi

Xizor: << Whenever I come up to a red light I point at it and say “turn green!” The first time I did this it worked, and maybe 1 in 100 times after that it also works. >>

You obviously don’t have the technique. When our kids were little and we were stopped at a red light, I would snap my fingers and point at it and say “Turn Green!” … and it would do so, almost instantly, every time.

Took the kids years to figure out that I was watching the light in other direction turn yellow, to know when to snap my fingers and point.

It’s happened to me too; the dialogue
“open the box!”
“take the money!”
became something of a comedy catchphrase in my circle of (then) friends once upon a time (long story why); anyway, I was telling my sister the long story about it, the TV was on in the background at the time, I’d started to explain why we found it so funny to say “open the box”, “take the money” etc, when we heard the words “open the box” spoken on TV, we both turned, to see that the next program was called ‘Open The Box’ (an investigative series of some sort), the episode subtitle was ‘take the money and run’ - freaky, scary, but just a coincidence - it’s a big world, coincidences happen.

Related thread:

It took my baby sister about 5 stoplights to figure that the radio button didn’t change the light.

Waneman, got a cite ? i’d really like to know more 'bout this chap i once saw on BBC’s hard talk program.

Waneman, got a cite ? i’d really like to know more 'bout this chap i once saw on BBC’s hard talk program.

i sat trying to bend a spoon with my mind for 2 hours after… in the end i cudn’t even do it with my hands.


I also recommend Flim-Flam! by Randi. It make short work of Geller & other frauds.

Yes, Thanks Attrayant for the cite. I too liked Flim-Flam and his other books. He even wrote one on ol’ Uri and Uri sued and lost. he he

One of my cites would be this one from the Skeptic’s Dictionary. Here you will also find a deluge of references at the bottom of the page.

I beg the OP his forgivness that I hijacked this thread.


Fighting ignorance is always tough, but especially so where Uri Geller is concerned. Allow me to try and shed some illumination.

I do take the view that Uri Geller’s feats are achieved without psychic abilities. You may take the view that this is all that matters and the rest is nit-picking. However, I think accuracy is a worthy goal.

First of all, I must take issue with Waneman’s assertions.

Wrong on both counts. Geller has never been convicted, anywhere in the world, of fraud. Yes, he has been involved in lawsuits. Some of them he won, and some he lost. None of these lawsuits were about whether or not his ‘powers’ were ‘real’, and none of them involved a charge of fraud or a conviction for fraud. I am very familiar with these trials and court cases.

Some of the cites provided so far support the view that Geller is a trickster, especially those which refer to my friends James Randi and Massimo Polidoro. None of them support the assertion that Geller himself has admitted to fraud. I defy Waneman to support this assertion; he cannot, because Geller has never done this.

There has been a link to Cecil’s answers about Geller and how he does his stuff. Cecil is wrong. It is my opinion that Geller’s drawing duplication effect is a trick, but I strongly doubt he ever uses the method which Cecil suggests. It is simply too crude and unreliable, and easily ruined. There are better ways. In similar vein, Cecil suggests that for a metal-bending effect to be achieved, it is essential for the spectator to take his eye off the object momentarily. This is simply not true. It can be done with the object in full view throughout.

I don’t believe in Geller’s ‘powers’ any more than I believe Bill Clinton is a virgin. However, every time a sceptic says something about him that isn’t true, this helps his cause. Let us decline to give him that satisfaction.

I once saw Geller being filmed “bending a spoon”. Or rather I didn’t see him do any such thing. The camera stayed on him. He didn’t manage to bend the spoon. Then the cameramen stopped to change film reel. When the footage restarts, lo and behold the spoon is bent, and Geller is protesting that it just “happened” to start bending while the reel was being changed and the cameramen were distracted. Pathetic. If I wasn’t cynical about Geller before (and I was) I sure was afterwards.

I was certainly not using fraud in the legal sense of “to [de]fraud”, but rather in the broader (and more common) sense of the word:

fraud (frôd)


1.A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair gain.
2.A piece of trickery; a trick.
3. a.One that defrauds; a cheat.
    b.One who assumes a false pose; an impostor.

All three definitions describe Geller nicely. We (if I may speak for Waneman) certainly do not assert that Geller has done anything for which he deserves to be arrested. As far as I know, he has not attempted to defraud or con anybody out of their life savings, or use his aleged powers to open bank vaults. He is a fraud because he claims to be possessed of abilities that he has never been able to demonstrate in properly controlled experiments.

Let’s not derail this thread any further. This topic deserves its own thread, if there hasn’t already been one recently.

Thanks Attrayant - you may speak for me because I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

Excerpt from: The Matrix

As for the question in the O.P., as Douglas Adams wrote, this kind of thing is going on all the time and we are powerless to prevent it.

Most of the time I’m reading more than one book at a time, and usually I’m reading both fiction and non-fiction. I don’t think there’s been an instance where I haven’t seen a coincidental reference of some kind from one book to another!

I only wish that THEY hadn’t gotten to Duck Duck Goose before he could reveal the secret!