Coincidence #1: Pondering Pinker
Remember the Steven Pinker volume I’ve been viewing? I was engrossed in it one evening, and hence not paying much attention to what was on the telly. But when I heard the name Pinker mentioned I looked up. And sure enough, there was the fine gentleman, looking like a somewhat older version of the picture on the back cover of my book. He was in an episode of the PBS series Nova scienceNow about DNA testing. He commented that he carries the genes that would indicate baldness. As you can see from his photo, a shiny scalp is surely not in his future. A week ago I knew nothing about this chap; now I feel like an intimate acquaintance (or is that an oxymoron?)
Coincidence #2: Contemplating Comey
During drop-off day at The College of William and Mary, we attended a “keep the parents occupied while we whisk away your offspring” speech. We were told about a chemistry/religion major who has had an illustrious career including service as a federal prosecutor overseeing terrorism cases and a stint as US Deputy Attorney General. Though the person’s name wasn’t mentioned, my husband immediately made the connection that this was a bloke named Jim Comey, class of 1982.
Later, at a “keep the parents occupied” reception, we mentioned to a student that my husband and I and now both our offspring have attended W&M. Both her parents are alums also. When she learned my husband edited the student newspaper, she said her dad was a columnist. It turns out that she’s the daughter of this Comey fellow.
And that evening while my husband related this tale to our son, I was reading the latest edition of the aforementioned student paper. The main front page story was an announcement that Comey would speak next week at the convocation marking the beginning of the school year. It feels like all Comey, all the time.
Coincidence #3: Focusing on MSFocus
I’m an ambassador for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, a truly altruistic organization that seeks to meet the needs of those affected by multiple sclerosis. They have loads of programs, including ones that provide home care, assistive technology, cooling devices, and computers. They fund Brighter Tomorrow Grants, sponsor public education and awareness programs, provide a lending library, and maintain a website and internet forums. Their quarterly publication is mailed to up to 100,000 homes. In one sense they’re a compact group that hails out of Fort Lauderdale, FL. But in another sense they’re huge as they provide these services to people all over the county. Thank goodness for the internet, the telephone, and, yes, even USPS. (Pardon my plug, but they’re a great group and if you warrant their services they can be a godsend.)
While many people have benefited from the existence of this association, few people would consider ordering a vanity plate with the name of their quarterly magazine on it. So I was shocked when we were driving down the highway in little old Williamsburg, VA and I saw in front of me a car with Virginia license plate MSFOCUS. I wish I knew what that was all about. But the car quickly disappeared into traffic.