July 19, 2006
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Today, I found out something that makes the odds beyond astronomical, almost beyond belief: one of my co-workers, a professor whose desk is right next to mine, was also hit by lightning--same day, approximately the same time, and same intensity of electrical shock, but in a different part of town.
I know, your first reaction will be that they are pulling my leg. No way something that unlikely could happen. Probably they're having fun with me, maybe they didn't believe my story and are being sarcastic. What a sucker I am, right?
I'll admit, I can be gullible, but I can guarantee you that this is not the case this time. I trust this person implicitly; their personality is completely incompatible with that kind of a gag. My brother-in-law, that would be a different story. By this particular co-worker, not a chance. It's true: we were both hit by lightning the same day, at roughly the same time.
My co-worker, as it turns out, was jogging in a park near her home at the time (about 10 km away from where I was). Like me, she had misjudged the weather, and was caught off-guard by the sudden thunderstorm. In her case, it was already raining a little and she was wet when the lightning hit. She saw a flash and felt the electrical shock down her left arm as the thunderclap and lightning flash hit. Like me, she was startled, though my reaction right after that was, how cool was that! whereas my co-worker was much less enthralled by the experience. She ran for the nearest shelter, a small utility shed in the park, and waited out the lightning storm there.
But really, what are the chances? I calculated the odds, very, very roughly, of both of us being hit at 90 billion to one--but that's just for any two people being struck by lightning, and does not factor in the circumstance that we both work together in a small office. I have no idea how to factor that in, but I'm sure that if you did, the odds would go up to the point where you'd need a few sheets of paper just to contain all the zeroes involved.
Stranger than fiction....
Posted by: Tim Kane at July 20, 2006 05:11 AM
Posted by: RisingSunOfNihon at July 20, 2006 06:03 AM