What are the odds of this happening?

I recently attended the South Pole-sium conference in Oslo. There were 66 attendees, so a fairly small gathering. The hotel where most of us were staying put on a wine reception for us on the first night. Having attended several Antarctic events over the years, I saw many familiar faces and a number of new ones.

One of the new people I started chatting to about shared Antarctic interests was Art Gertel. After a few minutes of chatting, we exchanged names and quickly realized… that many years before (far too many to count), not only did we grow up one mile from each other, we went to same high school (Princeton High School) graduating in the same year, went to the same university (University of Pennsylvania), and coincidentally were randomly assigned by the university housing system to be freshman year room-mates. We each went our own separate ways after freshman year and hadn’t seen each other since… until we met at that wine reception in Oslo…

The photo is (from left to right) Art and I in front of the Fram Museum.  It  had been 30-something years since we last met.

Antarctica may be very far away but this brief meeting through the Antarctic community is proof that it is a small, highly connected world that we all live in.  Do you have similar examples of such coincidences?

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