Today, as I was 'driving' Google street view around the town in NY where I spent some growing up time, I was pleased to see that the Google car has made it around my old block and thus I could drive right past my former home (previously it was only viewable from a nearby road). Imagine my surprise to see my car in the driveway!
Really, it's right there in the picture! Dodge Grand Caravan, dark blue, 2005-ish, just like Jiminy! What are the chances of that sort of thing happening?
According to an estimate I'm making based on more current numbers found on Wikipedia, between 100,000 and 200,000 of these vehicles were sold in the United States and Canada. According to Kelley Blue Book dot com, about 11% of minivans are medium or dark blue. Doing the math, that means between 11K and 22K dark blue Dodge Grand Caravans were sold in the US and Canada.
Let's assume that there's a population-equivalent distribution of Dodge Grand Caravans to make things a little easier. New York state has an estimated population of 19,651,127 for calendar year 2013 (source), but we'll take out the population of NYC because the chances of someone who lives in the city driving a Dodge Grand Caravan up to Vestal to park in in my old house's driveway are pretty remote, wouldn't you agree? Using the same estimation practices, the 2013 estimated population of NYC was 8,405,837. That puts everything above NYC at a population of 11,245,290. North Carolina has only 9,848,060 people estimated to be living here in 2013.
Still with me? OK - the total estimated number of people living in the US in 2013 is 315 million. Taking the lower estimate of 11,000 dark blue 2005 Dodge Grand Caravans made in 2005, there is ONE dark blue 2005 dodge grand caravan per every 28636 people. That means that there are 383 2005DBDGCs in NY and 344 of them in NC.
To be more specific, the population of Vestal in 2010 was 28,043, which means that, with the maths we have done, there's less than 1 2005DBDGC in the whole town!
The population of Wake Forest in 2010 was 30,117, which indicates, given the assumptions made above, that there's slightly more than 1 (but let's call it 1) 2005DBDGC in town. That one is Jiminy! Science works!
Note: Even if the upper estimate was used, there would only be 1.9-ish 2005DBDGCs in Vestal and a smidge over 2 in Ye Olde Wake Foreste. This means of course that (keeping in mind that because human beings basically move around in a semi-predictable Brownian fashion we have to work in an inconstant parameter for estimates of instability) the chances of that ONE 2005DBDGC being in the very specific location that it was when the Google car drove by on that sunny day in 2012 are something like one in a BILLIONZILLION and that, my friends, is why you should pay attention in school.
So, given that the chances of that particular car being in that particular driveway at that VERY particular time are so very infinitesimal, is this the Universe trying to tell me something about OUR car?
Do you think there's a heap of cash stuffed in a seat or something? A giant diamond wedged into a corner of a Stow'n'Go crevice? A black hole in the coolant system? Some Whos in the glove compartment? What is the profound message in this circumstantial fleeting parallelism!?! It can't all just be random chance, can it?
I'm off to ponder the Universe and maybe go look for that hidden wad of cash - - Tiff out.
PS - I have made an error in my calculations. Forgive me, Canada, for leaving you out of the people/2005DBDGCs estimate. But note my statement about being lazy? I'm not going back to recalculate. Just be aware that the one in a billionzillion chance is now about one in 1.3 billionzillion.