We're not sure if Tykhe, the ancient Greek goddess of luck, has selected us for special treatment, but nearly every day while surfing the Internet we encounter an inexplicable coincidence. Do other net surfers have similar experiences, or are we specially favoured?
There was the memorable occasion when within a few hours we received emails from an actress and a bishop, and another when we discovered that the oddly-named Kentucky attorney Natty Bumppo, publisher of Borf Books, has a namesake calling himself Borf in Washington DC who was sent to the slammer for painting his nickname on buildings in the national capital.
The latest example of Lady Luck's generosity occurred one day last month.
Requiring a picture of a camel to illustrate the story "Too many camels? Let's eat them!" we found an amusing animated image on one of Marisa Montes's web pages, "All about camels." . We sought permission to copy it. Marisa, a talented author of children's books, told us it was in the public domain, so our not-for-profit e-book would be at liberty to display it.
A few minutes after receiving Marisa's email, we were amazed to read on The Sydney Morning Herald's website that Marisa Monte was scheduled to sing South American songs in two concerts in the Sydney Opera House. What a coincidence!
We promptly emailed Marisa the author in California, asking her about her namesake. Were they related? She replied:
Marisa Montes-with-an-s wears many hats. On her attractive and colourful website, she says, "I see myself as a children's book author, artist, lawyer, legal writer and editor, humorist, motivational speaker, linguist, feminist, disabled-person's-rights and affirmative-action advocate all rolled into one. But no matter what hat I'm wearing, there's always a little kid inside me, screaming to be let out."
We congratulated Marisa on her comprehensive web page "All about camels," and sent her a copy of our story about eating them. She replied:
As for the Brazilian samba singer, Marisa Monte-without-an--s, her concerts were sensational. "Any non-Brazilians living under the misapprehension that Marisa Monte is merely a star in her homeland soon collided with the truth.," wrote the Sydney Morning Herald music critic John Shand.
"She is a phenomenon. Brazilians dominated the audience for her first Australian performance, and just the dimming of the lights was enough to trigger massed shrieking...
" Monte's voice was a relaxed, sweetly melodic instrument... Monte's triumph is to have become so adored for making such good music. A rarity."