The best blackberries to pick were often in the most difficult places. I remember one time when I donned gumboots and carried a bucket and billy down the hill in order to pick the large, sweet, tasty, well-watered blackberries near the creek at the bottom. Our dog Axel accompanied me. He stood beside the bucket whilst I clambered out along a fallen gum tree to pick the delicious fruits. Every so often I returned to empty the billy into the bucket. I was impressed with Axel’s loyalty and staying power until I realised that he, having a sweet tooth, was helping himself from the conveniently placed bucket!
I was most impressed when reading an extract from a Family Bible with my Grandmother, I realised that I was born 100 years to the day after my great grandfather, Robert Ferres – and that one of my brothers was born 100 years after one of his brothers! The chances of such duplication seemed quite incredible.
Many years later when teaching probability to a year 12 Maths class, I came across the shared birthday paradox – in a room of 23 people, the chance of two sharing the same birthday is 50%. I took a chance and introduced the concept. My students were sceptical until we shared birthdays and, fortunately for me, discovered that two of them did share a birthday! Anyone interested in the maths can find a relatively simple explanation on this site. It doesn’t, however, help with the added complexity of the 100-year gap!