Voters switched on
In 1977 the Soviet Union had an internationally televised song contest, much like Eurovision. As few viewers had phones, they would switch on their lights if they liked a song and off if they didn't. The power spikes were recorded by the state energy company and the reports sent to the station to pick the winner.
It is not a sign
"Signs once portended disaster in marriage," writes Linda Lowen. "My ring didn't fit. When the jeweller stretched it, it shattered. On our honeymoon, a hurricane struck Cancún. Diverted to Nassau, we fled our hotel because of a fire.The concierge booked us a new room with ceiling plaster littering the bed. While snorkelling, Jim's wedding band disappeared. He quit searching at dusk. I continued, for years, along other shorelines. Last summer, I lazily stopped wearing my ring. In Scotland for our October anniversary, Jim noticed and felt hurt. But I have let go of signs, symbols. Thirty years is proof enough." (Tiny Love Stories Via The NYT)
Gill writes: "Sixteen years ago when I arrived from the UK to work as a nurse in Rotorua, an elderly patient asked about my family. I told her I had a sister working in London. Just then her church minister arrived and she said perhaps my sister knew the minister's son, Adam, who was working in London on his OE. I laughed, saying London was huge and I didn't think so. That weekend I was chatting on the phone to my sister who had an issue at work and needed assistance from a guy from the HR department. By coincidence, he was from Rotorua. I asked if he was called Adam. My sister was even more spooked than I was when I told her I'd just met his dad."
What scared you as a kid?
A reader writes: "As a kid the original Doctor Who theme tune terrified me. I also hated the sound the water made going down the plughole, I was certain I was going to be sucked into another world. But the most scary childhood memory was something more realistic — the dangers of house fires. They came into school, taught us to stop, drop and roll and then showed us a public information film where the family had to leave their dog behind. I was inconsolable for days."