The smallness of the world comes from this photo of Genevieve (Jenny to family) Ramsey getting her Master of Fine Arts from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina last week. I was down for my wife's graduation from the program, but ran in to Genevieve, who's looking (my wife said) a decade younger than she had in January.
Do keep an eye out for Genevieve's memoirs when they get published. The first book includes autobiography, and her fight with cancer (hence looking so much better now).
The challenge aspect:
Let's say I know something like 5000 people. It's a more or less reasonable number for me, at least for some description of 'know'. And let's suppose that this is a typical figure. At least for a Fermi Estimate. And let's take 50 as the number of people I interacted with enough last week to get some idea of whether we have some common contact (probably a high figure, but it's a round number). What was the likelihood that I'd encounter at least 1 person where we both had a personal connection to the same person?
But it's still surprising and amusing to me that I go to North Carolina, which I have no particular connection to either by family or profession, talk to a few people strictly outside groups I've met people in before (i.e., a group of writers and writing students, as opposed to oceanographers or runners or ...), and wind up meeting 'Aunt Jenny' to someone I know.