Inferno-related synchronicities

On Tuesday night (January 24), I was searching the Internet for images of a winged lion used as a symbol of St. Mark the Evangelist. Many of the hits were photos of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.

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On Thursday evening (January 26), I taught a class in which we talked about the chemical equation for photosynthesis. I pointed out that the two sides of the equation contained the same atoms, recombined to form different molecules — just as in an anagram, the same letters are recombined to form different words. I taught the students the word anagram and gave an example (dormitory = dirty room). I’m not sure why I chose to mention that, since its relation to the topic at hand was tangential at best.

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Immediately after that class, I stopped at a Japanese restaurant to get takeout. While I was waiting for my food, I sat in the restaurant and read. They were playing a song in the background which was mostly in another language (probably Japanese, but I couldn’t make it out clearly enough to be sure) but had a recurring refrain in English: “I know I’m not alone.” I thought about how most people apparently hate being alone, but I’ve always found it pretty nice.

[Edit: Actually, this was apparently the all-English song “Alone” by Alan Walker. The sound was so unclear that I thought it was in another language.]

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I brought the food home to eat with my wife. She wanted to watch a movie on TV while we ate and decided on Inferno with Tom Hanks, based on the Dan Brown novel. Much of the action takes place in Florence and Venice; St. Mark’s Basilica puts in an appearance, and the winged lion is visible.

Tom Hanks’s character has to solve a series of puzzles, the first of which is an anagram. He says, “It’s an anagram,” and another character repeats, “An anagram.”

Later in the film, the villain says to his accomplice, “I need to know I’m not alone.”

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