Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Interesting historical tidbit:  While watching "The Mongols" on The History Channel, I learned that after the great Mongol conqueror Timur the Lame died in the year 1405, he was buried in an ornate tomb in the city of Samarkand with the warning, "Do not disturb my grave or a fate worse than me will fall upon you".  His grave remained intact until Soviet archeologists opened it up in 1941 and unearthed his skeleton.  The next morning (June 22, 1941, exactly 63 years and one month ago), Adolf Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, the massive invasion of the USSR which resulted in the loss of over 20 million lives.

Now, I don't believe this is the result of mystical forces; instead, I believe it's just an interesting coincidence.  As Tyler Cowen points out, coincidences  and apparent miracles are all around us, and this is just an especially colorful one.