The St. Paul Pioneer Press has a long-running feature called "Bulletin Board," where folks call or email anecdotes, cute kid stories, dumb-things-my-spouse-just-did, and other little ditties about daily life. It's a forerunner of the blogging community. They even have memes. Like for a month people will send in lists of "simple pleasures," before moving on to "strange foods our family used to eat."
A really big deal is when somebody gets a certified B-M. It stands for Baader-Meinhof, and more specifically the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. If you never heard of it before, maybe you will again, really soon. Which means you'll have had a B-M of your own!
Translation: Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon refers to hearing about something noteworthy and previously unknown to you, and then encountering it again very soon, from a completely different source. The newspaper's Bulletin Board feature is moderated, so someone decides whether your reported phenomenon truly qualifies for B-M status or whether it's just a coincidence.
Tonight, a local TV station reported on 10 babies born all about the same time in a local suburb. One of the new moms said, "I wonder whether there will also be a boom in vasectomies, just in time for March Madness." Huh?
Two minutes later I was reading my newspaper and there it was: it seems that a lot of men choose to schedule vasectomies (presumably they were going to get them anyway) during the NCAA basketball tournaments so they can get a pass to watch college basketball!
Eureka, I thought. A clear case of B-M. Then I had second thoughts. If the TV story was taped just today and the woman simply saw this story in the morning paper, then we have a coincidence, not a B-M.
Short of calling the station, I have no way to know. Sigh.
The name of the phenomenon comes from the Baader-Meinhof Gang, a media term applied to the Red Army Faction, a violent German left-wing terrorist group active from 1970 to 1988. There. If you never heard of them before, watch to see how soon you come across their name again. The Pioneer Press says a second occurrence must come within 24 hours to qualify as a B-M. Their rule, not mine.