The bell-shaped curve (or more technically the normal law) arises in many statistical applications ranging from coin tossing, scores on calculus exams, heights of individuals, to name but three. Mathematically, the normal law arises when independent outcomes of an experiment are averaged; for example, the number of times heads appears in n tosses of a coin. In the last two decades, new universal laws have been discovered when the events are strongly dependent. The applications of these new universal laws range from stochastic growth of an interface, analysis of large data sets, to sorting algorithms in computer science. This lecture will give a nontechnical introduction to these developments.