Monday, July 30, 2007

What's Your Bacon Number?

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one "step" away from each person he or she knows and two "steps" away from each person who is known by one of the people he or she knows, then everyone is no more than six "steps" away from each person on Earth. Several studies, such as Milgram's small world experiment, have been conducted to empirically measure this connectedness. While the exact number of links between people differs depending on the population measured, it is generally found to be relatively small. Hence, six degrees of separation is somewhat synonymous with the idea of the "small world" phenomenon the assumption that almost anyone in the world can be linked to anyone else in the world by six or seven degrees.

A game developed in 1994 by three college friends at Albright College in Reading, PA, "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" is based on the theory that Kevin Bacon is the center of the entertainment universe, and that any actor or actress can be linked back to him, typically within six degrees (six connections). For example, Jack Nicholson was in "A Few Good Men" with Kevin Bacon. Michelle Pfeiffer was in "The Witches of Eastwick" with Jack Nicholson, who was in "A Few Good Men" with Kevin Bacon. And so on. The number of intervening movies is that actor or actresses' Bacon Number or degree number. Thus, in this example, Nicholson would have a Bacon Number of 1 and Michelle Pfeiffer a Bacon Number of 2.

Now we're no movie stars but my son and I came to the realization today that we along with millions of other people around the world now have a Bacon Number of 1 because Kevin Bacon was on LiveEarth and we watched him. Sure he wasn't on there long but long enough to give us our Bacon Numbers. Now if you're not convinced by that you can take this scientific test I took today and find out your Bacon Number. Mine is 7.

Beverly Flint can't get enough of,
Bernie Dipswitch,who thinks of carefree summers in Maine upon hearing the name
Enrique Gladhand, who thinks of carefree summers in Maine upon hearing the name
Bob Piltdown, who plays Pinochle every Wednesday with
Nadia Karthoum, who would love to have cheekbones just like
Katy Paolo, who once called into a radio show hosted by
Esperanza Alvarez, who is bitter about the financial success of
Kevin Bacon

Now somehow my son has a Bacon Number of 2 (obviously he has more connections than I do):

Jason Flint, spent a lazy weekend inner-tubing down the Rio Picante with
Penelope Fortuitous, who tossed back Bloody Marys at an out-of-the-way Soho dive bar with
Kevin Bacon

add to sk*rtStumble upon


Kirsten said...

I used to love playing Kevin Bacon in college! I totally forgot about that. It is true how we are all connected to each other, and the earth in so many ways.

Mauigirl said...

Hi Beverly, thanks for linking me, I've just added you to my links too!

This is a cute game to play - I've always been fascinated by the Kevin Bacon "six degrees" thing. I've certainly seen this phenomenon a lot in my own life, how people are connected to each other.