One more HTML du jour
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 96 15:15:36 -0700
Subject: One more HTML <URL> du jour
There is a long-time conjecture that any two people on earth are
connected by a chain of acquaintances at most 6 long (e.g. Mel, the New
Guinea bushman, has met Abe, the tribe's oldest member, who met Margaret
Meade on one of her trips, who met Duke Snyder at a fund-raiser, who was
waited on by Alan at a diner in Brooklyn, who also waited on your
grandmother; so Mel and your grandmother are connected by a chain of 5
links). It's an intriguing conjecture, but difficult to check out in any
So how about a related conjecture... The Bacon Number!
Here's an explanation of the Bacon Number from the web page at:
This is the most comprehensive version of the Kevin Bacon game on the web.
The object of the game is to start with any actor or actress who has been
in an American movie and connect them to Kevin Bacon in the smallest number
of links possible. Two people are linked if they've been in a movie
together. For example, you might wonder how Alfred Hitchcock can be
connected to Kevin Bacon. One answer is that:
Alfred Hitchcock was in _Show_Business_at_War (1943) with Orson Welles,
and Orson Welles was in _A_Safe_Place (1971) with Jack Nicholson, and
Jack Nicholson was in _A_Few_Good_Men (1992) with Kevin Bacon!
Then we can count how many links were necessary and assign the actor or
actress a Bacon number. In this case, Alfred Hitchcock has a Bacon number
of 3. It was conjectured that no one who has been in an American movie has
a Bacon number greater than 4. We proved this conjecture while creating
these pages by processed over 174,000 actors and actresses and over 60,000
movies to create the shortest possible links from every actor and actress
in the _Internet Movie Database_ to Kevin Bacon. We have made the results
available on the web as The Oracle of Bacon at Virginia. Given the name of
any actor or actress the Oracle will tell you their Bacon number and show
the links from that person to Kevin Bacon.
My only reservation about this cool application of the connection number
idea is that the people implementing the web page chose to call it "The
Oracle of Bacon" which implies all kinds of other things to me. "What other
things?" Gee, I thought you'd never ask! Well, my Oracle program (which
became the Internet Oracle... oops! am I bragging? Sorry...)
The appended message is how I found out about "The Oracle of Bacon at Virginia"...
- Peter firstname.lastname@example.org - Seattle, WA - http://www.empire.net/~psl/
From: Tom Kuhn <email@example.com>
> Nightmare! I am already hooked...
> I've found a four....
> Chen Jinquan (or Jinquan, Chen)
> Any better?
> This is strangely addictive.
> > You can't believe what some people find the time to do...
> > http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~bct7m/bacon.html
© 1996 Peter Langston