Sunday, February 19, 2006

Connections, part 2

So I’ve written about the number of connections necessary to create and perceive music on the cello (previous post). Here’s another type of connection – degrees of separation.

The cello community is pretty gregarious and tightly knit. My daughter is connected to YoYo Ma by four degrees. One of her teachers’ teacher’s teacher had Ma as a student. She is connected to Harry Chapin by just two degrees. Another of her teachers was the cellist with Harry’s band in the mid-70s. The closest connection to a famous person that I can think of for myself is the two degrees of separation I have from John Kerry. I once worked for a man who served under Kerry in Vietnam on a swift boat.

But no one beats Kevin Bacon for gregariousness. He’s connected to practically everyone in Hollywood. The computer science department at the University of Virginia created The Oracle of Bacon. You can enter the name of anyone who has an acting credit in a major motion picture and it will calculate the person’s connection to Bacon. Amazingly the average number of steps is about 2.

If you can come up with an actor or actress with more than three steps of separation from Kevin Bacon, let me know. If you have your own connection to someone famous, I’d like to hear that, too.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2006 James Jordan.

3 comments:

Empress Baggie said...

Dear James,

You already have a direct connection to the Queen of The World through your blog. Isn't that just fantabulous? To be connected to the Queen of The World and everything?

Some famous folks' connections to Her Royal Highness are detailed on her blog. Those fortunate to have met the Queen of The World include Davy Jones of the Monkees and country music singers John Anderson and Billy Dean.

Kevin Bacon has not yet met the Queen of The World; however, like the Hager Twins of Hee Haw, the rumor is that it is one of his fondest wishes.

Very truly yours,
EB

P.S. Tea at 2

James said...

Indeed it is an honor, Your Highness. The blogosphere has made more connections possible than Kevin Bacon can even dream of.

Do let me know if Jim and Jon ever fulfill their lifes' ambition!

James said...

For what it's worth, Kevin Bacon was in a movie with Beau Starr who was in a movie with Leslie Nielson, who made a guest appearance on Hee Haw with the Hager Twins.