Thursday, November 18, 2010

Six Degrees of Separation from George Bush

This morning when I walked into my office informal meetings were already underway to find a way to see George Bush at Costco for his book signing tomorrow. I'm not going to be here so I was there for support and some lateral thinking strategies. After deciding what would be the best time to arrive at Costco and who would stand in the line I suggested we call Costco to find out how George Bush's visit would be handled. Apparently people are already camping out, there will be no stepping out of line, and once you are cleared to enter Costco tomorrow you will not be able to leave if you want to meet Mr Bush!

Since Costco's protocol foiled the GW plans the conversation turned to who had Connections. Our company's attorney had worked on George Seniors campaign 30 years ago, Someone yelled from an office that they had flown from Houston to Europe seated next to George Junior, an assistant had seen him at a basketball game, and my sister works at the Bush-Holly house (their ancestral home) in Greenwich Connecticut as a docent. We definitely had some ties to the Bush's and if I remember I also share a common ancestor , John Adams.

In a February 1994 Premiere magazine interview about the film The River Wild, Kevin Bacon commented that he had worked with everybody in Hollywood or someone who's worked with them. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon first surfaced at about the same time. On April 7, 1994, a lengthy newsgroup thread headed "Kevin Bacon is the Center of the Universe" appeared.
The game was created in early 1994 by three Albright College students, Craig Fass, Brian Turtle, and Mike Ginelli. According to an interview with the trio in the spring 1999 issue of the college's magazine, The Albright Reporter, they were watching
Footloose during a heavy snowstorm. When the film was followed by The Air Up There, they began to speculate on how many movies Bacon had been in and the number of people he had worked with. In the interview, Brian Turtle said, "It became one of our stupid party tricks, I guess. People would throw names at us, and we'd connect them to Kevin Bacon."

The trio wrote talk show host Jon Stewart a letter telling him that "Kevin Bacon was the center of the entertainment universe" and explaining the game. They appeared on The Jon Stewart Show and The Howard Stern Show with Bacon to explain the game. Bacon admitted that he initially disliked the game because he believed it was ridiculing him, but he eventually came to enjoy it. The three inventors released a book, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon , with an introduction written by Bacon. A board game based on the concept was released by Endless Games.

Finding random connections is fun. Its even better if it help you cut to the front of the line and meet a former President.

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