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Issue 16
Fall 2008

Helping America procrastinate since 1636

January 16, 2021

Physicist Reports Rapidly Decreasing Number of Degrees to Kevin Bacon

HOLLYWOOD, CA - A Harvard scientist announced this week that the average number of degrees to Kevin Bacon has hit an all-time low of 2.43, down dramatically from its 1994 high of 6 degrees, when the well known game based on the prolific actor was started by fans. The estimate was published in a recent Nature paper by Harvard Physics Professor Sarah P. Bullmath, who attributes the precipitous drop in the typical Bacon Number to a steady rise in Bacon's popularity combined with the exponentially increasing connectedness of the modern world.

"While the original game involved linking actors to Kevin through a minimum number of films, my work shows that most non-thespians can now be connected with Kevin in fewer than 3 links!" explained Bullmath. "Of course, 1-degree of connection originally meant knowing Kevin personally. However, recently, friending him on Facebook, blogging about him, and being his biggest, bestest fan in the whole wide world have all been accepted as official 1-degree connections. Also, if you know he has a band, that counts too."

Also see "All words in Wikipedia will be hyperlinks by 2036", Bullmath, S.P. et al. 2008, Science, Vol. 322, Issue 3900

"Including online social networking in the Bacon calculation misses the whole point!", remarked Melissa P. Kosherberg, Associate Professor of Kevin Bacon studies at M.I.T.. "Before you know it, you'll get a Bacon Number of 1 just by saying you share a common ancestor with him!"

Others agree. "If you ask me, I feel like it totally cheapens my relationship with Kevin", remarked actress Kyra Sedgwick, Bacon's wife of 20 years.

Unswayed by her critics, Bullmath alarmingly predicts that, if this trend continues, the average number of degrees to Kevin Bacon will approach zero by 2055.

"Bullmath is out of her mind. Everyone knows that Bacon Numbers can never go below 1," responded an outraged Professor Kosherberg. "What would 0 degrees even mean?"

A nonplussed Professor Bullmath answered longingly. "At that point, I think there's no doubt about the significance. We would all simply be Kevin Bacon."  HSP 





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