The Bacon Number: Google's new twist on 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon

4:07 PM, Sep 14, 2012   |    comments
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(The Desert Sun) -- On Friday, Google launched a fresh take on the old Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon meme when it launched the "Bacon Number" -- a Google search easter egg that allows the curious to type in almost any actor's name followed by the words "Bacon number" to quickly find out how close a given actor is to Bacon and how, specifically, they're connected.

"The notion of [the Bacon Number] is based on a pretty popular term among mathematicians and scientists, called the Erdös Number," Google's Yossi Matias tells Time.com, referring to mathematician Paul Erdös who is rumored to be linked to all mathematicians to some degree. "People are quite fascinated by these small-world phenomena."

Bacon, of course, is the star of the original 1984 "Footloose" who went on to fame, fortune and meme-ness and, next, will star as a troubled cop in the new serial killer hunt drama, "The Following," slated to premiere midseason on FOX.

Whether Google's new Bacon Number has anything to do with building buzz for the show isn't clear, but it does provide quick and easy way to calculate the Bacon Number of your favorite stars of past and present.

In the 10 Newsroom, we found it tough to get a number higher than 3. Some of our tests:

Marlon Brando: 2

The connection: Brando and Robert Duvall appeared in The Godfather. Duvall and Bacon appeared in Jayne Mansfield's Car.

Charles Nelson Reilly: 2

The connection: Charles Nelson Reilly and Burt Reynolds were in All Dogs Go to Heaven. Reynolds and Bacon appeared in Starting Over.

Snooki: 3

The connection: Jersey Shore star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi appeared with Larry David in The Three Stooges. David and Dianne Wiest were in Radio Days, and Wiest and Bacon were in Footloose.

Tom Cruise: 1

The connection: Oh yeah... Cruise and Bacon were both in A Few Good Men.

Lindsay Lohan: 2

The connection: Lohan and Matt Dillon appeared in Herbie: Fully Loaded. Dillon and Bacon appeared in Wild Things.

Fritz Lang: 3

The connection: Lang is a director best known for his groundbreaking 1927 German silent film Metropolis. And his number is only a 3?!  Lang actually appeared with actor Jack Palance in the 1963 movie Contempt. Palance appeared in Cops and Robbersons with Dianne Wiest, who was in Footloose with Bacon.

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