The ubiquitous six degrees of separation was originally thought up by three students at Pennsylvania's Albright College in January 1994. They believed that all of Hollywood could be connected to Bacon, in no more than six associations. Many products emerged to play off the theory (even the "Footloose" actor himself launched a charity website, SixDegrees.org).
But Google, being Google, has taken the game into the 21st century. Now, when six degree-curiosity strikes, simply type "Bacon number" followed by the name of the actor into the search field. (For example: type in "Bacon number Jon Hamm" and you'll learn that the "Mad Men" star's Bacon number is two -- Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall appeared in "The Town." Rebecca Hall and Kevin Bacon appeared in "Frost/Nixon.")
"If you think about search in the traditional sense, for years it has been to try and match, find pages and sources where you would find the text," Lead engineer Yossi Matias told the Hollywood Reporter. "It's interesting that this small-world phenomena when applied to the world of actors actually shows that in most cases, most actors aren't that far apart from each other. And most of them have a relatively small Bacon number."
[via The Guardian h/t Gawker]