Ten years ago, we played around with Six Degrees of Wikipedia, a cute web page that would find the link path between any two Wikipedia pages. Now there’s a new visual version, by a different developer, with an updated database. The new Six Degrees of Wikipedia visualises all the shortest paths between any two entries as a network map.
You can drag the map around and click any point to go to the relevant Wikipedia page, where you can see the context in which things were linked. The results give you the trippy feeling that everything is connected – because it is. For example, Janelle Monáe and Maggie Smith both won a Critics’ Choice Movie Award; Maggie Smith was married in Guildford; and Ford Prefect, a character in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, pretends to be from Guildford but is actually from the Betelgeuse star system. Meanwhile Monáe is influenced by David Bowie, who has an asterism (a constellation) named after him, and Betelgeuse is in the Winter Hexagon asterism.
We especially recommend finding connections between something you’re associated with, such as your hometown, employer or university, and your celebrity crushes.