Friday, March 23, 2012

Degrees of Wikipedia

It's a simple game. The idea is to get from a particular Wikipedia page, to another, seemingly unrelated one, in as few clicks as possible. So, for instance, let's start on the Wikipedia page for DJ Premier, which I happen to be on right now. And then we need to get to custard, which I'm feeling like having for lunch. Now how quickly can we get from DJ Premier to custard, only clicking on the live, blue links? You're not allowed to use the search bar (pretend you have no keyboard, only a clickable mouse). You can use the Featured Content sidebar on the right, but that's more of a random wild card. The idea is to plan your path using your own knowledge of popular culture links and you intuition of what's likely to be on those Wikipedia pages. So let's start!

Well, DJ Premier is related to the rapper DJ Cheese at the bottom. That's 1 click. He's from a place called Oak Hill (2 Clicks) Country singer Hank Williams was found dead there. (3 Clicks) One of Hank's songs was Jambalaya (On The Bayou). (4 Clicks) We're getting warm now. Jambalaya is part of Cajun cuisine (5 Clicks), which is part of the Cuisine of the United States (6 clicks). That cuisine is part of the food industry (7 clicks). I hit a bit of a dead end there. I'm going back to American cuisine... (8 clicks) Let's try apples... (9 clicks) A particular apple dish is a crumble. (10 clicks) And... ta-dah! "The dessert variety is often served with custard!"

Behold, how to get from DJ Premier to custard in 11 degrees of Wikipedia! If you can do it any quicker than I can, you win. And I'll owe you an apple crumble with custard. We can eat it while we listen to some Gang Starr, featuring DJ Premier.

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