Why, hello there friend of 3.57 degrees of separation. We don’t know each other yet, but according to a recent Facebook calculation, it would take that many links for any two strangers in the world to connect. Between Fred in Detroit and Vlad in Moscow are three-and-one half people.
OK, that doesn’t make sense. A half person? We’re talking a big complicated formula that Facebook computer scientists figured out. Also, we’re not talking everyone in the world, only the 1.59 billion Facebook users. The Betster has no insight on degrees of separation between a Yanomami native in Brazil and Donald Trump.
Your mileage might vary. Most Facebook people have degrees of separation between 2.9 and 4.2. Now and then those connections pop up, like when you’re a Facebook friend with someone in Colorado and find out that person also is friends with someone else in Homer who you just met last week. Cosmic!
All of which is way of saying the world is connected. Duh. We breathe the same atmosphere, bask under the same sun and travel together on our journey through the galaxy. With telecommunications and the internet, we can meet and keep in touch with people 20,000 miles away. Understanding that person and putting aside differences? Technology can’t solve every problem.
So reach out to friends far away and near, but always dear. It’s Winter Carnival weekend, a time to get out on the streets, be silly and shake away the winter doldrums. Celebrate this amazing ride with some amazing people, perhaps with these Best Bets:
BEST BUT OF COURSE BET: Yup, that’s right. The biggest Best Bet is of course the Homer Winter Carnival. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, the show must go on to break us out of those winter blues. Highlights include the Mr. Homer Pageant, the Outhouse Races, the basketball tournament, the Paul Banks Elementary School carnival and the parade. For details, see story, pages 10-11.
BEST FREE INDOORS BET: Suppose it does rain and the weather gets gnarly over the next week. You can always escape indoors to your local museum, the Pratt, from noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Best of all, for February the museum is free. If you’re new to town and haven’t checked out our local treasure, drop in and learn about Kachemak Bay’s history, culture and natural environment.
BEST CHEESE STANDS ALONE BET: Oh, but if the weather is awesome, there’s nothing finer than sliding across snow and taking periodic rest stops for wine and cheese. It’s the annual Kachemak Nordic Ski Club Wine and Cheese Tour from noon-4 p.m. Sunday at the Lookout Ski Trail. Admission is $25 ski club members, $35 nonmembers and $10 youth.
BEST BIG DAY BET: One of the Betster’s more cynical friends describes Valentine’s Day as a conspiracy to sell greeting cards and chocolate. Well, in Homer Feb. 14 is not just Valentine’s Day — it’s Brother Asaiah Day. It seems appropriate that a day of love should honor the groovy patriarch who coined the phrase “Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea” for our town. Honor the Brother on his day, but you might also take a run around the block for the Valentine’s Day 5k. The race starts at 10 a.m. Sunday at Homer High School.