0599: "Apocalypse"

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Sagard
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Sagard » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:32 pm UTC

I was confused by the math dept. door. It looked like he was running out of the math dept, not in. Fire code usually requires doors like that to open out.

Second thought: why am I that analytical of a damned comic?

jeffk
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby jeffk » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:43 pm UTC

I was burned by the cheese--while sitting in my cubicle at work--twice: Once by the comic, and once by Daniel Kleitman's comments on Good Will Hunting and how he got to be an extra in the movie:
He offered me, as a sort of reward for my help, a part as an extra. My wife decided I should agree to do this.

Rann Xerox
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Rann Xerox » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:15 pm UTC

[GOOGLES 'PAUL ERDOS']

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"Sokath, his eyes uncovered."

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arbivark
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby arbivark » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:21 pm UTC

dennisw wrote:
Master Gunner wrote:While I doubt I have an Erdos number, I do have a Bacon number of 3. I appeared (thanks to pre-recorded footage, but still), with the guys from http://www.loadingreadyrun.com in this bonus video. Several of the people present there appeared two videos with Wil Wheaton (here and here). Wil Wheaton appeared with Kevin Bacon in She's Having a Baby. Thus, Wil has a bacon number of 1, the LRR guys have a Bacon number of 2, and I have a Bacon number of 3.
Now I just need to find a way to connect myself to Paul Erdos....

I am wil wheaton's obsesssed fan, so this was really cool thanks.
Am I the only one who had never seen a picture of him before and...um...sorta thinks he's kinda cute? Is that creepy and weird? Is it any creepier and weirder than thinking an actor is cute? Is everyone going to shun me now? Should I run away? *runs away*
actually that's not a very good picture of him. he's cuter in person. [will edit this post if i can that pic of me and randall]
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My discrete math professor for next year has an Erdos Number of 1. Apparently, he's also a brilliant lecturer. Cannot wait!

So what you should do, if your math professsor has any sense of humor, is to write a paper, co-author it with your professor, and ask kevin bacon to the the third co-author. Kevin'll dig it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpher-Bethe-Gamow_paper. Shaka, when the walls fell.

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Philbert
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Philbert » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:29 pm UTC

Now, a few years back, someone defined the Erdos-Bacon number as the sum of your Erdos number and your Bacon number (if both are defined). The set of people who a finite Erdos-Bacon number is very tiny. Erdos himself, Andrew Wiles are a few. The only actor or actress of the top of my head who has finite EB is Danica McKellar who played Winny on the Wonder Years.


Does that mean that Erdös worked with Bacon? Doesn't that give all Erdos number holders a Bacon Number of Erdos + 1?
Also, according to LinkedIn I have a Bacon number of 3, if this is really Kevin Bacon and not a KB number related prank. Or do you have to work in films?

zusammen
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby zusammen » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:35 pm UTC

It is trivial to get a low Bacon number; mine is 2.

The key is award shows. These are tremendously useful for bringing together (and crediting) large numbers of people along with Kevin Bacon, although for not much else.

I worked on a film with Lee Pace, who is credited at the 2004 Independent Spirit Awards with Kevin Bacon, hence 2. Since films are large enterprises, it is likely that there are several other pathways to the same Bacon number. I just stopped when I found one that got me to the lowest possible number (since I'm fairly certain I haven't worked directly with Kevin Bacon).

Most of you therefore probably have much lower Bacon numbers than you think; you only lack the data mining skills to discover them.

wallaby
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby wallaby » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:03 pm UTC

That was brilliant, Randall. XD Isolated as I've been from my math community (b/c of summer vacation) it's been months since I've herd of Erdos numbers. (Apologies for not putting the proper lines above the o; I'm not sure how to do so.)

I wish I had an Erdos number. I think one of my math professors has an Erdos number of 9.

Madwolf
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Madwolf » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:28 pm UTC

Didnt quite get this comic at first, was like wtf?

Then I came here and saw the Wiki link. Then I understood an got a good laugh.

Then I couldnt get the Bacon reference, then i was reminded in this thread. :P

bad_leprechaun
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby bad_leprechaun » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:33 pm UTC

@WhyNaut: So what exactly did you think Monroe numbers WERE? They sound interesting...

Oh and also, woooo, just spent a little while figuring out that come August I'll have an Erdos number of, at a maximum, 8. Even behavioural biologists can! In my case, via Maynard Smith and the Dawkinses in the shortest route I've found.

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mastered
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby mastered » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:49 pm UTC

Tanuki wrote:And, perhaps even better, I have a Colbert number of 3


How's that? You know someone who knows someone who attended the production of an episode?
What if you know someone from online?
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tetsujin
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby tetsujin » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:53 pm UTC

Link wrote:
Kailen wrote:The real question is, what is Kevin Bacon's Erdős number?


Kevin Bacon has, to the best of my knowledge, never co-authored any mathematical papers.


But did he co-star in a movie with anyone who played a mathematician who did?
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Aelfyre » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:03 pm UTC

suso wrote:
Hey I Found A Spelling Mistake wrote:I registered this for the sole purpose of pointing out that "Cemetary" is actually spelled "Cemetery."


Why is everyone telling Randall this? If its misspelled then you should let the cemetery owner know about it. :roll:


Win. :mrgreen:
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tentative
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby tentative » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:07 pm UTC

We Israelis are very lucky to have some very active 1s serving as math professors.
So I got my 3 a couple of years ago, and still hoping for 2.

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Rowsdower
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Rowsdower » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:13 pm UTC

I don't get it, but the first pannel is pwetty.
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domino14
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby domino14 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:48 pm UTC

you have to actually be in a movie to have a bacon number, it can't be award shows, or going to high school with someone, etc, same as you actually have to author a paper to have an erdos number.

with that said, i have an erdos number of 6, and my gf has a bacon-erdos number that i'm trying to calculate.

saywhatman
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby saywhatman » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:05 pm UTC

I totally had no idea I had such a low Bacon number. I have a bacon number of 3 because I was in M.O.A.B. (2003) with L. Peter Callender who was in Doctor Dolittle (1998) with Oliver Platt who was in Frost/Nixon (2008) with Kevin Bacon. Awesome!

kelvinc
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby kelvinc » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:07 pm UTC

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erdős–Bacon_number[/url]

The only ways a lower number could be achieved would be:
  • for an individual who had co-authored an academic paper with Paul Erdős to appear in a movie with Kevin Bacon;
  • for Bacon to co-author an academic paper with someone with an Erdős number of 1, which would give Bacon an Erdős–Bacon number of 2;
  • for anyone who appeared in the documentary N is a Number along with Erdős to appear in a film with Bacon, which would posthumously give Erdős an Erdős–Bacon number of 2;
  • for Kevin Bacon to appear in a film that also uses stock footage of Erdős, giving Erdős an Erdős–Bacon number of 1;
  • for a heretofore unknown joint academic paper by Bacon and Erdős to be published, giving Bacon an Erdős–Bacon number of 1.
  • for Kevin Bacon to be revealed as Paul Erdős in disguise, giving Erdős-Bacon an Erdős-Bacon number of 0.


I'm pretty sure that would be a sign of the apocalypse.

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darthbyu
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby darthbyu » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:08 pm UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:
Steve the Pocket wrote:Heehee. The Kevin Bacon part was a nice hint for us non-nerds.

On a semi-related note, my Bacon Number is five, through Ben Burtt.

That website's BS. It won't link Sam Neill to Jeff Goldblum.

wts?!!


Works for me. Apparently, you just don't know what you're doing.

Edit: Ironically, it seems I was the one who screwed up. I misspelled Neill as Neil, thus taking me to a page with a list of "close matches" including "Sam Neill" which linked to the correct url. When I went back and tried to do it the "right" way it broke. :?:
Last edited by darthbyu on Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:22 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
bakert wrote:I much preferred the comic to this thread.

Rplot
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Rplot » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:21 pm UTC

599 is the 109th prime

109 is the 29th prime

29 is the 10th prime

http://primes.utm.edu/lists/small/1000.txt

gdf
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby gdf » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:34 pm UTC

I worked on a movie featuring Lolita Davidovich, giving me a Bacon Number of 2.

If you only count on-screen appearances, I may or may not have been in the movie depending on which take of a scene was used. Some software that I wrote for the movie was definitely on-screen though.

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby stephentyrone » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:41 pm UTC

Tom Banchoff (a geometer at Brown), has Erdos-Bacon number 6, though he is not on the Wikipedia list of people with known EB numbers. He has an Erdos number of 3 (via Michael Rosen) and a Bacon number of 3 (via Denzel Washington, iirc -- actual on-screen appearance, not some silly "consulting" role =). I have a Erdos number of 4, from a paper that I co-authored with Tom when I was an undergrad.
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smiffy
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby smiffy » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

JoshuaZ wrote:
intertubes wrote:...I'll be honest, I don't get this. Time for some google research!


Paul Erdos was a very prolific mathematician who collaborated with a lot of other mathematicians. So there arose a notion of an "Erdos number." Erdos has Erdos number 0. Someone who collaborates with Erdos has Erdos number 1. Someone who collaborates with one of those has Erdos number 2 and so on. It works like degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. Smaller Erdos number is better. I (and I suspect also Randall and many other geeks) gave up any hope of having Erdos number 1 when Erdos died. So the entire math department is taking advantage of the return of the dead to get Erdos number 1.

Now, a few years back, someone defined the Erdos-Bacon number as the sum of your Erdos number and your Bacon number (if both are defined). The set of people who a finite Erdos-Bacon number is very tiny. Erdos himself, Andrew Wiles are a few. The only actor or actress of the top of my head who has finite EB is Danica McKellar who played Winny on the Wonder Years.

Also, Hank Aaron sort of have Erdos number 1. But someone else can tell that story if they want...


Natalie Portman definitely has a couple of scholarly papers out there, although under her legal name (don't know whether she's still trying to keep that a big secret).

Edited to add: Nope, Wikipedia lists both her names on a combined table of Erdos and Bacon Numbers. Owing to her strong Bacon Number, she surprisingly beats both Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking on the aggregate score
Last edited by smiffy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:42 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

codog180
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby codog180 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:32 pm UTC

Ok, so I still don't get why all the people are signing the paper. I get what an Erdos number is and what a Bacon number is but the people signing the paper went over my head apparently.

togo1960
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby togo1960 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:46 pm UTC

codog180 wrote:Ok, so I still don't get why all the people are signing the paper . . .


They're "co-authoring." Though, of course, if it were that simple, it wouldn't mean anything.

Rplot
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Rplot » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:47 pm UTC

codog180 wrote:Ok, so I still don't get why all the people are signing the paper. I get what an Erdos number is and what a Bacon number is but the people signing the paper went over my head apparently.


It's the last chance for all the math dept geeks to have an Erdos number of 1, the prospect of which sends the ENDOFTHEWORLD to the level of background noise -- as far as they're concerned anyway.

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby intertubes » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:51 pm UTC

If you stretch it a bit, I could have a bacon number of 3. I went to high school with Kevin Pereira (well I didn't really know him that well, but still), who had an AotS episode with Josh Flaum, who was in The Air I Breath with Kevin Bacon...but that's kind of pushing it. :B
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Iridos
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Iridos » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:51 pm UTC

togo1960 wrote:
codog180 wrote:Ok, so I still don't get why all the people are signing the paper . . .


They're "co-authoring." Though, of course, if it were that simple, it wouldn't mean anything.


Yeah... shows us the scientific environment Randall is accustomed to...

codog180
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby codog180 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:02 pm UTC

togo1960 wrote:
codog180 wrote:Ok, so I still don't get why all the people are signing the paper . . .


They're "co-authoring." Though, of course, if it were that simple, it wouldn't mean anything.


Ah, that makes sense, thank you.

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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Fleshpiston » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:16 pm UTC

aray wrote:I've only published one paper and I already have Erdos number 5. :twisted:
FYI: You can calculate them here http://www.ams.org/mathscinet/collaborationDistance.html


Thank you aray! I have been fascinated with Paul Erdos for a very long time, and when I got my first publication this February, I tried to compute my Erdos number, but I gave up after spending an hour trying to find connections on my own. Using the site you linked to, I found out that I have an Erdos number of 5! I can't tell you how happy this makes me. Thanks to aray, and for xkcd for bringing us like-minded people together.

Also, great comic, Randall! (It is reminds me of what is going on in mspaintadventures.com)

Rplot
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Rplot » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:21 pm UTC

Fleshpiston wrote: I found out that I have an Erdos number of 5! I can't tell you how happy this makes me.


seems kind of high. :wink:

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sableye22
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby sableye22 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:37 pm UTC

I love when things on the interweb make me laugh AND learn. I spent an hour reading about Erdos, Hotel Infinity, and Zeno's paradoxes. My Erdos number is undefined. :(

Master Gunner wrote:While I doubt I have an Erdos number, I do have a Bacon number of 3. I appeared (thanks to pre-recorded footage, but still), with the guys from http://www.loadingreadyrun.com in this bonus video. Several of the people present there appeared two videos with Wil Wheaton (here and here). Wil Wheaton appeared with Kevin Bacon in She's Having a Baby. Thus, Wil has a bacon number of 1, the LRR guys have a Bacon number of 2, and I have a Bacon number of 3.


So Kevin has a Wheaton number of 1? :)
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miles
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby miles » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:53 pm UTC

You only got Erdos?
I'm heading over to get my Pythagoras co-scroll done now!

Fleshpiston
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Fleshpiston » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:53 pm UTC

Rplot wrote:
Fleshpiston wrote: I found out that I have an Erdos number of 5! I can't tell you how happy this makes me.


seems kind of high. :wink:

Well, I am an economist, not a mathematician, so I can't hope to get it much lower. By the way, I once used projected the xkcd comic about ranking fruit onto the board during my intermediate microeconomics class to explain preferences and indifference curves.

Rplot
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby Rplot » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:36 pm UTC

5! = 120, large even for an economist.
Last edited by Rplot on Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:40 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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a386
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby a386 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:38 pm UTC

ahh, the door that says "math department"
the kiss of death for my hope of grasping the punchline
it lays such weight on my heart

(wiki taught me that this is pretty funny but it's never as good as if it's immediately relatable.)

Rplot wrote:5! = 120, even large for an economist.


i do get this though and it is a facepalm-worthy math pun, thank you for that.

ianf
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby ianf » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:56 pm UTC

Well I've gone from not understanding this comic, to finding out about Erdos numbers, to finding that I've got an Erdos number of 3 ... all in about 5 minutes.

The Bacon number might be more difficult ... though I've got a friend with a Bacon number of 3 ... so I just need to get a part in a film with her!

typh0id
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby typh0id » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:06 pm UTC

This one is for THE BOOK.

(Yes I registered to say that)

TheHomoSapiens
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby TheHomoSapiens » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:33 pm UTC

I was so confused, but a quick google of paul erdos cleared things up a lot. This is so hilarious now, even if i had never heard of erdos before the comic.

phider2
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby phider2 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:41 pm UTC

GodShapedBullet wrote:
phider2 wrote:Wow.. Randall-get-out-of-my-head moment here. Out of boredom I just spent the last few hours reading about the zombie apocalypse.

I didn't get this at first, but after reading JoshuaZ's post, it's pretty good.


I wonder how many webcomics you'd have to read to always have one be addressing zombies? Maybe 3? Webcomic people really like zombies.

But I read 3 webcomics, and I haven't seen any zombie references in a while, unless I'm just unobservant (very possible).

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umop ap!sdn
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Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Postby umop ap!sdn » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:55 pm UTC

DSDM wrote:
pyroman wrote:apocalypse eh? good that means Starcraft 2 should be out in another week or so.


Not quite:

"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And lo, Duke Nukem didst speak, "Come get some."


Thanks DSDM - That's exactly what I thought about when pyroman said he was waiting for SC2.
"SC2?!? *pfffffft* 'It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I'm all out of gum.' " You just put it better! :lol:

On topic: Didn't get the comic right away, needed to Wikipedia that. Then I got it. My friends and I played 6 degrees of Bacon in Highschool... the rule was you had to use TV or Movies only, and it couldn't be a Entertainment News show, and award shows. Made it a bit more difficult. I think we got Ronald Reagan at one point.
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