Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen is one of those guys who gets more interesting the more you read about him. 

The guy is involved in everything you can imagine, in every area you can imagine with everyone whom you can think of. 

I was thinking about this sometime last year when I told a friend that I thought that everything in the world could be linked to Paul Allen within 6 degrees. You’ve heard of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, right? Well, ironically, a few days after I said that to my friend, I read that Paul Allen and Kevin Bacon were performing together on stage aboard one of Paul Allen’s yachts during the 2005 Cannes Film Festival! 

 Six degrees of Separation is basically the idea that anyone can be connected to anyone else through a chain of acquaintances with no more than 5 intermediaries.   One day I was playing around with my laptop and thought it would be fun to invent a new game based on that theory called “Six Degrees of Paul Allen.” The point of the game is to try to link Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen with anyone or even anything—within 6 degrees. And that’s how this blog was born.

On September 4th, this blog will have been around for a year.  And I have to tell you, it’s been a blast! I’ve spent last year trying to find new links between Paul Allen and remote celebrities and even historical figures from a 100+ years ago and that task has been easier than I thought it would be—which leads me to believe that the Six Degrees — “Small World” theory might actually be true, especially when it comes to people like Allen, who really get out there.

Before I do anything else, I want to thank you guys for reading my blog—you have no idea how much you make my day by stopping by!  Serious kudos also go out to Matt Mullenweg (http://photomatt.net/about/)  and the Awesome WordPress Blog Masters, primary enablers of my Blog Stat addiction (almost 14,000 site views and counting!!!:-) — you guys rock!!!  And Google —- it’s such a thrill to see my blog translated into Portugese, etc.— it is so cool! Really, thank you, you guys, for giving me a chance :-)!

Since this is an Anniversary issue, I thought it might be fun to do something out of the ordinary—so here is the “official” Six Degrees of Paul Allen Anniversary Contest.  Unlike the used salad shooter and the video tape rewinder in the shape of a sports car, there is actually a real prize for this contest—a 1 Gigabyte USB Drive (see below). So I’m thinking that someone might actually want to enter the contest, and if not, I’ll send the prize to myself and be the first person on my block with an R2D2 Jump Drive!  Anyway, see if you can be the first to answer the questions below in the comment section, and if you’re the first to answer all 10 questions correctly by 9/4/07 at midnight, I’ll send you the prize. No, really, I will…..:-)***

So here goes…..

1) MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) of Albuquerque, N.M. announced “The World’s First Microcomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models,” the Altair 8800 PC on the cover of the January 1st 1975 issue of Popular Electronics. Shortly afterwards, a couple of guys called MITS’ owner Ed Roberts and told him that they had a BASIC interpreter for his computer, the Altair.  One of them later went out to meet with Roberts, discovering on the plane that he and his partners had forgotten to write the loader for the program! He hastily finished writing the loader as he flew in to New Mexico and demonstrated the completed program, BASIC, at MITS headquarters to Ed Roberts and his staff. Fortunately the program worked, and Robert hired him as MITS Director of Software Development.  Who was he?  

2) The Rose Garden Arena, located at One Center Court in Portland, Oregon, opened its doors on October 12, 1995. The stadium, which is often used for concerts and other events, is the home of Portland’s professional basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers. The guy who originally footed most of the $262 bill for the stadium also currently owns the Portland Trail Blazers. What is his name?  

 3) Seven tug boat crew members were plucked from icy seas off Port Alfred a couple of days ago in a dramatic sea rescue involving the luxury super yacht, the 414ft. Octopus. The maritime drama started at around 2pm on 8/23/07 when the tug boat, called Douala Tide, mysteriously sank 31 nautical miles off Port Alfred in heavy seas. The Octopus was one of the first ships on the scene and managed to rescue seven crew members of the tug. Who owns the Octopus? http://www.dispatch.co.za/2007/08/24/Easterncape/abdrama.html 
 

 4) The Seattle Seahawks football team was purchased in 1988 by real estate developer Ken Behring.  Eight years later, when Behring decided that he wanted to move the team to Los Angeles— much to the chagrin of Seahawks fans—another guy stepped in and eventually bought the team, thereby keeping it in Seattle. (For fun, check out this article from The Seattle Post-Intelligencer written in 1996: “SOS: Seahawks Mess Not About You” by Laura Vecsey. ( http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/archives/1996/9604030018.asp ) In 2002 the new owner helped build a new stadium in Seattle for the team called Qwest Field. In 2006, this same owner took the Seahawks to SuperBowl XL. Who was he? 

 5) The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the largest charitable foundations in the world. The Foundation was established in the year 2000 and is dedicated to “bringing innovations in health and learning to the global community.”   Who founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? 

 6) This famous photo, taken in 1978, depicts the early Microsoft crew. See… www.answers.com/topic/microsoft-staff-1978-jpg  One of the co-founders, a young looking guy with blonde hair is seated on the far lower left of the photo. His co-founder is seated on the far lower right sporting a beard and long hair.  Who is the co-founder seated on the right in this picture?  

7) Vulcan Productions (www.clearblueskyfilms.com),  an independent film company, has produced a number of movies since it was founded including the Emmy winning documentary, PBS’ “Rx For Survival” and the Peabody Award winning “Black Sky,” a documentary about SpaceShipOne, the spaceship that won the Ansari X-Prize in 2004. Who is the Chairman of Vulcan Productions? 

 8.) This computer mogul is also a rock musician who has performed with numerous musicians including Dave Stewart, Dan Aykroyd, Carlos Santana, Little Feat, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mick Jagger and Peter Gabriel.  In 1999 he cut an album with his rock band, Grown Men.  On the album, special thanks were given to Dave Stewart, Peter Gabriel, Dan Aykroyd and the crews of the Meduse and the Charade,  two megayachts that this guy owned at the time.  He most recently performed with Spinal Tap at former Vice President Al Gore’s Live Earth Concert at Wembley Stadium in London. Who is he? 

 9) This tech wizard is connected within six degrees to a number of famous people including Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Princess Grace Kelly, photographer Annie Leibovitz, writers Truman Capote, Ian Fleming, John Steinbeck and Mark Twain, President Franklin Pierce, artists Georgia O’Keefe and Pablo Picasso, statesman Nelson Mandela and his Council of Elders, Former President Bill Clinton, scientists Carl Sagan and James Watson, musician Paul McCartney, director Martin Scorsese and actors Tom Hanks, Eric Idle and Scarlett Johansson—of The Perfect Score.  What is his name? (Hint: he wrote PC BASIC).  

 10) In 1999, Seattle P-I’s movie critic William Arnold wrote this article about the revival of a nearly demolished theater in Seattle called the Cinerama. Fill in the name of the person he’s talking about at the end of the quote–( eg. Who saved the Cinerama?):

“It may sound like shameless hype, but there’s no other way to say this: the survival and restoration of Seattle’s Cinerama Theater in the late 1990s is simply one of the greatest success stories in the whole checkered history of movie theater preservation in America. When the theater’s 35-year lease ran out in March 1997, no exhibitor was even vaguely interested in the once-luxurious movie showcase at Fourth Avenue and Lenora Street. The Seattle media wrote its obituary, and no sane observer gave the naive, grass-roots “Save-the- Cinerama” campaign the slightest chance of success. But two years later, the Cinerama is not only still standing, it’s undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation, and will reopen April 23 as the most technologically advanced, state-of-the-art cinema, not just in Seattle and the Northwest, but arguably on the entire planet.  A year ago, in what was supposed to be the Cinerama’s final week, I took a last, sad tour of the long-neglected facility — cringing at the water-damaged walls, crumbling screen, broken seats and dilapidated fixtures that seemed almost beyond repair. Late last month, I wandered through the same space and found it had been not just lovingly restored to its full 1963 glory, but transformed into a kind of nirvana for movie lovers — a theater so chock-full of extras and innovations that it’s hard to list them all……….”   See… http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movies/cine08.shtml

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OK–The first person to answer all 10 questions correctly and write the answers on the comment section below by Sept. 4, 2007 at midnight EST will receive a 1 Gigabyte Star Wars Mimoco USB Drive from Dynamism, the company that sells Paul Allen’s mini-pc, the Flipstart. See… http://www.dynamism.com/usb-star-wars/main.shtml ***

Good luck, guys!!! 

———————————————————— *** J
I’m not sure I really have to do this, but just in case someone thinks
his or her answers should have shown up first and he/she should have
won, I don’t want to spend my life savings buying Star Wars themed
USB drives for everybody, you know? 🙂
So…..
By entering the contest you agree that your answers are not “consideration” and that I don’t owe you anything; contest is void where prohibited, subject to availability, and good only where Dynamism ships and as long as the shipping fee costs less than the item itself. (Note–Dynamism is not affiliated with the contest nor this blog–the company just has a lot of fun stuff, including cool-looking jumpdrives…:-)
Don’t enter if…..you’re even remotely connected to spam, if you’re coming from a site that’s not ‘G’ rated, if the WordPress Akismet thinks you’re spam, or you send emails to a lot of people who don’t know you on a regular basis. And if you think you should have been first, but your answers don’t show up first below, I’ll give you sympathy but not another USB Drive—basically this is just for fun, guys !!!!

Good Luck!!!

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