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Heartbroken Dog Refuses to Leave Owner’s Grave, and Facebook Rewrites Six Degrees of Separation

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A video of a dog in a small village in China has the web buzzing about his devotion.  When 68-year-old Lao Pan died earlier this month, the only surviving member of his family was a small yellow dog that he left behind.  His little companion has refused to leave his burial site since his owner's death.  When villagers noticed the dog lingering around the grave, they began bringing him food and water since he had not eaten in a week.  Some villagers even tried to coax the dog away and back to the village, but he always finds his way back to the grave site.  Now villagers are planning to build the dog a kennel near the site where his owner is buried.  Social media is loving this dog.  People have been tweeting that this story is "heartbreaking," and saying that it made their heart smile and cry simultaneously. The loyal canine is also reminding people of the 19th century's legendary Greyfriar's Bobby, a Skye Terrier in Scotland who returned to his owner's grave every day for 14 years. A statue was erected in the dog's honor in Edinburgh shortly after its death, and has become a well-known tourist attraction.  The U.S. has its own version of a well-known loyal canine.  Earlier this year, another video of man's bestfriend went viral.  The footage shows Hawkeye, a Labrador retriever, the devoted dog who refused to leave the side of his owner, fallen Navy Seal Jon Tumlinson at his funeral. Regardless of people wanting to debate if animals are like a member of the family, one thing is certain, all of these canine's bring the adage of "man's best friend" to life.

Ever heard of the phrase six degrees of separation? The theory refers to the idea that every person is only six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth.  In 1967, psychologist Stanley Milgram published his findings on 'six degrees' after conducting an experiment where 296 volunteers were asked to send a message via postcard through friends, and then friends of friends to a specific person in Boston. Well Facebook is making the degree of separation even smaller.  The social media site has taken the concept and reduced it to just 4.74 degrees of separation.  Over a one month period, researchers at Facebook and The University of Milan used algorithms that measured the connections between 721 of its users.  According to a New York Times article, the algorithms calculate the average distance between any two people by computing a vast number of sample paths among Facebook users. They found that the average number of links from one arbitrarily selected person to another was 4.74. In the United States, where more than half of people over 13 are on Facebook, it was just 4.37. Therefore, the results confirmed that given any other person on Earth, a friend of your friend probably knows a friend of their friend. Of course, this depends on your definition of the word 'friend.' Some people say these connections between other people simply support the idea that Facebook's definition of 'friendship' is not the same as it is in the real world. At any rate, with the help of Facebook and social media in general, it has become a lot easier to reach people and make connections.  Looks like the world just got a little bit smaller.

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