The Earth was destroyed by the Vogons five minutes before its ten-million year program was due to be completed. One of the only two humans who had survived the destruction of Earth, namely Arthur Dent , pulls random Scrabble tiles from a bag, so to reveal information in his unconscious Marvin announced that Arthur had the Question imprinted in his brainwaves.
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When his friend, Ford Prefect , lines up the tiles, they spell, 'What do you get when you multiply six by nine? In both the radio series and the novel, it is stated that two programmers named Lunkwill and Fook were the ones to turn on Deep Thought and were the first to address it.
Then, seven and a half million years later, seventy-five generations later, it was their ancestors Loonquawl and Phouchg who were the ones to hear the Answer of forty-two. Deep Thought had warned them that they wouldn't like the answer, and they didn't respond enthusiastically, thought Deep Thought pointed out that they had never specified or even known exactly what the Ultimate Question was. This was when Deep Thought decided to design the computer named Earth to figure out this Ultimate Question.
In the television series, the programmers are merely described as 'two men' and neither them nor their ancestors are addressed by name. Some parts of the story leading up to the reveal of the Ultimate Answer are also cut out, however the plot remains the same regarding the reveal by Deep Thought of the answer being forty-two. In the film, events are quite different.
In the film, only two of the 'brightest and best' created Deep Thought, and those same two, who are never named, were both the ones to address Deep Thought and, seven and a half million years later, to hear the Ultimate Answer.
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The sequence is cut down quite a bit, and in the film adaption the two who created Deep Thought and heard the Answer are implied to be young girls, whereas in all previous versions were implied to be two men. Douglas Adams revealed the reason why he chose forty-two in this message. Clarke said Douglas Adams' use of "don't panic" was perhaps the best advice that could be given to humanity.
Somebody who can stay in control of virtually any situation is somebody who is said to know where his or her towel is. The logic behind this statement is presented in chapter 3 of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy thus:. For some reason, if a strag strag: nonhitchhiker discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc.
Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with. Adams got the idea for this phrase when he went travelling and found that his beach towel kept disappearing.
On Towel Day , fans commemorate Adams by carrying towels with them. The only entry about Earth in the Guide used to be "Harmless", but Ford Prefect managed to change it a little before getting stuck on Earth. Those two words are not what Ford submitted as a result of his research—merely all that was left after his editors were done with it. The term is the title of the fifth book in the Hitchhiker series.
Its popularity is such that it has become the definition of Earth in many standard works of sci-fi reference, like The Star Trek Encyclopedia. Additionally, "Harmless" and "Mostly Harmless" both feature as ranks in the computer game Elite. Also, in World of Warcraft , there is a rifle that fires mostly harmless pellets. Low-scoring players in the multiplayer version of the game Perfect Dark and GoldenEye are awarded with the designation "mostly harmless". In the edition of the board game Cosmic Encounter, the Human race is given the attribute "Mostly Harmless".
In the game Kerbal Space Program , there is an atomic rocket motor with the description "mostly harmless". In chapter 17 of the novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , Arthur Dent tries to get a Nutrimatic drinks dispenser to produce a cup of tea.
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Instead, it invariably produces a concoction which most people found unpleasant that is "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea". One of the primary goals of the player, as Arthur Dent, in the computer game The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , is to thwart the machine and find some decent tea, a mission that the player is constantly reminded of by the inventory item "no tea". According to the Jargon File , the briefer "not entirely unlike" has entered hacker jargon.
In the radio version, this phrase had its own song sung in Fit the Ninth of the radio series , which was sung by a choir of robots during "special occasions". The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation tends to produce inherently faulty goods, which renders the statement ironic since few people would want to "Share and Enjoy" something that was defective. Among the design flaws is the choir of robots that perform this song: they sing a tritone out of tune with the accompaniment.
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The Guide relates that the words " Share and Enjoy " were displayed in illuminated letters three miles high near the Sirius Cybernetics Complaints Division, until their weight caused them to collapse through the underground offices of many young executives. The upper half of the sign that now protrudes translates in the local tongue as " Go stick your head in a pig ", and is lit up only for special celebrations.
Furthermore, Fit the Twenty-First of the radio series, the last episode in the adaptation of the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish , features a polyphonic ringtone version of the tune. The "Share and Enjoy" tune also is used in the TV series as the backing for a Sirius Cybernetics Corporation robot commercial slogan : "Your plastic pal who's fun to be with!
After mice, the second most intelligent species on Earth were the dolphins. The dolphins had long known of the impending demolition of Earth and had made many attempts to alert mankind to the danger The last ever dolphins message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double backward somersault through a hoop whilst whistling "The Star-Spangled Banner," but in fact the message was this: " So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
The line was also the title of the fourth book in the trilogy , and appears in that book as a message inscribed on crystal bowls left as parting gifts from the dolphins to the human race. Its popularity was such that it was the title of the opening song for the movie The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Burkiss Way, "Logical Positivism" sketch excerpt. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
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Retrieved 23 September Archived from the original on 5 April Retrieved 20 August Retrieved 17 February Archived from the original on 15 July Retrieved 9 March Level Archived from the original on 7 September Retrieved 4 April Doctor Who Magazine. Retrieved 5 June San Rafael, California: Insight Editions. Memory Alpha. Clarke looks back on the lifetime of influences that led him to become a science-fiction Grand Master".
Sci Fi Weekly. Archived from the original on 23 July Retrieved 24 July The best advice I think was given by Douglas Adams: "Don't panic. The Jargon File version 4. And Another Thing Portal Category.
Phrases from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Wikipedia
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