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Sci-Fi Entertainment

Don't Panic, It's Towel Day! 164

An anonymous reader writes "Today, as every May 25th, geeks all over the world celebrate Towel Day and carry a towel in honor of Douglas Adams. The popular author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy died in 2001 at the age of 49, but his work lives on. According to the book, a towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Hence its symbolic role in this celebration. This year, for the first time as far as we know, Towel Day is being supported by the British publisher of Adams' books, who organizes a photo competition."
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Don't Panic, It's Towel Day!

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  • Today is also Nerd Pride Day, but that's probably not a coincidence. Whichever hoopy frood thought of towel day should have been slapped with a Salmon of Doubt so that this never came to be!
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      And I use a towel every day!

      But maybe it's time to always have a towel stuffed somewhere to make sure that it's possible to escape the Vogons. Now - where did I put my thumb? OK, I don't panic over a missing thumb.

      And still - all the way through the weirdness provided by Douglas Adams there is also a thread of clarity and irony over the society we have.

      Few other authors have the skill to let the story change direction like the ball in a pinball game, kick out at various issues with our society and still hav

    • Pretty much by definition, a "hoopy frood", being someone who is hip and cool, is in no need of any Salmon of Doubt, as their hipness and coolness is deserved and unshakable. And this is why Zaphod is a poster-boy for hoopy-froodiness.

  • And remember kids... (Score:3, Informative)

    by viyh ( 620825 ) on Monday May 25, 2009 @08:39AM (#28082497) Homepage
    Don't forget to bring a towel! []
  • by *Pres* ( 114530 ) on Monday May 25, 2009 @08:41AM (#28082519) Journal
    We don't have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.
    -- Douglas Adams, Speech at The University of California
    • Indeed he was.

      [An extraterrestrial robot and spaceship has just landed on earth. The robot steps out of the spaceship...]

      "I come in peace," it said, adding after a long moment of further grinding, "take me to your Lizard."

      Ford Prefect, of course, had an explanation for this, as he sat with Arthur and watched the nonstop frenetic news reports on television, none of which had anything to say other than to record that the thing had done this amount of damage which was valued at that amount of billions of pounds and had killed this totally other number of people, and then say it again, because the robot was doing nothing more than standing there, swaying very slightly, and emitting short incomprehensible error messages.

      "It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."

      "You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"

      "No," said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like to straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."

      "Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."

      "I did," said ford. "It is."

      "So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"

      "It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."

      "You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"

      "Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."

      "But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"

      "Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?"


      "I said," said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, "have you got any gin?"

      "I'll look. Tell me about the lizards."

      Ford shrugged again.

      "Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happened to them," he said. "They're completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone's got to say it."

  • Buy the books (Score:5, Informative)

    by cerberusss ( 660701 ) on Monday May 25, 2009 @08:42AM (#28082527) Homepage Journal

    If you live in Europe, you can buy THHGTTG with amazing discounts []. Not affiliated with, just a satisfied customer and also surprised that they actually give discounts on this special day.

    • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
      Nowadays, I find it indecent to sell intellectual works of someone on his/her death's birthday. It makes IP laws look completely pointless : "Oh, you know, it is now 50 years since this author died but remember that if you dowload it, you are stealing from her/him !"
    • Sure, the 1st book is mildly humorous, but that's as far as it goes and the rest of them are simply tiresome.


      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by smoker2 ( 750216 )
        The series was first envisioned as a radio series and that's where it first appeared, two series on Radio 4 UK. Then the books were released. Then some considerable time later a third series and subsequent crap appeared.

        Do yourself a favour, listen to the original 2 series from the radio. After that it's all crap. As for the TV and movie, bah !

        "Immensely durable science-fiction comedy that taught us all not to panic.

        It may have spawned a BBC TV series, five novels and a biggish-budget movie, but purist
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      I have them as audio books, read by the master himself. A sample: []

      Great to listen to when sitting in traffic on the way to work/home. Much better then listening to the radio.

    • by borizz ( 1023175 )
      Actually, its not just today. I bought the exact same set back in February for the same price.
  • by yogibaer ( 757010 ) on Monday May 25, 2009 @08:49AM (#28082581) more than ever: Keep your towel close and hope that you can hitch a ride.
    • Just plump for a lead-infused towel. Sure, they're a bit heavy, and you need to be careful to only suck the right corner but it always comes in handy when the locals go nuts.
  • I like blue towels, white towels aren't bad but blue towels are sweet.
  • I would love to join in on this special day, but I'm busy trying to stop this bleepin freeway bypass from coming through my living room. Oh, Zaphod, where are you?
  • Well the answer to all your rantings and mumblings, and also the answer to the universe and everything is....

    You guessed it 42
    And Douglas gave it to us, Salute!
  • i threw in the towel long ago

    • Smart move. Sometimes there is no point holding onto your towel - if you know what I mean. Throw in the towel and make them happy, I say.
  • I love The Hitchhiker's Guide, but fuck carrying a towel around with me!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously - a lot of people have a towel on shoulder in some parts of the country.

    Sadly though, it is now only seen in (supposedly backward) villages.

  • Percussionists know the usefulness of towels. We use exclusively black towels because they look better on stage, but they can be used for:

    • Spreading on a table for auxiliary percussion instruments
    • Covering a music stand to make a stick tray
    • Muffling a concert bass drum
    • Stuffing inside a drum set bass drum
    • Wrapping around auxiliary percussion instruments to help protect them during transport
    • Drying off equipment that's just been hauled in from the truck in the rain

    ...and other less common uses that you probably

  • If I don't post in this thread, I'll shoot myself.

    + bonus points to whoever gets my account name (WSOGMM).

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by daveime ( 1253762 )

      Whole Sort of General Mish Mash. Now give me my 42 points, or better still, a PGGB.

  • So long... (Score:3, Funny)

    by stonetony ( 464331 ) on Monday May 25, 2009 @11:28AM (#28084603)

    ...and thanks for all the fish.

MAC user's dynamic debugging list evaluator? Never heard of that.