Raise a glass to Douglas Adams on ’42’ day

I was in Malta recently talking to some government representatives and they mentioned how a big new IT park is opening in Malta on October 10th. I asked them why they would have the big launch party on a Sunday.

“10/10/10 – it’s binary, IT, understand!” they replied.

I understood the connection, and it’s a nice little idea to launch an IT venture on this date, just a shame it’s the weekend as journalists are hard enough to coax from their office, let alone from the pub during Sunday lunch.

But, I immediately converted the binary to denary and I realised it’s 42. So I replied to the business people talking about the IT park:

“You should make something of the fact that 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything according to Douglas Adams in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…

They didn’t understand me, or clearly have less enthusiasm for British science-fiction.

I thought I was the only one who had noticed this interesting little quirk of numbers, but when I googled it, I found that a few others have commented online – but not many. It still seems that there is not much awareness of the significance of this date.

I can vividly recall hearing that Douglas Adams had died in 2001 because I was in a bookstore in Bangalore and the manager of the shop rushed to tell me – just because I was the only English person in the store. I was back in there a couple of days later and we were talking about RK Narayan, who died that day. I thought that if I kept on returning to that bookstore I might kill off some more authors so I left it for a while before shopping there again.

How about raising a glass in memory of Douglas Adams on Sunday and toasting 42 on the Douglas Adams ‘binary’ day?

Douglas Adams - The Salmon of Doubt

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One response to “Raise a glass to Douglas Adams on ’42’ day

  1. Nice piece. great so many people ‘got it’.

    You will find his covers on my portfolio website!

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