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Friday, December 23, 2011

Newsweek misses a chance for a Douglas Adams homage–by 4


On the top of this weeks cover is the headline:

The Meaning of the Universe    See page 46

If this had been page 42, this would have been an excellent homage to Douglas Adams, the beloved author of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and other books.  In those books, 42 IS the answer to the meaning of the universe. 

The number 42 is, in the novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, "The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything", and is calculated by an enormous supercomputer over a period of 7.5 million years to be 42. Unfortunately no one knows what the question is. Thus, to calculate the Ultimate Question, a special computer the size of a small planet and using organic components was created and named "Earth".

For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/42_%28number%29

Douglas Adams is following in the footsteps of Lewis Carroll, who’s “Alice in Wonderland” also contains allusions to this number.  

So they are off by 4.  On page 42 is a 4 page interview with Joe Biden. If they had just flip-flopped those articles!