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Fairfield City Council. Hawkesbury City Council Library Service. Hume Libraries. Ipswich Libraries. Ku-ring-gai Municipal Council Libraries. Melbourne Library Service. Penrith City Council. 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 their 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 "trilogy ". 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.


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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".


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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. 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.

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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. Explanation of phrases from the book by Douglas Adams.

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. Retrieved 10 October The Guardian.

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The Telegraph. He is a fan, it turns out. Met the author once. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Pocket Books. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Perkins, Geoffrey ed. The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts. London: Pan Books. Retrieved 8 May Life, the Universe and Everything. New York: Harmony Books. CIO chief information officer Magazine. Retrieved 3 March Retrieved 1 September — via Google Groups. BBC News. Retrieved 22 March Archived from the original on 29 June Retrieved 13 May The Mystery of Lewis Carroll. London: Haus Books. Retrieved 9 June Retrieved 7 September Journal of Group Theory.

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Are there mountains undersea? How many species of fish exist in the world? Can an ocean be a color other than blue? How do whales breathe? Are volcanoes forming in the oceans today? Boy, we have some questions. The Handy Ocean Answer Book tackles these and 1, other questions on ocean life, waterspouts, whirlpools, ocean shelves, tides and quakes, ocean bottoms, navigation, famous shipwrecks, and the effects of pollution and global warming.

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