Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt

The Salmon of Daoubt - Douglas AdamsThe Salmon of Doubt is a must read if you are a fan of Douglas Adams. It contains interviews with, and articles written by Douglas Adams, and it gives you quite some personal background about Douglas Adams as a person. It’s difficult to base your opinion on books only, but I think it is safe to assume that Douglas Adams was a very witty man to be around. And how weird to read his half finished last Dirk Gently chapters, knowing the book will never be finished. And to read that he was actually considering writing a 6th Hitchhiker book, which will never see the light of day either.

Here is a bit about tea, I especially like his remark about social (in)correctness.

Some people will tell you that you shouldn’t have milk with Earl Grey, just a slice of lemon. Screw them. I like it with milk. If you think you will like it with milk then it’s probably best to put some milk into the bottom of the cup before you pour in the tea.(1) If you pour milk into a cup of hot tea you will scald the milk. If you think you will prefer it with a slice of lemon then, well, add a slice of lemon.

Drink it. After a few moments you will begin to think that the place you’ve come to isn’t maybe quite so strange and crazy after all.

1 This is socially incorrect. The socially correct way of pouring tea is to put the milk in after the tea. Social correctness has traditionally had nothing whatever to do with reason, logic or physics. In fact, in England it is generally considered socially incorrect to know stuff or think about things. It’s worth bearing this in mind when visiting.

The whole Tea article is available on h2g2 (the website h2g2 was once started by Douglas, but is now run by the BBC) which is a good source for all kind of Douglas Adams and Hitchhikery related articles.

Douglas Street

Douglas Street
I have been in London for nearly 3 months now. And I am doing my best to become a real Londoner. This means crossing streets even though the light is red. Say “please” after nearly everything you say. Reading a book in the tube. Be on time for appointments, even when travelling by tube. And being able to recognize all the different coins. And I haven’t been in any mens rooms lately either.

All the things I was doing wrong the first weeks, I have overcome.

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The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (42/5)

The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy

I know you are waiting for my opinion about The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, the movie. So here it is.

Since this was a preview, there were people in bathing gowns, and on ever chair in the cinema there was a towel.

A towel… is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have.
Douglas Adams

OK, you can see that this isn’t a mega million science fiction film, but despite that, it has a lot of beautiful special effects, especially throughout the end. But this film doesn’t really need the funky effect, because the story is so crazy, original and funny, and is filled with hilarious moments, that you don’t have the time to realize that the special effects aren’t there.

Marvin and the voice of Alan Rickman is very funny, and so are the sighing doors in the spaceship, the whale, the Vogons are fantastic (Jim Henson), and Ford and Slartibartfast are extremely cool in this film. Arthur Dent is British enough in this one, and , well you better go and see it for yourself.

The film has this typical British touch, but that only makes it better. It is rather close to the book if you ask me, and I recommend you to read the book up front (it is only 150 pages). It is good to be prepared, because a lot of the somewhat weirdish names and places are all over the place in the film.

The stars : Slartibartfast (6), Marvin (5), Ford Prefect (4), Arthur Dent(4), Zaphod Beeblebrox(3), Trillian (3), The Vogons (5), Deep Thought (4), The Mice (4), The Dolpins (4).

Which adds up to a total of : 42 – Oh my god …

Don’t Panic

Slartibartfast en Arthur Dent
Bill “Slartibartfast” Nighy en Martin “Arthur Dent” Freeman

Sometimes you run into books that catch you from the very first page. The Da Vinci Code seemed to be one, but coming nearing to the end of this book it faded out, and became a bit boring.

The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy seems to be this kind of book too. Or rather The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide, which is a collection of 5 books of Douglas Adams, of which The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy is one.
Are you still with me ?

And I can’t believe I missed it. 50 million people have read this book already, and I hadn’t even heard about it. Until recently.

Cold Play made Don’t Panic and Radio Head Paranoid Android and I never made the link. A whole new world is opening up for me! And now the film is on it’s way. (and the best thing is : Bill is in it, and the voice of Marvin is Alan Rickman, which doesn’t make it less interesting), and in this case it seemed a good idea to read the book before the film.

I started laughing on the first page, and haven’t stopped laughing yet. It does ask for a weirdish, slightly geekish, british sense of humour, but that wasn’t a problem for me. And now I am even more looking forward to the film. There is a week left to finish the book before the film is out in the cinema. Don’t Panic.
And do read that book, it’s hilarious.