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In the beginning, a column was

Ah, good day to you, readers! Allow me to introduce myself to anyone who
is unfortunate enough not to know me yet. My name is Professor Christopher
Tonks, and I work in the Alabaster House Government of h2g2 as Minister for
Science & Technology, not to mention Ambassador to San Beta. I take it
you've heard of San Beta, yes? It's a group of six galaxies ruled by one
Government, of which I am the Overseer. I've worked there for a number of
years, and...

My goodness, do pardon me. I'm afraid I lost my track. Going back to what
I was saying, I was offered *cough* to write a column for this most
esteemed online newspaper, and naturally I jumped at the chance. I thought
to myself, what better way could I communicate to you the intricacies of
both politics and science, but in a weekly column in a much-read virtual
publication? No other way sprang to mind, excluding introducing a law on
h2g2 making the watching of political broadcasts mandatory. And as I'm a
nice chap, knowing just what it's like to have to sit before a bunch of
quite lacklustre legislators, I thought better of this method. And so I took
some time off from endless debate on the subjects of monetary reintroduction
and fixed drinking ages for a thousand-odd races in San Beta to set out this
article, and fill it with as much information as possible.

Alas, nothing much popped into the brain of this particular genius whilst
thinking about it. Therefore, I came up with the secondary purpose of this
column - letters! Write to me, and ask me anything you want! It could
be everything from the most recent scientific breakthroughs to the goings-on
over in San Beta, through happenings on the Space Station Big C, my home, or
even the latest gossip from Alabaster House (oh boy, have I got some
tales to tell!). Go on, write, you know you want to.

Before I move on, perhaps I should explain the submission system. For
this column to really work, I'm afraid you simply have to e-mail me. Fear
not though, as obviously I won't give out your e-mail addresses, or add them
to any mailing lists or and whatnot. The reason I ask for this method is
because using the forum system that h2g2 kindly provides means that the
questions and correspondence for next week's column will be in this week's,
which unfortunately ruins the objective of the piece. If you really, really
have to use the forums please do so, but don't expect an answer from me
until the following week; my Space Station is incapable of fully decoding
the information in these so called 'threads' quickly, as the technology
Earth employs is, quite frankly, ancient.

Anyway, enough of this, I want to talk to you about interesting things!
Some of you may be aware that only a week or so ago I won the San Beta
GalaGroup Elections again, meaning I'm still GalaGroup Overseer. Indeed, I
write this column not from anywhere on h2g2, but from Governmental House on
G-Planet, the political centre of San Beta. I have yet to return to h2g2,
but rest assured that I will do so before next week's edition. Be warned
though that I may be a little drunk when you encounter me in any of h2g2
forums - the GalaGroup Elections are a big thing, and the winner of them is
subject to many a party on many an alien planet. The drinks they cook up
there are out of this world! Talking about these Elections would take too
long now, so I'll save them for next week, when they'll be a little less
babble from me introducing myself!

Just to fill the space, I thought I'd tell you a little joke. It's quite
a favoured one amongst us great scientists and, for myself, I simply can't
help but chuckle with mirth every time I hear it. It goes something like

Two scientists are working on an electron-defragmenting tower, which
they are just about to trial run. The head scientist comes over to the other
scientist who's making some final adjustments to the discharge array with a
photonic megawrench, and gasps in astonished fury.

"What do you think you're doing?" he exclaims, snatching the megawrench from
his co-worker's grasp, "This isn't an anti-spectral counter-flux, you

Oh boy, it cracks me up every time!

Well, that's all for this week. Sorry I haven't been able to say much
more, but I haven't had any letters yet to answer. Besides, my head's
beginning to spin a bit from the fifth Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. When I
do get letters though, next week, there will be some fine reading to do here,
believe me! Well, toodlepip!

Yours with slowly slurring speech,

Professor Christopher Tonks

Minister for Science & Technology for the Alabaster House

GalaGroup Overseer to San Beta


(Page looks best in Alabaster.)

28.06.01. Front Page

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