The h2g2 Post: 16.03.20

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Posted: 16th March 2020

Of 42 and Other Numbers

Snow and Trees by Dmitri Gheorgheni

To tidy out cupboards, throw rubbish from sight

(Even the poems you write up at night)

Is morally wrong.

So I’m keeping this one.


Anonymous British Poet
The British woman who wrote that has a poetry compulsion that is part of her neurological condition. The scientists who are studying her brain called that poem 'banal'. We disagree. We think it's deep, and those scientists should stick to their MRIs and let us literary types do the poetry parsing. We have a poem for you in this issue, by our own Paigetheoracle, that may take some parsing, too. Please read and comment.

Yeah, 42 was all over social media this past week. Why? Because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio show celebrated its 42nd anniversary. People were waxing nostalgic about when they first heard the programme – a fun thing to do. I was lying in bed in a cupboard of a student housing unit in Cologne, Germany, when out of the aether came this hilarious tale of space madness, courtesy of BFBS1. Like everyone else, I found it inspirational.

But you know what? I'm suspecting something about this '42' meme talk on social media. I'm suspecting that some of those trendy social media people are going around saying, '42' and meaning, 'I know a meme. Now I'm cool, right?' Well…do you remember what the 42 was for? The computer Deep Thought told the scientists in this parable that 42 was the 'answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.' The problem, of course, was that they didn't know what the question was. The moral of the story was that life isn't about looking up the answers in the back of the book: life is about asking questions. Inquiry is the name of our game. And we're not throwing away the poems our brains write up at night, so there.

Here's to another 42 years of inquiry. And here's what the h2g2 Post Contributors have been asking themselves this week.

Obligatory Tree Root by Paigetheoracle
  • Willem asks, what was a pyrotherium like when it was at home, which was quite a long time ago? Take a look.
  • I ask, why does it keep snowing in Pennsylvania? I don't get any answers, but I do get some photos and music out of it. So will you.
  • Milla asks, why doesn't everyone want a snake in their house? Robbie Stamp provided one answer by yelping when he saw her photo. Take a gander.
  • Mrs McGillicuddy asks, why is big old Grady the dog such a pushover? Help her answer the question by captioning her poignant photo. Also enjoy her guest performance on the piano.
  • Freewayriding asks, how many treats will the elite eat if we rustle up some truffles for the bake sale? You'll want some, too.
  • Paige inquires into history, and sends us some more Factoid Fred stuff.
  • bobstafford undertakes to answer a question that was raised a few weeks ago: what is the difference between Landscape and Portrait orientations, and how did it get that way?
  • Our cartoonists muse on life, and fashion, and the minimoon. Willem gives you all a golden opportunity: write a caption or story for his fantasy creation. You'll want to give it a try. Another don't-miss is the Picture Quiz, courtesy of Solnushka (so it's a Russian picture quiz).

We also have the usual: zen-like writing advice, best read in a trance, cinema from Awix that's timely and sure to inform, enlighten, and possibly bemuse, random ideas and inspirational flashes that will send you scurrying to your camera, stylus, or keyboard. We hope so: send Stuff, people. Ask the questions. The answers will take care of themselves.



And have a great week!


Quote of the Week: As The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy reaches 42 years, perhaps we should never have laughed at the Telephone Sanitisers (Second Class)...
ProfDanny (Twitter)




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