This is the Message Centre for Peta

In memory of Douglas

Post 1

Peta

The in-house team have been talking about Douglas over the last few days, and thinking about the way that he would like to be remembered.

We think it would be really nice to remember Douglas, in a way that he personally would have appreciated. This wouldn't have been by having a wear a towel day, or something like that, he was far deeper than that and his reach extended far further than the Hitchhiker books alone.

So we've come up with a few suggestions, but if you'd like to add to them please do, we'll support the best ideas.

* We think that Douglas would have appreciated a book day in his name. It would be nice if on the specified day, everyone starts reading a new book, possibly science based or ecology. You can recommend reading material to others, and discuss them on site. He'd love the idea that he managed to extend knowledge and understanding.

* Make a donation in his name to charity. Save the Rhino and the Dian Fossey Gorilla fund were two of his favourite charities, a donate to charity or fund raising day would be appropriate.

What do you think? Let's do something that Douglas would genuinely appreciate...


In memory of Douglas

Post 2

Peta

If you like the idea of a book day, please suggest books that people might like to read here. If and when we start a special page for this, I'll move this conversation over to that page.

Thanks for ideas and suggestions everyone...


In memory of Douglas

Post 3

Jimi X

One of the people (I'm afraid I forget who) who wrote articles about Douglas' passing talked about planting a Douglas Fir in his memory.

I liked that idea a lot - much more than silly towel-wearing.

But if you'd be interested in a book-reading, Carl Sagan's 'Pale Blue Dot' was rather good - it looks at the future of humanity in space.

Good idea Peta! smiley - hug

- X


In memory of Douglas

Post 4

BuskingBob

I like the idea of a charity donation. Would it need to be to one his favourites or can we pick our own?

I think the grave of Christopher Wren in St Paul's in London has words to the effect of if you want to see his memorial, look around; these sentiments would certainly apply in the case of DNA and H2G2!


In memory of Douglas

Post 5

Gw7en, Voice of Chaos (Classic)

Both the charity donations and the book day ideas are grand. smiley - smiley I would think, however, that if the charity is chosen, something else should be set up as a back up. Many of our members are either out of work or too young to be part of the work force, and a money based memorial may be hard for them to participate in.

Perhaps it should be a day of action instead. While not everybody can do something to help a specific endangered species, there are always zoos or animal shelters that need help and able bodies. Perhaps one day a year could be set aside for folks to volunteer at such a place. This would provide a positive action that almost anyone could do.

In brief defense of the towel - sorry, but apparently I didn't explain it well enough - the original progenitor of the idea was simply suggesting that a towel be carried. If someone asked why you carried a towel, you could explain to them all the things about DNA that made him special to you. (This could include more that the Hitchhikers books.) I now understand why its not the best idea, but I wanted to share what it was meant to be so that everyone understood. smiley - smiley

Thanks.

G7


In memory of Douglas

Post 6

Jeremy (trying to find his way back to dinner)

Most the ideas mentioned above are great, but I especially like the one with the Douglas fir.

As far as books are concerned: My recommendation would be "Cryptonomicon" (Sorry, I can't remember the author, and I don't have it right here right now). It has been recommended to me on h2g2, and I enjoyed reading it a lot.

Charity: Also a great idea. Sorry for all the HHGTTG fans (one of which I am myself, just to be clear), but I think that "Last Chance To See" is DNA's best book. Just in case anyone has not yet read it (which I doubt), read it right now. It will give you a whole new view on how mankind has been treating its one and only spaceship so far. So a donation to some environmental charity is something that DNA would certainly have appreciated.

Jeremy


In memory of Douglas

Post 7

Jeremy (trying to find his way back to dinner)

Most the ideas mentioned above are great, but I especially like the one with the Douglas fir.

As far as books are concerned: My recommendation would be "Cryptonomicon" (Sorry, I can't remember the author, and I don't have it right here right now). It has been recommended to me on h2g2, and I enjoyed reading it a lot.

Charity: Also a great idea. Sorry for all the HHGTTG fans (one of which I am myself, just to be clear), but I think that "Last Chance To See" is DNA's best book. Just in case anyone has not yet read it (which I doubt), read it right now. It will give you a whole new view on how mankind has been treating its one and only spaceship so far. So a donation to some environmental charity is something that DNA would certainly have appreciated.

Jeremy


In memory of Douglas

Post 8

Gw7en, Voice of Chaos (Classic)

Cryptonomicon was written by Neil Stephenson. Definitely an excellent book. His other work is very good as well. smiley - smiley

And I agree that Last Chance to See is magnificent. Perhaps, if the book day idea is adopted, that should be the first book read?

G7


In memory of Douglas

Post 9

Shimoda

This idea came to me yesterday. I think that someone, maybe the people who knew Douglas best, should start the Douglas Adams Award for Extreme Cleverness, an annual contest for writers (and with time maybe become bigger than the Nobel Prize in range and prestige) with a, not large, but reasonably tidy monetary award (or, alternatively a nifty sort of non-monetary prize) for writing the best story/radio programme/play/song... (best written word anyway). Maybe songs should be a different contest. A panel of judges would get together (or at least get mailed the submissions) to review the submissions and choose a winner. It does have some startup costs, but intelligently managed, it costs little after that to keep running. I would install Jane as an honorary chair who could probably handle legal if she wanted. Saves on retainers, ne?

As far as books go Vonnegut's TimeQuake is a good read. It takes a little getting used to, but otherwise goes fast.

I still think the towels are a pretty neat idea and towels are definately good to have around as a general rule, but I'll face it, the work that an author becomes famous for can often lead to their getting tired of being famous for it.

I'll probably come up with some more after I post this.


In memory of Douglas

Post 10

Tom I.

Lovely ideas, Peta!
I am more in the direction of the book day, and the prize. Donations to organisations are very important, but they should be made, regardless of Douglas' death. A book day, or a prize will much easier stand the test of time. I have a strong feeling that ideas about the towel wearing thing and doing whatever stuff related to 42 will be revealed every now and then. To me, that is just another important reason for having a meaningful way of honouring Douglas' memory year after year.

What about this annual contest on h2g2.com: A special prize (a physical object, such as a piece of art, and a sum to be donated to the winner's org. of choice) goes to the researcher(s) behind the best article or article series dealing with a problematic subject. Examples of this could be a very good and factual article about the exploitation of the people on East Timor, the disappearing forests of Central Europe, or Norwegian (and other western) trawlers over-fishing outside Chile, taking all the resources away from the local fishermen, and destroying maritime life off the Chilean coast.

The article must be - just like any article on h2g2 - factual, balanced and well written. These articles also have to force the reader to take a stand on the subject.

This way of honouring Douglas is relatively easy to set up, given that h2g2 and its infrastructure is already there, and it would bring a dimension to h2g2 that I somehow think Douglas would have appreciated.

Tom I.


In memory of Douglas

Post 11

Tom I.

Lovely ideas, Peta!
I am more in the direction of the book day, and the prize. Donations to organisations are very important, but they should be made, regardless of Douglas' death. A book day, or a prize will much easier stand the test of time. I have a strong feeling that ideas about the towel wearing thing and doing whatever stuff related to 42 will be revealed every now and then. To me, that is just another important reason for having a meaningful way of honouring Douglas' memory year after year.

What about this annual contest on h2g2.com: A special prize (a physical object, such as a piece of art, and a sum to be donated to the winner's org. of choice) goes to the researcher(s) behind the best article or article series dealing with a problematic subject. Examples of this could be a very good and factual article about the exploitation of the people on East Timor, the disappearing forests of Central Europe, or Norwegian (and other western) trawlers over-fishing outside Chile, taking all the resources away from the local fishermen, and destroying maritime life off the Chilean coast.

The article must be - just like any article on h2g2 - factual, balanced and well written. These articles also have to force the reader to take a stand on the subject.

This way of honouring Douglas is relatively easy to set up, given that h2g2 and its infrastructure is already there, and it would bring a dimension to h2g2 that I somehow think Douglas would have appreciated.

Tom I.


In memory of Douglas

Post 12

vegiman:-)

Douglas was to all, a very fit man. He worked out a lot and I believe he died in a gym during a work out.

It is a common thing for those who work out a lot for their hearts to go into fibrillation.

On the Morning TV in the UK Dr C. Barnard the heart surgeon was discusing this very issue and DNA's name came up.

He urged all fitness centres to have a defibrillator installed as this would save many lives.

As a tribute to DNA could we not have a world wide campaign urging fitness centres to install this very important piece of equipment. A campaign which lobbies politicians, councils, and fitness associations etc.

If one of these machines which gives an electric shock to the heart, was around when DNA's heart went into fibrillation - he may well be with us today.

Get emails - postings and whatever we can in our local press, into a petition in DNA's name to make it law for health centres to install it and have a member of staff trained to use it. If the Beeb will allow it - Make this site the base of the campaign.

Well there is the germ of an idea - It can be improved and it will give meaning to the loss of our dear friend.

vegiman smiley - blue


In memory of Douglas

Post 13

Gw7en, Voice of Chaos (Classic)

That's a very good idea, Vegi. smiley - smiley It's the kind of thing that would help many, many people.

G7


In memory of Douglas

Post 14

Phoenix

Greetings Peta, and Everyone smiley - smiley

I too like the idea about having a book reading day. My suggested book, besides those written by DNA (which are, of course, also recommended), are ...

Illusions, by Richard Bach
Contact, by Carl Sagan

I also like the idea regarding the Douglas Adams Award for Extreme Cleverness, but I think that this award might want to be specifically for H2G2 writers (which would help keep the reward costs, etc. down). Maybe once a year we can award the writer of the 'best' (what is 'best' obviously depends on the criteria set) H2G2 Guide Entry written that year.

I also read the obituary/lament with the Douglas Fir idea. It may not be recommended for everyone everywhere to plant Douglas Firs specifically, since Douglas Firs don't grow everywhere and I'm sure DNA wouldn't want us mucking up the ecosystem by planting them where they don't belong just to remember him. However, planting trees is a good idea and I think that DNA would like it if we improved the ecosystem in our memorials, so perhaps people can plant trees in his honour that are native to their local areas. smiley - smiley

42!

Phoenix


In memory of Douglas

Post 15

Anonymouse

Extremely good idea, veggie!.. I only wish someone would have thought of it a year or so ago, so that the law had been passed before last Friday. smiley - cry


In memory of Douglas

Post 16

Jeremy (trying to find his way back to dinner)

I think that the idea of installing defi's in all gyms and fitness studios might be a good one, but we have to keep in mind that a defi can be an extremely dangerous tool if not applied properly. I get some kind of headache if a defi is available to be used by people who aren't doctors or at least paramedics ...

You can kill people with that thing, but you can save lives as well. The problem is that it's hard to decide in the stress of the moment smiley - sadface

Jeremy - having worked as a trained paramedic for almost 5 years


In memory of Douglas

Post 17

vegiman:-)

Thanks G7 - It may have to be toned down a little as I feel the reponse would be ' do we want to get into something like this'

I do have ideas on how it could be achieved but lets see what other have to say - you know me I throw things into the fire and see how they burn smiley - winkeye

catcha soon
veggie


In memory of Douglas

Post 18

vegiman:-)

Thanks Jeremy

Your input is valued. This is why there must be trained members of staff available to use it. I was a lay instructor for St John Ambulance for many years - When the ambulance men came to us for training.

So I do take your point - It is the same as Mouth to Mouth resus if performed on someone who is still breathing very shallow breaths but mouth to mouth has saved more lives than it has killed.

I am not an expert in defibs but if the heart has stopped as well as breathing, in 3 to 4 minutes they will die if the heart is not started up again.

I dont have the answers but there will be experts who will - I am glad you agree its a good Idea so it could be worth looking into.


I am off to bed now - early start as usual
Thanks
veggie


In memory of Douglas

Post 19

Fruitbat (Eric the)

Hi all,

I like the 'book day' idea, especially if it combines something in science/technology and humanity; from what I understand, this was the fusion that Douglas was looking for and is the direction that I believe the Internet (and peripheral technology) is heading in.

I also like the idea of the 'Extreme Cleverness" award, and I suggest tempering this with the awareness of the individual's capabilities rather than their academic standing. Sometimes a blindingly brilliant idea is really obvious only in hindsight.

Perhaps an educational-award in his name: I'm going to U. of Glamorgan in September. They have a new Science and Science Fiction degree. That sounds like a probable starting-place for something as unorthodox as H2G2 was when first published.

Wish I'd known him as a person,

Fruitbat


In memory of Douglas

Post 20

Lentilla (Keeper of Non-Sequiturs)

I really like the 'Award for Extreme Cleverness' idea… But it should reward clever technological inventions or ideas that further the information net - the global community. Brand new, innovative PDA's, new internet technology that makes it more accessible, etc.

What about making his books accessible on the web? For free, although there could be a link to the Dian Fossey Gorilla fund and other charities as kind of a suggested donation.

Then again, there's that society that gets together once a year and comes up with really bright ideas... Maybe we should ask them what to do! I know that Douglas Adams wrote an article about the society, but I can't find it anywhere - it must be on his personal website.


Key: Complain about this post

More Conversations for Peta

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more