– 25924 Douglasadams is an asteroid. Its provisional designation of 2001 DA42 references the year of his death, his initials, and the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything (42). The asteroid was discovered by LINEAR on February 19, 2001.
– 18610 Arthurdent is a small main belt asteroid. It was discovered by Felix Hormuth on February 7, 1998.
– Many writers on popular science, such as Fred Allen Wolf, Paul Davies,Richard Dawkins and Michio Kaku, have used quotes from Adams’s work in their books to illustrate facts about cosmology or philosophy.
– Some academics from Cambridge decided to launch an online ressource site about Evolution. And they called it 42evolution. We know that it’s a subject that always fascinated Douglas. http://www.42evolution.org/ . On the bio of one of the founders of the site Dr Victoria Ling, we can read ” Other things Victoria is passionate about include Douglas Adams, Doctor Who (Classic), Archaeology, the music of the 1960s, animals/wildlife, and tea and biscuits. Always know where your towel is! (“Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”)”
In the computer industry
– The TIFF file format created by the company Aldus (now part of Adobe) is based on 42.Every TIFF begins with a 2-byte indicator of byte order: “II” for little endian and “MM” for big endian byte ordering. The next 2 bytes represent the number 42, selected because this is the binary pattern 101010 and “for its deep philosophical significance”. TIFF 6 Specifications (Adobe, 1992) p13 : “Bytes 2-3 An arbitrary but carefully chosen number (42) that further identifies the file as a TIFF file.”
– Trillian is an instant messaging client initially released July 1, 2000.The newest release of Trillian is called Trillian Astra.
– One of IBM‘s chess playing computers was named Deep Thought.
– In the Microsoft windows logo, there are a number of floating diamond shapes on the flag. In fact, there are 42 of them.
– If you ask the google search engine to search for the “answer to life, the universe and everything”, then the Google Calculator will return the answer42. The Wolfram|Alpha search engine will also give you 42.
– The reference of the Google HDMI Streaming Media Player named Google Chromecast, released in 2013, is H2G2-42.
– There are numerous H2G2 references in video games. In the Mac game Escape Velocity there is a planet called Beeblebrox in the Zaphod system. On landing the planet has the description “Beeblebrox is a wild world, a world of wild parties and wild people. If you have two heads, three arms, and an ego problem, don’t travel to Beeblebrox; you will be laughed at and considered boring and unoriginal.” In the classic space simulation and fighting game Elite, the object of the game was to attain the status of Elite, but you started off being rated “Harmless”. The next grade up was “Mostly Harmless”. In Fallout 2, you’ll find in the desert a crashed whale and a smashed pot of petunias. In the PC game Spore, once reaching the center of the galaxy, Steve the UFO will present you with the Staff of Light that can make any planet livable- but can only be used 42 times.
– Babelfish is a Yahoo! web translation service originally created by AltaVista.
– Vogon International was a british company established in 1985 specialised in hard drive recovery. It has been bought by Kroll Ontrack Inc in 2007.
– DEVONthink is an application to collect, organize and share knowledge. To show their application possibilities, in their introduction video (from 0:50), they introduce us to Jim a university student who is going to write an analytical paper about… The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Watch the DEVONthink video here
– Zaphod Beeblebrox is a famous nightclub in Ottawa (Ontario – Canada). “Zaphod Beeblebrox, the original pub at the edge of the universe, is an intimate live music venue and dance club. Home of the world famous Pan Galactic Gargleblaster and other such exotic galactic cocktails, the nightclub has played host to an eclectic mix of performers, including Alanis Morrissette, Cracker, Afghan Whigs, Ashley MacIsaac, Mzwake Mbuli and countless others.”
– Radiohead has entitled one of their songs “Paranoid android“. The song was at first intended to be humorous. Thom Yorke has said the title “was chosen as a joke. It was like, ‘Oh, I’m so depressed.’ And I just thought, that’s great. That’s how people would like me to be. And that was the end of writing about anything personal in the song. The rest of the song is not personal at all.”
– In 2006, the british group Supergrass put on their official website a flash animation intro sequence in the style of the computer graphics used in the BBC TV series “dedicated to Douglas Adams”
– The band Level 42 was named after the answer to life, the universe, and everything.
– The band Coldplay‘s album “Viva la Vida” includes a song called “42”. When asked by Q magazine if the song’s title was Hitchhiker’s-related, Chris Martin said, “It is and it isn’t.” An other song is called “Don’t panic” (in the “Parcahutes” album).
– The guitarist Jon Gomm is a huge fan of Douglas Adams and Hitchhiker and named one of his album “Don’t Panic” (2009). For Douglas Adams’ 61st birthday, Jon wrote on his facebook page : “My album “Don’t Panic” is named for him. His Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy books pretty much formed my personality as a child.”
– In Doctor Who, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has been referenced by the Doctor on a few occasions. The Doctor once, asked, rhetorically, who had said that “Earthmen rarely invite their ancestors to dinner”, which comes from the series. (Ghost Light) The Doctor once compared himself to Arthur Dent after saving the Earth from invasion in a dressing gown, and after being awoken from his post-regenerative coma by tea, the character’s favourite drink. (The Christmas Invasion) 42 was one of the numbers the Doctor guessed when trying to find out the security protocol for the the Host (Voyage of the Damned). An episode is called “42” and as with the spaceship stolen by Arthur Dent and friends in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the ship in 42 is on its way to crashing into a star, leaving its passengers with no escape.
– In House, MD, the Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) says his favourite number is 42.
– in X-Files, Fox Mulder lives in appartment 42.
– The british TV series Spaced contains a brief homage to the style of “computer graphics” used in the BBC TV series.
– In the Stargate Atlantis Season 4 episode “Quarantine”, 42 are the last two digits in Rodney McKay’s password. After John Sheppard explains to Teyla the meaning of the previous twelve digits, she asks him what 42 is. Then, John says, “It’s the ultimate answer to the great question of life, the universe, and everything,” at which point Teyla looks confused.
– In the TV show Lost, 42 is the last of the mysterious numbers, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42. In an interview with Lostpedia, producer David Fury confirmed this was a reference to Hitchhiker’s.
– The british TV show The Kumars at No. 42 is so named because show creator Sanjeev Bhaskar is a Hitchhiker’s fan.
In the book Rama Revealed by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee, the main character is told the purpose of the universe, and muses that “it’s not 42”.