Monday, March 11, 2013

Don't Panic: Today's Google Doodle honors the 61st Birthday of Writer Douglas Adams

Douglas Noel Adams. Creator of
the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
(March 11, 1952-May 11, 2001)
If you don't know why this post is titled "Don't Panic", then please head to a library or the Kindle Store and check out one of Douglas Adams books, ASAP!  (Don't Panic is, of coarse a referance to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, perhaps Adam's most famous peice of work. It was writen as a radio show for BBC Radio, but later became a TV show, a stage play, a novel, and finally a feature film. The novel and radio show spawned so many sequels that the term Trilogy can no longer be used for legal reasons.)

Douglas Adams is, without a doubt, my favorite author. His wit and humor, though devilishly subtle and subversive at times, managed to do something humor so rarely can, but Adams was ever so good at, making you think. His take on Alien politics, trans-dimensional philosophy, and the nature of exsistance in the Hitchhiker series was in many ways, as thought provoking as it was hilarious. For those who read between the lines, you couldn't help but notice the parallels between Douglas' fictional universe and the obsurdity of real life. And for those who only took his writing at face value, they were still treated to a wacky, humor filled trip through time, space, life, death, and alternative reality.

In the 1990's, Adams became increasingly facinated with technology and the environment. He penned Last Chance to See with Mark Carwardine, which talked about the extinction of species all over the world and , using his trade-mark wit, chided foolish humans for our short-sitedness.

So, why you ask, is a blog about technology rambling on and on about a humorist and sci-fi writer? Because he was funny, brilliant, and frequently right!

If you haven't already, check out The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Universe One Last Time . It's collection of notes, ideas and articles by Adams published after his death in 2001.  In several places throughout the book he talks about his love of technology and his observations of why it doesn't really work. From attempting to type out an article on an old palm-top computer while in the bath, to attempting to predict the future, to why we all have so many damn charger "dongles" laying around the house, Adams' is hilarious, insiteful and right on the money. If you're a lover of technology, Sci-Fi, or you like a good "it's funny 'cause it's true" laugh, check out Salmon of Doubt and the rest of Douglas Adams' work. Your brain will love you for the rest of your life!

"It's a tough universe! There's lots of people out there trying to rob you, con you, do you, kill you... Everything! If you want to survive, you've really got to know where you towel is!"
- Ford Prefect, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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