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Google celebrates Douglas Adams' 61st birthday with a doodle

Updated: March 11, 2013, 10:28 AM IST
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Google celebrates Douglas Adams' 61st birthday with a doodle
Adams is widely known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before being turned into five best-selling novels.

New Delhi: Paying a tribute to Douglas Adams on his 61st birth anniversary, Google has posted an interactive doodle, which includes several references to his works.

Adams is widely known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before being turned into five best-selling novels which sold over 15 million copies worldwide. It has also been adapted for television, the West End stage and the big screen. It was later adapted to other formats,

The doodle has a device with words "Don't panic" written on it. Here is why the doodle features "Don't Panic". In the series, Don't Panic is a phrase written in large, friendly letters on the cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

The doodle includes a spate of elements touching on Adams' famous novels, which are clickable. When clicked, the doodle also plays sound in the background. However, it can be turned off which a click of a mouse.

The doodle features a cup of tea, which brings to our mind one of Adams' Dirk Gently detective novels, named The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul.

It also has a towel, an item Adams always would mention as an essential thing when travelling in space. Besides, with the view to pay a tribute to Adams, his fans celebrate Towel Day every year on May 25, thereby demonstrating their appreciation for Adams and his books, as referred to in Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The commemoration was first held in 2001, two weeks after his death on May 11 2001.

here is how Adams explains the importance of towels in the third chapter of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

"A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough."

When you click on lift door on the doodle, one of the characters, Marvin the paranoid android, from Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, is seen.

Adams was born on 11 March 1952 in Cambridge, England and died of a heart attack in 2001 at the age of 49 in Santa Barbara, California. He had hoped to finish the series with a sixth novel.

Douglas Adams had always intended a follow-up to the fifth book, which he felt was an unnecessarily bleak ending to the comic, cosmic tales of Arthur Dent, but he died in 2001 before he could write it.

To coincide with the 30th anniversary of the publication of the original Hitchhiker's Guide, Irish author Eoin Colfer was asked to produce the first authorised sequel to the Adams classics.

First Published: March 11, 2013, 10:28 AM IST
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