The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams was a man ahead of his time.

When he first wrote The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy as a radio series back in 1978, there was no Internet, and the World-Wide-Wait had not been invented.

But the series had as a feature, a book, “The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy” with “Dont Panic” printed on the cover in large friendly letters. This book had the amazing property that it seemed to stay up to date as it was opened and used – or at least pretty much up to date.

Zoom ahead to 2006. Now we’ve got Wikipedia, a free on-line encyclopaedia where nobody is really in control and contributors add things as they see fit. The potential for abuse is huge, but it seems to work.

Thanks to the web browser we also really do have The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy – Earth Edition. It was started in 1999 and is now hosted by the BBC in England. It claims to be an unconventional encyclopaedia, and it sure is! Unlike wikipedia it aims to describe Douglas Adams original idea – a guide to Life, The Universe, and Everything.

For the die-hards, you can even read it on mobile phones!

The sections on Australia make for humorous reading. I’d not realised just how Oz it is to use the expression “It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick”. I use that often!! And the page on buying beer in Australia makes an interesting read as well.

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