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Encyclopedia > Towel Day
Towel Day 2005, Innsbruck, Austria, where, by his own accounts, Adams got the inspiration to write the Guide.
An Israeli fan celebrating Towel Day
An Israeli fan celebrating Towel Day

Towel Day is celebrated every May 25 as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams[1]. The commemoration was first held in 2001, two weeks after his death on May 11, and since then has been extended to an annual event.[2] On this day, fans carry a towel with them throughout the day[3]. The towel is a reference to Adams's popular science fiction comedy series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Image File history File links Towelday_Towel. ... Image File history File links Towelday_Towel. ... Innsbruck is a city in western Austria, and the capital of the federal state of Tyrol. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... May 25 is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A tribute (from Latin tribulum, contribution) is wealth one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. ... Douglas Noël Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English author, comic radio dramatist, and musician. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... May 11 is the 131st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (132nd in leap years). ... A towel is a piece of absorbent fabric or paper used for drying or wiping. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... The cover of the first novel in the Hitchhikers series, from a late 1990s printing. ...


Other possible dates were 11 February (42nd day of the year), 11 March (Birthday), 2 April (4/2 using American date-writing conventions) or 4 February (4/2 using British date-writing conventions), 11 May (his death), 22 June (42 days after his death), and 18 October (42nd Thursday of his year of death). 25 May was chosen because it was as close to his death as expedient notification of fans could allow, and kept by custom although there were some attempts to switch to one of the alternate dates. February 11 is the 42nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Answer to The Ultimate Question Of Life, the Universe, and Everything is a fictional solution in Douglas Adamss science fiction series The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. ... March 11 is the 70th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (71st in leap years). ... April 2 is the 92nd day of the year (93rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 273 days remaining. ... February 4 is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... May 11 is the 131st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (132nd in leap years). ... June 22 is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... October 18 is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years). ... May 25 is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Origin

The original article that began Towel Day was posted at "Binary Freedom", a short lived Open Source forum.[4] Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ...

Towel Day: A Tribute to Douglas Adams
Monday May 14, 2001 06:00am PDT


Clyde ponders the passing of an incredible mind and proposes a "Towel Day" in tribute.


Friday morning I went to breakfast at Big Boy's (mmmm, Breakfast Bar); oddly enough, we sat in booth "42" and had a good laugh about it being the answer to "Life, The Universe and Everything". Later that day, headlines flashed the news that Douglas Adams, creator of the longest trilogy in history, had died. I was stunned; it was reminiscent of the loss I felt when Jim Henson died.


Douglas Adams will be missed by his fans worldwide. So that all his fans everywhere can pay tribute to this genius, I propose that two weeks after his passing (May 25, 2001) be marked as "Towel Day". All Douglas Adams fans are encouraged to carry a towel with them for the day.


Make sure that the towel is conspicuous- use it as a talking point to encourage those who have never read the Hitchhiker's Guide to go pick up a copy. Wrap it around your head, use it as a weapon, soak it in nutrients- whatever you want!


Most minds in the universe are constrained to the laws of Physics; let us remember those who broke the law and got away with it.


So long Douglas, and thanks for all the fish!

D Clyde Williamson 2001-05-14 (reprinted here with permission)

The reason for a towel

The use of a towel is homage to the frequent references to towels in the five books of the hitchhiker trilogy. We are introduced to it first as an item in Ford Prefect’s satchel: David Dixon as Ford Prefect in Episode One of the TV adaptation of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. ...

... in Ford Prefect's satchel were a few ballpoints, a notepad and a largish bath towel from Marks and Spencer.
Adams, Douglas (1979). The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Cavaye Place London SW10 9PG: Pan Books Ltd. ISBN 0330258648. 

The reason that Ford Prefect has a towel is explained, in the book by reference to "The Book". The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines a towel as: David Dixon as Ford Prefect in Episode One of the TV adaptation of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. ... The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (some times shorten to The Guide) is an electronic guide book in the multi-media franchise of the same name. ...

... about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have.
Adams, Douglas (1979). The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Cavaye Place London SW10 9PG: Pan Books Ltd. ISBN 0330258648. 

The book goes on to quote from "The Book" to explain why a towel is so versatile and necessary listing a number of uses; wrapping it round you for warmth; sunbathing on it; sleeping under it; wetting it for use in hand-to-hand combat; waving it in emergencies as a distress signal; and wrapping it round your head to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal because this is such a "mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you". You can also, of course, dry yourself off with it, if it still seems to be clean enough. This is a list of races, fauna and flora featured in various incarnations of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. ...


Although there is no mention of saving oneself and family from a tsunami by use of a towel this was exactly what a father did on December 26, 2004 in the face of the Boxing Day Tsunami. [5] December 26 is the 360th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, 361st in leap years. ... shelby was here 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For related articles, including charities accepting donations, see Category:2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. ...


Real Towels

The actual towel used in the film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was auctioned in 2005, along with other memorabilia in aid of charities supported by the late Douglas Adams, Save the Rhino International and The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund the towel on its own fetching £225. [6] The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy film based on the book of the same name by Douglas Adams. ... Save the Rhino International is a British charity committed to saving the endangered Rhinoceros species in the wild. ... Dian Fossey Dian Fossey (January 16, 1932 – December 27, 1985) was an American Zoologist who completed an extended study of several gorilla groups. ...

Douglas Adams with an officially licensed Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy  towel on his shoulder.

There was a limited edition official HHGTTG towel produced in 1985 and Douglas Adams could be seen with one in an interview broadcast on the BBC Television programme Omnibus on August 4 2001 in an episode devoted to Douglas Adams. Image File history File links Douglas Adams, originally in an interview from 1985, with an official The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy towel on his left shoulder. ... Image File history File links Douglas Adams, originally in an interview from 1985, with an official The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy towel on his left shoulder. ...


Other towels, all in limited editions have been produced; towels made for ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, the official Hitchhiker's Appreciation society, bearing the words Don’t Panic in red on a white towel; a white towel which was being given away for free at the 2004 San Diego Comic Convention as advertising for the upcoming film by Disney; a white and pink towel produced for Pan Books in 1995. [7] ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha is the official Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Appreciation Society, and is named after the Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha where Earth can be found according to the book. ... Disney may refer to: The Walt Disney Company and its divisions, including Walt Disney Pictures. ... 1961 Pan Books edition of Ian Flemings James Bond novel Goldfinger is an example of the type of publication for which Pan Books became popular. ...


Towels given away at the premier of the film in various countries are extremely rare an example of the French '’H2G2, le guide du voyageur galactique" towel fetching 71 Euro on ebay when sold in September 2006. [8]

In the cartoon South Park a character named Towelie is a walking, talking towel that was artificially created in a lab for military/subversive purposes. As a reference to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy he frequently reminds people to bring towels, because you'll never know when you'll need a towel. towelie from southpark, the image is found here File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... towelie from southpark, the image is found here File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... This article is about the character Towelie. ... South Park is an Emmy Award-winning[1] American animated television comedy series about four third/fourth-grade school boys who live in the small mountain town of South Park, Colorado. ... South Park is an Emmy Award-winning[1] American animated television comedy series about four third/fourth-grade school boys who live in the small mountain town of South Park, Colorado. ... This article is about the character Towelie. ... The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy originated as a 1978 radio comedy series written by Douglas Adams. ...


The origin of the towel joke

The full version of this story was first found in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts and reprised in The Salmon of Doubt, but the short version is as follows: Adams had gone on holiday in Greece, but every time he had decided to go to the beach with his fellows, he discovered that his towel would disappear, and could only be found after hours of searching. The front cover of the UK first hardcover edition of The Salmon of Doubt. ...


After the holiday had ended, he decided that anyone who really had their life in order would "know where his towel is". He had no idea that this towel joke, which first appeared in the seventh radio episode, and subsequently in the first book, would catch on so brilliantly.


Trivia

  • Towel Day coincides with Nerd Pride Day and with Universal Day of the Jedi, another two geek holidays also celebrated on May 25.
  • Also noted is a towel's psychological value: "For some reason, if a strag [Hitch hiker slang: strag = non-hitch hiker] discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel, he will automatically assume that he's also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that might accidentally have been 'lost', on the grounds that anyone who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with."
  • Thus the phrase: "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? Now there's a frood who really knows where his towel is." [Hitch hiker slang: sass = meet, know, have sex with; hoopy = really together guy; frood = really amazingly together guy.]
  • One spectacular use for a towel was found when Ford and Arthur Dent were stranded in the past on prehistoric Earth (in the radio series): they waved it desperately at a ghostly potential spaceship that turned out to be the possibility of Zaphod Beeblebrox coming back in time to rescue them. This he duly did, causing a minor volcanic eruption on landing that covered the wet towel in lava, where it was preserved for millions of years, eventually being blasted into space as a meteorite when the Earth was blown up by the Vogons, this fossil being picked up by Zaphod – thus alerting him to the need to go back in time to rescue his friends. Needless to say, he was operating the Infinite Improbability Drive in the ship at the time.
  • Ford's mysterious friend and fellow hitch hiker Roosta had a towel soaked in nutrients, to be sucked for sustenance – there was a wide variety of different flavours in the various coloured stripes, plus barbecue sauce in the brown-flower motiff, prompting Zaphod upon trying it to proclaim, "It tastes as bad as it looks!" Roosta admitted that he often found, after such a 'meal', he had to then suck the other end – which contained antidepressants.

Nerd Pride Day or Geek Pride Day is an initiative which tries to reivindicate the right of every person to be a nerd in Spain. ... Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent, waking up at the beginning of the movie. ... Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox, from the TV adaptation. ... Willamette Meteorite A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives an impact with the Earths surface without being destroyed. ... The Vogons are a fictional alien race in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams: Heres what to do if you want to get a lift from a Vogon: Forget it. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... An antidepressant is a medication used primarily in the treatment of clinical depression. ...

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A557093 BBC
  2. ^ USA Today reports on the first Towel Day Hitchhiker, grab your towel and don't panic!
  3. ^ http://www.towelday.kojv.net/2005-worldwide.html Worldwide fans
  4. ^ Clyde ponders the passing of an incredible mind. Reprint by The Binary Freedom Project
  5. ^ BBC report Towels used to save quake family
  6. ^ BBC report Bidding war for Hitchhiker towel
  7. ^ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Towel with links to photos of towels
  8. ^ Ebay Auction Closed bidding for promotional H2G2 towel

USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion (US$7. ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion (US$7. ... eBay headquarters in San Jose eBay North First Street satellite office campus (home to PayPal) eBay Inc. ...

External links

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001) (1166 words)
Towel Day was a resounding success during the past years.
Towel Day was intended to be a wake.
The Towel Days 2001 and 2002 were celebrated on May 25th so we stick to that.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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