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42 facts about Douglas Adams (+video)

Google's doodle celebrates 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' author Douglas Adams. Here are 42 facts about the humorist, environmentalist, technophile, and all-around hoopy frood who would have turned 61 on Monday.

By Staff / March 11, 2013

Google honored author and humorist Douglas Adam with a "Don't Panic" doodle.

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On Monday, Google celebrates the author Douglas Adams with a "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"-themed doodle that displays a spaceship computer console; an Electronic Thumb; a Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic; a cup filled with a liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea; a largish bath towel; Ford Prefect's leather satchel; an automatic door with a cheerful and sunny disposition that opens to reveal a robot with anything but; and, of course, the Guide itself.

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In honor of his fans' favorite number, here are 42 facts about the great sci-fi satirist, technophile, conservationist, and all-around hoopy frood.

1. In 1974, Mr. Adams made his first of two appearances in "Monty Python's Flying Circus," playing a surgeon in Episode 42.

2. On May 9, 2001, two days before Adams died, the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 18610 "Arthurdent," after the protagonist of the "Hitchhiker's" trilogy.

3. Adams was friends with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour and came up with the title of the band's 1994 album, "The Division Bell."

4. A passionate technophile, Adams often said that he was the first person in the United Kingdom to buy a Macintosh computer

5. In 1994, Adams joined a trek organized by the conservation group Save the Rhino from the coast of Mombassa, Kenya, to the Summit of Kilomonjaro. The trekkers took turns wearing a huge rhinoceros costume.

6. In the US edition of "Life, the Universe, and Everything," the F-word was censored. It was replaced with the word "Belgium." The text in the US edition goes on to note that while on Earth, the word refers to a small, flat country in Europe, while everywhere else it is regarded as the most offensive word in the universe.

7. His middle name was Noel. A keen science buff, Adams took delight in his initials being "DNA." The year after he was born, in 1953 in Cambridge, England, researchers at the University of Cambridge discovered the structure of the DNA molecule.

8. Adams once wrote that his absolute favorite piece of information is "the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees."

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