Hitchhiker's Guide References



Continuing the discussion from Make it HARD to have the active layer be anything other than Layer0:


I most certainly don’t want to wait 7.5 million years, nor the additional 10 million years it was going to take the “Computer that will come after me” to arrive at the Question.

My “+42” is something I’ll throw into a conversation instead of “+1” or <Like> in order to induce a wry smile in those who understand the inside joke!


My favorite calculator app on iOS is PCalc, and it’s application icon is “42” as an inside joke. (I like it because it does RPN)


Froody! RPN grok I do.

I’ll check out pcalc, hoping for an Android version!


+42 for the pCalc RPN mode

(Sorry @sjdorst, do I now owe you SU Forum royalties).

The pCalc developer is such a fan that he’s elevated 42 to the status of a Universal Constant.

The only thing missing now is a spot on the Periodic Table, for a potential Douglas Adams Element. This will probably have to come out of a UK Research University… if it ever does.


Golgafinchium? Or for a double pun, Goglafrenchium?

BTW: I checked the pcalc site. Apple only, no PC (for my laptop) or Android (for my tablet or phone). :sob:

Nope. I’ve long used “+42” on Twitter without claiming copyright or trademark. It’s in the public domain!


Forget the computer. Have the dolphins work it out!


Since even the mice needed a computer, what makes you think the dolphins can work it out?


My memory may fail me but I thought that at the end of the world, it turned out that the dolphins were the masters of the universe and legged it off to another planet with the immortal words “Goodbye and thanks for all the fish”!


You should email the app developer.

On principle he might not like Windows, and thats why he hasn’t ported over to it already.

However, if he knew he was leaving a fellow fan out in the cold, with soggy tissues tossed all about… that might be too much for him to take, and he might make an exception.

Personally if I was in your position—knowing what I know about the awesomeness of the brilliant pCalc app… I’d go take a selfie where I’m lying in front of a bulldozer that’s parked next to a freeway bypass ramp.

Finish that photo off in a frame you design in SU, and then mail it off to him as an incentive to create an android version.


He might be somewhat paranoid when it comes to android.


I could send the pcalc developer one of my older Android devices and a Babelfish. Ask him to stuff the babelfish into the earphone jack, take an iOS device, Jillian together a Lightning port to USB adapter to connect the devices and see what happens!


They did indeed sign off with “Thanks for all the fish”, but they weren’t the masters of the Universe. They were just the 2nd most intelligent beings on Earth (Humans being the 3rd).

The most intelligent species on Earth were the

Click to reveal spoilers

pandimensional creatures whose projection into our 3 dimensions appears as white mice


When all Finnish plots of land were assigned a “street number” some 20 years ago, I was very happy to discover that my “cabin in the woods” got the number 42.


My phone number includes 42 - and it was my choice! I joined the Google Voice Beta very early, long before they had any phone numbers in my actual home area code, so I used their “find a vanity number” and after a few tries I stumbled on:

XXX-Dorst-00 through XXX-Dorst-99 all available (XXX is the area code - hidden so I don’t make my phone number public)

So ever since then, my phone number has been XXX-Dorst-42!


A google search for “the answer to life, the universe, and everything” (without the quotes) turns up this google calculator result:



Prime Factorization of 42 = 2 * 3 * 7

Taking the sum of the inverse of ALL these numbers… results in 1.

1/2 + 1/3 + 1/7 + 1/42 = 1

making 42 a primary pseudoperfect number — of which (apparently) there are only 8 others currently known.

The Calculations in action...

I think Douglas Adams thought all this stuff was crazy.... he picked the number simply because it was funny.

The fact that people (the mathematically gifted) have figured out stuff like this and more leaves me standing in awe. my math skills are fairly low, when I compare them to people I admire, but I’m glad that I know enough to appreciate some of the stuff, and to be inspired by the efforts which have been made.

… in any event @sjdorst inside joke +42 subbing for +1 takes on some extra dimensional humor here.

[Thanks again @Box… I think you know why—I’ve been hoping for text folding for quite a while.]


Mathematics doctoral thesis proposal:

I will research the interactions between the number “42”, other pseudoperfect numbers, Bistromath, and the likelihood that your intestine will leap up through your espohagus and strangle you should you dare to listen to Vogon Poetry.

During the course of my research, vast quantities of beer will be required to unlimber the imaginations of my research team. We hope to, among other things, prove that 6 x 9 does indeed result in 42, disprove the Babelfish proof of the non-existence of God, disprove Fermat’s Last Theorem. and repeal the laws of probability.

Our research may require consultation with Wowbagger, the infinitely prolonged. Given this, and the difficultly of locating Wowbagger, I can provide no estimate of the time required for completion.

As per university guidelines, I hereby swear and affirm that I will allow no finite improbability generators within 1,200 hundred parsecs of my research team, nor will I allow the brewing of hot drinks, including tea. Warm drinks to a maximum of 42 degrees Celsius will be allowed. I will also vet all non-academic employees to insure none have degrees beyond 37 degrees Celsius and that I will do a thorough background investigation aimed to discover if they have ever been considered a “smart ass” by anybody. Finding such a consideration will mean immediate failure of the background investigation, unless said consideration came from an actual ass of the opposite sex (in which case I’ll assume that the candidate just has some really good pick up lines).

I really mean this. Really. Truly. Look at me, don’t I have a face you can trust?


That one’s easy: 6 x 9 = 42 (in base 13)


Are you seeking a position on a research team? I’ve got one open. Your next task: Disprove the Babelfish Proof.


The proof is flawed:

Assumption: That the Babel Fish “is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that something so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.”

A “bizarrely improbable coincidence” is still a finitely probable one. It neither proves nor disproves the existence of God, but merely goes to show that the Universe is a really big place and that stuff happens :wink: