Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams was an acclaimed science-fiction author whose work includes The Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy,Last Chance to See and The Meaning of Liff.

He made his readers laugh at the absurdity and silliness of life, taking them on side-splitting journeys through space and time. His most famous work – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – started as a radio play on the BBC and became an acclaimed series of books which sold over fifteen million copies around the world.

Douglas Adams loved the natural world. In 1990, he published a book called Last Chance to See with zoologist Mark Carwardine. The novel traces their journey across the world looking for endangered species includiing the Madagascan Aye-Aye, the Yangtze River Dolphin and the New Zealand Kakapo.

Adams was a patron of Save the Rhinoceros International. In 1994 he participated in a journey up Mount Kilimanjaro and took turns with other celebrities wearing an enormous rhinoceros suit. In 2001, he gave a speech called ‘Parrots, the Universe and Everything’ at the University of California. On May 11, 2001, Douglas Adams died from a sudden heart attack and the world was deprived of one of its funniest authors and thinkers.


“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”

“It is no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase ‘As pretty as an Airport’ appear.”

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”


In class, we’re going to listen to the first two episodes of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio drama. Listen carefully because, at the end, there’ll be prizes for the people who can answer the following questions…


1. A pan galactic gargle blaster is best described as…

2. The race that destroyed Earth is called…

3. Where were the plans for the bypass kept?

4. What should you do if you want to get a lift from a Vogon?

5. What’s the best way to get a drink out of a Vogon?

6. Where is Ford Prefect from?

7. What’s a teaser?

8. What’s a babel fish?

9. What’s unpleasant about being drunk?

10. How is earth described in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

11. What has caused bloody wars?

12. What is the third worst form of poetry in the galaxy?



1. Who was nailed to a tree for suggesting that we should be nice to each other for a change?

2. Why doesn’t Arthur want to go to heaven with a headache?

3. How do Arthur and Ford attempt to escape from the guard?

4. What was Ford’s plan to escape?

5. What did Arthur’s mother tell him when he was young?

6. What is the name of the starship that picked them up?

7. What is the Infinite Improbability Drive?

8. What is the name of the ship’s robot?

9. What happens when Ford presses the button?

10. What is special about the doors in the spaceship?

11. What’s the secret for unintelligent life in the universe?

12. Who was voted the worst dressed sentient being in the universe?

13. How do Ford and Zaphod know each other?