Mostly Harmless: Three Douglas Adams Inventions We Wish Were Real

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AdamsThe late Douglas Adams was born on this day in 1952. He would have turned 62 today, and it’s still a damn shame that we lost him at the criminally young age of only 49. (From a heart attack, after working out — a cruel twist that, I have to think, he would have seen the dark humor in.) Still, his legacy lives on, and will as long as people keep reading his inaccurately named Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy,” not to mention all his other works. One of the things we love most about the Hitchhiker’s Guide stories is Adams’ bountiful imagination when it comes to conjuring up crazy ideas for the beleaguered Arthur Dent to run across during his tours of the galaxy. In honor of Adams’ birthday — and of all the joy his stories have given us over the years — we decided to highlight some of our favorite Adams inventions. Thanks to smart phones, tablets, and the Internet, most of us are effectively walking around with a copy of the Guide in our pockets or purses, even if most of them don’t have that comforting phrase “DON’T PANIC” emblazoned on them But here are some other Adams inventions that, if there were any justice in the world, would be totally real.

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  1. Gardner Underhill says:

    You missed the SEP (Somebody Else’s Problem) field generator. It makes anything within the field somebody else’s problem and therefore completely invisible outside observers.

    • Chris K says:

      Never mind that, you forgot something more important!

      You forgot the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters!

      • quentin says:

        There was a bar in San Diego years ago that sold a drink called just that. Doubt that it had any Ol’ Janx Spirit in it

  2. Scott Panfil says:

    Love that the 3 inventions are more than three.

  3. Jeff Brewer says:

    Great article. My only quibble is that you used a picture of Marvin from the movie, rather than the BBC MINI-series…

    • quentin says:

      If you watched the movie carefully, they did show the original Marvin for just a few seconds

  4. quentin says:

    Isn’t Google Glass pretty darn close to Peril Sensitive Sunglasses? There might be an app for that

  5. Truth says:

    well i can see this person doesnt read or he’d know it hasnt been a “Trilogy” since nearly the start.

    there are 6 books out there:

    Hitchhiker’s guide
    Resturaunt at the end of the Universe
    Life the Universe and Everything
    So Long and Thanks for all the fish

    Mostly Harmless (released several years later)

    and a lesser known 6th book released after his death:

    And Another Thing (By Eoin Colfer) Dont know if Adams had any contributions to this story

  6. gazinbali says:

    Ohhh Im soooo depressed….

  7. libby says:

    This is what Marvin the Paranoid Robot really does look like.