Mostly Harmless: Three Douglas Adams Inventions We Wish Were Real

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SunglassesPeril Sensitive Sunglasses
Listen, the Universe is a dangerous place, full of threats ranging from Vogon poetry to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. If you’re a hoopy frood who knows where your towel is, you might even survive out there, if you’re lucky. But just as the sight of the approaching ground might interfere with achieving flight, the vision of your imminent doom is likely to pose a serious distraction, siphoning away energy and mental faculties required to avoid said doom. Well, as long as you’ve got yourself a set of Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses, you’ll be just fine. They’re designed to help the wearer “develop a relaxed attitude to danger,” specifically by turning completely opaque at the first sign of danger, thus ensuring that you don’t see anything upsetting, like the Vogon constructor fleet that’s about to vaporize your homeworld or the vengeful, perpetually reincarnating creature that you’ve killed thousands of times over without realizing it.

It occurs to me that mastering flight might be made quite a bit easier if you incorporate a set of the Peril Sensitive Sunglasses. If nothing else, the time leading up to your abrupt deceleration might be a bit less stressful.

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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.