back to article Campaign to name US street after Douglas Adams

A group of American Douglas Adams fans are seeking to have a street named after him in Portland, Oregon. The chosen street - naturally - is currently called 42nd Avenue. "On May 11, 2001 a very talented writer and activist was taken from this world far before his time," say the activists of "Not yet 50 years …


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  1. Simon Rockman

    And what are we doing in the UK?

    We should do more than name a street. He should be on our banknotes.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Are you sure?

    "It's always possible that some Reg readers don't know who Douglas Adams was."

    That's like saying that it's always possible that some Reg readers haven't seen Star Wars - surely neither is a serious possibility...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Simon Rockman

    The bank notes should of course be small green ones.

    But you should remember that it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  4. Iain

    obvious really...

    Bring on the £42 note!

  5. Mark Ford
    Thumb Up

    The £42 pound note?

    Sounds like the perfect tribute to me. Although I'm not sure what the man who wrote this would think about it:

    “This planet has — or rather had — a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”

  6. Not That Andrew


    H2G2 was around long before Wackypedia.

  7. Neil


    Well, our "not panicking" government wants 42 days detention without charge....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think he would prefer.. have ZZ 9 Plural Z Alpha named after him instead. Milky Way is rather a crappy name.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can we have a Dont Panic Icon in his honour?


  10. alastair

    I wonder if?

    I wonder if Douglas Adams would have approved?

  11. MrWeeble

    Not Banknotes

    but a triangular rubber coin six thousand eight hundred miles along each side

  12. Andy

    We should...

    name a zoo after him.

  13. Slaine

    Brokian Ultra-Cricket in the Curriculum

    Not a bad little thread for the 3rd most intelligent species on the planet.

  14. Alastair Dodd

    Re: Wikiesque

    Not just around alot longer than Wikipedia, the idea that the actual Guide originally was written by a bunch or ordinary people travelling round the universe quite possibly inspired the whole ideas of Wikis in the first place.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    shouldn't the £42 note be a leaf? And to curb the inevitably massive level of inflation we'd have to burn down all the trees...

  16. Chris Griffiths

    How about naming....

    ...a bypass after the great man?

  17. andy gibson

    Adams is over-rated

    There, I've admitted it. <awaits flaming>

  18. mike brockington
    Dead Vulture

    One Film?

    I think you will find that there were two films, not to mention the Computer Game.

  19. Barry Crosby

    @Anonymous Coward

    "That's like saying that it's always possible that some Reg readers haven't seen Star Wars - surely neither is a serious possibility..."

    As a big fan of Mr. Adams' work, I fit into one of these categories. However; I've never seen Star Wars (or at least all the way through), for reasons of laziness.. in other words, I've fell asleep during the films. Also, other than the flight sequences (mostly robbed from 633 Squadron) and 'light' sabre fights (insert numerous swash-buckling or-the-like films circa 1920s onwards) they're relatively boring adventure films.

    I'd much rather watch something like Indiana Jones, The Battleship Potemkin or Metropolis. They're much better films depicting the genres of adventure, the fight of independence versus imperialism and sci-fi. Then again, I'm not knocking the Star Wars films, just not of the opinion they're as ground-breaking as everyone seems to think they are. I'll get my coat, after all, it is Friday..

  20. Adrian Waterworth

    Re: Not Banknotes.

    Please not the triangular coins - I refuse to deal in piddling small change.

  21. Chris Griffiths

    @ andy gibson

    *hands him his coat*

    I think you'll need this in the next few mins. It's not flameproof, but might buy you a few seconds as the taxi arrives.

  22. Ian Dennison

    Loved the books,...

    but he ran out of decent ideas (and anger at civil servants) after book 3.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    no he isnt

    like 'the dude', the hhgttg book was perfect for its time and place in history. Plus, its a cult thing. Cearly there is a fair degree of overlap between reg readers/athiests/geeks/people who aren't retarded and people who enjoy hhgttg.

    So tbh, anyone who says he's over-rated is totally not in the 'in-group' and should be executed immediately for incitement of religious hatred.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "We should do more than name a street. He should be on our banknotes."

    Perhaps he could be put on a one penny coin - stored in the deepest vaults of the Bank of England, down a staircase, in a disused toilet with "beware of the leopard" written on the door, in a little box with Douglas Adams' name on it.

    Trillions of years from now this penny will have accured enough compound interest for Adams to afford a seat at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, where he can watch creation end ad inifinitum. That's where I like to think he will end up, sitting at a nice table, sipping whatever it is he liked to drink, signing autographs etc, giving people tips on how to finish old Infocom games. Trying hard not to think about the "Hitch-Hiker's" film.

  25. Frank Bough
    IT Angle


    Adams isn't over rated - most people have never heard of him.

    HHGTTG was very funny, the follow-ups decent. Dirk Gently's was OK, Mostly Harmless was bollocks.

  26. michael

    hg2g not his best work

    dirk gently is better

    I will get my anaraok

  27. leslie


    I 2nd, well 42nd, the idea of a dont panic icon, so it can be attached to all posts of conspiracy and american military iintelligence

  28. Anthony

    Well done small town USA

    The idea of only renaming one street a year is a damn fine one.

    However, is it compulsory?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    The UK Tribute..

    ..would no doubt end-up being as appalingly tasteless as the English tribute to the Krilkit xenocide.

    No, not the anorak, mate; mine's is the shabby dressing-gown.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    name a bypass

    "How about naming a bypass after the great man?"

    That's a pretty awesome idea. How about Newbury Bypass? That destroyed an incredible amount of the environment and is falling apart. Suitably fitting?

    Best contact the Highways Agency about it, although they will no doubt need various forms filled out in triplicate.

  31. Andrew Moore

    Another vote here for a "Don't Panic" icon...

    and looking forward to my 42nd birthday next year...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    telephone sanitizers

    Now would be a really good time to build those "3" ships and send all the important politicians, lawyers, and telephone sanitizers off on the first one to "get everything ready for the rest of us"

  33. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward


    There was only 1 film, but there were 2 plays, an LP, the excellent Infocom text adventure game and a towel. Which you can still get if you join ZZ9, the HHGTTG fan club:

  34. XDDX

    Re : Are You Sure

    Star what ??? ... is that a new thing ?

  35. Chris Griffiths

    Krilkit xenocide?

    Don't you mean "KRIKKIT" xenocide?

    I think you'll find that dressing-gown is mine, actually....

  36. vincent himpe
    Paris Hilton

    All of you forgot the most important thing ..

    a man's gotta know where his towel is !!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Yo Dude ...

    I agree gotta have the button DON'T PANIC

  38. Mark SPLINTER

    Never read h2g2

    Real geeks read Asimov.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Would good be a great tribute

    To one of the great philosophers of our time. Someone who understood 'The Meaning Of Liff '

  40. Mike Moyle

    I work for a city planning office...

    ...and share my "office" with a half-dozen tracked shelving units holding various plans and support docs.

    One day I stuck a "Beware of the Leopard" sign on my door and it positively depresses me how MANY people I have to explain it to.

  41. Stuart Halliday

    Two films

    Two films the man said. What two films???

    There was one. That awful one.

    I remember watching the HHGTTG tv series out-takes at a little known hotel in Blackpool in the 80s. Kevin Davies, the mouse keeper, was a hoot!

    Tried to sell me cell sheets of the cartoon sequences.

    Wish I had...

    I've still got my Zaphod Beeble Bear. (Imagine a toy teddybear with 2 heads and 3 arms.) Used to give small children nightmares did that bear.

    I'll go back in my closet now...

  42. Lord Percy

    Origin of Forty Two

    I once heard an interview with Douglas Adams in which he reveled where the inspiration for Forty Two came from. It was a training video featuring John Cleese and Michael Palin where Micheal was the ignored customer and John Cleese the bank teller. At the end of the skit, John finally looks up from the numbers he has been working on and shouts "Forty Two!"

  43. Marvin the Martian

    *DONT* rename 42nd, idiots!

    That's the very last street to rename. You need to rename one perpendicular to it --- 4 households would be so lucky to live at the intersection of D.Adams & 42nd.

  44. amanfromMars Silver badge

    As clear as mud..... by Intelligent Design? :-)

    And the boffin/geek icon because you need to be one to navigate h2g2 and remain sane?

  45. Petrea Mitchell
    Thumb Down

    They're kidding - and Chávez's off, sorry

    The 4th Avenue renaming was recently abandoned. It was the second time in two years that the city decided to rename a street on an apparent whim, over the objections of just about everyone on it. This site appears to be a joke inspired by it.

  46. Charlie

    The Computer Game!

    Great game. Utterly frustrated me tho, I couldn't get off the bleeding ship. I remember you had to put something in a cup of tea, but I never figured out the whole thing. Drove me crazy.

    Glad someone else knows The Meaning of Liff - how so many useful words haven't become commonly used is beyond me!

  47. Jim Lewis
    Paris Hilton

    Lower Peover

    As a lad raised Macclesfield, I have actually driven through Lower Peover.

    I have on more than one occasion smiled ruefully to myself as I go to relieve myself at the onset of one!

    Naturally my partner has no inkling as to the cause of my amusement, and I haven't tried to explain.

    (Paris icon, as I can imagine noone I'd like to experience one with more).

  48. Diana Anderson
    Thumb Up

    We're just so excited that you noticed!!

    But given the amount of heat that Martin Luthur King, Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez have generated in Portland, I am so glad to see this progressing nicely - besides, we are planning on storming the City Hall with Vogon Poetry if they try to block us. (teach them!!)

    Diana, Portland, Oregon

  49. Luke

    RE: Zaphod Beeble Bear

    You can still get these in a range of colours at ZZ9 Pural Alpha

  50. Glenn Gilbert

    It's not Hitch Hiker's Guide...

    It's the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. On the book they hyphenated it to fit the cover.

    Now I risk having my own arm wrenching itself off from my body and beating me to death for such an act of pedantry.

    Just been re-listening to the radio series. Most definitely the best format, and best listened to in the dark.

    Douglas Adams should be beatified.

  51. Alex

    Let's be honest:

    The road will only be safe when the requisite warning signs at the zebra crossings are installed.

  52. Stuart
    Thumb Up

    Definitely a bypass

    With an arch over the onramp reading "We Apologise For The Inconvenience". As for the ZZ9 Beeblebears, does anybody else still have one of the original ZZ9 towels, the ones with the Guide entry on towels printed on them? Mine's still in pretty good shape for a 23-yr old towel.

  53. Charley

    @ Let's be honest:

    The one's saying "Don't argue that black is white"?

  54. GrahamT

    Not just 42..

    Don't forget the Babel Fish, Marvin the Paranoid Android, Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six, spending a year dead for tax purposes, the best bang since the big one, and...

    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so."

    "Well, what’s so unpleasant about being drunk? You ask a glass of water!"

    "I'll never be unkind to a Gin and Tonic again."

    "When I was young I used to have this nightmare about dying. I used to lie awake at nights screaming. All my school friends went to heaven or hell and I was sent to Southend!"

    I've never worn a digital watch since I first heard that radio programme, just 1,978 years after they nailed some guy to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change.

    Ah well, enough reminiscing. I have this pain in the diodes all down my left side, so I'm off for a Pan-Galactic gargleblaster.

  55. Alan Donaly
    Thumb Up

    Good I am glad.

    Nice to see someone is doing something in Douglases memory he was a very different sort of creative genius . I don't think we will ever see the like again. How many authors do you know who can make you think and laugh hard at the same time there can't be that many.

  56. BoldMan

    Books bleh, Radio for teh win!

    The books were okay (although I gave up reading them after the Krikket one, it just wasn't funny) but the correct medium was the radio series (both of them!)

    I also had the double album which only went up to the end of the 4th episode. However if you looked closely at the gap after the inner groove in the record you would see "ZZ plural Z alpha" scratched into the plastic.

    Only on radio do the "Hey Zaphod did you know your robot can hum like Pink Floyd" and the "I'd probably be able to cope better if I hadn't bruised my arm" jokes work properly.

    As for the film... just don't, okay, just don't!

  57. Jon Minhinnick

    Another vote for the icon

    But it needs to be a la Hipgnosis's design. The original, the best.

    "[Hipgnosis] also designed the cover for the original UK paperback edition of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

  58. Mike Flugennock

    @ Lord Percy

    While you're on the I the only one here who's watched John Cleese's management training videos and was instantly reminded of the old MP "Argument Clinic" sketch with Cleese & Palin?

    "Yes, 'tis!"

    "No, 'tisn't!"

    "Yes, 'tis!"

    "No, 'tisn't!"

    "This isn't an argument!"

    "Yes, 'tis!"

    "No, 'tisn't"

    etc. etc.

    Taking away the moments that make up a dull day,

  59. Anonymous Coward

    @ The Computer Game!

    Well, you could grok the walkthrough out from gamefaqs...

    And I agree, that man was a genius. Sure, I have all 5 of the trilogies shoved at the bottom of a drawer in my room, but I go through them from time to time.

    Forget the gown. I'll do with a towel, a packet of peanuts and grog.

    And forget the taxi, I'll use my thumb.

  60. IDK

    @ "One Film?" , "Corrections"

    I think you'll find there were two games... the text-based HHG2G, then a wonderfully immersive experience on the Starship Titanic

  61. Brian
    Black Helicopters

    There goes a Frogstar Scout Class "b" ...

    I would like to 42nd the nomination for the "Don't Panic" icon.

    I raise a glass to Mr. Adams. Taken from us far too soon...

    I would like to take a moment to quote a poem by Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Essex, England...On second thought, perhaps not...we know what happened the last time her poetry was featured....

    Gotta go...Frogstar Scout Class "c" coming to GET me...where the hell did I put my towel...

  62. Anonymous Coward

    Note to El Reg

    Hey! I wonna get his portrait instead of Joke Alert picture for this comment!

  63. Colin Jackson


    They should get Richard Dawkins (a close friend of Adams) to advocate the renaming, I'm sure he'd be in favour.

  64. Tim Lane

    Storing Penguins

    I have heard I only use ten percent of my brain, but I didn't know the other ninety percent was used for storing penguins?

  65. merv rodgers

    but perhaps Lewis Carrol?

    42 originally came up as a magic number in one of the L.C stories where roughly - " six times nine equals 42." This is of course true in base 13 atithmetic. And remember that L.C. (actually L.D.) was a mathematician. Perhaps someone can find the reference? Merv79

  66. Slaine
    Thumb Up

    here I am, brain the size of a planet...

    Personally I don't think much of the final 4 icons (developers..., outlook not good, iFan and iHate) and can't think when I'd ever use any of them, surely there is room for a "42", a "small green piece of paper", a "ZZ9" or a "Don't Panic" icon pleeeeeeeeese.

  67. john mann
    Thumb Up


    Didn't Dawkins dedicate 'The God Delusion' to Adams?

  68. Chris Morrison

    The film

    I'm a big fan of the Hitchhiker books but I have to say that I really enjoyed the film as well. I think it brought Adams to the mainstream and to a whole new generation.

    It did a pretty good job of staying (fairly) true to the book but being a modern glitzy film. The particular highlight for me was "so long and thanks for all the fish" and how thye set up a couple of bits of the film so that the book could be quoted.

    I would love to see the restaurant at the end of the universe turned into a film as well.

    Please don't start flaming me until I get my asbestos coat on!

  69. David Austin


    Both series are great, but I do prefer Dirk Gently over the HitchHikers series.

    Any fans of Dirk should pick up the CD Set of the recent Radio 4 play, starring Harry Enfield - they have all six episodes, in extended form.

  70. Chika


    Douglas was just this guy, you know!

  71. Anonymous Coward

    For those who remember the Meaning of Liff....

    ... you can imagine my dismay at actually having to work in Wimbledon!!

    I like to think that the restoration of St Pancras and the Hotel are a silent tribute to Lord Adams of Valhalla.

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