Monday, March 11, 2013

Science-fiction Literature & Google doodle

Google doodle | Douglas Noel Adams

Google celebrates Douglas Noel Adams and his famous science-fiction series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" with an amazing doodle. 

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 - 11 May 2001) was an English writer, humorist and dramatist. 

Today's interactive Google doodle dives deep into Adams lore. The cup of tea calls back Adams's series of Dirk Gently detective novels. 
Opening the door on the left reveals Marvin, the paranoid android from the Hitchhiker's series. 
And the digital pad plays short animations that crack wise about everything from the fictitious "babel fish" to the classic Adams quote, "The knack (to flying) lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

So, Google created a visual interactive Hitch Hikers doodle logo, with a live Guide reprising visual versions of famous entries, from th Earth being Mostly Harmless, the origin of the universe in a sneeze, what Deep Thought was all about, how to fly by aiming yourself at the ground and missing and what to do with a towel.

It includes Marvin the Paranoid Android (behind that door); the Dirk Gently detective novel The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, if not also Arthur Dent’s tea in “Guide’; the requisite space-travel towel, which he wrote ”is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”; the language-translating (stick it in your ear) Babel fish; and of course “42” — aka computer Deep Thought’s answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.

This month marks another important Adams milestone. Last Friday was the 35th anniversary of his radio drama "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Few remember that the BBC radio show predates the books and TV show.  

Adams wrote with Monty Python’s Graham Chapman early in his career but is the author of books as The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980), Life, the Universe and Everything (1982), So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (1984) and Mostly Harmless (1992). 

Interesting, Adams wrote "The Internet: The Last Battleground of the 20th century" (radio series) in 2000.  And a computer game Starship Titanic in 1996.

In 2005, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was adapted to a British-American comic science fiction film released in 2005. It is dedicated "to Douglas".

“Douglas Adams was a genius. He was a profound and brilliant British humorist who was also a very reluctant novelist,”  

I wrote about Neil Gaiman and his "Coraline" in July, 17 2012th to celebrate the 10th anniversary Coraline's first edition. Here the link.

"Celebrating ten years of Neil Gaiman’s first modern classic for young readers, this must-have anniversary edition is enriched with a brand-new foreword from the author, a reader’s guide, and more."

Gaiman, acclaimed for such works as “American Gods,” or Coraline, “The Graveyard Book” and “Sandman" cherishes the friendship they had for more than a decade.

“Most writers become novelists because they like writing novels,” says Gaiman, who authored the companion book Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams & the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 

“Douglas wrote a radio series that then became a huge and enormously successful novel, so he found himself stuck as an incredibly reluctant novelist who would have to be locked in a room by his publisher to finish a book.” 

“I love deadlines,” Adams famously said. “I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.”


Love Google doodles! They could be introduced in any curriculum as I already wrote. And I write a lot of Google doodles. It combines creativity, digital culture and motivation to fantastic school lessons. You must think about it.

Here, a good motivation to one or two lessons about Science-Fiction in Literature. 

You must prepare some good pedagogical activities and open them to the creativity of your students.

And now, another digital resource: The original movie trailer for Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Don't panic.

The day that Adams died (May 11, 2001) Oxford University professor and author Richard Dawkins wrote:

"Science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender (he once climbed Kilimanjaro in a rhino suit to raise money to fight the cretinous trade in rhino horn), Apple Computer has lost its most eloquent apologist."


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Quotes: The Washington Post "Neil Gaiman remembers 'genius' of 'Hitchhiker's Guide' humorist".

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