Friday, December 28, 2007
The Action Heroine's Handbook
How to win a catfight, drink someone under the table, choke a man with your bare thighs, and dozens of other TV and movie skills. [emphasis added]... and I knew I had to buy this book for my sis.
Being the curious type, and having bought this book months before Christmas, I just may have flipped through [translation: read] this book before I wrapped it up. Overall, I have to say I was a wee bit disappointed. Although I did learn how to choke a man with my bare thighs, and that may come in handy someday.
Worick, Jennifer & Borgenicht, Joe. The Action Herione's Handbook. New York: Quirk Books, 2003.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Minority Report is really just a short story and so was quite a quick read. And I was rather surprised by the story, because it was quite different from the movie, in fact.... oh wait, I suppose I should put a spoiler alert here before I say more. In fact, the story sort of gives the exact opposite message to what you get from the movie. In the movie, Tom Cruise, ur, John Anderton decides to not kill anyone, thus proving that the whole PreCrime system is not infalliable and innocent people are being arrested; we do have free choice and our fate is not predetermined. In the story, however, Anderton makes the decision in the end to kill the person who the majority report says he is going to kill - the moral of the story: PreCrime works! Oh ya, and there are two minority reports, not just one, and they are based on the fact that Anderton sees the majority report (although you can hardly call it a "majority" when it is just one of three reports) and that changes the future. When asked if there is any flaw in the system, Anderton says, "It can happen in only one circumstance. My case was unique, since I had access to the data. It could happen again, but only to the next Police Comissioner" (p. 103) So, people really don't have any choice, the future is predictable. All in all, I'd have to say I liked the movie better.
A few more points I found interesting:
- In the short story, Anderton is bald, fat and on the brink of retirment; in the movie, Anderton is played by Tom Cruise. Simlarily, Donna, the female precog, is 45 years and the precogs are all hideously "deformed and retarded" (p. 9); in the movie, they are young and attractive. Hollywood just couldn't have that!
- Anytime you read a "futuristic" piece that talks about how something is "transcribed on conventional punchcards, and ejected into various coded slots" (p. 8) and data stored on "tapes" (p. 57) you know someone missed a mark.
- Similarily, I find it amusing that Dick thought that in the future, people would not only be listening to radios (I'm pretty sure I'm the only person still doing that!), but that they'd use terms like "a priori" (p. 48) on a radio broadcast for the general public.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray is probably my favourite book. I mean, it's hard to pick a single favourite book, but if I had to pick one, if someone held a gun to my head and forced me to pick a favourite novel, I'm pretty sure "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is what would come slipping from my lips. So when I saw TPoDG in the library the other day, I couldn't resist re-reading it for the umpteenth time, but this time taking down notes for posting here on Very Well Read.
I've been known to make a joke about having a portrait hanging in the attic as the explanation for why I look younger than my age (making that joke far too often for some people's liking) and I also did provide my ex with a quotation from TPoDG for his Honours English thesis... a thesis that he got 95% on. I'm not saying that he got the 95% because of my apt choice of quotation or anything...
Anyway. Without further adieu, here are the quotations:
And from the book itself:
"Except in America'..." (p. 75)
'Yes, we are overcharged for everything nowadays." (p. 80)
And one last thing. I really didn't like picture on the copy of this particular edition. Like *really* didn't like it. The picture of Dorian's portrait (look at the picture at the start of this posting) just totally freaked me out whenever I looked at it. So much so that I actually put a sticky note over it so that I wouldn't have to look at it. As seen in this photo:
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New York: Tor, 1999.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Guns, Germs and Steel
A while back, I read Guns, Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond. I'm sure I kept notes of stuff I found interesting, but I have no idea where those notes are*. Until I find them, here's an interview of Jared Diamond by Stephen Colbert.
*I also read his other book, Collapse, and have no idea where those notes are either.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- "Obviously somebody had been appallingly incompetent and he hoped to God it wasn't him" (p. 6)
- "He felt that his whole life was some kind of a dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it"(p. 15) - perhaps this is why I'm always trying to do amusing things... just in case my life is someone's dream... I want it to be an entertaining one!
- "There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (p.23 )
- "The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."(p. 28) - man, I love the way Adams plays with language like this
- "[The President's] job is not to wield power by to draw attention away from it" (p. 32) - this book was published in 1979, but I think we can agree that this fits very well into the early 21st century
- "Ford's father was the only man on the entire planet to survive the Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster, by an extraordinary coincidence that he was never able to satisfactorily explain. The whole episode was shrouded in deep mystery: in fact no one ever knew what a Hrung was or why it had chosen to collapse on Betelgeuse Seven particularly. Ford's father, magnanimously waving aside the clouds of suspicion that had inevitably settled around him, came to live on Betelgeuse Five where he both fathered and uncled Ford; in memory of his now dead race he christened him in the ancient Praxibetel tongue.
Because he never learned to say his original name, his father eventually die of shame, which is still a terminal disease in some parts of the Galaxy. The other kids at school nicknamed him Ix, which in the language of Betelgeuse Five translates as 'boy who is not able satisfactorily to explain what a Hrung is, nor why it should choose to collapse on Betelgeuse Seven." (p. 41) - I love that he "both fathered and uncled Ford"... when does anyone ever use "uncle" as a verb? And also that he literally died of shame! Again with the playing with the language.
- "'You know,' said Arthur, 'it's at times like this when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse and about to die from asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wished I had listened to what my mother told me when I was young.'
'Why, what did she tell you?'
'I don't know, I wasn't listening." - too funny.
- "The principle of generating small amounts of finite improbability by simply hooking the logic circuits of a Bableweeny 57 Sub-Meson Brain to an atomic vector plotter suspended in a strong Brownian Motion producer (say a nice hot cup of tea) were of course well understood - and such generators were often used to break the ice at parties by making all the molecules in the hostess's undergarments leap simultaneously one foot to the left, in accordance with the Theory of Indeterminacy.
- Many respectable physicists said that they weren't going to stand for this -- partly because it was a debasement of science, but mostly because they didn't get invited to those sort of parties." (p. 74) - having been to a party attended by a large number of physics types, I'd hate to see the ones that don't get invited to parties.
- "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as 'a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes," with a footnote to the effect that the editors would welcome applications from anyone interested in taking over the post of robotics correspondent.
- "One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn't be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn't understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid." (p. 85).
- "...he had turned unfathomably into an art form." (p. 95)
- "Stress and nervous tension are now serious social problems in all parts of the Galaxy, and it is in order that this situation should not be in any way exacerbated that the following facts will now be revealed in advance.
- "He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite entirely unlike tea. The way it functioned was very interesting. When the Drink button was pressed it made an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject's metabolism and then sent tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject's brain to see what was likely to go down well. However, no one knew quite why it did this because it invariably delivered a cupful of liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea." (p. 104) - Adams and I are kindred spirits insofar as our love of tea goes
Curiously enough, an edition of The Encyclopaedia Galactica that had the good fortune to fall through a time warp from a thousand years in the future defined the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as 'a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came." (pp. 79-80)
The planet in question is in fact the legendary Magrathea.
The deadly missile attack shortly to be launched by an ancient automatic defence system will result merely in the breakage of three coffee cups and a mousecage, the bruising of somebody's upper arm, and the untimely creation and sudden demise of a bowl of petunias and an innocent sperm whale.
In order that some sense of mystery should still be preserved, no revelation will yet be made concerning whose upper arm sustains the bruise. This fact may safely be made the subject of suspense since it is of no significance whatsoever." (p. 103).
- "...against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.
- And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then has to come to terms with not being a whale any more." (p. 113)
- "Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was, Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why a bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now." (p. 114)
- "It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on- while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dophins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons." (p. 132).
- In fact there was only one species on the planet more intelligent than dolphins, and they spent a lot of their time in behavioural research laboratories running round inside wheels and conducting frighteningly elegant and subtle experiments on man. The fact that once again man completely misinterpreted this relationship was entirely according to these creatures' plans." (p. 132-133)
- "We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" (p. 145). - making fun of philosophers. Good times.
- "'Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm. (p. 152) - any good Hitchhiker's fan has to love this moment.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Not Wanted on the Voyage
Since you seemed enjoy Not Wanted on the Voyage (at least based on your comment on my blog), I was hoping you could tell me wtf I was supposed to get out of it. I mean, it was entertaining and I especially liked the cat, but wtf? Noah was a terrible person and we have no unicorns because he used the unicorn to rape his 12-year-old daughter-in-law? Noah's wife (who, as far as I can tell didn't have a first name), was an alcoholic, but she liked sheep?I'll update this posting if I get an answer explaining whatever it is that missing about this book.
As for quotations, there was really only one thing in the whole book that stood out to me - a description of the ark:
- "...its colour was a horror, made worse by the great running streams of pitch, oozing down its sides like so much inedible frsotings on a poison cake" (p. 120)
Oh ya, did I mention that I liked the cat?
Findley, Timothy. Not Wanted on the Voyage. Toronto: Penguin, 1996.
Labels: fiction "Canadian literature"
Thursday, January 18, 2007
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
- "The story so far: 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." (p. 1)
- "Like all Vogon ships it looked as if it had been not so much designed as congealed." (p. 3)
- "I'm Zaphod Beeblebrox, my father was Zaphod Beeblebrox the Second, my grandfather was Zaphod Beeblebrox the Third..."
"There was an accident with a contraceptive and a time machine." (pp.14-15)
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "has long supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least widely inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper, and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC printed in large, friendly letters on its cover." (p. 26) - other than that last sentence, this is a pretty good description of the internets.
- "The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate." (p. 30)
- "The Universe, it has been observed before, is an unsettlingly big place, a fact which for the sake of a quiet life most people tend to ignore.
Many would happily move to somewhere rather smaller of their own devising, and this is what most beings in fact do.
For instance, in one corner of the Eastern Galactic Arm lies the large forest planet Oglaroon, the entire 'intelligent' population of which lives permenantly in one fairly small and crowded nut tree. In which tree they are born, live, fall in love, carve tiny speculative articles in the bark about the meaning of life, the futility of death and the importance of birth control, fight a few minor wars, and eventually die strapped to the underside of some of the less accessible outer branches.
In fact the only Oglaroonians who ever leave their tree are those who are hurled out of it for the heinous crime of wondering whether the other trees are capable of supporting life at all, or indeed whether the other trees are anything other than illusions brought on by eating too many Oglanuts.
Exotic though this behaviour may seem, there is no life form in the galaxy which is not in some way guilty of the same thing, which is why the Total Perspective Vortex is as horrific as it is." (p. 56)
- For when you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little mark, a tiny dot, which says, 'You are here.'" (p. 56-57)
- a mind, which has been separated from its body, discussing his situation: "We never seemed to be happy doing the same things. We always had the greatest arguments over sex and fishing. Eventually we tried to combine the two, but that only lead to disaster, as you can imagine." (p. 58)
- "The man who invented the Total Perspective Vortex did so basically to annoy his wife." (p. 62)
- [Zaphod] "was clearly a man of many qualities, even if they were mostly bad ones." (p. 62)
- "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is one of the most extraordinary ventures in the entire history of catering. It has been built on the fragmented remains of... it will be built on the fragmented... that is to say it will have been built by this time, and indeed has been --
One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of accidentally becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem involved in becoming your own father or mother that a broadminded and well-adjusted family can't cope with. There is also no problem about changing the course of history -- the course of history does not change because it all fits together like a jigsaw. All the imporant changes have happened before the things they were supposed to change and it all sorts itself out in the end.
The major problem is quite simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveller's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you for instance how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be described differently acccording to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time in the further future, or a time in the further past and is further complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations whilst you are actually traveling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your own mother or father.
Most readers get as far as the Future Semi-Conditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up: and in fact in later editions of the book all pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy skips lightly over this tangle of academic abstraction, pausing only to note that the term "Future Perfect" has been abandoned since it was discovered not to be." (p. ?) - I <3>
- "He's spending the year dead for tax reasons." (p. 91)
- "The Universe as we know it has now been in existence for over one hundred and seventy million billion years and will be ending in a little over a half an hour." (p. 92)
- "I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in parts of my body?... Something off the shoulder perhaps, braised in a white wine sauce?"(p. 94) - The cow that was engineered to want to be eaten, so that meat eaters wouldn't have to feel guilty! Too funny!
- "I'm a pretty dangerous dude when I'm cornored.
"Yeah," said a voice from under the table, "You go to pieces so fast people get hit by the shrapnel." (p. 103) - This line reminds me of Stupid Friend Paul.
- "It is worth repeating at this point the theories that Ford had comeup with, on his first encounter with human beings, to account for their peculaiar habit of continually stating and restating the very very obvious, as in 'It's a nice day,' or "You're very tall,' or 'So this is it, we're going to die." (p. 128) - Or "Did you know that you are really short?"
- "'Ford,' he said, 'how many escape capsules are there?'
'None,' said Ford.
Zaphod gibbered. "Did you count them?'
'Twice,' said Ford.'" (p. 130)
- "'Where,' said Ford Prefect quietly, 'does it say teleport?'
'Well, just over here, in fact,' said Arthur, pointing at a dark control box in the rear of the cabin, 'Just under the word "emergency", above the word, "system" and beside the sign saying "out of order".'" (p. 131)
- "Arthur woke up and instantly regretted it." (p. 134) - oh, I've had days like that
- "The first thing that hit their eyes was what appeared to be a coffin. And the next four thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine things that hit their eyes were also coffins." (p. 139)
- "Number Two's eyes narrowed and became what are known in the Shouting and Killing People trade as cold slits, the idea presumably being to give your opponent the impression that you have lost your glasses or are having difficulty keeping awake. Why this is frightening is an, as yet, unresolved problem." (p. 147)
- "The major problem -- one of the major problems, for their are several -- one of the many major problems with govering people is that of who you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarize: it is a well-known fact, that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.
And so this is the situation we find: a succession of Galactic Presidents who so much enjoy the fun and palaver of being in power that they very rarely notice that they're not." (p. 160)
- "... five hundred and seventy-three committee meetings and you havne't even discovered fire yet?" (p. 182) - oh, I've had meetings like that!
- "Come and join us, I'm Ford, this is Arthur. We were just about to do nothing at all for a while, but it can wait." (p. 199)
Adams, Douglas. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. London : Pan, 1980.
There was a lengthy introduction to the book explaining what you are supposed to be getting out of it. I'm always hesitant about whether to read these before or after I read a book - should I just read the book itself and appreciate it on its own merits before I read what others think of it? Or should I read the introduction first so that I am thinking about things that it might be good for me to be aware of while I read it (rather than reading the book, reading the intro and then needing to read the book all over again to pick up on all the stuff I missed the first time through). In this case, I chose to read the introduction first and there were a few interesting points in there that I felt were worth recording:
- "Camus once suggested that 'if you want to be a philosopher, write novels'" (Introduction, p. xix)
- "... the Absurdist philosophical approach for which rational and mythical explanations are merely grand narratives invented to enrobe - and thus disguise - the disjointed, contigent reality of lived experiences" (Introduction, p. xxiii)
- "... Mersault [the accused] becomes highly aware that he is 'superfluous,' 'useless,' that everything is unfolding without him, that he is alienated from his own experiences." (Introduction, p. xxv)
- "The legal system... a self-sufficient machine which, 'in the name of the French people,' dehumanizes, marginalizes or destroys the individual and, in doing so, reinforces the Absurd." (Introduction, p. xxv)
And now a few quotations from the novel itself:
- "As always, whenever I want to get rid of someone I'm not really listening to, I made it appear as if I agreed." (p. 67) - I totally do this. Not the best tactic, I agree, but sometimes I just want to avoid conflict and not have to talk about it anymore.
- "So it seemed to me that you could come up with a mixture of chemicals that if ingested by the patient (that's the word I'd use: 'patient') would kill him nine times out of ten." (p. 106) - a few things struck me about this passed... first, and most prosaic, is how the hell could you come up with. a chemical like that? Secondly, the idea of how differently charged words are (e.g., "patient" vs. "criminal" or "murderer" in this case... or "terrorist" vs. "freedom fighter") and how one's perspective on a situation can drastically alter how you feel about it)
- "You always get exaggerated notions of things you don't know anything about." (p. 107)
- "If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there." (p. 107) - this line struck me because it is all about living in the moment... so many people are going through the motions of life, but not really being there. I try to enjoy every simple thing... the beauty of a cool crisp day, the exhiliration of a good laugh, the pleasure of a simple touch, the hilarity of things absurd.
Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Stuart Gilbert. New York, A. A. Knopf, 1946.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Life, the Universe and Everything
- "Ford was beginning to behave rather strangely, or rather not actually beginning to behave strangely but beginning to bahave in a way which was strangely different from the other strange ways in which he more regularly behaved." (p. 23)
- "He was staring at the instruments with the air of one who is trying to convert Fahrenheit to centigrade in his head whilst his house is burning down." (p. 36) - I loved this line when I read it. Probably because I am completely incapable for converting Fahrenheit to centirgrade.
- "... numbers are not absolute, but depend on the observer's movement in restaurants.
The first non-absolute number is the number of people for whom the table is reserved. This will vary during the course of the first three telephone calls to the restaurant, and then will bear no apparent relation to the number of people who actually turn up, or to the number of people who subsequently join them after the show/match/party/gig, or to the number of people who leave when they see who else has turned up.
The second non-absolute number is the given time of arrival, which is now known to be one of those most bizarre of concepts, a recipriversexclusion, a number whose existence can only be defined as being anything other than itself. In other words, the given time of arrival is the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the party will arrive.. Recipriversexclusions now play a vital part in many branches of maths, including statistics and accountancy and also form the basic equations used to engineer the Somebody Else's Problem field.
The third and most mysterious piece of non-absoluteness of all lies in the relationship between the number of items on the bill, the cost of each item, the number of people at the table, and what they are each prepared to pay for. (The number of people who have actually brought any money is only a subphenomenon in this field)." (p. 42-43) - It's funny because it is so very, very true.
- "Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe." (p. 43) - ibid.
- "After what it had calculated to ten significant decimal places as being the precise length of pause most likel to convey a generl contempt for all things matressy, the robot continued to walk in tight circles." (p. 47)
- The mattress globbered. This is a noise made by a live, swamp-dwelling mattress that is deeply moved by a story of personal tragedy. The word can also, according to the Ultra-Complete Maximegalon Dictionary of Every Language Ever mean the noise made by the Lord High Sanvalvwag of Hollop on discovering that he has forgotten his wife's birthday for the second year running. Since there was only over one Lord High Sanvalvwag of Hollop, and he never married, the word is only ever used in a negative or speculative sense, and there is an ever-increasing body of opinion which holds that the Ultra-Complete Maximegalon Dictionary is not worth the fleet of lorries it takes to cart its microstored edition around in. Strangely enough, the dictionary omits the word 'floopily', which simply means 'in the manner of something which is floopy'." (p. 49)
- "It has been a difficult day - of course.
There had been soulful music playing on the ship's sound system - of course.
And he had, of course, been slighty drunk.
In other words, all the usual conditions which bring on a bout of soul-searching had applied, but it had, nevertheless, clearly been an error.
Standing now, silent and alone, in the dark corridor he remembered the moment and shivered. His one head looked one way and his other the other and each decided that the other was the way to go.
He listened but could hear nothing.
All there had been was the 'wop'.
It seemed an awfully long way to bring an awfully large number of people just to say one word.
He started nervously to edge his way in the direction of the bridge. There at least he would feel in control. He stopped again. The way he was feeling he didn't think he was an awfuly good person to be in control.
The first shock of the moment, thinking back, had been discovering that he actually had a soul.
In fact he'd always more or less assumed that he had one as he had a full complement of everything else, and indeed two of somethings, but suddenly actually to encounter the thing lurking there deep within him had given him a severe jolt.
And then to discover (this was the second shock) that it wasn't the totally wonderful object which he felt a man in his position had a natural right to expect had jolted him again.
Then he had thought about what his position actually was and the renewed shock had nearly made him spill his drink. He drained it quickly before anything serious happened to it. He then had another quick one to follow the first one down and check that it was all right.
'Freedom,' he said aloud.
Trillian came on to the bridge at that point and said several enthusistic things on the subject of freedom.
'I can't cope with it,' he said darkly, and sent a third drink down to see why the second hadn't yet reported on the condition of the first. He looked uncertainly at both of her and preferred the one on the right.
He poured a drink down his other throat with the plan that it would head the previous one off at the pass, join forces with it, and together they would get the second one to pull itself together. Then all three would go off in seach of the fuss, give it a good talking to and maybe a bit of a sing as well.
He felt uncertain as to whether the fourth drink had understood all that, so he sent down a fifth to explain the plan more fully and a sixth for moral support.
'You're drinking too much,' said Trillian." (pp. 62-63)
- "Zaphod had spent most of his early history lessons plotting how we was going to have sex with the girl in the cybercubicle next to him." (p. 72)
- "'We are going to shoot you.' 'Oh yeah?' said Zaphod, waggling his gun. 'Yes,' said the robot, and they shot him. Zaphod was so surprised that they had to shoot him again before he fell down." (p. 75)
- "However, the same event which saw the disastrous failure of one science in its infancy also witnessed the apotheosis of another. It was conclusively proved that more people watched tri-D TV coverage of the launch than actually existed at the time, and this has now been recognized as the greatest acheievement ever in the science of audeince reseach." (p. 81)
- "The Encyclopedia Galactica has much to say on the theory and practice of time travel, most of which is incomprehensible to anyone who hasn't spent at least four lifetimes studying advanced hypermathematics, and since it was impossible to do this before time travel was invented, there is a certain amount of confusion as to how the idea was arrived at in the first place. One rationalization of this problem states that time travel was, by its very nature, discovered simultaneiously at all periods of history, but this is clearly bunk." (p. 98)
- "They obstinately persisted in their absence." (p. 101) - I hate when they do that.
- "It was the product of mind that was not merely twisted, but actually sprained." (p. 109)
- "None of these facts, however strange or inexplicable, is as strange or inexplicable as the rules of the game of Brockian Ultra-Cricket, as played in the higher dimensions. A full set of the rules is so massively complicated that the only time they were all bound together in a single volume, they underwent gravitational collapse and became a black hole." (p. 119-120)
- "RULE SIX: The winning team shall be the first team that wins." (p. 121) - I have a feeling that this is a quotation that I will be incorporating into my everyday lexicon.
- "Ten minutes later, drifting idly through a cloud, he got a large and extremely disreputable cocktail party in the small of the back." (p. 127)
- "The longest and most destructive party ever held is now into its fourth generation and still no one shows any signs of leaving. Somebody did once look at his watch, but that was eleven years ago now, and there has been no follow-up.
The mess is extraordinary, and has to be seen to be believed, but if you don't have any particular need to believe it, then don't go and look, because you won't enjoy it." (p. 127-128)
- "Wherever he touched himself, he encountered a pain. After a short while he worked out that this was because it was his hand that was hurting." (p. 130)
- "Zaphod did not want to tangle with them and, deciding that just as discretion was the better part of valour, so was cowardice the better part of discretion, he valiantly hid himself in the cupboard." (p. 164)
- "He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contrdiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife." (p. 184)