Towel Day!

Each year, May 25 is Towel Day.  Do you know why?

towel

Towel Day is celebrated every year on 25 May as a tribute to the author Douglas Adams by his fans.

On this day, fans carry a towel with them, as described in Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, to demonstrate their appreciation for the books and the author.

The original quotation that explained the importance of towels is found in Chapter 3 of Adams’ work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)

—Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

towel-day

 

This book is important to me because I read it while I was at NIH waiting for pituitary surgery.

 

 

In case you like poetry, you might be interested in this: Vogon Poetry Generator.

 

 

Here’s mine:

 

See, see the old sky
Marvel at its big grey depths.
Tell me, Clyde do you
Wonder why the armadillo ignores you?
Why its foobly stare
makes you feel yucky.
I can tell you, it is
Worried by your qwerty facial growth
That looks like
A tofu
What’s more, it knows
Your rolf potting shed
Smells of pea.
Everything under the big old sky
Asks why, why do I even bother?
You only charm fish.

Who Knew? National Biographer’s Day

Today is National Biographer’s Day!

stack-of-books

National Biographer’s Day commemorates the anniversary of the first meeting of Samuel Johnson and his biographer James Boswell in London, England on May 16, 1763, and honors all biographers.

A biography is a written account of another person’s life.

Famous poet, essayist, literary critic, editor and lexicographer, Johnson was also a biographer. According to Johnson, the best biographers were those who ate, drank and “lived in social intercourse” with those about whom they wrote. If that were true, his best biography would be An Account of the Life of Mr. Richard Savage, Son of the earl Rivers which was published in 1744.

Applying this same rule, Scots-born James Boswell met his friend Samuel Johnson at a bookshop near Covent Garden. Nearly 30 years later he published The Life of Johnson, which became the most celebrated English biography.

 

 

From one of my favorite shows, Blackadder.  Dr. Samuel Johnson seeks the regent’s support for his dictionary, but when it is used for firewood, Edmund must rewrite it.

 

Douglas Adams, RIP :(

Today is the anniversary of the day when Douglas Adams suffered a spontaneous existence failure. We miss you, you silly brilliant man. (Towel Day will be on May 25)

Adams was author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which originated in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy.

Adams also wrote Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988), and co-wrote The Meaning of Liff (1983), The Deeper Meaning of Liff (1990), Last Chance to See (1990), and three stories for the television series Doctor Who; he also served as script editor for the show’s seventeenth season in 1979.

I first started reading Adam’s wonderfully quirky books when I was inpatient at NIH waiting for pituitary surgery…and ended up reading them all.  Then, I got my son hooked on them.

 

April 4 ~ National School Librarian Day!

I spent many years helping the school librarian in my son’s elementary school.

They do fantastic things!

April 4th is National School Librarian Day.  It is set aside to honor all school librarians.

School librarians spend long hours keeping the library organized, helping our children find the resources they need to keep learning and are dedicated to creating an environment they can learn in every day of the year.  All of this hard work often goes unappreciated.

The school librarians aid our youth in many ways, and their patience sets an example for our children on a daily basis.

Read the entire article here: NATIONAL SCHOOL LIBRARIAN DAY – April 4 | National Day Calendar

 

It’s National Read A Book Day Again

Shouldn’t every day be Read a Book Day?

In another of the “Who Knew” Holidays…

national-read-books

 

National Read A Book Day is observed annually on September 6th.

Don’t keep it to yourself.  Share the experience!  Read aloud to anyone who will listen.

How-to_Read-A-Book

Reading improves memory and concentration as well as reduces stress.   Older adults who spend time reading show a slower cognitive decline and tend to participate in more mentally stimulating activities over their lifetime.  Books are an inexpensive entertainment, education and time machine, too!