Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why is Wisdom Quarterly Blue?

Wisdom Quarterly: American Buddhist Journal is blue in token of one of the many species in space, as described by the visionary author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series Douglas Adams. Humans are but one life form on Earth, once thought nearly inconsequential. They are revealed to be part of a greater plan as part of the intricate matrix of a large computing device incorporating organic life. Of course, the strange ape-like creatures roaming the computer's surface have no idea. But out in the vastness of space, there are even stranger expressions of life, such as the Hooloovoo:

  • Hooloovoo are a hyperintelligent shade of the color blue. Little is known of them, except that one participated in the construction of the starship Heart of Gold. At the launching ceremony one was temporarily refracted into a free-standing prism. This is probably analogous to the ceremonial multicolored lab coats worn by the rest of the team.
Profiling ExoPlanets: Zeroing in on an alien planet Earth

  • Humans are bipedal creatures from Earth, and the third most intelligent species on that planet, surpassed only by mice and dolphins. Originally thought to have evolved from proto-apes, humans may in fact be descendants of Golgafrinchan telephone sanitizers, account executives, and marketing analysts who were tricked out of leaving their home planet to arrive on the planet circa 2,000,000 BC. These Golgafrinchans apparently displaced the indigenous cavemen as the organic components in the computer designed by Deep Thought. Interestingly, although the term "humanoid" is applied to many races throughout the galaxy, "humanity" refers specifically to the qualities of humans.
  • Haggunenons of Vicissitus Three were encountered in the fit the sixth of the radio series when Ford and Zaphod attempted to steal an Admiral's flagship from the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. According to the Guide, the Haggunenons "have the most impatient chromosomes in the Galaxy. Whereas most species are content to evolve slowly and carefully over thousands of generations, discarding a prehensile toe here, [...] hazarding another nostril there, the Haggunenons would have done for Charles Darwin what a squadron of Arcturan Stunt Apples would have done for Sir Isaac Newton. Their genetic structure is based on the quadruple sterated octohelix...." Their tendency to evolve almost instantaneously has the downside of discarding one deficiency for another. For example, when they reach for sugar for their coffee, they may evolve "into something with much longer arms, but which is probably perfectly incapable of drinking the coffee." They resent stable species, and wage war on them in their horribly beweaponed chameleoid black battle cruisers. The Haggunenon Admiral turned out to have been sleeping on his flagship in the form of a chair while Ford, Arthur, Zaphod, Trillian and Marvin returned it to its proper time and place at the vanguard of an invasion fleet. It then evolved into a copy of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, from which Ford and Arthur were able to escape, but which ate Marvin, Trillian and Zaphod. Those three later made their escape when the admiral evolved into an escape capsule. This monster also appears in the "Dungeons and Dragons Epic Level Handbook" as the Hagunemnon. Like their Hitch-hiker's counterparts, they too are unstable shapeshifters with a deep loathing for non-shapeshifting lifeforms. See also: Haggunenon Underfleet Commander
  • Hingefreel are a race with only a very small mention, at the start of Chapter 1 of the novel Mostly Harmless. Hailing from Arkintoofle Minor, they built spaceships powered by bad news, which is the only thing that travels faster than light. Their ships were very fast, but didn't work particularly well, and were extremely unwelcome wherever they arrived.
  • Hrarf-Hrarf are a race of beings whose lifespans flow backwards in linear time. Their lives begin at death, and end "in a really quite extraordinarily pleasant birth." They are also described as the "only race known actually to enjoy hangovers, because they know it guarantees that a tremendously good evening will ensue." The race is mentioned only in the radio series The Secondary Phase, written specially for that series by Douglas Adams in the mid-1990s. More
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