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Where do you stand on alien abduction? Do you believe they're among us?

I think it's complete nonsense.

Have you ever been abducted by aliens, to your knowledge?

No.






1 Mar
2014

The Twelfth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture - The Science of Harry Potter and the Mathematics of The Simpsons

Save The Rhino are delighted to announce that Roger Highfield and Simon Singh will be giving the twelfth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture.

Roger Highfield, author of SuperCooperators and Can Reindeer Fly? aims to shed light not only on Harry Potter's enchanted realm, but also on the magic that is taking place in labs and science classrooms in our own world.



Simon Singh, author of Fermat's Last Theorem and Big Bang, talks about his latest book, which explores mathematical themes hidden in The Simpsons. Very few people realise that its team of mathematically gifted writers have used the show to explore everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity.

The Science of Harry Potter and the Mathematics of The Simpsons is at …

The Royal Geographical Society, London, SW7 2AR
Tuesday 11 March 2014, 7.30pm (doors open 6.30pm).
Tickets: £15, available from www.savetherhino.org or call 020 7357 7474.

1 Mar
2013

The eleventh Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture - Dr Adam Rutherford & Stephen Mangan.

Save The Rhino are delighted to announce that Dr Adam Rutherford will be giving the eleventh Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture - with a special guest introduction from Stephen Mangan.

Dr Adam Rutherford is a scientist, writer and broadcaster. He completed his doctorate in genetics at University College London in 2002. Since then he has worked at the science journal Nature, as an editor and filmmaker.

After four billion years of evolution, and a century of taking cells apart to find out how they work, we have a pretty robust understanding of DNA, evolution and the mechanics of life. Now, we are just beginning to put them back together to do two things: recreate the origin of life, and invent new lifeforms to kickstart a global industrial revolution.

Creation: The Origin And The Future Of Life is at …

The Royal Geographical Society, London, SW7 2AR
Tuesday 12 March 2013, 7.30pm (doors open 6.30pm).
Tickets: £15, available from www.savetherhino.org or call 020 7357 7474.

15 Dec
2011

The tenth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture Party!

Save The Rhino and Douglas's family are throwing a very special party on what would have been his 60th birthday - 11th March 2012.

Some of the finest names in the world of science, comedy, conservation and music will join forces at London's Hammersmith Apollo to host an unmissable event.

  • Science: Prof. Brian Cox, Robin Ince and Jon Culshaw on life, the universe and everything


  • Interviews: Clive Anderson talks to Terry Jones and Michael Palin about Douglas’ comedy legacy and his influences, including Monty Python


  • Comedy: The Meaning of Liff, featuring John Lloyd, Stephen Mangan, Sanjeev Bhaskar and many more, plus special guests from ‘Radio Active’


  • Music: the band that played at many of Douglas’ infamous parties – including members of Paul McCartney’s band and Special Guests


  • Last Chance to See: Stephen Fry and Mark Carwardine have recorded a special introduction about Douglas’ passion for conservation


More names to be announced. Line-up subject to change.

For special announcements and videos from the stars, please see www.douglasadamstheparty.com

BOOK: online on the Hammersmith Apollo website

17 Jan
2011

The ninth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture - Professor Brian Cox

Save The Rhino are positively ecstatic to announce that chart-topping physicist Professor Brian Cox will give the ninth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture.

As well as being Professor of Particle Physics at the University of Manchester, Brian works on the Large Hadron Collider and presented the recent BBC series Wonders of the Solar System.

The Royal Geographical Society, London, SW7 2AR
Tuesday 12 March 2013, 7.30pm (doors open 6.30pm).
Tickets: £15, available from www.savetherhino.org or call 020 7357 7474.

1 Feb
2010

The eighth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture - Professor Marcus du Sautoy.

Save The Rhino are very pleased to announce that Professor Marcus du Sautoy will be giving the Eighth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture.

Marcus du Sautoy is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of New College. He has been named by the Independent on Sunday as one of the UK's leading scientists. In 2001 he won the prestigious Berwick Prize of the London Mathematical Society awarded every two years to reward the best mathematical research made by a mathematician under 40. In 2004 Esquire Magazine chose him as one of the 100 most influential people under 40 in Britain and in 2008 he was included in the prestigious directory Who’s Who.

Comedy writer and television & radio presenter, Clive Anderson has provisionally agreed to MC the Eighth Douglas Adams Memorial lecture.

The Royal Geographical Society, London, SW7 2AR
Thursday 11 March 2010, 7.30pm (doors open 6.30pm).
Tickets: £15, available from www.savetherhino.org or call 020 7357 7474.

23 Nov
2009

May I remind you that you have now been in that bath for over three years?

While the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy may be swimming with bath references, the only place to find Douglas’s very own famous source of inspiration is eBay.

Donated to Save the Rhino's birthday auction by Jane Belson and Polly Adams following a recent bathroom refit, the magnificent cast iron tub joins a bronze Vogon from the movie.

If owning either of these one-of-a-kinds grabs your fancy, head on over to the auction!

25 Feb
2009

The seventh Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture - Benedict Allen: "Unbreakable"

Wednesday 11 March 2009
7.30pm (doors open at 6.30pm)
The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR

Following his recent popular TV series in which eight athletes were pushed to their mental and physical limits, explorer Benedict Allen takes a look at what helps keep any of us going in the face of disaster. It will be an exciting and often humorous talk, which draws on his own and others' vast experience of living at the extremes and survival in jungles, deserts and the Arctic.

Tickets cost £15 and are available by visiting Save The Rhino's website or calling 020 7357 7474

12 Feb
2008

The sixth DNA Memorial Lecture celebrates the 30th Anniversary of The Hitchhiker's Guide.

The sixth DNA Memorial Lecture will be held on Wednesday 12 March, 2008 at 7.30pm (doors open at 6.30pm), at the Royal Geographical Society in South Kensington, London.

Author and cognitive scientist Professor Steven Pinker will present "The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature", controversially exploring everyday metaphor as a window into human cognition; swearing and taboo words as a window into human emotion; and indirect speech—veiled threats and bribes, polite requests, and sexual come-ons—as a window into human relationships.

Following the lecture, the original cast members of the Hitchhiker's radio series reunite for a one-off live performance to mark the 30th anniversary of the first broadcast.

All proceeds go to two charities Douglas supported: EIA- The Environmental Investigation Agency and Save the Rhino. Tickets are £12, and are available online from the latter's website.

6 Mar
2007

The fifth DNA Memorial Lecture

On Thursday 15 March at the Royal Geographic Society, Dr Richard Leakey will present "Wildlife Management in East Africa – Is there a future?", a lecture drawing on his own experiences in Kenya as founder and Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Tickets cost £12 and are available online from Save The Rhino, who are co-hosting the event with the Environmental Investigation Agency.

Douglas was a Founder Patron of Save the Rhino International, and the Memorial Lectures continue to explore themes about which he was utterly passionate.

29 Sep
2006

Is this a Dirk I see before me?

The Ovation Award-winning Road Theatre Company proudly presents Dirk, Arvind Ethan David and James Goss's stage adaptation of the holistically remarkable novel that had such a profound effect on Douglas that he left his briefcase on the train to Oxford.

Directed by Jeff Griffith, the USA's professional premiere will be staged in North Hollywood California, thereby avoiding any further potentially embarrassing public transport incidents.

The play runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from September 29th to December 2nd 2006, and a cryptically blank page at the Dirk USA site means you'll have to install Flash for more info.

A portion of all tickets sales will be donated to The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and The Rhino Fund in Douglas' name.

10 Jun
2006

Wednesday webchat with Stephen Fry.

Our friends over at the Douglas Adams Continuum have asked Stephen Fry round for tea on Wednesday 14th June, so if you have any questions for the voice of the guide, why not pop over at 7pm BST (6pm GMT)?

20 Feb
2006

The fourth DNA Memorial Lecture

On Thursday 23 March at the Royal Geographic Society, Professor Robert Winston will present "Is the Human an Endangered Species?", a lecture discussing both the apparently threatening aspects of technology and the trust (or lack of it) in science.

Tickets cost £10 and are available online from Save The Rhino, who are co-hosting the event with the Environmental Investigation Agency.


14 Nov
2005

Douglas’s typewriter under the hammer!

To raise money for Rhino Recovery, world-famous auction house Christie’s will be auctioning Douglas’s typewriter as part of their "Modern Firsts" sale on Monday November 30th.

Having spent a fair bit of its time at the TDV offices, the typewriter's pictured here beside an authentic Starship Titanic cardboard box. For further details, see the Christie’s website.

5 Sep
2005

Hitchhiker movie DVD released - direct your questions at Garth!

The double disc boxed set hit UK shelves today, reportedly causing the flagship Virgin Megastore's air conditioning to undergo spontaneous massive existence failure.

Despite the sauna-like conditions, Hitchhiker stars Martin Freeman and Warwick Davis were joined by the movie's exec producer Robbie Stamp and an escalator-load of bathrobe-clad fans politely queuing for autographs.

As well as the movie and two commentary tracks, the British edition of the DVD also contains Don't Crash!, the utterly brilliant documentary of the making of the movie of the book of ...

Overseas fans won't miss out on all the behind-the-scenes action though, as our friends over at the Douglas Adams Continuum have arranged an online chat with director Garth Jennings at 8pm GMT on Wednesday 7th September.

31 Aug
2005

Win a copy of the Hitchhiker's Movie DVD.

To celebrate both the British national sport of queuing and the release of the Limited Edition DVD of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, we’re giving away a fabulous prize.

The lucky winner will be able to join a special 42-person VIP queue in front of everyone else turning up at the Oxford Street branch of Virgin Megastore on Monday 5th September.

Just imagine – not only will you be able to show off your queuing prowess, but you'll also walk away with an autographed, numbered-42-or-less-copy of the DVD and an official Arthur Dent bathrobe and towel.

If that sounds your cup of tea, then head on over to the competition.

For everyone else, there’s always Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

18 Aug
2005

Kilimanjaro 2006 – a familiar climb for Rhinos!

In 1994, Douglas famously climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in a rhino costume to raise awareness for Save the Rhino. To celebrate his memory, Douglas's sister Jane and brother James will be braving the 19,340ft climb of Africa's highest peak in February next year.

James tells us "No rhino suit this time, I think once was enough for everyone concerned before".

If you’d like to help Jane and James help Save the Rhino, then check out the new expedition's website - www.rhinoclimb2006.com – which also includes Douglas's brilliant account of his original adventure.

15 Apr
2005

Fancy a pair of tickets to the Hitchhiker Movie World Première?

The two charities that Douglas supported - Save The Rhino and The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund - are auctioning a pair of tickets to the World Première.

Taking place at London's Empire Leicester Square this Wednesday (20th April), the eBay auction closes just before noon (GMT) on Monday, so there's very little time to break open the piggybank if you fancy treading the red carpet with the world-class cast.

Our spies report that another pair of tickets - auctioned at Douglas's birthday lecture earlier this year - went for £700. We're assuming that included popcorn ...


3 Mar
2005

And the award for Most Gratuitous Use Of The Word Belgium goes to ...

The 20th Anniversary edition of Douglas's Hitchhiker's text adventure received a BAFTA last night, and blimey, those things are heavy.

Douglas attended the very first BAFTA Interactive ceremony when Starship Titanic was nominated in 1998, meaning half of his computer games have now been recognised by the academy.

It was appropriate then, that Jane Belson and Steve Meretzky should join Rod Lord and other members of the development team at a table awash with BBC Interactive top brass and fellow website developers Preloaded (who also share a Hitchhiker connection ;-).

The 7kg gold-plated slab of bronze is currently touring the BBC Radio Four offices, will make a brief appearance at the Steve Meretzky/Michael Bywater talk tonight, after which it'll accompany Steve back to the US, before returning via Jerusalem to its rightful home in Islington.

2 Mar
2005

The third DNA Memorial Lecture by Mark Carwardine

Our good friends at Save The Rhino and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund still have
a few tickets left for next week's Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture.

This year Mark Carwardine promises both updates and behind-the-scenes tales from Last Chance To See, the serious and funny world-wide adventure and subsequent book in which Douglas and Mark brought the plight of the world's most endangered species to a whole new audience.

Whether you've never heard of the flightless Kakapo parrot, or you fondly remember its similarities to an expensive HiFi system, this lecture is a "can't miss".

Venue: The Royal Institution, Albemarle Street, London W1
Time: Doors open from 7pm, lecture begins at 7.30pm
Price: £20 for main auditorium with drinks reception beforehand,
£12 for gallery seating without drinks
7.30pm, Thursday 10 March 2005 at The Royal Institution, Albemarle Street, London W1

Buy tickets online here.



22 Oct
2004

"With deep anger and resentment" - Tertiary Phase CD signing.

Forbidden Planet, host of Douglas's legendary crowd-pulling signings, invites fans to join Marvin, Ford, Trillian and the voice of The Hitchhiker's Guide to celebrate the launch of the Tertiary Phase CD.

The cast of the original series were recently reunited for the dramatisation of Life, the Universe and Everything, broadcast in six weekly parts on BBC Radio 4 and now released in an extended CD and cassette edition.

Messrs Moore, McGivern, Sheridan and Franklyn will be jovially defacing discs at FP's Megastore from 12-1pm on Saturday 30th October. Accompanying the cast will be series director Dirk Maggs, who reports:

"It's really exciting that at last we are able to roll out The Tertiary Phase without all those niggling cuts. This will be the series as it is meant to be heard, with as much of Douglas's original story as could be fitted in using a crowbar, a car crusher and having Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz sit on it while Simon Jones tied his dressing gown cord round the middle."

Responding to rumours of an all-singing, all-dancing DVD audio edition, Dirk adds: "Next year the ultimate Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phase listening experience will be in Dolby™ Digital 5.1, with the DVD-Audio release of the uncut versions of both this and the next two series. The reason for the delay is to give everyone a chance to save their pocket money for one of those Home Entertainment Systems which is 500 metres of wire with some funny-looking packaging that you throw away and then realise the speakers are somewhere in the recycling bin.

"We have been researching hifi superstores between here and Betelguese Five and it does look as if costs of these systems are coming down. Three years ago they were approximately One Triganic Pu, now they can be purchased for less than the cost of one month's subscription to Eccentrica Galumbit's Chat Room And Virtual Sauna."

The Forbidden Planet Megastore can be found 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR.

Tertiary Phase CD is available now from Amazon

21 Sep
2004

It was twenty years ago today ...

BBC Radio 4 have today launched an Anniversary Edition of the Hitchhiker's text adventure game that Douglas penned with Infocom's Steve Meretzky back in 1984.

The original Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy game was last sold in 1991 as part of the "Lost Treasures Of Infocom" package, and might have vanished altogether had Douglas not re-acquired the rights.

It's lived here on DouglasAdams.com since 1998 (with an occassional brief hiatus due to server overload), entertaining typically two thousand players per day (though the lack of a save game facility tends to limit the enjoyment!).

To celebrate the release of the new radio series, Radio 4 have re-released the game on the BBC website, resplendent with graphics from none other than Rod Lord, creator of the original TV series' Bafta-nabbing guide entries.

Rather than being a re-make, the code for this new version is byte-for-byte identical to its two-decade old ancestor. Running under a specially-commissioned extension to the same DNA server platform that runs h2g2, the anniversary edition is analogous to a digitally remastered DVD release of a classic movie.

If you've never played a text adventure before, imagine cryptic crossword meets instant messenger - this genre of game is legendarily difficult. Even getting out of bed becomes a challenge, though one rewarded by reams of original DNA wordcraft. As Douglas wrote: "You are disoriented. Blackness swims toward you like a shoal of eels who have just seen something that eels like a lot..."

Strictly adhering to the principle of contradictory versions, the Hitchhiker's adventure starts on Earth, and after a swift pint or three at the pub you're whisked aboard a Vogon ship, tossed into space and beached on the Heart of Gold. Courtesy of a jury-rigged improbability drive, you'll visit Traal, cruise across Damogran, see Earth from three different perspectives and spend time inside two or three complex mammals.

But first you'll need a Babel fish, a cup of tea, a selection of tools and, of course - the ultimate cheat sheet - The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

2 Aug
2004

Slightly more than two of your Earth Minutes …

We’re pleased to confirm that the City of London, along with the rest of planet Earth, was destroyed between 7am and 6pm on Saturday 17th July.

Before purists point out that it was supposed to be Thursday, we should explain that Moorgate tube station tends to be a bit busy on weekdays, what with it being in the middle of a major financial district, whereas wet weekends are perfect for busy film crews.

By the time a small group of TDV’rs arrived to gossip with Douglas’s family beneath obligatory umbrellas, the Hitchhiker’s Second Unit had already taken over the whole of Moor St., filling it with the necessary cameras and lights, the unnecessary rain-machine, unfathomable wedge wranglers, steaming tabletops of coffee, a double-decker busload of cheerful background artists, and what every high-street needs: an electrical showroom stuffed to the gills with flat-screen TVs at Earth-shattering prices.

Fans already know what happens next – big yellow things make an unannounced cloud-breaking appearance, and much hysteria ensues. And like everything we’ve seen behind the scenes so far, the production team were determined that everything had to be perfect and packed with detail – from familiar faces rushing for the not-so-safety of the Underground station, to posters in tea-shop windows and street signs. We’re not going to spoil any surprises, but when we weren’t running around in blind terror we couldn’t help but notice enough in-jokes and clever references to keep the DVD bonus feature film crew busy all day.

Douglas’s brother, James, later told us: “Hanging out on set with those who worked with Douglas at TDV makes you realise how he not only created something so intrinsically valuable to the world at large, but also how much he inspired those around him so much. That inspiration now seems to be firmly with the film production crew, roll on next summer!”.

We couldn’t agree more!

28 May
2004

Movie news! Script, Slate & Sneaky Snaps.

It was a tough job finding someone who could ask Hitchhiker movie screenwriter Karey Kirkpatrick some really tough questions - check out the exclusive interview over at the official movie site.

Meanwhile, from the have-you-seen-that? department, our friends at h2g2 have landed exclusive behind-the-scenes footage!

Lastly, the DouglasAdams.com webcreatures were lucky enough to scamper about somewhere exciting this week. The photos are due back from the chemist next week, so be prepared for some highly improbable impressions!

19 Apr
2004

How do you feel about not having ridden on Halley's Comet?

It's with great delight that we can finally announce that today is official "Lights, Action, Camera" day at Elstree, and we wish the Hitchhiker movie production team the very best of luck. (You may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to getting film for a movie camera).

Meanwhile, our friends over at h2g2 have published an interview with Hammer & Tongs' head honchos Nick Goldsmith and Garth Jennings. It's fans' first chance to read and discuss what the producer and director have to say about their forthcoming film.

16 Apr
2004

Being Humma Kavula ...

We’d like to officially announce that John Malkovich and Anna Chancellor have both been cast as two of the new characters Douglas created specifically for the movie.

Taking the role of Humma Kavula, a crazed missionary living amongst the Jatravartid people of Viltvodle Six (who still firmly believe that the entire Universe was, in fact, sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure), facial cavity ejections are, of course, nothing new to Mr. Malkovich.

Anna Chancellor is set to play Questular, Vice President of the Galaxy. Reports of Zaphod’s Pavlovian ducking at the sound of church bells are pure rumour and speculation, and we have no truck with such things here.

5 Feb
2004

"Listen, you semi-evolved Simians..."

The official head-count continues to increase.

4 Feb
2004

Ha, but my life is but a box of wormgears.

Another official movie casting announcement ... Marvin.

Hard-core fans will realise immediately that this isn't the first alumnus of a galaxy far, far, away who's Hitchhiked his way to ours.

4 Feb
2004

"I gave a speech once"

Meanwhile, closer to home, tickets go on sale today for The Second Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture.

This year, Polar perambulist Robert Swan will speak on "Mission: Antarctica", telling how the most pristine environment on Earth is threatened with massive environmental damage.

Procedes will go to our good friends at Save The Rhino and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

7.30pm, Thursday 11 March 2004 at The Royal Institution, Albemarle Street, London W1

31 Jan
2004

...not bloody Martin Smith from Croydon!

Yes - it's official - the first cast details for the movie have been announced.

So, at the request of the production team, we're very pleased to unleash a new section.

Of course, now we just need to update all the other sections ...

8 Nov
2003

The Big Read

Hoopy Sanjeev Bhaskar championed the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on BBC TV's The Big Read this weekend.

Back in April the BBC asked its viewers and listeners to nominate their favourite books, resulting in a list of 99 literary masterpieces and one Jeffery Archer novel.

Hitchhiker's made the top 21, earning it half an hour of adulation in one of seven Saturday-evening ninety-minute shows. Viewers are further invited to vote after each week's broadcast - at the start of this week's show, the Guide was sitting at number six.

Bhaskar's passion for Douglas's work was backed by the voices of Patrick Moore and Prof. Stephen Hawking, music by (amongst others) Pink Floyd, and of course the obligatory stealth Beatles reference.

Sanjeev - if you're reading this, drop us a line - we have something really cool to tell you.

Everyone else - go vote!


30 Sep
2003

Finally ...

Before the world’s press finds out we want to let you know that the long awaited Hitchhiker’s movie finally has a green light.

The production team is Hammer and Tongs (aka Garth Jennings and Nick Goldsmith), Spyglass (who are producing, and have stayed with this project through thick and thin) and Robbie Stamp, Douglas' friend and business partner who remains involved as an Executive Producer.

Robbie who has stayed close to this process throughout says: "I think that we have a creative team assembled who will make a movie of which Douglas would have been proud."

26 Sep
2003

Be like the twenty-second elephant with heated value in space ...

... bark!

2 Jul
2003

Wish You Were Here - Headline press announce official DNA biography.


UK publishers Headline have set 6th October as the release date for Nick Webb's authorised biography of Douglas. The aptly named Wish You Were Here focuses more on the man than the work, and rather than attempting to write a laundry list, Nick says he has tried to discuss Douglas's ideas in a way he hopes is amusing as well as earnest.

"I knew Douglas and liked him a lot. Fortunately my affection survived the process of researching for the book - and that's not always the case as most grown-ups have done something pretty dodgy at some time in our lives." writes Nick.

"It is a bit presumptuous (as Boswell said of his bio of Dr. Johnson) to imagine that you can squeeze a life into a few hundred pages. Wish You Were Here has an unconventional structure for an unconventional bloke. I hope that it will give a flavour of the man, and be good company for an hour or two - like Douglas himself."

Hardback: ISBN 0755311558
Paperback: ISBN 0755311663
CD: Pink Floyd's Original Recording Remastered

18 Jun
2003

Hammer & Tongs bring breath of fresh air to steak grill

We're pleased to confirm that British directorial duo Hammer & Tongs are set to make their feature-film debut with HHGG.

As the team responsible for compressing the evolution of human life into three minutes for Fatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now", H&T are quite accustomed to doing impossible things before breakfast.

Robbie Stamp said today: "Having spent a lot of time with Nick [Goldsmith] and Garth [Jennings] now and having spent many years working with Douglas, I am sure that he would have revelled in the lateral thinking and visual imagination that the new team brings to this project."

"I also think that he would have been very reassured by their sensitivity to the language, intelligence and humour in the books. Above all I think that he would have been reassured by the simply fact that Nick and Garth are also die hard Mac fans."

Douglas likened the Hollywood process to "trying to grill a steak by having a succession of people coming into the room and breathing on it" - with a bit of luck, Hammer & Tongs have brought coals.

11 Feb
2003

The first DNA Memorial Lecture by Professor Richard Dawkins

11 March 2003, the Royal Institution, London W1

Oxford academic and well-known science author Professor Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene) is giving the first DNA Lecture in celebration of the Life and Universe of Douglas Adams:

"J B S Haldane said, 'Now, my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we CAN suppose.' The strangeness of the universe, as shown by modern science, was one of the main inspirations of Douglas Adams's unique sense of humour. It was also something that he revelled in, treating it with the utmost seriousness. The lecture will illustrate the strangeness of science, and speculate on why we find it so."

The lecture is in aid of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and Save the Rhino International, the two charities of which Douglas Adams was Patron. Douglas developed his deep-seated interest in wildlife conservation during a 1985 visit to Madagascar, which eventually resulted in a book (Last Chance to See) about the plight of species facing extinction, co-authored by zoologist Mark Carwardine.

Douglas Adams died unexpectedly in 2001 at the age of 49. This memorial lecture is being held on what would have been Douglas's 51st birthday, and will be attended by many of his closest friends in the publishing, scientific and entertainment world.

Location & time: The lecture will take place at 7.30pm on Tuesday 11 March 2003 at the Royal Institution, Albemarle Street, London W1.

Tickets @ £15:

Download Ticket Order Form, or contact Katy at Save the Rhino, 020 7357 7474 / katy@savetherhino.org.


Richard Dawkins's Tribute
[The Guardian]


Obituary
[The Independent]

2 Aug
2002

Life, the Universe, and Douglas Adams Reviewed on Greenman Review

Life, the Universe, and Douglas Adams (Greater Talent Network Inc., 2002)

If Hitchhiker is a must-see for the dedicated fan, so much more so is a new film biography of Douglas Adams entitled Life, the Universe, and Douglas Adams. While a shorter bio and tribute appear on the second DVD of the Hitchhiker release, this is a full length look at the life and work of Douglas Adams.

This film, by Joel Greengrass and Rick Mueller, explores the details of Adams' life in a warm, funny, loving way. Life is sentimental but never mushy and, while an obvious tribute to the man, it never becomes one of those insipid eulogies that seem to sprout overnight like fungi whenever a celebrity passes on. This is a realistic look at a real live human being from the points of view of those who knew him best. Interviews with Adams' early teachers and comedy partners and friends, including Mary Allen, Terry Jones, and Berkeley Breathed and sister Jane Garnier, are interspersed with previously filmed interviews with Douglas Adams himself, as well as film clips of Adams giving lectures... and even video of Adams on vacation. Wonderful pop-up style factoids appear onscreen at opportune moments, and a Babelfish translates British English (batting=driving about aimlessly) for clueless Americans.

Readers of The Salmon of Doubt will find much of this film familiar. Many of the incidents recounted here are mentioned in Adams' own writing, compiled posthumously in Salmon. We see film footage of Adams, a passionate defender of endangered species, hiking in Africa wearing a rhinoceros suit. Mark Carwardine, Adams' collaborator on Last Chance to See, speaks of their travels. Adams himself speaks about his fascination with animals and nature. We learn where "42" came from, and when Adams first discovered the importance of having a towel on hand at all times.

As I mentioned, this is a film about a real human being, foibles and all. Mary Allen remembers Adams "exuberant, overenthusiastic" reaction to his early success...enthusiasm which led to him crashing his first Porsche! An extended section of the film discusses his insecurities, an issue that was probably at the heart of his legendary inability to meet deadlines (though Adams claimed he simply "loved the whooshing sound they made as they went by").

But this is also a film about a loving, caring, truly good man. The Douglas Adams pictured here was funny, witty, brilliant, and above all, kind. Friend Kanwal Sharma recounts how he seemed to always find himself upgraded to first class when he traveled; only later did he discover that Douglas was arranging the upgrades behind the scenes. Perhaps the most telling feature of this film is the warmth and joy that radiates from each speaker as they remember Adams. Though his work was incomparable, this film makes it clear that his legacy was something far more important.

I should mention especially that Neil Gaiman is a fantastic choice as narrator of Life, the Universe, and Douglas Adams . The best documentaries are often ruined by dry, dull narration but there is no hint of that here. Gaiman is as warm and funny as the subject of the movie is and his voice draws the viewer instantly into the film. I was captivated from the very beginning.

Fans of Douglas Adams will want to watch this film again and again. Even better, those not familiar with Douglas Adams will learn a thing or two about being an all around decent human being, and ultimately they'll want to watch this film again and again, too. I smiled and laughed all the way through this movie, even through occasional tears. See this film when you need a good laugh, and a good cry.


[Maria Nutick]


While not yet in distribution as of this writing, you can find information on ordering Life, the Universe, and Douglas Adams at www.douglasadams.com .



http://greenmanreview.com/film_douglasadams.html

Stay Tuned at http://www.douglasadams.com for sales info coming soon!!!

Feel free to contact Joel Greengrass at joel@ggrass.com with any questions or comments or if you would like specific notification when the film is available!

28 Jun
2002




17 May
2002

Life, The Universe, and Douglas Adams is complete

Rick and I are pleased to announce that the film is complete! We are currently negotiating the terms of the distribution deal and waiting for some music rights to clear.

Please stay tuned for an announcement in the very near future detailing how to order the film. If you would like us to contact you when the film is completed, please go to the homepage of douglasadams.com and enter your email address.

As always, if anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me at joel@ggrass.com.

--joel greengrass

15 Apr
2002

Life, The Universe, and Douglas Adams - Press Release

PRESS RELEASE
He’s So Hip, He Has Difficulty Seeing Over His Pelvis

LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND DOUGLAS ADAMS
TO BE RELEASED MAY 11

First and Only Authorized Documentary of Beloved Author and Visionary Douglas Adams
Narrated by Sandman Creator, Neil Gaiman, the Film Features Exclusive, Never-Before Seen Footage of Douglas Adams, with Contributions From Over 30 of His Closest Family and Friends.

NEW YORK, NY, May 11, 2002 – One year to the date of his death, Douglas Adams, renowned author of the best-selling cult classic, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, will be remembered in an 80-minute documentary film entitled “Life, The Universe, and Douglas Adams.” The production, by Joel Greengrass and Rick Mueller, will be available May 11 on VHS.


The film, authorized by Adams’ family and estate, is being released in conjunction with his posthumous book, A Salmon of Doubt, and features over 30 minutes of exclusive, never-before seen footage. Interviews with Adams’ friends and colleagues include Monty Python’s Terry Jones, Hitchhiker star Simon Jones, and Bloom County creator Berkeley Breathed. Included are rare archives from family and friends featuring video of a young Douglas at play, his legendary left-handed guitar collection, and photos of Adams playing guitar with Pink Floyd. With additional contributions from esteemed scientist Richard Dawkins, the Pretenders’ Robbie Macintosh and Save the Rhino founder David Stirling, the film goes beyond Adams as the best-selling author and explores his passions in music, technology, the sciences, and conservation.


“People will be pleasantly surprised to understand how deep and wide Douglas’ passions ran. If he was passionate about something he relentlessly strove for expertise,” says filmmaker Joel Greengrass. “Douglas was a phenomenal musician and an aspiring scientist. He lived for the newest technology and gave a voice to endangered species. He was truly an awe inspiring person.”


Through over 30 interviews with his closest family, friends, colleagues and mentors, woven together with interviews and speeches from Adams over the years, viewers will get to know the Douglas Adams like they have never seen him before.


Highlights from the film include:
· Douglas Adams performing with Procul Harem
· Pictures from Douglas’ famous Partially Unplugged Parties
· Music by David Gilmour, Peter Gabriel, Robbie Macintosh, Procul Harem, and Margo Buchanan

Additional information can be found at http://www.douglasadams.com or by calling (212) 645-4200.




9 Apr
2002

Salmon of Doubt Press Release

can be found here.







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