Towel Day

Hm…Too late I noticed that Nerdpride Day coincides with Towel Day. On this day, Geeks carry towels to honor Douglas Adams, the author of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who passed away 11 May 2001, at the age of 49. According to the third chapter of the Hitchhikers Guide a towel is the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Hence its symbolic role in this celebration.

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 vapors; 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-boggingly 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. — Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Some Geeks celebrate Towel Day with a performance of the Japanese Algorithm March

I enjoyed reading The Hitchhikers Guide, not only for it’s geeky humor, but I didn’t celebrate Towel Day, I use a towel everyday.
At Slashdot was a small thread about Towel Day. There I found the following quote:

We don’t have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.
— Douglas Adams, Speech at The University of California

Wikiquote has even more quotes: there I found this one from Triumph of the Nerds, that brings us back to Nerdpride Day:

I think a nerd is a person who uses the telephone to talk to other people about telephones. And a computer nerd therefore is somebody who uses a computer in order to use a computer.

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  • The Aesthetics and Beauty of Knowledge

    Shih was the opposite of facts and raw information; shih was the elegance of knowledge, the insight and skill to organize knowledge into meaningful patterns. As an artist chooses colours or light to make her pictures, a master of shih chooses textures of knowledge – various ideas, myths, abstractions, and theories – to create a way of seeing the world. The aesthetics and beauty of knowledge – this was shih.

    – David Zindell, The Broken God, 1993

  • Geek Attitude

    The attitude thing is about flexibility, portability, creativity, sociability and jamming (ran out of suitable “ity” words!). It’s about improvising – in the practical and musical senses of the word; not getting tangled in boundaries and the “right” way to do things.
    Definitely the only way to travel.
    Martin Delaney – “Laptop Music”.