Thursday, March 11, 2021

Discovering Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


This year, I'm letting many of my goals and celebrations evolve organically.  One such celebration  occurred today on Douglas Adam's birthday: The Douglas Adam's Memorial Lecture

I attended with Sarasota housemate, Becky Burns and Carpe Diem Winner, Lee MacIvor. We had a pre-party with our towels and Arthur Dent-style bathrobes.  If you don't know why we'd have towels or who the heck Arthur Dent is, you probably haven't read or watched Douglas Adams'  Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

The book was written in 1978 so it's been 42 years -- an important number in Hitchhiker fandom. You see 42 is the answer to .. well,  Don't Panic! I won't post any spoilers for those who don't yet know the meaning of life..

Let me tell you how I came to become a new member of the Douglas Adams fan club at this late date. 

Lee MacIvor, before donating her late husband's 4000+ book collection to a nursing home, generously offered me any books of my choosing. 

The first books on the list were the Douglas Adams books.  Though I wasn't intimately familiar with his work, I'd heard of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  I requested the set if they weren't spoken for, and before I knew it, they were on their way to me!

That same week, I saw that a virtual Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture was being hosted! I made it my goal to learn as much as I could about Douglas Adams before the lecture. I quickly became enamored with this sci-fi author and his quirky sense of humor. How could I have gone all these years and not been part of this pop-culture phenomenon?  Douglas Adams even created National Towel Day, for heaven's sakes! If that's not up my alley, what is?

Besides reading and watching Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I found all kinds of resources on the Web that would help me in my quest to discover as much as I could about Douglas Adams and his legacy.

One of Adams' adventures, as both a conservationist and conversationalist and founding member of Save the Rhino, was to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in a rhino costume and then write about it! 

The Memorial Lecture, hosted by Save the Rhino, turned out to be even better than expected! On the docket: 

This year, the event includes: a fascinating lecture by Baroness Susan Greenfield (The Creative Mind: Insights from Neuroscience), and a presentation by Arvind Ethan David (On the Advisability of Writing Fan Mail), featuring the world premiere of “Socially Distanced Dirk” a new holistic short starring Samuel Barnett and Hannah Marks.

I was SO interested in the lecture by Baroness Susan Greenfield and now I want to learn all about HER! Lee had the great idea of recruiting her into the Carpe Diem Connections Community. Wouldn't it be cool if I could have her on my Carpe Diem Connections podcast

She talked a lot about the plasticity of our brain and connections. And I think about all the connections I have made lately, and how I continue to make new discoveries.

  • Becky invited Lee to join Carpe Diem Connections
  • Lee shared the story of her husband, Brian MacIvor, and his book collection
  • Brian's books by Douglas Adam's were given to me by Lee
  • I've now discovered the writings of Douglas Adams and his wonderful imagination 
  • Thanks to the Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture, Baroness Susan Greenfield has opened me up to how I can expand my mind and become more creative 
None of these things would have happened had Becky not invited Lee to join Carpe Diem Connections. 

This week, thanks to this serendipitous series of events, I discovered Douglas Adams and he's leading me to more new discoveries.

It's interesting that each day we might discover something or someone new..  a new podcast, app, an author, an artist, a scientist, or even a new friend... that lead our lives down a new yet-to-be discovered path.

Who or what did you discover this week?

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