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back to article Hitchhikers' Guide was WRONG, Earth is not in a galactic backwater

As just about any regular Reg reader knows, the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy states authoritatively that this planet Earth lies "far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy". However, it appears that in this case the Guide is probably wrong. We learn this from new …

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What's with all the 'mights' and 'maybes'? Why don't they get off their podgy behinds and go for a little trip. When they get far enough away they can turn around and have a proper look at whether we're in a 'major spiral arm' or just a little spur.

I don't know...apathetic bloody planet. Can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs etc etc

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Watch out for hyperspace bypasses

... if we don't watch out they'll put a hyperspace bypass right through our solar system... we need to take more interest in local affairs - especially planning applications that are otherwise filed in the bottom draw of a filing cabinet in a disused toilet in the basement with a sign on the door that says "Be aware of the Tiger"!

M

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Coat

I'll get me towel...

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Facepalm

Re: Watch out for hyperspace bypasses

"Beware of the Leopard"

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Happy

@Glenn Booth

hehe ... you have 41 likes ... one more upvote and you'll have the magic number!

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No upvotes from me

'cos when I got here it had reached 42...

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Unhappy

Re: No upvotes from me

And then two people went and spoilt it! Poor show guys! :(

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Re: Watch out for hyperspace bypasses

Mike Tubby / jnemesh

These days, "Beware of the Mountain Lion."

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Actually, it's been rather well understood, but didn't have six sigma proof that we're on a local arm.

That said, I don't see six sigma on the current data.

I only see more information that we are on the local arm, rather on a better known arm.

In sort, six of one, half dozen of the other as far as reality is concerned.

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Joke

We will remain a backwater

as long as cricket is being played on earth. I thought everybody knew that

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Re: No upvotes from me

when i got here, it had reached 69 ... which is a far better answer than 42 :)

no icon - because i can't decide between PH or a drink afterwards to [ahhem] - "clear the throat" ;)

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Alien

Learn to reprezzent, yo!

So we have basically gone from being a place where they steal the spinners, the '22s, and the 10k watt sound systems off the occasional passing star cruiser, to the posh gated resort community where everyone with any measurable influence stops by for a week-long vacation at alpha centauri?

Of course, they do stop by Earth every now and then, to exterminate the roaches we call humanity, but they haven't been by in a while, for some reason.

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Alien

Re: Learn to reprezzent, yo!

My thoughts exactly.

Local Estate Agents are already increasing house prices.

UKIP have issued a statement about 'increased foreign workers' and EDL are as confused as usual.

I'm not so sure though, first sound of 'AAAAAAAKKK' and I'm gone.

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Mushroom

Re: Learn to reprezzent, yo!

"exterminate the roaches we call humanity"

That was merely a byproduct of a Disaster Area concert.

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Childcatcher

Re: Learn to reprezzent, yo!

Yeh! Yeh! But! I see they mention local clouds of alcohol and water. So there must be a party going on somewhere. I thought it was nice and quiet here but we have just been told that the hoodlums and drunks are round the corner and coming our way.

Now where are my dark glasses.

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Joke

Wrong?

I was lead to understand that the H2G2 contained much that was unreliable, if not wholly apocryphal?

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Right

The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.

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@PhilF Re: Wrong?

ITYM the Guide "contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate"

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Re: @PhilF Wrong?

Thanks - didn't have a copy to hand and the old memory is not as sharp as back in the day

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Re: Wrong?

However, it scores over the older and more pedestrian Encyclopedia Galactica (hello, Hari Seldon and Isaac Asimov's Foundation series) on two points:

a) it is slightly cheaper

and

b) it tells you how to make the best drink in the known galaxy - the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster

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But,

But what will that do to house prices?

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Windows

Re: But,

Depends if those bloody vogons are in the neighbourhood...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But,

We'll get 'new money' aliens moving in next door with their bloody monogrammed planets. Meteors advising us that 'the solar system next door just sold for a record price and have we considered absndoning earth'. Will fall from the sky every saturday. Oh, and don't forget the goddamned nova's always going off until the wee hours of the morning.

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Alien

New money aliens?

But... Magrathea is still closed for regular business. Unless, the "new money aliens" are, of course, mice, the only clients special and extraordinary enough for Magrathea to reopen for one special commission.

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Of course

All that the guide itself has to say for Earth is "Harmless" (later updated to "Mostly Harmless")

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Of course

Actually, in "Mostly Harmless" the Guide suddenly restored had all of what Ford had written on the Earth - volumes and volumes of entries. That was a big part of what motivated Ford to investigate, as he had reasonably enough assumed that the Guide would delete Earth's entry, Earth itself having been deleted.

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Anonymous Coward

Intergalactic clouds of alcohol?

Home of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster...

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Pint

Re: Intergalactic clouds of alcohol?

Yeah, I'll take one right now.

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Re: Intergalactic clouds of alcohol?

Good idea.

Hmm, I better have another one to follow the first one to check it is all right. I'll send down a third drink to see why the second hasn't reported on condition of the first.

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Coat

Sorry, obligatory "Dimension Of Miracles" quote:-

"You want me to tell you why reality is the way it is," Seethwright said. "But there is no explanation for that. You must simply learn to fit your preconceptions to what you find. You must not expect reality to adapt itself to you, except very infrequently"

(Ducks to even suggest something was somewhat based on something else).

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Re: Sorry, obligatory "Dimension Of Miracles" quote:-

Sorry, standard Pratchett quote:-

'What duck?'

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Angel

Re: Sorry, obligatory "Dimension Of Miracles" quote:-

"This is the voice of the Mysterons, we know you can hear us Earthlings [...]"

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Joke

Hmmm...

"...faraway clouds of water and alcohol. Such localities are where hot young stars are to be found..."

So we're talking Ibiza then... Does that position Earth somewhere in the equivalent of the Spanish Riveira? Somewhere beautiful but which you drive past because Barcelona's only that little bit further away? ;)

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Alien

Re: Hmmm...

I just go down to the bar and find out

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Re: Hmmm...

perhaps not, I just noticed a really hot young star

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Devil

Re: Hmmm...

Phwoooarrr look at the binaries on that system...

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Re: Hmmm...

Barcelona the planet, the one where dogs have no noses?

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Happy

Re: Hmmm... (set-up)

If the dogs have no noses, how do they smell?

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Coat

Re: Hmmm... (set-up)

Alaska!

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Coat

Re: Hmmm... (set-up)

RE: Dogs with no noses. Just in case no-one has done this yet.

Obvious answer AWFUL.

Mines the one with the dog treats in the pocket.

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Mostly Harmless

Also (possibly) inaccurate - but updated in the Guide Mk II

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Miss you Douglas!

As Mr Douglas Adams stated

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."

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Re: Miss you Douglas!

As the Guide rightly points out, space is indeed really big. That's why suggestions that "[our local galaxy] is a major structure" are so parochial.

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faraway clouds of water and alcohol. Such localities are where hot young stars are to be found, an unfailing indicator of trendiness in galactic neighbourhood terms.

Well it's no wonder the Guide was wrong then!* After the writers had spent some time at a particularly excellent party with the naturally occurring alcohol and hot young starlets - they were so hung-over that they probably just copied any old rubbish down - from, say, the back of a cereal packet...

*The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy makes the reassuring claim that where it is inaccurate, it is at least definitively inaccurate. In cases of major discrepancy it is always reality that’s got it wrong.

So, for instance, when the Guide was sued by the families of those who had died as a result of taking the entry on the planet Traal literally - it said “Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts often make a very good meal for visiting tourists” instead of “Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts often make a very good meal of visiting tourists” - the editors claimed that the first version of the sentence was the more aesthetically pleasing; summoned a qualified poet to testify under oath that beauty was truth, truth beauty, and hoped thereby to prove that the guilty party in this case was life itself for failing to be either beautiful or true.

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We apologize for the inconvenience

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Alien

I'm not convinced

It sounds like we're in the low-rent shithole between 2 genuinely nice areas.

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Re: I'm not convinced

"Up and coming"

"Shows great potential"

"A great investment opportunity"

"An unmissable chance to get on the property ladder"

That's no Space Elevator -- it's a 'for sale sign'!

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You can live in a nice, desireable area and still be in the backwoods. It just takes a while for galactic sprawl and gentrification to reach our area.

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When I was a lad ...

all this was firmament as far as the eye could see, not that we 'ad eyes in them days o'course.

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Pint

The words "Don't Panic" come to mind.....

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