Posted in Random

Towel Day – 25th May

Towel Day on May 25 is an annual holiday created to celebrate author Douglas Adams by his fans. Adams wrote the classic sci-fi novel, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” This day was organized in memory of him after he suffered a sudden heart attack at the age of 49. His fans wanted to find a way to commemorate his life’s work, and after having one towel day, its success made it a yearly event. 

There is a full schedule of events over at http://www.towelday.org/

“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 vapours; 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-bogglingly 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.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

What colour are your towels? I tend to be a bit boring, mine are mostly white or blue, apart from a few colourful beach towels.

Have a great day!

KL ❤

Posted in Know Your History

Know Your History – 25th May – Oscar Wilde sent to prison

know your history - writing

On this day… 25th May, 1895 – Oscar Wilde sent to prison for indecency

 Just a few days after the victory in Ireland, today’s literature history fact highlights the antiquated views that are now being overcome.

Playwright Oscar Wilde is taken to Reading Gaol in London after being convicted of sodomy. The famed writer of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest brought attention to his private life in a feud with Sir John Sholto Douglas, whose son was intimately involved with Wilde.

Homosexuality was a criminal offense and serious societal taboo at this time in Britain. Wilde had gone back and forth oscar wilde quotebetween hiding his sexual orientation and attempting to gain some measure of public acceptance. After Douglas, a furious homophobe, began spouting his objections to Wilde’s behavior to the public, Wilde felt compelled to sue him for libel.

In his defence, Douglas argued that Wilde had solicited 12 boys to commit sodomy between 1892 and 1894. On the third day of the proceedings, Wilde’s lawyer withdrew the suit, since there was abundant evidence of his client’s guilt. After that, the Crown issued a warrant for Wilde’s arrest on indecency charges. Rather than flee to France, Wilde decided to remain and stand trial. At a preliminary bail hearing, chambermaids testified that they had seen young men in Wilde’s bed and a hotel housekeeper stated that there were stains on his bed sheets.

After more trials he was convicted and imprisoned, the judge remarked at his sentencing, “It is the worst case I have ever tried. I shall pass the severest sentence that the law allows. In my judgment it is totally inadequate for such a case as this. The sentence of the Court is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for two years.”

Wilde served his two years and then spent the last three years of his life in exile. He died at the age of 45 and was buried in Paris.