User:Dr. Skullthumper/42 (number)
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42 is widely known as the most commercial number in the Universe. Having been declared the answer to "Life, the Universe, and Everything" ten million years ago, it has since gained so much popularity that, statistically, most developing planets are familiar with its glory before they learn of ice cream.
Through with mucking about with such things as philosophy, citizens of one planet decided to go for broke and build a supercomputer to tell them, once and for all, what the answer to everything was. And so, quite simply, they did, and wondered why they hadn't thought of such a thing before. They thought it was so bloody brilliant that they copyrighted the idea, which, when one looks at the Big Picture, was a rather bad move. The supercomputer failed to produce an answer, but it did produce a friendly bluish error message informing the inhabitants of the planet to press any key to continue. The population died several years afterward searching in vain for the mysterious any key, and it would be twenty million years before the copyright expired and another race would be able to try again.
The next race to attempt this project also met with failure. It is considered something of a mystery why. Some say that the flashlight of fate did not shine brightly on them, while others consider the lack of a power button on the computer to have been a major factor. At any rate, the copyright was not renewed, and it enabled a third race to give this idea another go.
After several million years of waiting, the supercomputer arrived at an answer, which happened to be 42. This caused a general amount of uproar in the religious world, as typically any event larger than a baseball game does. Philosophers put on their beards and began pondering this new Answer, and people across the Universe debated hotly its meaning. The smarter ones decided that there was much profit in store if they played their cards right, and a multitude of 42-related products appeared across the galaxy.
edit The Year 42
Earth has never been much of a popular tourist attraction for several reasons. Firstly, it is mostly water, which tends to be as blue and utterly boring in one place as it is in another. Secondly, the inhabitants seem to have no concept of aliens whatsoever, and get in an uproar just about people crossing imaginary lines, let alone entering the atmosphere. And lastly, they never seem to have the proper facilities for 98% of the commonly traveling galactic races.
Despite these setbacks, time travelers still find events on the planet intriguing. The most popular visitation spots are assassinations, in particular the murder of a man who was lucky enough to have both a play and a salad named after him. Other favorites include the invention of pizza, the release of the seventh Harry Potter book, and October the 32nd, 2038, the day that the regular calendar system broke down. After the revelation of the Answer, the year 42 has become one of the most popular years in the brief history of the planet.
Many time journeyers visit the year 42 for a moment of divine inspiration, and find not the fingers of a random deity handing them the explanation of the mysterious number, but instead hundreds of alien peddlers selling useful items across the globe, including portable potties and extra carbon to breathe. It is said that spending time in just a five-minute time-loop for several years is enough to make anyone rich. Why humans of the year 42 did not grow suspicious is unclear, but it is generally concluded that humans don't notice a lot of things anyway.
Widely considered to be the first product designed entirely to cash in by relating to the Answer, Forty-two the album was produced not by a band, but rather, a computer. In fact, this was the first computer of its time to exist solely for the creation of music. (Apparently the people behind the computer's creation decided it would be somewhat fitting to have a computer produce an album with the name of the Answer, also generated by a computer.) After several weeks of composition, the computer finally ejected a single disc, which was put out on the market almost immediately. Within days, Forty-two's number one song — Abort, Retry, Ignore — became known across the galaxy.
edit Images that I might use that may be orphaned otherwise