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Kevin

Heh, I always liked the Hitchhiker's Guide.

Domoni

We watched it last night. I think I prefer the TV series. But I am an old man prone to "it was better when I was a wee lad" sort of prattle.

I need to again read all the books of the trilogy.

Claire

Thanks for all of the Douglas Adams love this morning. A nice way to start a very rainy Monday. I found Douglas Adams on my parents' bookshelves when I was about 14. I love old, used, crinkly, yellowed paperbacks. I started a quote book mainly because I had a deep need to write down the hilarious things I was reading from the Hitchhiker books. At that point of my life, I would devour the entire collection of an author. I read all of Adams's books, including Last Chance to See, his non-fiction book about traveling the globe to see endangered animals before they all died out. There is this section in it where he has this highly spiritual moment with a lemur in Madagascar that is marvelous. Though, in the end, the two Dirk Gently books were my favorites. How can you not love a book where Thor and Odin are two of the main characters? Anyhow, thanks!

burritoboy

Actually, the Babel Fish is not so bizarrely improbable. We assume that the Babel Fish is some sort of parasite (I don't believe there is any mention of anyone actually feeding their Babel Fish), drawing nutrition from the host's body (ok, brainwaves from the sentient beings near the host). The hosts of the Babel Fish take great care to protect their Babel Fish, and presumably there are large Babel Fish fish farms somewhere. This is only so because the Babel Fish provides such unique benefits to the host, such that the host readily provides food, shelter and massively increased breeding opportunities to the Babel Fish species. Otherwise, in a universe with many planets and wildly divergent environments, Babel Fish would be unlikely to spread much beyond their home world. As it is, the Babel Fish hosts intentionally spread the species to many different worlds, again an evolutionary benefit.

While it seems strange to evolve such translation abilities, what better way is there to convince your hosts to allow you to lodge in their ears (surely one of the safest locations around)? Those early Babel Fish ancestors who didn't have translation abilities were quickly removed by the hosts, while those with greater abilities were highly prized and recieved much increased breeding opportunities.

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