42

[fawr-tee too]

WHAT DOES 42 MEAN?

42 is the answer to the “ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything,” a joke in Douglas Adams’s 1979 novel, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The Almighty Answer to the Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything. It was calculated by the computer Deep Thought for seven million years and when asked to build a better computer to discover the Question to the Life, the Universe, and Everything, it built the Earth. Before the Earth could tell the Question however, it was destroyed by the Vogons to make room for an interstellar highway bypass. For more information, see The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

 

42 and the angle of a rainbow

The angle at which light reflects off water to create a rainbow is 42 degrees.

 

42 and the speed of light crossing a proton

Two physical constants in the universe are the speed of light and the diameter of a proton. It takes light 10 to the minus 42nd power seconds to cross the diameter of a proton.

 

42 and the asterisk symbol

Forty-two is the ASCII code for the symbol * also known as the asterisk. This symbol is often thought to translate to anything or everything. In this instance, 42 = everything, the meaning of life.

However, it should be noted that all these 42s are base 10, not base 13, so their relation to one another is still vague at best.

 

So, what is 42?

It's a number with a lot of different meanings, both literal and abstract. It's a number that can be found all over the place, both in the real world and in fiction. And it's a number that just might help answer the greatest question of all, "What is the meaning of life?"

 

Where else does 42 appear?

While we can do little more than speculate, many have noted significant representations of the number 42 outside of the Guide to the Galaxy that may (or may not) shed further light on the meaning of life.

 

42 in binary code

While it may not be significant to base 13, the number 42 is a significant number in binary code, where it is represented as 101010. This particular pattern of zeros and ones appears often in mathematical and computer-related contexts.

 

42 in Buddhism and Hinduism

The number 42 is also significant in some Eastern religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism where many believe a person reaches Nirvana or Moksha, which is the final goal of life, around age 42. Of course, there is no actual set age for this experience.

 

42 in Christianity

There are also many mentions of the number 42 in the Bible. In the Book of Revelation, for example, the number 42 is associated with the 42 months that the Antichrist will rule over the world. In another instance, 42 is the number of generations from Abraham to Jesus Christ.

 

42 and the angle of a rainbow

The angle at which light reflects off water to create a rainbow is 42 degrees.

 

42 and the speed of light crossing a proton

Two physical constants in the universe are the speed of light and the diameter of a proton. It takes light 10 to the minus 42nd power seconds to cross the diameter of a proton.

 

42 and the asterisk symbol

Forty-two is the ASCII code for the symbol * also known as the asterisk. This symbol is often thought to translate to anything or everything. In this instance, 42 = everything, the meaning of life.

However, it should be noted that all these 42s are base 10, not base 13, so their relation to one another is still vague at best.

 

So, what is 42?

It's a number with a lot of different meanings, both literal and abstract. It's a number that can be found all over the place, both in the real world and in fiction. And it's a number that just might help answer the greatest question of all, "What is the meaning of life?"

By Katie Terrell Hanna

 

“42” or in Sino-Japanese pronunciations “SHI NI” literally means “in/ to death” because “ni” in the Japanese language can be used as a particle for certain categorized words such as topic, subject, location, etc...

So “42″or “SHI NI” can be “wordplay” as “死に” (しに) /shi.ni/

 

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