The French alphabet, written out with the same numerical values
as the Hebrew, in which the first nine letters denote units and
the others tens, will have the following significance:
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
q r s t u v w x y z
70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160
Writing the words "L'Empereur Napoleon" in numbers, it appears
that the sum of then is 666 (including a 5 for the letter "e"
dropped by elision from the "le" before "Empereur"), and that
Napoleon was therefore the beast foretold in the Apocalypse.
Moreover by applying the same system to the words "quarante-duex"
(forty-two), which was the term allowed to the beast that 'spoke
great things and blasphemies', the same number 666 was obtained;
from which it followed that the limit fixed for Napoleon's power
had come in the year 1812, when the French emperor was forty-two.
Quoted from "War and Peace", Volume II, Book VI, Chapter XIX
FORTY-TWO IN LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING
by Richard Karsmakers
Thanks to Stefan, Wayne Geiser (for lots of date-related data),
Tjeerd, Martijn, Alex and many others that shall unfortunately
have to remain nameless...
A long time ago (in ST NEWS Volume 5 Issue 1, I seem to recall),
Stefan and me did an article on a program called "42". It was the
answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, for it could give
you the cure to AIDS, the address of God (either that or definite
proof of the dude not existing) and a whole lot of other things.
The article redefined the borders of science, even creating an
entirely new branch of science called annihilatism (or something
along those lines). All of this had just popped in our minds
rather simultaneously whilst lying in a London hotelroom,
listening to the sound of cat'n'doggin' rain (and, indeed, to the
sound of it dripping on yours truly's hotel bed). Probably both
our minds were particularly receptive to idea particles that just
so happened to seep into our multiverse and collide with the
right bits of our brain.
This time, however, I'd like to have a look at what the figure
"42" means in real, ordinary life. Show you what this figure
means in the world as we know it. If you pay attention to it, you
will notice that the number "42" occurs all the time! In this
article, on which I spent almost two years of research, I'd like
to illustrate a few of the many uses of the answer to life, the
universe and everything.
This article is dedicated to Douglas Adams, the man without whom
this article would have been highly improbable and who,
incidentally (not quite) became 42 on March 11th of this year!
* Let's start with 42nd Street, which is a seemingly rather
notorious street in New York.
* "42nd Street" is also the title of a film made in the US in
1933 by Lloyd Bacon, starring Ginger Rogers.
* Right now, British cattle is banned in 42 countries.
* In a particular episode of the US TV series "Beverly Hills
90210", the Walshes are reading a book about sexuality or
something, and they are surprised to read that "60% of men over
42 think of younger women."
* In Japan there is a ritual involving the dragging around of
500-pound concrete penises and consumption of lots of alcohol.
This penis is carried by loads of men who are 42 years old,
which is considered to be the Japanese male's age of turnaround
(i.e. it can only go downhill from then on).
* Strangely enough, the number 42 also seems to have deathly
connotations in Japan. Some time ago, the first Japanese
Formula One racing car driver crashed and killed himself in a
car with the number 42. The number 42 seems to be banned on
Japanese license plates because of that.
* In "Star Trek - The Next Generation", the starship Enterprise
has 42 decks.
* Of course, there is a band called Level 42. Perhaps more
coincidentally, the band chose the week in which Douglas Adams
was to become 42 to release their first post-split album.
* One of the most notorious cracking groups on the Atari ST in
the olden days was called "42 Crew".
* The city Iwanowo (in what used to be Russia) lies on a latitude
of 42 degrees.
* The latest (or perhaps the word is "last") version of "Word
Perfect" on the Atari ST is 4.2.
* In "Dead Poets Society", Robin Williams at one time says "Byron
gets a 42, but you can't dance to it".
* The guy who lives two floors below me lives on number 42.
* The following people were born on February 11th of some year
(this particular date being the 42nd day of the year): Gene
Vincent (singer), Thomas Alva Edison (inventor), Burt Reynolds
(actor), the Nutty Snake's (Alex of the Quartermass
Experiment) father, Lydia Maria Child (writer), Melville Weston
Fuller (8th US Supreme Court Justice), William Henry Fox Talbot
(photographic pioneer), Elliot Paul (crime author), Joseph L.
Mankiewicz (film director), Sidney Sheldon (author), Eva Gabor
(actress), Lloyd Bentsen (Texas Senator), Leslie Nielsen
(actor), Virginia E. Johnson (psychologist), Paul Bocuse
(chef), Tina Louise (actress) and Sergio Mendes (musician).
* Some people died on the 11th of February, too. Some of them are
Rene Descartes (French philosopher and mathematician), Honore
Daumier (French painter and caricaturist) and Frank Herbert
(the author of "Dune", who died in 1986).
* The poet Sylvia Plath killed herself on the 42nd day of the
year in 1963.
* In Japan, the 42nd day of the year is National Foundation Day
(at least it was in 1993).
* The 42nd day of the year is Youth Day in Cameroon.
* It is also "National Day" in Iran.
* The Iron Maiden twin CD-single "Two Minutes to Midnight" +
"Aces High" (released in 1990) is exactly 42 minutes long
including that brainless Nicko McBrain babble at the end.
* To limit costs, it is possible to have certain services only at
what are described as "the big National Railroad stations" in
the Netherlands. There are 42 of those in the Netherlands.
* The scroller in the Exceptions' "BIG Demo", probably the first
Atari ST megademo, was 42 Kb long.
* The Oldest Rule In The Book (as mentioned in Lewis Carroll's
"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", the courtroom scene), which
is "All persons more than a mile high to leave the court", is
rule number 42.
* Metallica's excellent single "One" was the highest new entry in
the Dutch 1991's Top 100 of all times, entering at 42.
* The heaviest man ever to live in the Netherlands, Jan Cleaszoon
Clees (landlord of a pub in The Hague, who weighed 223 kilos,
so telleth the Dutch version of the Guiness Book of Records),
died in 1612 at the age of 42.
* The resistor temperature coefficient of Sodium is 4.2 10E-3
* The password expiration time under Microsoft Windows New
Technology is 42 days.
* The star that is closest to the earth with exception of the sun
is called Proxima Centauri. It's located at a distance of 4.2
* The longest recorded session of continuously talking in sign
language took 42 hours (done by Wendy Fisher in New South
Wales, Australia, in August 1987; she spoke an average of more
than 45 words per minute).
* The world's largest church dome is that of the St. Peter church
in Vatican City, which has a diameter of 42 metres.
* The official marathon distance is 42 kilometres (and 195
metres, to be more precise).
* In 1942, Kansas Street of Derry, Maine, was paved (in Stephen
King's book "It", at least).
* Another few occurrences of the number 42 in Stephen King's "It"
are the fact that Tom Rogan worked at King & Landry Public
Relations at 42nd Street, and that the oldest person present at
the fire at the Black Spot - Alan Snopes - was aged 42.
* In 1942, the following people were born: Jimi Hendrix (the most
innovative guitarist to live ever), John J. Cale, Curtis
Mayfield, John McLaughlin, Andy Summer, John Irving, Bill
Conti, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Alvin Stardust, Britt
Ekland, Madeline Kahn, Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Neil Kinnock,
Norman Lamont, Sally Field, Harrison "Indiana Jones" Ford, Ian
"Lovejoy" McShane, Ian Ogilvy, Bob Hoskins, Jerry "Grateful
Dead" Garcia, Isabelle Allende, Aretha Franklin, Cassius Clay
(a.k.a. Muhammed Ali), Colonel Mu'ammar Muhammad al-Gadaffi of
Libya, Terry "Monty Python" Jones, Joop van den Ende (famous
Dutch TV producer who also attempted "Cyrano" on Broadway last
year) and Stephen Hawking (the most brilliant scientist
currently alive and author of the illuminatively brilliant and
superbly complicated book entitled "A Brief History of Time").
* In the case of a bitch (i.e. a female dog) still with young,
her puppies can be infected intra-uterinally by the Toxocara
canis bacteria as of the 42th day.
* In Olympic female judo, there is a class division between
lighter than 42 kilogram or 42 kilogram and higher.
* The average time for the piece of meat (called a "patty") in a
McDonald Hamburger, Cheeseburger or BigMac to cook on the grill
is 38-42 seconds. They taste best when done for 42 seconds, of
* In the mini series "Paradise and Passion" (or "Passion in
Paradise"?), the character Harry Oakes' car has the license
plate "93 42".
* On the date of 43-9-4242, the Belcerebons of Kakrafoon Kappa (a
very intelligent race that never spoke so as to give their
brain a chance to work) were officially verdicted to be
"Arrogant Bastards" and given the worst of all social diseases
- Telepathy (so proclaimeth one of the many animated Guide
sequence in the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" TV series).
* The Dutch aeronautics company Fokker had a profit of 42 million
Dutch guilders in the last half of 1991.
* Elvis Presley, the King, was 42 when he got abducted by aliens
(or when he died, or whatever).
* By a strange coincidence, 42 was also the age at which Cladys
Smith, The King's mother, died.
* Saddam Hussayn's (no matter how you spell it exactly) army
during the 1991 Gulf War was divided in 42 divisions.
* The unofficial length of that actual war is supposed to have
been 42 days.
* In 660 BC emperor Jimmu ascended the Japanese throne. This
happened on the 42nd day of that year, i.e. February 11th.
* In the country of Ciskei there are 42 administrative
subdivisions of the second order (whatever that may mean).
* Nelson Mandela was freed on the 42nd day of 1990 (at 4:14 local
time). On that same day, the last official issue of ST NEWS,
Volume 5 Issue 1, was released back.
* The paternal grandparents of Miranda (my girlfriend) had been
married for 42 years when her grandmother died.
* On a recent Yesterday & Today (Y&T) rock band compilation album
("Best of '81 to '85") the first track lasts precisely 42
* The British Jaguar Sovereign is available with a 4.2 litre
* The red Jaguar in "She's out of Control" (starring Tony Danza
and a rather delightful young female), a Jaguar XKE, also has a
4.2 litre engine. The car, by the way, gets trashed eventually.
* The Lateran Treaty (creating the independence of Vatican City
in Rome, Italy) was signed on the 42nd day of the year 1929.
* Guatemala takes up 42,042 square miles of the world.
* At Dutch Utrecht University's 1992 Veterinary Students Circle
12th Lustrum, 42 veterinary students partook in the organizing
of the party and other events associated with this jubileum.
Totally coincidentally, they turned to have overdrawn their
budget by 42,000 Dutch guilders when the Lustrum year had
ended, one year later.
* In the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (the actual device,
not the books) the amendments start off on page 42,000,000
(directly following the index which takes up most of the Guide,
having started at page 577,000).
* The highly regular binary value of 101010 is decimal 42.
* The second (and, unfortunately, last) issue of Tom Zunder's
Atari ST disk magazine "Interleave" had 42 articles.
* Mass number of the chemical element "K" is 42.
* On March 14th 1993, when the news mentioned the amount of
people having died due to the snowstorms and general bad
weather at the East Coast of the United States, a total number
of 42 victims were mentioned.
* Chemical element "Mo" has atom number 42.
* When a Dutch teacher not to be named here (because I forgot his
name) was discovered to have been rather too intimately
acquainted with some of his pre-school students in 1992,
newspapers proclaimed he was aged 42.
* The United States and South Vietnam undertook the first bombing
on North Vietnam on the 42nd day of 1965.
* The number "43", which is very close to "42", seems to be a
figure of overall significance in much Monty Python stuff - it
is for example the distance to Camelot when (in "The Holy
Grail") they see a road sign leading to Camelot and "Certain
Death". Also, the European swallow beats its wings 43 times per
second. There are many more cases of the number "43" that will
not be elaborated upon in this context.
* The Calixtus Catacomb in Rome has 42 niches.
* In one of the many riots in South Africa in Boipatong on June
17th 1992 (I believe Zulus took care of the honours in this
particular case), 42 people were killed.
* The scale or fretboard (the bit where the left hand fingers are
put down, with all the frets on it) of the Yngwie Malmsteen
Signature Fender Stratocaster electric guitar has a width of 42
mm (1.654") at the nut (i.e. farthest away from the guitar
* Among all 46633 words in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the
Galaxy", you can form the sentence "Yeah, here" if you'd only
use the words that occurred 42 times.
* Among all 52991 words in "The Restaurant at the End of the
Universe", the words "er", "has" and "take" occur 42 times.
* Likewise, in "Life, the Universe and Everything", among the
53144 words you will find "never" and "why" to occur 42 times.
* In "So Long and Thanks for all the Fish" there is not one
single word that occurs 42 times (among the 44381).
* "So Long and Thanks for all the Fish", however, does have 42
chapters if you count the separate prologue and epilogue too.
* Bullfrog's highly successfull platform game "Flood", released
by Electronic Arts, had 42 levels.
* The specific warmth of Cobalt is 0.42 10E1 J/KgK.
* Philip Larkin's poetry collection "High Windows" is 42 pages
long (at least the Faber & Faber edition is).
* For the first hidden article in ST NEWS Volume 6 Issue 1 to be
accessible, you would have to read (and scroll down) the "ST
NEWS Colophon" article 42 times.
* The Plaza Hotel in London, where I stayed with my girlfriend
for two nights during a short holiday in October 1992, is
located on Princes Square 42 - the week of the year we went was
week 42 (which, by some extraordinary coincidence (?) was also
the week in which Douglas Adams' "Mostly Harmless" was released
nationwide in the UK so I could purchase it!).
* In the Penguin edition of Edgar Allen Poe's collected work, the
second story starts on page 42 (the story is entitled "The
* In the scene where Tom Cruise meets his 'brother' for the first
time, in "Rainman", Dustin Hoffmann mentions that the Buick
Roadmaster 1948 cabriolet has 42 kilometres on the clock (well,
at least that's what the Dutch subtitles make of it, as Dustin
mentions the distance in the equivalent amount of miles).
* In 1991, the country of Honduras had a population density of 42
people per square kilometre.
* In 1642, the Scottish puritans went out to destroy everything
that had to do with religion (statues, icons, etc.).
* In that year, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovered the
Australian island of Tasmania.
* "Cleopatra's Needle", one of the sights at London's river
Thames and supposedly made aeons ago in ancient Egypt, was
"given to England in the 42nd year of the reign of Queen
Victoria" (quoted from the engravings on its pedestal).
* The Atari Falcon 030's extended joystick connections allow the
connection of total of six joysticks, or four paddles, a
lightgun and up to 42 extension buttons (which I suppose are
alternatives to fire buttons or something, I wouldn't know what
they mean otherwise). Info taken from a Falcon 030 promotion
* When a program/data cartridge is inserted in the Atari
ST/TT/Falcon's cartridge port, its officially documented first
required 'magic' longword value in order to be recognized by
the Operating System as such is hexadecimal $ABCDEF42.
* Of all 985 Kb of articles in the Delta Force's Atari ST disk
magazine "Maggie", issue 10, 417 Kb were filled with
pornographic stories - which is, extraordinarily, exactly 42%.
* In "Raw Deal", starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, there are two
mob families. The limousine of the main honcho of one of them,
a guy by the name of Lamanski, has license plate "4242".
* In the second part of the "Star Trek - The Next Generation"
episode "Best of Both Worlds", at a certain stage where they
are all hunting Borg they say they "are at 42 minutes from
* "Serious Beats - Volume 5" has 42 tracks (mind you, this
information comes from someone I would not like to identify
with, i.e. Tjeerd Bruinsma who is also known under many
nicknames ending with "-ush").
* On the 42nd day of 1993 Joe Satriani performed at Vredenburg,
Utrecht, the Netherlands (which I attended!).
* You would not believe it, but I spent exactly 42 Dutch guilders
on groceries virtually exactly 42 hours after that concert had
started (!). I didn't even time it. It was pure coincidence,
and a miracle that my warped mind actually noticed!
* In a TV documentary about allergies and the involvement of the
English Breakspear Hospital in the treatment of allergy
patients, one of the women interviewed (who had a very
disruptive baby due to it being allergic to all kinds of
things) said, and this sounded totally incredible, that she
"had grown 42 years older in 12 months".
* The critical pressure of Propane is 42 10E5 Pascal.
* Ostrich' eggs hatch 42 days after having been laid (the eggs,
not the ostrich).
* The infamous Famke (a girl who is a very close friend of
Lucifer "Martijn" Eksod and who beat Cronos in ST NEWS Volume
7 Issue 3's "Me Cronos You Fam") got her driving license after
42 lessons (Famke would also like to have stated that it was
her first attempt at a driving exam, so she isn't as bad as her
amount of lessons taken would presume!).
* At Easter, the Pope used to utter his greetings in 42 languages
(well, perhaps one should say "mutterings not sounding
entirely unlike the languages they were meant to mimic"). This
is no longer correct now.
* The average life expectancy for a male inhabitant of the
country of Guinea is 42 years (which is actually rather low).
* In H.P. Lovecraft's tale "The Haunter in the Dark", the
protagonist is the first one to enter the dark and mysterious
church (the Haunter's abode, so it turns out) in 42 years.
* In 1992 there were 4.2 million CD players in the Netherlands
(70% of all households had one).
* During a recent tour, Metallica's lead guitarist Kirk Hammett
wore a T-shirt which had a skull, the words "Las Cavaleras" and
the number "42" on it. I have no idea what this is supposed to
* When the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran ashore the Alaska coast in
1989 it spilled 42,000 tons of oil.
* Princess Anne got re-married in 1992 (the first British
monarchial person to get re-married after a divorce in over 400
years worth of British history) at the age of 42. At that same
age she got a baby, too.
* When a total of 104 people had ultimately sent in the ST NEWS
Popularity Poll (of which the results have been published in
Volume 8 Issue 1), the exact amount of 42 people had voted ST
NEWS Volume 4 Issue 4 as the best all-time ST NEWS issue.
* The Slaytanic Cult (a demo crew) once wrote an Atari ST
all-in-the-bootsector Mandlebrot demo that took 4.2 seconds to
calculate a fractal picture and put it on the screen.
* In "Mississippi Burning", at a certain stage you get to see a
family watching television. They are watching a television show
where someone has just become the Cheddar Cheese Champion,
"having beaten 42 other entrants".
* Bill Clinton became the 42nd President of the United States of
America on January 20th 1993. He still is now (unless he gets
shot by a severely sane person before you read this).
* This sentence contains exactly forty-two letters.
* On the 42nd day of the year, Japan launched its first satellite
(in 1970). It was called Osumi. In Russia (in 1990) the first
commercial satellite mission was launched on that day.
* Up to January 1st 1993, is used to cost 4,20 Dutch guilders
(per minute) to call Japan, Australia and other countries in
that particular telephone cost zone (it went down to something
in the three Dutch guilders region).
* Rainbow's CD "Difficult to Cure" lasts exactly 42 excellent
* In 1992, a woman from Tilburg (in the Southern part of the
Netherlands) claimed she was kidnapped, only for it later to
turn out that she had faked it all so as to stage a good excuse
for her husband who had suspected her of having spent an entire
afternoon shopping. This story got into the Dutch newspapers,
where the articles mentioned she was aged 42.
* The Atari ST/TT/Falcon "Ultimate Virus Killer" versions 4.0 and
4.1 recognized 42 bootsector viruses; the first to recognize
over 42 was, ironically, version 4.2.
* Actress Meryl Streep has four children, the youngest of which
she got when the was 42.
* In 1991, the Dutch Postcode Loterij (when translated literally
this would be something like "Zipcode Lottery") spent 42
million Dutch Guilders on charity.
* On Monday and Tuesday, January 11th-12th 1993, 42 mm of rain
fell on Luxemburg.
* This year, England's Queen Elizabeth II (bless her wrinkled
heart) will have reigned 42 years.
* My own European shirt size is 42 (too bad that my shoe size
* The 'putter' golf club in the Atari Lynx handheld games console
game "Awesome Golf" has a maximum hitting distance of 42 yards.
* In the episode "My Desperate Valentine" of the American TV
series "Beverly Hills 90210", Kelly Preston (played by Jennie
Garth) wears a T-shirt with "42" on the back and front, in
* When the amnion-bladder of a cow has a diameter of one finger
(1,5 cm), thus claimeth a veterinary almanac of sorts, the cow
is pregnant for 42 days.
* In "Highlander II", Connor McLoud's first wife, Heather, is
said to have died in 1542.
* With the English studies I do at Utrecht University, you have
to get 40 study points per year (generally 4 points may be
earned per course-block). In the first year, however, you have
to get 42 points, for some mysterious reason.
* In "Boyz in the Hood", one of the main protagonists is called
Rick. In a scene playing in his younger years he is wearing a
football T-shirt with number 42 on it.
* In one of my second year course books, Jonathan Kaye's
"Phonology - A Cognitive View", he uses the sentence "I ate 42
oranges" to demonstrate some syntactic property of a sentence.
* Mark van den Boer, our friend who did the Machine Language
Course in ST NEWS Volumes 1 and 2, currently lives at 42
Tindale Road in Sydney, Australia.
* Mike Watson, co-author of many an Atari ST/Falcon shareware
game and member of Sinister Developments, lives on 42 Gilmore
Place, Edinburgh, Scotland.
* Jane Austen, female author of the most nauseatingly trivial
"Pride & Prejudice" (and they call that literature?!), died
when she was 42 (that was in 1817).
* The only electric railroad system in Cuba, the Hershey Express
that was originally set up in 1915, has 42 railway stations (it
goes from Havana to Matantas and back).
* In the French film "Canicule" (English title "Dog Day") Lee
Marvin has to be caught. The police put up road blocks, and the
first road block mentioned has identification number 42.
* The definition of a warm-blooded animal is an animal that can
keep a constant body temperature independent of its
surroundings. This temperature should then be between 36 and 42
* On the 42nd day of 1858 the Virgin Mary appeared to three girls
(among which the famous Bernadette Soubirous, later Sainted) at
Lourdes in France.
* In an episode of "Married with Children" (title nor sequence
number known) where Al tries to get rid of his old car to buy a
new one, he goes to a car salesman and takes with him a shoebox
in which he has put 5,000 dollars, 10 years worth of savings.
When he looks in it he only finds 800, because Peggy had
discovered the shoebox and spent the other 4,200 dollars of
* In another episode (of which name and sequence number are again
not known) where Al competed in this 65+ athletics competition,
he gets back home with a ridiculous outfit that originally cost
US$ 3. Upon having used his illegally acquired 65+ discount
card, however, he proudly exclaims he got it for 42 cents!
* The Data East pinball machine "Checkpoint" (which is a racing
car pinball machine) awards the first replay at 4,200,000
* When Benjamin Franklin, famous American writer and printer,
retired from the business he was aged 42.
* The Orbis Wisla boarding house in the Polish town of Krynica-
Zdroj, a health resort, can accommodate 42 guests. In the Orbis
Polonez hotel at Poznan (also in Poland) there are 420 rooms.
* The Simpsons live at 742, Evergreen Terrace, Springfield,
United States of America (at least they did when Oprah Winfrey
* The Dutch comedian Youp van het Hek did a show where he
interjected the word "tjakka" at random intervals. He did this
42 times (this was counted by Lucifer Eksod who is into doing
that sort of thing).
* On May 9th 1990, the US Secret Service and Prosecutors in
Phoenix Arizona announced 28 new raids under Operation Sun
Devil. In three days, 28 search warrants were executed in 14
cities; 42 computers and 23,000 disks were siezed. Only four
arrests were made.
* I came across some really interesting language info about the
year 1991: In China, 420,000 people spoke the Laku dialect; in
Congo, 420,000 people spoke a language called Teke; in Guinea
(noteworthy for its average male life expectancy mentioned
elsewhere) 420,000 people spoke Kissi; in Mongolia, 42,000
people spoke the Bayad language; in the Netherlands, 42,000
people had the ability to speak Frisian (which is an official
language that is quite different from Dutch and that gets
taught at Frisian schools); in Nigeria 4,2 million people spoke
a language named Edo; last but not least, in Romania 42,000
people spoke Serbo-Croatian.
* The Metallica bootleg "Almost the Last Gig Pt. 2", recorded 26-
9-1986 in Sweden, is exactly 42 minutes long on CD.
* In December 1992, a total of 42 female veterinarians were
employed by the Dutch RVV (an acronym that would translate to
something like "State Control Service for Meat and Cattle").
* A total of 487 people were killed in Boston in the Coconut
Grove Fire. That was in 1942.
* In that year, the Battle of Midway also happened.
* When Mies Bouwman, probably the most famous, well-loved and
respected Dutch female presenter, took leave of her TV duties
for the second time last year, she had been in the business
since 1951, i.e. for 42 years.
* In 1970, former Yugoslavia saw the introduction of a 42-hour
* On June 2nd 1993 the Dutch police in Rotterdam did a major drug
bust. A total of 42 people were arrested.
* According to their insurance policy, a common health insurance
service in the Netherlands allows for a refund of costs made
during a therapy camp for asthmatic youths for a maximum of 42
days per calender year.
* When Martijn Wiedijk (a.k.a. Lucifer Eksod) graduated from
highschool, late spring 1992, he had a total of 42 points on
his list (two fives, one eight (for English) and four sixes).
* Incidentally, Martijn's father has shoe size 42, and his
girlfriend has European trousers size 42.
* In the British TV series "Grace and Favour" (the follow-up to
"Are you being Served?") at a certain moment Mrs. Slocombe runs
into her ex-husband, Cecil G. Slocombe. She mentions him having
run out on her 42 years ago.
* There are various tunnel heights (i.e. the max headroom of a
car driving through) in Norway, most of them being 3.6, 3.8
* There is a way to calculate how much you're in love with a
person, this is done by checking how often the letters of the
word "loves" occur in both names, including surname. In the
case of Miranda (my girlfriend) and me the "e" occurs three
times and the "s" two times, the others never (Richard
Karsmakers and Miranda Baeten). So that makes "00032". Now you
add these numbers together in a downward pyramid until you have
0 0 0 3 2
0 0 3 5
0 3 8
3 1 1 (from 3 11)
So our love is blessed by The Number.
* In 1978, China lifted the ban on Aristotle, Dickens and
Shakespeare. This happened on February 11th which, as we now
know, was the 42nd day of the year.
* When King Baudouin of Belgium died at 62 on July 31st 1993, he
had been Belgian king for 42 years.
* In the video clip to the Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls", shot
in London, at a certain moment a red double decker bus drives
by. It's the 42 (I can't recall where it goes to, I'm sorry to
* In 1971 Robert Mulligan made a nostalgic war movie (starring,
among others, Jennifer O'Neill and Gary Grimes). It was called
"Summer of '42".
* During the Norwegian Highschool Graduation festivities known as
"Rüss" (I seem to recall), Ronny Hatlemark's Rüss-name was
"Forty-Two" (Ronny was our Norwegian ST NEWS distributor and
still a good friend). The last four digits of his mobile phone
number, incidentally (though probably not at all
coincidentally), are "4242".
* After having played level 6 in Dave Munsie's Donationware
Atari ST game "Kaboom" you have a score of 420.
* In Jonathan Demme's "Silence of the Lambs", the Buffalo Bill
character wants to skin girls who have U.S. size 14 - that's
European size 42.
* The Scheveningen pier, the Netherlands (which is much more
famous than the Brighton pier), became a prey to flames in 1942
(it was built in 1922).
* Rembrandt, the seriously famous Dutch painter who was actually
a lot better than the totally overhyped Van Gogh, spent two
years making the "Nightwatch". He finished it in 1642.
* The setting: The pilot episode of the US police series "Sunset
Beat". When at one instance a colleague cop asks some of the
heroes, Chesbro and Coolidge, how come they make more
successful arrests then any other cop on the beat, they reply:
"Find out for yourself. We give courses at US$ 42 per
* Douglas Adams is not the only person to become 42 this year.
others are Ben Crenshaw (golfer), Erin Gray (actress), Vladmir
Feltsman (Russian pianist), Rick James (singer), Juice Newton
(singer), Lisa Eichorn (actress), Laraine Newman (comedienne),
Bob Costas (sports commentator), Maria Schneider (actress),
Lynn Swamm (football player), Nora Dunn, Marilu Henner
(actress), David Byrne (singer of Talking Heads), Pierce
Brosnan (actor, "Remington Steele"), George Strait, Grace Jones
(model, actress and singer), Joey Ramone (singer of the
Ramones), Mr. T (actor, e.g. B.A. Baracus of the "A-Team"),
Marvelous Marvin Hagler (boxer), Eddie Mekka (actor), Barry
Champagne (stunt coordinator and engineer), Carol Kane
(actress), Isabella Rossellini (actress, e.g. "Blue Velvet"),
John Goodman (actor, e.g. "King Ralph" and the "Roseanne"
show), Parker Stevenson (actor, e.g. "Baywatch"), Dan Aykroyd
(actor, i.e. "Blues Brothers", "Dragnet"), Stewart Copeland
(drummer of the Police), David Hasselhoff (actor and,
unfortunately, singer, e.g. "Night Rider" and "Baywatch"),
Nicolette Larson (singer), Phoebe Snow (singer), Robin Williams
(actor and comedian, e.g. "Mork and Mindy", "The Fisher King"
and "Good Morning Vietnam"), Alan Autry (actor, e.g. Bubba in
"In the Heat of the Night"), Grant Goodeve (actor), Reginal
VelJohnson, Guillermo Villas (tennis player), Nelson Piquet
(ex-Formula One car racer), Patrick Swayze (actor, e.g. "North
and South", "Dirty Dancing", "Ghost" and "Roadhouse"), Jonathan
Frakes (actor), Pee Wee Herman, Kristopher Tabori (actor),
Jimmy Connors (tennis champion and drinker of Lipton Ice),
Dennis Lamp (baseball player), Joseph Kennedy (Massachusetts
congressman), Mark Hamill (actor), Christopher Reeve (actor,
e.g. "Superman I-III"), Angela Cartwright (actress), Harry
Anderson (actor, e.g. "Night Court" and "It"), Karyn White, Tom
Petty (singer/guitarist of the Heartbreakers), Jeff Goldblum
(actor, e.g. "The Fly"), Patti Davis (writer), Annie Potts,
Clive Barker (horror author), Lorna Lutt (actress), Roseanna
Arnold (comedienne, e.g. the "Roseanna" show, "She-Devil" and
the voice of the baby girl in "Look Who's Talking Too"), Mandy
Patinkin, Christie Hefner (business executive), Susan Dey
(actress), Susan Seidelman (director, e.g. "Desperately Seeking
Susan" and "She-Devil"), Cathy Rigby (gymnast), Jenny Agutter
(actress, e.g. "An American Werewolf in London"), Tovah
Feldshuh (actress), Ray Knight, Gelsey Kirkland and Michael
* The major family (of which the name is Alberts) in the Dutch TV
soap "Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden" (translation "Good Times Bad
Times") lives at house number 42.
* In the "Dragonsdawn" book in Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonriders of
Pern" series, it's mentioned that originally 42 mares with foal
were taken from earth to the new world of Pern. Also in the
same book, it comes to pass that on the 42nd day after the
first fall of thread the first gather was organised, that the
first batch of dragon embryos they constructed consisted of 42
specimens, and a bit further they mention someone who is
technically in charge of the program on file in the biology
Mark 42 computer.
* In a 1993 (Volume 27) issue of the "Journal of the Royal
College of Physicians of London" there is an article called
"The History of the 42-Club". Don't know what it's about,
* The special leatherbound version of Metallica's "Metallica" CD
(with pic of guitarist James Hetfield's head on the leather
sleeve) has Vertigo catalogue number 510 022-42.
* The yearly dues for a membership of the League for Programming
Freedom, a society that tries to put a stop to Apple's
aggressive policy of trying to sue anyone whose program has a
vague look and feel like those of Apple programs, is US$ 42 for
* When my girlfriend and me went on holiday in the summer of 1992
(to Norway, if you want to know), we made 42 pictures worth
keeping. This was, unlikely though it may seem, a total
* Cicero, the roman statesman and orator, died in 42 BC.
* Almost half of the 28 acres of the British Elstree studio
(where, among others, "Indiana Jones", "Star Wars" and
"Superman" were made) were sold to a supermarket chain in 1993.
The price was US$ 42 million.
* The Royal Rotterdam Zoological Garden (called "Blijdorp Zoo" or
"Diergaarde Blijdorp"), a zoo in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is
located on a 42 acre site (as of 1938).
* The first criminal who Charles Bronson kills in "Death Wish" is
identified by the police as someone who has already once served
a 42 months' suspended sentence.
* In "Best Friends" (Norman Jewison, 1982, US), starring Goldie
Hawn and Burt Reynolds, the Babson family (Burt's folks) have
been married for 42 years.
* When Faye Dunaway played in Michael Winner's "The Wicked Lady"
(1983) she was 42. Still looked OK though.
* In 1862 King Edward of England purchased property called
Sandringham Hall. When the sanitary provisions had to be
overhauled, the "Report on the Drainage of Sandringham House"
of February 18th 1886 occupied "42 pages of meticulously
* Gaius Cassius Longinus, chief conspirator in the murder of
Julius Ceasar, died in 42 BC.
* In that year Tiberius Claudius Nero, another Roman emperor (and
a rather notorious one at that) was born.
* The 20th U.S. president, James Abram Garfield, was colonel of
the 42nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Union Army during the
American Civil War.
* In 1852, Winfield Scott got an electoral vote (when trying to
become U.S. president) of 42. In 1872 this happened to Thomas
A. Hendricks. For both of them this did not suffice to make
them president. Not by a long shot actually.
* On June 12th 1952 (that's almost 42 years ago) an American cat
called Dusty gave birth to her 420th kitten.
* In 1966, England won the World Cup by beating Germany 4 - 2.
* The Netherlands has the dubious honour of being the third
European country when it comes to the amount of people who
smoke. A total of 42% of the Dutch populace does it.
* Washington became the 42nd state of the United States of
America in 1889.
* According to the Annals of Tigernach one of the earliest and
most capable Irish kings, one by the name of Cormac, ruled for
* In the 1992/1993 New Year's Celebrations that traditionally
take place at London's Trafalgar Square, where a huge
gathering of thousands of people usually forms, 42 people were
* In "Sleepless in Seattle", when the little son of Sam (i.e.
of Tom Hanks) and his female friend want to put together money
for him to fly to New York to meet Annie (i.e. Meg Ryan), the
boy finds he has 80 dollars; the girl discovers she has 42.
* The Russian battle chopper that crash-lands after having let
Rambo and the other escape in "Rambo III" has ID number 42.
* Clint Eastwood is quite wealthy. Reason for this is the fact
that he does not request a fixed salary when signing a film
contract. Instead he just wants a specific percentage of the
film's profit. This just so happens to be 42%.
* In the film "10" starring Dudley Moore and Bo Derek, the former
plays a character that has his midlife crisis at 42.
* The first World War II medal of honour, awarded to Alexander
Ramsay "Sandy" Nininger Jr., was given in 1942.
* In "Police Academy III", at a certain instant one of the two
competing academies is not doing very well. One of the
characters then says "it's Mauser 42 - Lassard 0", indicating
they are the ones that have not done too well.
* The sign that was used to head off all these items is, you
guessed it right, ASCII CHR$(42).
* And last, but certainly not least, this article is exactly 42
Kb (1024 * 42 = 43008 bytes) long (see the below statistics)!
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.