It is the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.*
But even more than that, it is the code to discover if someone has ever read, seen, heard about, or been exposed to the fine and funny works of Douglas Adams.
It’s a simple reference – you don’t need to be able to recite Vogon poetry or know what a Pan-Galactic Gargle-blaster is, or even why you should carry a towel with you at all times.
If none of what I have written in this post makes any sense, let me refer to you to the following segment of the original radio broadcast and make the recommendation that you read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the book that was written after the success of the radio show) and see if you don’t feel like you must read to the end of the five-book-trilogy. Maybe once you do, you’ll know why I think that it’s so delightful that I can access information in real-time about anywhere I happen to be or anything I happen to wonder about on my phone. I should put the words “Don’t Panic” in large friendly letters on mine in honor.
Oh. And here’s the “video” – of the radio show. This is from the first episode. Enjoy.
Here’s the explanation of 42:
* If you don’t believe me, Google the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything and see what Google tells you.