It’s the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, Everything…
…but it doesn’t really make much sense. Unless of course you’ve read Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, then you know the story. In short, a native of Earth is rescued by an alien friend of his just moments before the planet is blown to bits in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass and becomes a galactic hitchhiker. During the course of his wanderings, he learns that super-intelligent pan-dimensional beings had built a computer to calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, Everything, a computer called Deep Thought. Deep Thought calculated the Answer but was reluctant to give it, stating that these super-intelligent pan-dimensional beings wouldn’t like it. They insisted, and the computer handed over the answer: 42. So then the pan-dimensional beings wanted the Ultimate Question to go with the Ultimate Answer, and Deep Thought designed a computer so complex that organic life itself formed part of the program it was to run, a computer called… Earth.
(You should really read the series, it’s a fantastic fun set of books. Douglas Adams was nearly as brilliant a satirist as Terry Pratchett.)
Anyway. “42” is a reference that is frequently voiced among gaming groups and other geek sub-societies, any time ‘an answer’ is called for. “42” is the age I was when I developed the idea and first started taking this series of 366 sunrises.
And “Panoramic 042” is the number of today’s composite photo. Yes, I have been at this and faithfully captured every single sunrise for a grand total of forty-two days.
Of course, it’s easy to see a pattern if you’re looking for it, but isn’t it interesting how often ’42’ crops up in day-to-day life? Maybe there’s something to the idea that it’s the Ultimate Answer, hm?