Campaign to name US street after Douglas Adams
42nd Avenue, of course
A group of American Douglas Adams fans are seeking to have a street named after him in Portland, Oregon. The chosen street - naturally - is currently called 42nd Avenue.
"On May 11, 2001 a very talented writer and activist was taken from this world far before his time," say the activists of rename42nd.org.
"Not yet 50 years of age, Douglas Adams passed on and left a legacy for all that would come after him."
According to the campaigners, the renaming would demonstrate Portland residents' commitment to the arts, their respect for the environment, a desire to provide "technological access for all" and even "education to all people".
Best of all, the Adams fans say, "it will remind all Portlanders [of] the most important lesson in times of uncertainty and fear...
The organisers believe that 42nd Avenue should become Douglas Adams Boulevard. The movement to accomplish this is sponsored by Geek in the City, "a worldwide phenomenon of pop culture rambling and rants... the premiere destination site for lesser known, but wholly worthy subjects of entertainment".
Apparently the city of Portland allows only one street name change per year, and 2007 is already taken. (It seems that 4th Avenue is being renamed after César Chávez, a noted Hispanic labour organiser.) However, the Adams backers are hoping to get the 2008 spot. ®
It's always possible that some Reg readers don't know who Douglas Adams was. In answer, he was a British writer probably most famous for the Hitch Hikers' Guide to the Galaxy series of books, which were seminal works for teenage Brit geeks of the 1980s. They were based around radio scripts on which Adams had worked, and there was a TV series (and eventually a movie). In the books, the number 42 has deep significance. The eponymous, fictional e-book style travel guide/encyclopaedia spawned a fairly successful wikipedia-esque community database, run by Adams' old employers at the BBC. After his huge success as a writer of comic novels, Adams was also a conservation advocate. He died of heart failure during a workout.