Yesterday wasn't just Memorial Day (in the States) and the anniversary of both Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (in a galaxy far, far away). It was also Towel Day, a day to celebrate the wacky and eminently quotable science fiction comedy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And some people know how to celebrate better than others.
European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti read a select passage on the International Space Station. Upside down (relative to the camera, anyway). In zero gravity.
We can't think of a better way to pay homage to the late Douglas Adams, who died on May 11, 2001 ... which leads to the question, why do we celebrate on May 25? According to the froods at TowelDay.org, "Because some time was needed to get the word out, Towel Day was organized two weeks after Douglas Adams' untimely death ..."
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book that started its life as a BBC radio drama, then became the first of a five-novel "trilogy," a TV series, a video game, a play and a 2005 movie. The late Adams was also the author of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and others, as well as the script editor and writer for Doctor Who from 1979-1980.
Cristoforetti, clearly an astronaut to be reckoned with, wishes all of us on the "mostly harmless" planet Earth a "Happy Towel Day," before she tosses a towel at the camera -- proving that everything is better in space. Even Towel Day.