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Movie Gadget Friday: The Babel fish from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Peter Rojas

Babel fish 

Last week Josie Fraser checked out the Doctor's TARDIS from Doctor Who, for this week's Movie Gadget Friday she looks at the Babel fish The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

As a warm up to the impending (end of April in the UK) release of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the original film of the videogame of the television series of the stage production of the towel of the radio plays – action figures and plush assortment already available) this week I'm taking a look at the Babel fish.

One of the many finest figments of the late, great Douglas Adams's fantastic imagination, Babel fishes are naturally occurring biologically based gadgets. The fish lives in your ear canal feeding off the energy you use to speak, and excreeting translations of others utterances.

Babel fish

The fish is a cert for an appearance in the upcoming movie since it?s the device that allows all races and species to understand one another ? Adams?s ingenious solution to the conundrum of why the science fiction universe appears to be full of English speakers. As a device that enabled everyone in the universe to finally understand what everyone else was going on about, it was also legendary for being responsible for ?more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation?.

Babel fish The unlikelihood of the fishes extraordinarily useful existence is also used in the stories as an absolute proof of the non-existence of God ? an explanation probably inspired by Adams, like the rest of us at some point in our lives, being subjected by the dubious argument that the eye is such a thing of wonder that it proves Gods existence.

While you?re waiting for the film you can play Martin Freeman?s Babel fish game, or try out the award winning and time devouring 20th Anniversary Issue of the original text based Commodore 64 Hitchhikers game.

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