Page 102. " why the bowl of petunias had thought that "

We do, in fact, find this out in the third book of the series, Life, the Universe and Everything.

Page 110. " a regular Guardian reader "

The Guardian is a national daily newspaper in the UK with a left-wing editorial slant.  Its readers are stereotyped as the anxious, well-meaning, politically-correct middle classes.

Page 113. " is Slartibartfast "

Douglas Adams had a great gift for memorably odd and humorous character names.  He claimed that he only thought up such bizarre names to torment the secretary of the radio producer who oversaw the first radio series upon which the novel is based, as she had to laboriously type them all out in the scripts!

Page 113. " So long, and thanks for all the fish "

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish is the title of the fourth book in the increasingly self-referential series of Hitchhikers books. It was also turned into a spectacular musical number (Spotify link) in the film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.



Page 117. " I think it was called Norway "

Norway is famous for its fjords, narrow lakes in valleys created by glacier movement.




Page 118. " Pavlov and all that sort of stu ff "

Ivan Pavlov was a Nobel Prize winning Russian scientist famous for being the first to describe "classical conditioning", also known as "Pavlovian conditioning".  The best-known of his experiments into conditioning involved training dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell by causing them to associate the bell with food being served to them.

pavlov's dog
GNU Free Documentation LicenseOne of Pavlov's dogs, preserved in the Pavlov Museum - Credit: Skagedal
Page 124. " the Cenozoic era "

The Cenozoic era is the most recent of the three geological eras in the Earth's history. It runs from 65.5 million years ago to the present day. The dinosaurs had died out by this stage to be replaced by, among other species, the mammoth and the sabre-toothed tiger.


Sabre-toothed tiger
Creative Commons AttributionSabre-toothed tiger - Credit: Jim Linwood
Page 124. " artifical dinosaur skeletons "

A gentle dig at the beliefs of some Creationist Christians that dinosaur bones were buried by God to test the faith of his people.

Page 125. " the rib cage of a stegosaurus "

The stegosaurus was a dinosaur of the Late Jurassic period.


Stegosaurus skeleton
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeStegosaurus skeleton - Credit: EvaK