Talk:42 (number)

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In Video Games[edit]

Can someone please cite the fact that 42 is used in spore and fable II as a reference to Hitchhikers guide, it seems as though the movie was made before the number! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:05, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


2042 isn't a historical date... its a future date —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:52, 28 December 2008 (UTC)


WTF is the ipod nano advertisement doing in this section. The damn thing didn't exist when the show was written and it is only the answer to Seteve Jobs' pension fund problems.

If the nanos indeed weigh 42 grams, it's simply a coincidence, as are most of the references to 42 on this page - many of them have absolutely NOTHING to do with Hitchhiker's if that's what you're thinking. The blatant references to Hitchhiker's are noted here, and on the page The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy cultural references. --JohnDBuell 11:30, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Deep Thought[edit]

I removed the line

  • 42 in binary translates to 101010

only because it is made redundant by the Docuan table. However, if someone can elaborate why the binary translation is of interest, they should restore that line and follow it with the elaboration. PrimeFan 22:40, 6 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Have removed reference to Elvis' death from the pop culture section. It was hardly intentional that he lived to only forty-two. And it's already mentioned further down in the article. TRiG 22:19, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I just added a reference to a web page, Deep Thought, that includes a vast number of sightings of 42. I'd like to copy over the entries to Wikipedia, so I and others could start work on getting references for all of them(many are from TV shows, books, etc.), but I'm not sure if that is OK, what sort of paraphrasing would be necessary, etc... I'll email the webmaster of the page, anyway, and see what reply I get back. JesseW 06:21, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

If you do start to copy some of these sightings, I think that it would be wise to leave out all the sightings from TV, movies ect. where it is just coincidentally mentioned. Eg. If af person has a phonenumber wich contains "42" then I would say that is beyond the scope of an encyclopedia. If people were interested in that they can always just visit the site. Eruantalon 6 Oct 2004

Do we really need a list of every 42 sighting? Why bother - most of them will be totally insignificant. Gamaliel 19:00, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

My point exactly, though I do find some of them amusing, especially those that relate directly back to something in Douglas Adams's Books. Eg. the one about mice, though it might be to much work to try to explain in this article. Perhaps we should mention that Douglas Adams claims that he picked the number at random. Eruantalon 6 Oct 2004

Newsflash: Not every reference of the number 42 must relate to HGTTG. I'm removing a couple of sentences to this effect. -- 21:24, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Well no, of course there are plenty of 42's that have nothing to do with the Hitchhiker's Guide, but at least in the realms of science fiction and comedy, many do. Look around the world of professional sports; there's probably a player on every team wearing the number 23. For some, it's simply the numbering system, but for most, it's a tribute to Michael Jordan. As the 23 page says, even David Beckham used the number because of Jordan (although it was Posh's idea). That said, I think it's noteworthy that Elvis Presley, one of the most important musicians of 20th Century America, died at age 42. Akbeancounter 03:04, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Number of eyes in a deck of cards[edit]

I don't have a deck of cards handy right now, so I don't want to edit this new tidbit just yet:

  • The number of eyes in a deck of 52 cards.

But this needs to be verified and clarified (that we're talking about which standard deck of cards, for one thing).

If every Jack, Queen and King has four eyes (two on the top head and two on the head mirrored below), that means that the royal cards of a given suit have twelve eyes total. Multiply that by four suits and you get 48. So if 42 is correct, that means that some of the royal cards, the royal personage is painted in profile so only one eye shows on the top head (and one more eye on the head mirrored below). PrimeFan 21:23, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Hint - think "one-eyed jacks" Bunthorne 19:00, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
In the most common playing card illustrations in use today, there are two one-eyed jacks, and one one-eyed king. Not sure which suits they are, though. Dansiman 17:39, 21 July 2006 (UTC)


Is the number 6 associated with the Devil and 7 with God? I think that sentence can go.--Lkjhgfdsa 20:22, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I've heard of it, but I think that that's more of a folklore thing, rather than actual Scripture. Akbeancounter 03:04, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Possible new information for '42'[edit]

I am not the most experienced person at making wiki edits, so i bring it up here, and invite someone else to try it. But i do believe the article referenced [here] might contain some new insights into the value of 42.

Reference to Riemann zeta function has been added, since the article looks serious. Some matematician should review that.

In numerology you usually use single digit numbers.. so if you use 42..=> 4+2=6 6= Devil... what does this mean for the question :: the answer to life, the universe and everything ? To me it means that we are heading down a "dark path" which means the "Devil" is winning .. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

4orty 2wo[edit]

4orty 2wo is actually a ARG gaming company that has nade the ARG's of the like of 'ilovebees' and 'lastcallpoker'


Somebody should probably remove the entry of the Capital High students, as it seems as though they added it themselves.

Done. --JohnDBuell 02:46, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Nintendo DS[edit]

Why does the bit about the Nintendo DS Lite being 42 percent smaller keep getting deleted?

According to the edit summaries, it is removed per Wikipedia:WikiProject Numbers#Numbers in statistics. --JohnDBuell 12:00, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Third moment of the Riemann zeta function?[edit]

This article says:

Actually, the quantity listed is "the sixth moment" of the zeta-function, not the third. There are articles by Conrey & Ghosh and by Conrey & Gonek which conjecture how the number 42 comes into play. It is not exactly as the article describes.

It is believed to be the third moment of the Riemann zeta function, based partially upon evidence from quantum mechanics.

I don't know what this means. Here's a guess:

\int_{(-\infty,\infty)} s^3 \zeta(s)\,ds = 42.

I'm accustomed to the definition of momnets of probability measures; if ζ were a probability density function then the integral above would be the third moment of the corresponding probability distribution. But ζ is negative in some places, and from the way ζ(s) blows up at s = 1 it seems we'd have to be thinking of a Cauchy principal value or something like that.

Can someone make the article's statement clearer? Michael Hardy 17:50, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I've exchanged some email with John Baez, the mathematical physicist who has edited Wikipedia articles as user:John Baez, and he reports that he cannot access Wikipedia because he is in China. He wrote:
So, feel free to post this comment for me:

I don't know anything about the "3rd moment of the Riemann zeta function", but perhaps what's meant is the 3rd moment of the distribution of spacings between zeroes of the Riemann zeta function. There's a lot of evidence relating the distribution of these spacings to the distribution of spaces between eigenvalues of a large random self-adjoint matrix. For lots more, try this:

and for general connections between the Riemann zeta function and quantum mechanics, try:

Best, jb

My wild guess seemed so implausible that I'm both relieved to hear that it's wrong and pleased to hear that this otherwise implausible-seeming statement can be construed in such a way that it makes sense. Michael Hardy 16:20, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Update on this: John Baez was wrong too. See the article as it now stands. Michael Hardy 22:13, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

42 factorial[edit]

Someone must have objected to the inclusion of this:

The prime factorization of 42! =
\quad\quad 2^{39} * 3^{19} * 5^9 * 7^6 * 11^3 * 13^3 * 17^2 * 19^2 * 23 * 29 * 31 * 37 *41\,

I don't have a problem with it, but I object to the use of an asterisk for ordinary multiplication in TeX. Here's how to do it:

42! = 2^{39} \times 3^{19} \times 5^9 \times 7^6 \times 11^3 \times 13^3 \times 17^2 \times 19^2 \times 23 \times 29 \times 31 \times 37 \times 41.\,

Michael Hardy 22:13, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

This is a funny coincidence...[edit]

I clicked the link "the answer to life, the universe, and everything" into Google, as suggested by the article, and besides seeing the answer from Google's calculator, I noticed that the top result, which is the Wikipedia article, is reported to be 42k long! Itub 03:28, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

  • now it's 43k. tough luck, :)

Onlyabititalian 19:56, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

42,000 isn't 42 anyway. :-p 04:37, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Mostly Harmless[edit]

There was a third question to the answer 42, implied in the 5th book in the Hichhiker's series, Mostly Harmless. The address of the bar Stavro Mueller Beta is number 42. This is significant, because Arthur Dent, the last bit of the original Earth computer, had been asking everyone where Stavromula Beta was, because he couldn't die untill he had been there. His arrival there was the final key event in the utter destruction of all Earths, as orchestrated by The Guide 2.0 for the Vogons.

I guess my point is, why isn't this on the page?

Because this is a non-fiction page about the number, and NOT a Hitchhiker's related page? --JohnDBuell 21:01, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Deletion of hte pointless Televion and Film section[edit]

I find the Television and Film section very pointless and unnecessary. It seems that if the number 42 apears anywhere, someone has to add it to the list. It has no encyclopedic value! Please, someone delete it. Aaron Pepin

  • I don't think it should be outright deleted, but there are a lot of references that are way too trivial. We should definitely start trying to cut down the absurd size of the section, while still leaving in references that seem notable. Tozoku 12:18, 6 April 2007 (UTC)


Probably it is obvious, but I am a biologist and not a mathmatician, but to put a joke in a vector I wanted to write 42 so I squared it to have more nucletides, and I got 0123210 in base 4. is this palindrome of significance to the number part?

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy[edit]

I have put a mention of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in the Film & TV and Literature section as I think it is one of the biggest for both. Should I have? - - Nicko 08:11, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Wording of the Book[edit]

"'What!' ejaculated Mr Pickwick, laying his hand upon his notebook," is what wikipedia has. Is this accurate?

Probably not, but I'll keep it just in case. Someone who actually has the book can verify. (I do see other vandalism though, which I'll remove. Nowhere in the article about Geoff Fortytwo does it say anything about him winning over 9000 internets. >_>) 04:40, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure about this instance, but I have seen the word used in this context in another book, so I believe it is a valid definition. Dansiman (talk|Contribs) 06:30, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I've checked with my printed copy of the book, and the word is, indeed, "ejaculated"

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Kay Dekker (talkcontribs) 19:12, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Repeating Decimals[edit]

Today I was very bored and noticed something interesting: I couldn't find any integer (aside from zero and multiples/factors of 42) that when divided by 42 didn't produce a repeating decimal pattern. Observe:

  • 1 / 42 = 0.0238095
  • 2 / 42 = 0.047619
  • 23 / 42 = 0.5476190
  • 41 / 42 = 0.9761904
  • 666 / 42 = 15.857142 (also, it ends with 42 <_<)
  • 1,000,000 / 42 = 23809.523809
  • 4,294,967,295 / 42 = 102,261,126.0714285
  • 4,294,967,296 / 42 = 102,261,126.095238

In every one of these cases, the last 6 digits after the decimal point repeat forever. (1/42 = 0.0238095238095238095...) Is there a term for this? Is it a known phenomenon or just a strange coincidence? 04:53, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Known phenomenon -- in base 10, any fraction (where common factors are removed from the numerator and denominator) whose denominator is divisible by any prime other than 2 or 5 (the factors of 10) will have a recurring decimal.
BTW, 21/42 = 0.5 . -- ArglebargleIV 19:32, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

About Eyrian's heavy purge[edit]

Granted that there is some stuff in the article that needs to be removed, but I think Eyrian's latest purge was exceedingly random and indiscriminate.

Some items get stated twice (e.g., that 42 is a LOST number) and other items appear rather ephemeral (WP:NUM prefers "ephemeral" over "trivial" in many contexts). But any purging needs to be done carefully, discriminately, and well-documentedly (with edit summaries and maybe even HTML comments). PrimeFan 22:35, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

As I said, 42 can (and generally will) occur in any and every context. Listing each of these is futile. There were no meaningful attachments that belong here at a listing about the number. The few things that might be known by the number (stellar bodes) belong at the disambiguation page. --Eyrian 23:01, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Give us more credit than that. No one's gonna write "I have 42 cents in my pocket right now." But 42 in Hitchhiker's is very much worthy of mention here. So are some tributes to Adams. Knodeltheory 14:54, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Science items for consideration[edit]

I removed the following:

  • 10! (10 factorial) seconds is exactly 42 days.
  • On page 7-10 of Volume 1 of "The Feynmann Lectures on Physics" is a marginal figure that illustrates the strength ratio of gravitation attraction and electrical repulsion between two electrons as 1/4.17 x 10^42. The denominator is also written out by hand as a long, snaking 4,170,... followed by 39 more zeros. Feymann mentions the unified field theory, the similarity of the inverse square laws, the disparity of the relative strengths, and asks "Where could such a large number come from? ... it involves something deep in nature."

I don't think anyone would expect an article on 42 to have these items, but I could be wrong. Knodeltheory 14:53, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your handling of this removal, and your humility in acknowledging you might not always be right. PrimeFan 21:16, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand why you're removing them. If it's because you aren't sure of their accuracy, well...
10! = 3,628,800. 3,628,800 / 60 (sec->min) = 60,480. 60,480 / 60 (min->hour) = 1,008. 1,008 / 24 (hour->day) = 42.
They're certainly interesting points, and I see no reason to leave them out. 10:21, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Because they bloat the article with useless information. Just because it's true doesn't mean it belongs in Wikipedia. Please see WP:NOT#IINFO. --Eyrian 13:14, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
IMHO this fits nature of this article: it is interesting observation. And: it is smalles number of days which seconds equals to fatctorial of natural number (and next 462). This is more interesting than Orion Nebula has name M42, because some nebula must have numner 42, but 10!s=42d is ... ehm ... more rare. --Vitas 19:51, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Ruining the fun[edit]

I think you're ruining the fun of 42 by taking away all the inane references. Maybe there's need for two versions of the page. 09:01, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Fun? Wikipedia isn't a rollercoaster. --Closedmouth 09:17, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
So? (talk) 04:47, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Super Bowl XLII[edit]

I still don't think it belongs, but I've escalated the problem to Wikipedia Talk:WikiProject Numbers#Super Bowl XLII, etc., which seems the appropriate venue. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 00:44, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

What are we doing?[edit]

Are we trying to write a contextualized encyclopedia article about the number 42, or a list of loosely associated trivia documenting each and every time the number 42 shows up in a film, book, or television show??? Burntsauce 20:11, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I think the year list is OK; those are the most likely years for an unadorned 42 to refer to. I tend to agree with the rest of your suggestions, though. Perhaps we should bring it up in the WikiProject. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 20:47, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Which WikiProject should this matter be referred to? I found it especially ridiculous the mention that a canine has 42 teeth. No one would ever turn to this article, 42 (number), to look up that information. There are a few dozen more trivia examples just like this, but this one stood out the brightest, and all of them are without a single reliable source, of course. Burntsauce 20:55, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
WikiProject Numbers would be the one. -- ArglebargleIV 21:29, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Why did you substitute the WikiProject banners? --Closedmouth 05:10, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

42 in Japanese?[edit]

"In Japanese, 4 (shi) and 2 (ni) are together pronounced like "going to death" (死に). Because of that, in Japan, 42 is considered as a disastrous number."

Ive never heard of this. Forty two(四十二)is pronounced yonjū-ni (preferred) or shijū-ni. It doesn't sound like 死に at all. Admittedly I have never been to Japan (going on March) but I do study Japanese and I'm really skeptical on this. Jyuichi (talk) 03:22, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

42 is actually related to both string theory and the golden ratio:

1. Take any two integers and add them together (e.g. 8 and 4 = 12), then add that one to the previous one and continue this way (e.g. 8,4,12,16,28...). Then it can be proved that dividing any number in this series by the previous one more and more closely approaches the golden ratio as you go higher and higher in the series. The Fibonacci series (0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21...) is the one such series that approaches the golden ratio most quickly. (The golden ratio is the most irrational of all numbers: (1+sqrt(5))/2 = 1.618....)

2. Double the Fibonacci series and you have the series 0,2,2,4,6,10,16,26,42,..., which happens to add up to 108 (considered a number of completion in Hinduism and Buddhism and critical--along with 42--in the popular "Lost" tv series).

3. This doubled Fibonacci series shows up in string theory, in the "hierarchy of dimensional compactification", starting with 26 dimensions. However, some physicists, including Mohammed El Naschie, believe that an extended string theory would begin with at least 42 dimensions (the next number in the series). (talk) 21:05, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

I was wondering if someone could possibly explain the above "the golden ratio is the most irrational of all numbers". How can numbers have degrees of irrationality - surely they are either irrational or not? (I could be wrong - I am an undergraduate physicist, not a mathematician!) The Young Ones (talk) 12:09, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
You're right, a number is either irrational or it isn't. However, you can set up a 'hierarchy' of sorts among irrational numbers according to how difficult it is to approximate them with rational numbers. In this sense one irrational number can be 'more irrational' than another. For a full explanation, have a read through this series: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4. (Needless to say, the 'connection' to 42 from 42 being double the ninth term in the Fibonnaci sequence is meaningless; you can get to pretty much any number you like by kneading a sequence enough). -- simxp (talk) 19:03, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

"Book of Change" (I Ching)[edit]

The article says the hexagram nro. 42 is the last one in 'The Book of Change'. Assuming that we are talking about THE 'Book of Change' - i.e. the I Ching -, it has 64 (sixty-four) hexagrams.

Addition to "in religion" topic[edit]

In the old testament book of Numbers, there is a list of forty two travels the Israelites took from Egypt to the promised land. Many KJV bibles even list "The forty two travels of the Israelites" as a section header. The travels/journeys are listed in Numbers 33:1-49. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:29, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Is there a problem with adding the "X files" reference?[edit]

Is it a notability problem, or what? WNDL42 (talk) 03:33, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Happy Numbers[edit]

I learned of happy numbers from the Doctor Who episode 42. In describing happy numbers to some friends, I used 379 as an example of a happy number, and 42 as an example of an unhappy number. It turns out, 42 demonstrates its unhappiness by repeating itself...

42 -> 42 + 22 = 20 -> 22 + 02 = 4 -> 42=16 -> 12 + 62 = 37 -> 32 + 72 = 58 -> 52 + 82 = 89 -> 82 + 92 = 145 -> 12 + 42 + 52 = 42

Likely not worth noting in the article, but possibly of interest to others looking for numerical features of 42. -FeralDruid (talk) 18:09, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

rubin sequence[edit]

For the record, I had nothing to do with it. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:00, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

National Treasure 2[edit]

I erased the entry about this because if you saw the movie, the president clearly asked Gates to look at page 47 not page 42. 5 May 19:06 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by RandomHero8 (talkcontribs) 19:06, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Removal of recently added information[edit]

Why does someone keep on removing the line that says,

The exact value of the cosine of 42 degrees is \frac{\sqrt{10+2\sqrt{5}}+\sqrt{15}-\sqrt{3}}{8}, and the simplest polynomial with integer coefficients for which this is a root is believed to be 256x8 − 448x6 + 224x4 − 32x2 + 1?

The things to which this is relevant come up far more often than things to which much of the rest of the article is relevant, so why is most of the rest of the article intact while this is removed? (talk) 02:42, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

That may be. But that statement requires a source as to notability, and "believed to be" is rediculous. "Is", or "is not". It would be easy enough to verify.
As for mathematical analysis, 42 degrees = 42 \frac {\pi}{180} = \frac {7 \pi} {30}, so cosine 42 degrees does have a total of 8 conjugates. Still, why is it interesting? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 12:38, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

It is a property of the number that ought to be listed, and it is definitely more interesting than things like the sixth moment of the Riemann zeta function, which, is still on shaky grounds. Anyway, I have just verified the simplicity satement, so I'm putting it back in. (talk) 00:07, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Removed again. Why not include Sin 42 degrees, cos 6 degrees, cos 30 degrees, etc, etc? There's just no reason for it to be there. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:42, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Fine, the moment of the Riemann zeta function has been removed. It has even less of a reason to be here. (talk) 02:42, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

The value of cos 42° doesn't really involve the number 42 but for the fact that we've chosen 1/360 of the full circle as our unit of measurement. Michael Hardy (talk) 17:26, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Zeta function[edit]

The first digit (4) taken to the power of the second digit (2) is equal to the second digit (2) taken to the power of the first digit (4)

Inclusion of silly things like the above is questionable: notice that it depends crucially on the somewhat arbitrary choice of a base-10 numeral system, and just why it matters that the digits occupy particular positions in that numeral system (units, tens) rather than the fact being merely about the unodered pair of numbers {4,2} is not even hinted at. Yet someone removed the material on the zeta function that has had some press in refereed publications and is not just recreational trivia like the fact quoted above. I've restored the material on the zeta function. Michael Hardy (talk) 04:17, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

added line under video games in pop culture[edit]

The PC game Spore has achievements, one of which is labeled '42' and to complete it, you have to "Find the center of the galaxy". I am sure someone with better linguistic skills than I can edit it for easy reading :). Snugg (talk) 05:19, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

  • This has been removed Arthur Rubin and readded by other people only to be removed by him again. I have asked him on his talk page why he thinks this information is so irrelavent. Is it because he hasn't played the game? I think that since there is a heading for video games already it is perfectly valid to put this point in.Valacan (talk) 14:58, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Unless that's the only (or one of the few) "achivevenments" in the game, it's not even notable in the context of the game. I don't see how it's notable in respect the number. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:05, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
      • It's not achievment number 42 or something random like that. It is the only achievment that is numbered at all, and the item you receive from accomplishing the achievment has 42 uses, which is extremely random given that all other items have 1 use each. There is no reference in the game as to why the number 42 is used, except probably as homage to Hitchikers.Valacan (talk) 15:38, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
        • The achievements are a part of the game (same as games like Counter Strike, Team Fortress 2, and Half Life: Episode 2). There are around (I'm guessing here) 50-75 achievements in the game. This is the title of the achievement, not the number (it isn't achievement #42). If you do not think that this is important, than the entire pop-culture section should be disputed. Snugg (talk) 05:07, 18 September 2008 (UTC)


Im confused why 101010 is redirected to 42. PrincessClown 22:15, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Someone was having fun -- 101010 is 42 in binary. Go ahead and list it for deletion. --macrakis (talk) 22:42, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

The lmpossible Quiz[edit]

I think that it might be relevent that the 42nd question of the impossible quiz ( should be included. It asks about the answer to the ultimate quuestion of life, the world et cetera. Maybe it should be included in the Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy section of 42.

And it might help if you click on the link.Zheliel (talk) 09:15, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Or not, seems like spam to me. -- ArglebargleIV (talk) 13:34, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
You beat me to it. --Closedmouth (talk) 14:25, 27 December 2008 (UTC)


Is it interesting that Bill Clinton is the 42nd President of the United States? Or that George W. Bush was the 42nd person to be president (Due to Grover Clevelend being counted twice)? Tipto42 (talk) 06:33, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

No. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:09, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

42 image and caption[edit]

needs to go or be explained in some form of context. If it really is the meaning of life, wikipedia has saved my soul. thuglasT|C 16:23, 31 March 2009 (UTC) on reconsideration im just deleting it EVERYONE knows that the number they are learning about is 42 because they had to get here somehow. thuglasT|C 16:34, 31 March 2009 (UTC)


Does Scott Vollmer or the Arkon Colts actually exist? A quick Google search turned up nothing on either one. (talk) 17:43, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Removing non-notable mathematical properties[edit]

I removed references to 42 being a 15-gonal number, and being the sum of the totient function for the first 11 integers. Since this was reverted, I thought I'd explain.

I see nothing wrong with mentioning notable mathematical properties of a number. Many of the properties mentioned are notable, or at least borderline interesting, or even "meh... possibly someone might care enough to leave it in." For instance, the thing about the 8 digits of pi starting with the 242422th dighit being 42424242; from a mathematical point of view, that's a completely uninteresting property that only Daniken could love, but it's cute enough that someone might concievably find it interesting.

However, being a polygonal number is not notable, since every positive integer is one. Triangular numbers and square numbers are fine to mention, but 15-gonal numbers are definitely not.

Similarly, the bit about the sum of the first 11 integers in the totient function is complete nonsense. The totient function is not normally summed, and this is simply not an interesting property. You'll note that the sum of the first 10 integers in the totient function is 32, and the sum of the first 12 is 46, and you won't find this (utterly tedious) tidbit in the articles for either number, and quite rightly so.

I get the mystique, but could we not desperately add up numbers from all sorts of random mathmatical functions until we eventually somehow get 42, and then insert these pointless contortions into the article? --Ashenai (talk) 14:06, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually, I take that back, somehow I missed that 32 and 46 do include the totient nonsense. In the interests of consistency, I'll re-revert myself to put the information back, but I maintain that it is completely worthless information. This is like adding iformation like "In base 10, 42's second digit is the square root of the first digit." True, but completely worthless, un-notable information.
Basically, I'd like WP:NOR to apply to number articles too, please. Perhaps I should take this to WikiProject: Numbers? --Ashenai (talk) 14:11, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I reverted you for the reason in your second paragraph: the mathematical properties are interesting, especially to a layman unfamiliar with the wikilinked jargon. =Axlq 13:50, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

"In other fields" section: French department Loire[edit]

I disagree with the removal of this entry. French departments are indeed well known by their numbers, unlike most of the other geographical entities. Why wouldn't it belong here? Korg (talk) 02:05, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Because the logic is backwards. If a French department is well known by its number, then the number should be (and is) prominently mentioned in the article for the French department in question, not the other way around. Just like how Kojak is known for eating lollipops: this should be (and is) mentioned on the Kojak page, and not on the lollipop page.
Or, if you want to look at it another way: someone looking up Loire needs to know that it's the 42nd district. Someone looking up 42 (number) does not need or want to know about Loire. Wikipedia articles are not supposed to be a collection of trivia. --Ashenai (talk) 02:51, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
The article does mention it, though not prominently, I agree, but this is another matter; it is also mentioned in other articles such as Departments of France. Someone might actually want to find a number to know its corresponding French department.
It is my understanding that this kind of articles can list notable subjects with a close relation to a number, which is the case for French departments (but perhaps I'm misunderstanding). Are additional criteria needed to include an entry? Korg (talk) 04:42, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
There are way, way too many notable subjects with close relation to a single number. See the "Political" bit, three sections up on this talk page: US presidents are certainly notable, but the 42nd US President also does not belong in this article. --Ashenai (talk) 10:39, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't disagree, actually. Please note that in this case, the department number is not exactly an ordinal number. It's an identifier which is also known by itself; for example, one can say "I live in the 42" instead of "I live in the Loire (department)" (incidentally this example is used in this French Wiktionary entry).
My interrogation remains: on what basis can an entry be added? For example, why are car numbers listed?
You said: "Someone looking up 42 (number) does not need or want to know about Loire." May I ask why? And why this wouldn't apply to other entries listed in the article? Korg (talk) 14:05, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

6 - In technology: search engines[edit]

From the above section:
"42 is the result given by the web search engines Google, Wolfram Alpha and Microsoft's Bing when the query "the answer to life the universe and everything" is entered as a search."
This actually belongs to section 5.1 "In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", since the result of the search is all about the HG. Agreed? Thanks Kvsh5 (talk) 15:23, 25 September 2009 (UTC)


The first (ARPA) Host Name Server Protocol, see rfc1011 specification IEN 116. See also

This service listens on TCP port 42. If you ask it a "question" (domain name), it will give you an answer (ip address).

In Hebrew[edit]

The common word for "42" in Hebrew is "Arbayim-Ve-Shtayim" (ארבעים ושתיים), and not "Mem-Bet" like it is written here. "Mem-Bet" is usually only used by religious people, and even then it's only when they are talking about Jewish stuff. I never use that kind of counting and I am Israeli. --Sharnav (talk) 16:55, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

There was a change to [[Hebrew numerals|Hebrew]]
מב (Mem Bet)
ארבעים ושתיים (Arbayim Ve Shtayim)
I'm thinking this might be a change equivalent to changing "42" to "forty-two".
What is the standard on this? Maybe there should be both.
Obankston (talk) 19:37, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I was wondering the same thing, since online translations for both rendered "42". It turns out that the editor who made the change, User:Sharnav, explained the reason above. The explanation sounds reasonable but still leaves me wondering if we should include both. (talk) 10:07, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

In Serbian Language (needed correction)[edit]

I have fixed the mistake concerning how 42 is written in Serbian. It wrote "četiridesetdva" which translates literaly as 4-10-2, which is incorrect. I have corrected this and wrote it in cyrillic because, although the use both cyrillic and latin letters, the official letters of Serbian language are cyrillic letters. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:54, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Organization of number pages and number disambiguation pages[edit]

Dear Colleagues,

There is an ongoing discussion on the organization of number pages and number disambiguation pages.

Your comments would be much appreciated!! Please see and participate in:

Thank you for your participation!


PolarYukon (talk) 15:02, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Dates ?[edit]

Sorry, but the Dates paragraph doesn't bring any information, the ones written down there are as important to me as would be 1542, 942, 442 or any one else. If these are important, why isn't there a link to the correspondant date in History, or at least a small description phrase ? Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

4,200,000,000 is just a rounded long integer[edit]

4,200,000,000 is not directly related to 42! The number 4,200,000,000 being the top number of items in the game (stated at the term page) is due to a reason.

As you can see in [Long Integer], the range of 4-bytes (32bit) integers is −2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647 unsigned, or 0 to 4,294,967,295 unsigned. Therefore, the game was using a second-degree round to allow a maximum of 4.2e+9 items so it fits within its 32bit counter. Etamar (talk) 13:38, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Non sequitur[edit]

I'm not sure if it should be here or in the [The Answer to life] article, but shouldn't it be mentioned that 42 in the Hitchhiker context is a Non sequitur ? Joeywayne (talk) 19:05, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

No. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:55, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Why - Joeywayne (talk) 15:33, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

In the books and in the 2005 movie (I don't know about the BBC radio presentations, audiotapes, or miniseries), it's explained that the mice asked for the answer, without specifying the question. It's a different fallacy, but not a non sequitur. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:11, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Hmm.. Since the question is unknown, and it might be a logical counterpart to '42'. Thanks. That was rather stupid of me. - Joeywayne (talk) 19:29, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

New interpretation?[edit]

Could 42 possibly be an alchemy reference? God is frequently associated with 7 and man is frequently associated with 6, so could this relate to hermetics? (Why: Lion X Lioness = Cub) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:39, 29 July 2010 (UTC)


In the last instance in the "religion" section this "The sum of the squares of each of these numbers make 216" is completely random, if this is referring to the numbers 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 then the sum of their squares is 280 and not 216, we would have to remove the 8 to bring that to 216, but in that case 3+4+5+6+7+9=34 and not 42; correct me if I'm wrong anyway. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:25, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Don't get it..?[edit]

The thing about 42 being the number of expected throws of a single die until two 6s show up successively.. How was this calculated? I can't find anything on Google that doesn't look like it was copied from Wikipedia. And why does it have to be 6s? Can't it be 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 as well? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:09, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything[edit]

Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is "42" From the Movie Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy And How This Is To Be Is From This.

How the answer is calculated

it's simple. 42. A die has 6 sides- a 6,5,4,3,2,1. 6+5+4+3+2+1= 21 + another die = 42

The answer is to die ... TO DIE.

That's the joke. — Preceding unsigned comment added by En0ch911 (talkcontribs) 06:31, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

That Can't Be Right...[edit]

Grammatically correct, two of a game-related object called a die is 'two dice' (its plural form), technically either saying that the computer was not smart enough to know about plurals, or that theory is incorrect. Just saying. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:03, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Level 42 from Clockwork Orange?[edit]

The statement that the pop band Level 42 got it's name from Clockwork Orange appears to be a mistake. I suspect someone has confused Level 42 with a similar band of the same era, Heaven 17. The page for Level 42 gives no clue where the name came from. Not sure it's worth mentioning the band at all if we don't know where the name comes from.Lafong (talk) 23:42, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

"In popular culture"[edit]

I've tried to trim out all the trivial entries of the "In popular culture" section, and I think I've trimmed enough to remove the tag from the top of the section (The This "In popular culture" section may contain minor or trivial references. one), but I wanted to discuss it here before removing it. - SudoGhost 22:12, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

I went ahead and removed the tag. - SudoGhost 15:54, 6 July 2011 (UTC)


It should be said somewhere that 42 is the sum of the first 7 primes viz 1,2,3,5,7,11,13, This is especially relevant to the issue of the ultimate answer since God created the world in 7 days. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alf Heben (talkcontribs) 15:50, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

1 is not prime. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:39, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

New Interpretation of the Possible Origin of the Number 42[edit]

I've never written for Wikipedia before so be gentle.

Last week I noticed that if the phrase "To Be" were numerically encoded using 'A=1 ... Z=26' then the answer is 42 (T(20) + o(15) + B(2) + e(5) = 42).

I'm not suggesting any cosmic significance just an interesting and provocative coincidence.

Abstractspoon (talk) 00:46, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

4.2M articles on 4/2[edit]

As of a few minutes ago, Wikipedia had 4,200,400 articles according to Special:Statistics.

It was probably April 2nd somewhere when we crossed the 4.2M article threshold. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 03:17, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

What is the meaning?[edit]

I have done some simple calculations, one came out with the letter U (42 = letter U), another DB (4 = D, 2 = B). Any suggestions? (talk) 11:25, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Other languages[edit]

seem to have disappeared from the visible text of the article. Any ideas? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:21, 26 May 2014 (UTC)