Talk:Towel Day/Archive

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fair use[edit]

copy JUST the Hitchhiker's article about the towel into Wikipedia? Would that be fair use, or would that be infringement upon copyright laws? 11:48, 8 Jun 2005

It would be fair use (being a quote, after all) as long as proper credit is given. Wikiquote has what the Guide says about towels on its wikiquote:The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy page. Ben Babcock 15:52, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

25 May or last Friday?[edit]

The lined h2g2 piece says "last Friday; 25 May this year". Did it actually settle on the numbered day? --Baylink

Afaik one reason for choosing 25 May was that it is the last day in the year, where the number of the day is the square of the number of the month - perfect Hithhiker's logic. Can anyone confirm this? Weulitus 17:38, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it is indeed May 25th, not the last friday of May. It was chosen because it is two weeks after DNA's death, giving time to get the word out. I don't see what squares have to do with Hitchhikers. ;) --QuicksilverJohny 00:43, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
And as a little trivial but very significant fact unto the hitchhikerkind: it will be on a Thursday. DrWho42 00:50, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Post-towel day 2006 - as said, it was a Thursday this year. Seeing as this is the day the story begins (and which Arthur could never get the hang of), I move that the celebrations be held regularily at the first Thursday at/after the 25th.

Was it a coincidence that 25 May is Star Wars day too?? Arivero 14:49, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Coincidence. I know it's the anniversary date of that movie, but it premiered in '77 whereas Towel Day started in 2001.

...And even though to tie-in Thursday with Towel Day may seem justly appropriate: really, it's not that hoopy with the bad karma from Thursday fighting the ever resourceful goodness of Towel Day.. Unless you believe they'll cancel each other out. I motion not to have Towel Day regularly on Thursdays. It's 25th for a reason, and I really could never get the hang of Thursdays..DrWho42 23:37, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

We can move the day around all we want, but it will just make people confused, thus degrading the status and continium of the holiday. Therefore, Towel Day will stay on a fixed date like the founders initiated. May 25th, for all years to come.

Regarding the Star Wars Day (which doesn't even have an article to begin with) it's a pure coincidence. Either way I fail to see the problem with such two holidays the same day - there's nothing problematic about carrying a towel as a cape, hood or whatnot, to go with your Darth Vader or Jedi outfit.

--KOJV 21:33, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Photo caption - Innsbruck[edit]

Are those towels displayed in Innsbruck, or are they just printed with Innsbruck's GPS coordinates? Omphaloscope » talk 16:04, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

They were displayed in Innsbruck on Towel Day 2005. --Dr. Zarkov 23:54, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Some information of the towel image. I'm the person who designed the towels and put them up in Innsbruck. The towel and the image is from 2005. Background information to the related project you can find here: The Physical HoT Spot
More Images from Innsbruck
Update 2006: Berlin
Finally there is a shop for the towel: DON'T PANIC Towel Shop

I added these lines here to give a background to the towel image on this talk page. If you want use the information or links you are free to do. Bazillus 22:36, 30 July 2007 (UTC)bazillus

Fan Image[edit]

Even though it provides the fact that there's actually people participating (in which I am in-amongst..), do we really think it be some necessary for this page? It's slightly bias to simply upload an image of yourself and give recognition thereto, but that's my piece of the Hagra biscuit... DrWho42 13:41, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I thought this over some (briefly, actually..), but for those not in favour of keeping the image thereon: how about construct a library of Towel Day participants in the same manner of which Wikipedia's Facebook operates. With prior permission from the Towel Day site, of course... DrWho42 23:49, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
You would have to contact each participant personally to ask for permission to use their image. Lots of work, not the least for me, who have (through my Outlook Express database) the only connection from each picture on the 2004 and 2005 image listings to it's copyright properiator. --KOJV 21:11, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

"Don't Panic" on Main Page[edit]

Hi, i'm a writer from the german wikipedia. We want to enforce a stroke "don't panic" on our main page for May 25th as a witty invitation to join wikipedia as a writer. It would give us great pleasure if there were some writers in the english wikipedia to pursue the same aim. -- 01:31, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Write a new article that somehow ties in and uses the phrase, and I'll see that it gets on WP:DYK on the 25th... That's not a major main page featured thing but it WOULD be on there. Hope that helps. ++Lar: t/c 14:51, 22 May 2006 (UTC)


This term . For some reason, if a strag [non-hitch hiker] discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. links to the notable sayings/phrases page but that page doesn't have it defined. I am not enough of a fan to fix it myself or I would. ++Lar: t/c 14:51, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

It seem'd to be decided that sometime back that that list should primarily concern itself with phrases from the "trilogy" that are noteworthy enough that they've actually been used outside the series.. Personally, I think "strag" is quite a noteworthy enough term to differentiate from the froods and other people, but you can discuss it on the Talk page or otherwise write up a stub of an article that can be listed on List of miscellaneous elements in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

That should be a fitting home for it. DrWho42 22:41, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

help...what kind[edit]

What kind of towel should I bring? Is there a recommended kind? A hand towel? A bath towel? beach towel? dish towel? etc??--Sonjaaa 22:11, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Try following the link in the bottom of the article and check out the pictures linked from there. Hope this helps. Also try to read the description given in the H2G2 and cited in this Wikipedia article in order to learn what everything can be a towel used for. If your piece of cloth fulfills all these needs, I guess it is worth being called a hitchhiker's towel and theres should be no problem wearing it for the day. Blahma 23:19, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Personally I carry a big beach towel, because its colorful and I can wrap it around my waist if I get tried of carrying it. BethEnd 15:26, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

A prefer a not too large striped towel, for the traditional look. It also goes very well with the stripes on my tie. --Dr. Zarkov 23:54, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Just any towel will do. --KOJV 21:42, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Other possible dates[?][edit]

Other possible dates were 11 February (42nd day of the year), 11 March (Birthday), 11 May (his death),2 April (4/2), and 18 October (42nd Thursday of his year of death).

We really could do with some referencing with these, especially for the latter bits. DrWho42 00:48, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

If anything, Towel Day should be on his daughter's birthday. His only child, she was born when he was 42, a coincidence he was keenly aware of, and obviously the center of his life. Rklawton 06:10, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Towel Day was on May 25th because I thought it would take a few weeks to spread the message. However, I never thought that Towel Day would extend beyond a basic wake for Douglas. I have been very pleased and surprised to see how quickly it caught on and how persistently it's been celebrated. Dclydew 20:59, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Please fire up calc.exe, switch to Advanced view, Hexadecimal numbers. Add 25 + 5, calculate. Switch back to Decimal. Happy? --KOJV 21:30, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that's more than coincidence. Like the famous DNA quote "Noone writes jokes in Base 13" ^^ --SoWhy Talk 22:01, 26 May 2007 (UTC)


Would someone please explain to me how this article isn't 100% fancruft? It's clearly a made up holiday with very weak sources. Rklawton 05:36, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Stupid Day, which was made over 2 years ago, for an even less notable holiday, but also included Towel Day. Stupid Day was deleted, Towel Day was kept. JIP | Talk 19:13, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up! Rklawton 19:31, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Would you please explain to me how any holiday ever is anything but "made up fancruft"?? On that aspect there's no difference to Towel Day versus Talk Like a Pirate Day, St. Patrick's Day or your favourite country National Day. Take the USA for example. They shoot fireworks on 4th of July because some crazy dudes threw crates filled with tea in a canal 400 years ago. Sounds like fancruft to me. Norwegians run around like fuxx0red goons every May 17th because they left a mutually beneficial union with Sweden a bunch of centuries ago, dude, that makes no sense.

There's nothing weak about the sources of Towel Day. A globally beloved author clearly died and clearly left behind a great deal about towels, proclaiming them the ultimate item to carry around at any time. Someone thought of the idea to have people all over the world carry towels around at a specific day each year to show their fellow man what kind of complete freaks they are and what a great piece of litterature those strags are missing out on.

--KOJV 21:55, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Photo Deletion[edit]

Someone marked the photos for deletion. I'm not sure why. Could you post a reason why they ought not to be on the page? There may be argument that the day itself doesn't have enough of a fan base to exist, in which case the page should be removed entirely, or mention the lack of any concrete organization behind the concept of towel day. But I don't see why these photos shouldn't be part of the page if it is to remain. Cedric Tsui 20 March 2007

These photos images were marked for deletion because their copyright information is unclear. If more information becomes available, and it turns out that the copyright holder does indeed permit them to be used freely as in freedom, then there is no problem in using them in the article. —Remember the dot (talk) 16:58, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, actually, I question whether we need to should include the flashy banner ad in this article, even if it is free as in freedom. But the photo would be OK. —Remember the dot (talk) 17:00, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
The banner, flashy as it may be (?) is free and endorsed to use for promoting and informing about Towel Day. --KOJV 17:31, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Its image description page claims GFDL. I doubt its current use in the Towel Day article qualifies as Wikipedia:Fair use. So, if it is not actually under the GFDL or a similar license, it will have to be deleted. Please continue discussion on the licensing of this image at Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion#Image:Towelday.gif. —Remember the dot (talk) 15:42, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
By "a similar license" I mean "another free as in freedom license". —Remember the dot (talk) 15:44, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
You don't get it, do you? I'm the copyright properiator. I endorse the use of the banner. I can't discuss this at Images for deletion since that was deleted along with the picture. There was no reason to delete the banner in the first place. The banner qualifies for Fair Use too. How do you define "flashy" and why is it bad? --KOJV 11:45, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
An archive of the discussion is preserved at Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion/2007 March 18#Image:Towelday.gif. Here are the problems with using this image:
  • You have not released it under the GFDL or another free as in freedom license.
  • Its use falls short of Wikipedia:Fair use because of critera number 8, "The material must contribute significantly to the article (e.g. identify the subject of an article, or specifically illustrate relevant points or sections within the text) and must not serve a purely decorative purpose."
  • We do not need flashy, distracting banners in this article. It would be OK to use on a user page, if you release it under a free license, but it is distracting to have it in this article.
You would have a much better chance of being able to use this image on Wikipedia if you place a notice on stating that you release the banner under the GFDL. —Remember the dot (talk) 15:18, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I see the problem with criteria 8 and distraction. Thanks for explaining. How about the banner at the bottom of the article, below the other links though?
Tell me, is there a substitute for GFDL without the right to modify and redistribute? Just a license that means free distribution of the image in it's original form? Thanks. --KOJV 17:49, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you could allow free redistribution without the ability to create derivate works, but such a license would not be free as in freedom, so Wikipedia would still not accept the image. To be free as in freedom, you must allow:
  • Free redistribution
  • Commercial and noncommercial use
  • Derivative works
Remember the dot (talk) 18:25, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
The Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works license [1] is a license that does what you ask, but it is not allowed on Wikipedia outside the scope of Wikipedia:Fair use. —Remember the dot (talk) 18:31, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Tell me, does GFDL have any 'protection' against, what I would like to call it, derivativation (does that mean changing what someone else made and redistribute it?) done to miscredit the original author or the subject/purpose for which the original material or item was created?
Now that got complicated. Like this. If I release the TD banner to GFDL, can someone legally create a 'bad' version of it to miscredit Douglas, myself or Towel Day? Or will GFDL restrict such mis-usage of the free material?
For another example. If I were to shoot a natural photograph of myself and release it to GFDL, may you alter the image, paste it into another context or somehow else redistribute it in a form that make me look 1. bad (ugly) or 2. really bad (fucking a goat) or 3. really really bad (murdering a woman and molesting her child) without voiding the terms of GFDL?
Finally, if I were to release the TD banner to GFDL, will you allow it on the article?
Thanks. --KOJV 21:26, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for not keeping a closer eye on this discussion, and failing to notice that you replied. I am not a lawyer, but here is my understanding of the issue. The concept you described is called moral rights, and it is discussed here. The United States, where the English Wikipedia servers are hosted, has limited recognition of moral rights. Other jurisdictions, such as in many European countries, do recognize moral rights. I do not think moral rights extend beyond the author, so they do not protect against modifying your banner to discredit Towel Day or Douglas Adams.

In Canada, it is possible to waive moral rights, and different jurisdictions doubtless have varying definitions of moral rights.

As far as licensing goes, the GFDL does not appear to explicitly mention moral rights, but it does "preserve for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others."

You might want to use the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, which states:

  • "You may not implicitly or explicitly assert or imply any connection with, sponsorship or endorsement by the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties, as appropriate, of You or Your use of the Work, without the separate, express prior written permission of the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties."
  • "You must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author's honor or reputation."

So with either the GFDL or the CC-BY-SA-3.0, if I understand correctly, someone in the United States could modify your work in a derogatory manner, but someone in a country which recognizes moral rights could not. No one could state or imply that you endorse the modified version. But again, I am no expert on copyright law and there could be exceptions in some countries.

To summarize my understanding:

  1. In countries with limited or no recognition of moral rights, such as the United States, derivatives of your work derogatory to yourself could legally be created.
  2. In all or almost all countries, derivatives of your work derogatory to Douglas Adams or Towel Day could legally be created.
  3. In no or nearly no countries may creators of derivative works legally imply your endorsement of those works.

And to answer your last question, I would not like including the banner directly in the Towel Day article. Instead, provided you release the banner under a free license, you could upload the banner to the Wikimedia Commons, which already has a page about Towel Day. —Remember the dot (talk) 16:48, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the investment in time you made to write the latest response.
I think the CC license sounds good in this matter. But since you wouldn't like the banner in the article anyway, it doesn't really matter. I have no other reason to release the banner since I think the current statements on the page makes it pretty clear people what people are allowed to do with it, without involving legal agreements.
I'd like to thank you once again for taking the time to respond to these matters with consideration.
--KOJV 20:51, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, you're welcome. I hope I have not discouraged you from contributing to Wikipedia. —Remember the dot (talk) 23:24, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Surely not. I just won't contribute with any stuff that can be used in "bad" redistributions, such as pictures of myself or whatnot. I will continue to contribute with whatever I can release to GFDL (mostly text though) such as my pretty large contributions to the DreamHack article. Thanks again. --KOJV 12:04, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Happy Birthday[edit]

Happy Birthday from the Birthday Committee

Wishing Towel Day/Archive a very happy birthday on behalf of the Wikipedia Birthday Committee!

Don't forget to save us all a piece of cake!

Politics rule 11:27, 24 May 2007 (UTC)


  • Why was this marked as requiring cleanup? I mean, it's not up to the standards, but whoever tagged it, could you be more specific because I'd really like to improve it! Thanks! makeyourself 08:30, 25 May 2007 (UTC)


I tagged the article with {{notability}} as it does not currently make any claim, or establish why, it is notable. In fact, it doesn't appear to achieve any verifiability, which is entirely contrary to policy. It may be a fun topic and a fun article, but that is unfortunately not sufficient. - Tiswas(t) 16:34, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I think it is notable. Towel Day is celebrated by many fans around the world, for example the German blogosphere is full of tributes, as well as pages like technorati with more than 100,000 posts about the topic. I think that should cover the "Significant coverage" guideline in WP:NOT. --SoWhy Talk 17:01, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Big numbers aren't necessarily relevant outwith the sphere of reliable sources - Even then, the number if magnitudes smaller when the exact phrase is searched ("towel day" OR towelday yields 1,600 posts on blogs - many of which are dupes). If it is, as you claim, so celebrated, there must surely be coverage in the mainstream media. - Tiswas(t) 17:08, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
As an aside, this article appears in 16 languages. I've asked at de:Towel Day for additional print sources as well. I thought this article had survived AfD once before, but I can't seem to find the discussion. here 17:38, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
It survived a joint afd that did little to discuss the notability, or adherence to policy. Needless to say, notabililty is not inherited, per se, from other wikis on the subject. - Tiswas(t) 18:19, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Might you have a link to this discussion -- it should be linked prominently here. here 22:07, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Here's the link: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Stupid Day - No discussion, just voting - Tiswas(t) 22:54, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Notable, known in Germany and many other european countries with Douglas Adams being a very notable author. External references [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8] ,[9] .. do you need more of the about 2,570,000 for towel day and 375,000 for "towel day"? The source include the BBC,, wikihow, Flickr.. and everybody can see it on the first google result page, i dont see why you are even discussing notability. 18:03, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

It's being discussed because none of these credible, independent and reliable sources are referenced in the article. - Tiswas(t) 18:17, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Additionally, the notability of Adams is not in question. - Tiswas(t) 18:21, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to see the article kept, but I must point out that none of those provided sources are considered reliable sources. All are user-editable and/or without oversight or wide recognition/publication. The "source" is just a copy of this very article. The USA today source added to the article looks good, [10]. here 19:09, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
It is notable. It is recognised by the BBC, which can certainly be considered a good source. Admittedly, it is mostly blogs, but this doesn't look like a bad source, and this counts for something. USA Today recognises it, and I KNOW there will be more, I just can't find it in the multitude of blogs. Google news search also threw up some foreign language results. J Milburn 20:20, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
The supposed BBC source is from h2g2, a wiki project emulating Douglas Adam's hitchhiker's guide, completely unreliable. The Associated Content article is user submitted and checked for basic grammer and money-making-potential, roughly equiv. to a blog post. The thomasnet source is a brief quote from the h2g2 article. Leaving the USA today source, which appears to the sole reliable published mention of this term yet found. Keep 'em coming(!) I would like to agree that this is notable, we may need to use foreign language sources.  ;) here 22:05, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

The following might be interesting. Are they reliable? [11] [12] These were the only two after a zillion Web 2.0 stuff hits. Google needs a filter for "Reliable Source". --User:Krator (t c) 22:46, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

The first was addressed above and essentially a blog post, and the second is an offhand mention on a t-shirt sales page. Unfortunately, neither of these are considered reliable sources by the community ;). here 01:05, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Ok, here comes another search. How's this? That doesn't look bad, at all- it seems that everything is written by staff, rather than user-submitted. We can, in a way, cite the number of blogs that mention it- look at this. Right, that's all I could find. I will see if I still have my paper from Friday, and see if it has anything in there, later. I will also check the Sunday and Saturday columns. J Milburn 09:52, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Here's a problem symptomatic of the lack of sources - Additions by Drappel. I can only assume that this is an attempt to highlight the importance of towel day, whereas all it does is to synthesise a tenuous link between the day trivial mentions of towels in the news. The article is starting to look moew like an essay on towels in the H2G2 universe, and not an article about a derivative holiday. - Tiswas(t) 12:02, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Trivia warning[edit]

Added trivia warning. Please integrate trivia content into article. 08:26, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

How? What's in the trivia section is just trivial. Should I remove the whole section? --KOJV 13:16, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I've been asking around on the #wikipedia IRC channel and they all say Trivias don't belong on Wikipedia. Therefore the Trivia section will be removed. People interested in Towel Day trivia are most welcome to the Towel Day forums to post, share and discuss towel trivials.


More of a "fair warning" than anything else. The current Image:Towelday_Towel.jpg is sourced as "(Uploaded from the en.wikipedia: en:Image:Towelday.jpg, there Uploaded by en:User:Bazillus on 28 September 2005 under GFDL.[sic]"

So it seems it's a copy of another image that was deleted from wikipedia for failing GFDL. A copy of a failed image is a failed image. Mdbrownmsw 19:40, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

You're confusing Towelday.gif for Towelday.jpg.
The picture that failed GFDL was the Towel Day animated GIF banner from the Towel Day site.
--KOJV (talk) 22:55, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


  1. The extended quote is far too long (roughly 1/2 the article). Yeah, maybe a quote from the posting, but the whole thing?
  2. The link to the source is cobwebbed. As it was a link to a "reprint" (?), a wayback link seems "off" to me. Does "anyone" have the (now dead) URL for the original posting so we can put a wayback to the original up?
  3. "[reprinted here with permission]" Er, I guess that applied to the "reprint"? If it was meant to be permission for wikipedia, we don't need it (for fair use)/can't use it (any other circumstance) for text.

Mdbrownmsw 20:27, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

  1. The quote used to be like a small paragraph of the article, but since Wikipedia standards are so hard to follow we had to cut down the article to a microscopic part of it's original size...
  2. What's a wayback? The original post doesn't exist anymore so it can't be linked back to. Neither does the "original copy". I'll cut down the quote though.
  3. Yeah, just applied to the reprint. I'm not the one who put the quote in here to begin with, but I'm fairly sure.

--KOJV (talk) 23:03, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Alternative dates[edit]

This whole section is unsourced. (Prempt: KOJV's page is not a wp:rs.) Mdbrownmsw 20:34, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Thus will be removed (the whole section, aye) in my next revision.
--KOJV (talk) 23:04, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


Ugh. I just yanked this: "People ask Why a towel? and the answer is found in the third chapter of the first book. This and any further questions are answered at the Towel Day website where there also is a forum and a wiki for trivial discussions and additions."

Now that was the kind of thing the {{tone}} tag was up for. "People ask, 'Why a towel?'" They also ask, "Why is my encyclopedia using this lighthearted approach? "This and further questions..." are not answered here. Psych! Gotcha. Oh, and there's a forum there (please join!) where you can add anything that doesn't belong <str>here</str> in an encyclopedia.

Also, the "answer" to that question on is essentially the synthesis yanked from this article earlier, but on another page.

Yeah, it'd be great if we had a reliable source that explained the towel bit. We don't. Mdbrownmsw 20:48, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

How is The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy for a reliable source? The explanation for Why a towel? on KOJV.NET is actually just a quote from the novel - not anything yanked from Wikipedia...
--KOJV (talk) 23:08, 16 November 2007 (UTC)