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Periodic table of in-jokes Edit

Source? Edit

This article bases its entire content on a graphic that cannot be clearly seen on screen (I've just checked the DVD of the actual episode). Where is the information coming from? I have a graphic from the web that purports to be the "Table of Elements", but it is not possible to determine whether that is the graphic actually used. So the source of the information is clearly not from the episode "Rascals" - where is it from? Aholland 14:10, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Continuing Mission. --Alan del Beccio 14:19, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. I actually have that book - just haven't looked at it in awhile. This prompts the question, though, whether this information should be presented in a manner that, despite the note in the article about errors and such, makes it appear to be treated as canon. I, for one, do not think anyone, anywhere in TPTB would have considered "Daffyduckium" or "Exitstageleft" to be fair use for continuity purposes (the touchstone for canon as I understand it at Memory Alpha). By that definition, the article - *very* nicely done, by the way - would seem to fall into a "production notes" section instead. What do you think? Aholland 17:00, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the compliment, Aholland! While I agree that there is little chance of any of the fictional elements appearing in a future Trek program, I don't see a harm with including the info here. The fact still stand that these elements were used and created by production staff for a Trek production. Other than its absurd names, there are no canon conflicts and its inclusion only serves to help this wiki.--Tim Thomason 23:42, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

My point is that, however interesting and entertaining the information, the article's approach appears to validate the Table of Elements and give it a degree of authority and authenticity not intended by the production staff. I suggest the intro section simply say that the TOE was a chart seen in a schoolroom on the Enterprise-D, then have an italicized section similar to what is there that describes what it really was. That would seem to serve both Memory-Alpha (inclusion of Trek info) and series credibility and canon (that window dressing like this should not being taken literally). Aholland 04:31, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

I'd just like to say that my personal opinion is that unless stated in some later episode, the absurdly named elements should keep their names. I do think that they may need to be flagged as not necessarily being canon, but nonetheless created by official Trek info. Bobbias 12:46, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Since the majority above agree that the information should stay, I've removed the inaccuracy pna. --From Andoria with Love 21:13, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Really? Edit

Daffyduckium is canon? Isn't that a bit silly? --Commodore Spock 21:08, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Hey, if it appears on-screen, it's canon. --From Andoria with Love 04:55, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Canonical relevance? Edit

The chart's pretty, and it obviously took a lot of work, but I fail to see the canonical relevance of a 2007-current periodic table. If we had a pic of a canonical table, maybe that'd be a good thing to include, but the chart itself is non-canonical. Article should be redacted to just the text. CzechOut | 03:29, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, it is in background after all. More significantly, it links to in-universe canon articles on the elements. But given its size, I wouldn't mind if it was replaced by a drop-down list of elements, plus See Also: for the other terms linked – Cleanse 04:20, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Did it really appear on screen? Edit

All these silly in-universe articles on what were clearly production in-jokes (Daffyduckium et al...) are presumably justified using the logic that everything that appears on screen is canon. However is it really the case that these joke names can be seen on screen? I doubt any of them are high enough resolution to make out any of the names. So where are people getting this information about what was on the period table? If it only comes from production notes, then I don't think it should count as canon, because it was never really "on screen". All the viewer ever sees is a non descript group of rectangle arranged in a shape somewhat resembling the real world periodic table. --86.135.125.235 22:37, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes. They do appear on screen, some in production notes and some from Other Reference materials. Here's an example of a screenshot taken from TNG: "The Neutral Zone" clearly showing Miss Piggy 3rd from the top on the right. — Morder 22:45, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

I see "bo pee7" there. And wow, that miss piggy article just took the prize away from Daffyduckium for stupidist article on Memory Alpha. Clearly this is OCD gone haywire. There should be a common sense rule that says that painfully obvious out of universe jokes on prop material, even if they appear on screen, do *NOT* count as canon. What about the hamster on the TNG Master systems display? Why no articles for that? --86.146.160.234 21:33, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the sentiment, but I think it would open up a big can of worms if we start picking what canon things we like and which ones we don't. I could see massive arguments about what is "common sense" to different people. We either have to accept all, or none.
Most of those articles note the nature of their appearance, anyway.--31dot 22:04, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I see Miss Piggy quite clearly - besides as 31dot says - if we start picking and choosing what we decide is canon it will lead to nothing but arguing. Therefore the simple rule is anything seen on screen is canon - there can be no ambiguity about that. Some things also come from production notes such as Jerry Fleck (Lieutenant Commander). — Morder 22:20, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

So why no article on the hamster? Isn't that picking and choosing canon? --86.146.160.234 14:57, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Just because it hasn't been written yet doesn't mean it's picking and choosing.
I'm curious as to what such an article would consist of. Beyond seeing it I don't think there is much canon information about it. --31dot 15:59, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

There's at least as much as on "Daffyduckium" or "Miss Piggy" in that it's only a silly joke that appeared on a prop in a low resolution which couldn't even be seen on screen (the joke, not the prop). The link given above on Canon policy only confuses things further imo. The section on what is alloweable as an in-universe references says that "Visual material can be supplemented by clearer visual images of the identical material seen". But then the section on what counts only as background material talks about "Portions of sets, props, makeup, and costumes to the extent not seen on-screen in an episode, even if they existed in real life".

This goes back to my original point on how exactly we define "seen on-screen". Given the fact that the exact references to things like daffyduckium etc aren't visible on screen or at the very most only able to be made out from a brief shot analysed very carefully years later; and taking into account the obvious joke nature of the reference, can we really say that they appeared on screen as honest additions to the Star Trek universe? Aren't they actually more like mistakes or "goofs" that unintentionally reveal behind the scenes information? If someone found a "clearer visual image" showing a control panel prop ripped from a set wall, would it be ok to talk about how control panels are backed with ply wood and nails (no idea how the sets were constructed, but I'm sure you get what I mean)?

Having a common sense rule needn't cause dispute. In fact we can very simply stop any disputes by wording it as something like "If there is no opposition or likelihood of opposition to it then material clearly having been intended purely as background only (such as obvious "in-jokes") can be moved to a background only section." So if someone wants to argue for the keeping of something like Jerry Fleck (Lieutenant Commander), as I'm sure they would, then the information would by definition stay as in-universe. Infact I personally would agree that Jerry Fleck and other articles like that should stay, because I can think of no reason why there couldn't be someone with that name in Starfleet. If anything things like that improve the wiki, because they give a sense of the depth of the Star Trek universe. However there is a world of difference between Lieutenant Commander Jerry Fleck and putting "Daffyduckium" on the periodic table of elements. I doubt very much that we could find anyone out there who would seriously argue that children are being taught the atomic weight of Duckdodgers in the mid 24th century. --86.146.160.234 20:35, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Except where do you draw the line? Again it's all about what you think is meant as a joke while others might consider it not a joke. So the simplest explanation is anything seen or heard on screen it covers all bases and there's no ambiguity. — Morder 20:46, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

As I said, you draw the line when someone disagrees. If opposition exists, then obviously there is some doubt, then obviously it stays canon. But, as I also said, I doubt very much that anyone would argue for daffyduckium and its ilk being anything other than a joke. --86.146.160.234 21:04, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

You can argue anything. Personally I don't see why they wouldn't name an element after such a famous duck. We mark articles as such anyway - so it doesn't make any difference. The rule is there to prevent arguments and keep the site in order. — Morder 21:07, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay, so you admit to seeing these things yet want them removed, however, are also requesting the hamster in a wheel thing, yet, I admit, I am at a loss at finding that on-screen. --Alan 21:30, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Gvsualan: Actually I've never seen any of the sources for these things :) The only one in the above conversation that is claimed to be visible on screen is Miss Piggy, but I personally can't make it out in the screenshot given as the resolution is too low. The in-joke element names, I presume, are derived from behind the scenes pictures of props as indicated by the rules on canon. I didn't request the hamster article, I was merely giving it as an example of another obvious joke on a prop that for some reason has not found it's way into canon on this site. -- Clearsound 21:42, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Morder: I don't think having such obvious nonsense articles counts as any kind of order (and btw, most of them are *not* marked as coming from background jokes, merely that they are named after something). And again, you seem to be missing the point. I'm not talking about what can be argued, I'm talking about if it actually is argued. My proposed rule removes all possibility of a big edit disagreement, because it specifically states that any challenge would negate a proposal to remove the material. No disorder would be created - and we both know that all of these joke articles almost certainly wouldn't meet serious challenges on the issue of their real canonicity. There is no Star Trek fan in existence who thinks that an element would be named after "such a famous duck". I'm willing to be proven wrong on that (although I'd be a little disapointed in the state of Trek fandom if that were the case...) but even if that were to happen, my proposed rule would still create no conflict, only a return to the current status, and the issue would be dropped. It's not that outrageous - Wikipedia's rule on citing sources follows a similar rule:

"All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation." (emphasis in original)

So for example the article on Rabbit can state that "rabbits are small mammals" without needing citation, because that is obvious to everyone. If someone were to challenge it, of course, a source would have to be produced - but this is extremely unlikely to happen. Likewise, daffyduckium being mentioned as being background material only (not just a note saying it's named after daffy duck) with no suggestion of it being canon, would be perfectly fine to any reader, who would clearly understand the joke-y and completely non-canon nature of the idea of an element being called that, and no challenge would arise. However for something like Lieutenant Commander Jerry Fleck, we can certainly posit a challenge to it being background info only. In the case of such a challenge, the assumption of in-universe applies as it does now.

I admit my proposal does make things ever so slightly more complicated than they are now, but in my opinion it is needed to keep this site in order (as you put it). -- Clearsound 21:42, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I...think I get what's trying to be said here, that there are some things, from certain POV's, that seem silly to add to MA as a part of the trek 'universe' as I call it, simply because of something that appears on a screen for a split second. However, I can agree to the argument occurring, because the point 31dot made becomes clear with me, as I am also of the school of through (For some strange reason, no idea why...) that all of the names on the dedication plaques are also silly to add (and yet on one hand it also makes sense, go figure). I think, as long as any and all pages that comes from this sort of source is mentioned as such, then things will be ok. --Terran Officer 21:57, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Personally I find these in-jokes rather entertaining which is one of the points of this site to inform and entertain and most in-jokes are labeled as such anyway - granted some aren't but that's up to the community to fix. Either way I see nothing wrong with having articles about things that are seen on screen - even if that information comes from background notes. But it's not up to me to decide it's up to the community and it's something we've decided a long time ago. Since there's nothing new being added to this conversation as everything is just a rehash of a previous point of view already stated and it would take a vote of the community to approve suggestions (which were already approved contrary to what you want) to make it onto this site, I'm going to bow out now. By the way - the wikipedia rules on citing doesn't apply here - all material must be seen on screen/heard on screen or in the numerous valid resources. — Morder 22:01, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Fair enough... Maybe in time I'll propose this through proper channels as a proper rule. I guess it's the pedant in me that would prefer these jokes to be removed. I can't stand the idea of such silliness being accepted as canon - although I don't have a problem with "Threshold" being canon... I guess if we removed all silliness there wouldn't be a lot of Trek left ;) Regarding wikipedia policy: sorry, I probably didn't make it clear, the example of Wikipedia wasn't to say that its rules apply to the situation. I was just saying that my suggestion of requiring a challenge isn't that outrageous or out-of-the-box an idea, I was actually inspired by the Wikipedia policy.-- Clearsound 22:14, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

We already have a policy saying that a little bit of humor and silliness is OK, Memory Alpha:Inform and entertain. These articles don't hurt the rest of Memory Alpha at all, they cover something that was in Star Trek (even if meant as a joke), and for completeness sake as well as following that policy, should be here. --OuroborosCobra talk 01:22, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
That policy, as it is currently written, instructs people to use humor to make articles more light. I don't see how it's related to the current topic of whether these things are canon or not.
Clearsound, I totally agree with you. Not only do these articles make a mockery of Star Trek canon, they also mock the original intent of Memory Alpha of being an in-universe reference work. I believe they should be marked differently as real world articles and not canon, like for instance what's done with actor biographies. But this would be dificult, as there`s always someone who will argue in favor of a hypothetical person who could perhaps some day come forward and tell us he has no problem on it. Hokstein 14:22, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, we're not hypothetical: Don't you get the sense that we're actually a whole community who already don't have a problem with regarding Da as canon, just like Tal Celes's family name and Thy'lek Shran's first name? We have a problem with not regarding it as canon. Actually, what we have a problem with is the proposed picking-and-choosing, which, believe me, would yield more arguments, not less. Even though the proposed "rule", as described, is intended to prevent it, the result would either be a completely tits-on-a-bull useless rule (because every instance would have a challenger) or a completely perfume-on-a-pig ineffective rule (because arguments would proceed anyway, despite the intended check-n-balance). --TribbleFurSuit 18:36, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Elements in the wrong place?Edit

From "talk:Table of Elements"

I have noticed that both elements Lutetium (Lu) and Lawrencium (Lr) are not listed as a Lanthanide and an Actinide, respectively. As anyone can confirm by looking at another Periodic table, they are actually in these "special" Chemical Series.

I want to know if this supposed error was intentional or if I can fix the Table. (I apologize if there are some mistakes with the writing... I'm not so fluent in English). Thanks! -- Carol Dias 03:09, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Fixed. -- Renegade54 13:49, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Current Periodic Table Edit

Where are the current elements, like Helium, etc? The preceding unsigned comment was added by Trekky0623 (talk • contribs).

Table of Elements merge Edit

OK, the content of this and Periodic table are slightly different. However, they are describing the same concept - a listing of known elements in tabular form. Do we need two different articles for it, or would it suffice to have one merged article and a redirect? -- Cid Highwind 10:41, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd support having all the info on Periodic table.– Cleanse 11:01, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
They were in one article, with redirects. They were split into two in December of 2006. -- Renegade54 11:03, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

It seems that way, yes... although no real indication of the split can be found in either edit summary, which is why I missed that: See [1], [2]. So, any reason for having it split instead of merged? -- Cid Highwind 11:28, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

The only discussion I can see is here. The only reason there is it being too crowded. But surely the page will look fine if we clearly separate the two tables (under headings). And I'm not really sure graphical considerations should really be considered more important than content...– Cleanse 11:38, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I remember when it was a single page, and I don't think it looked bad at all. I'm not sure what the reason for the split was... I guess you'd have to ask Tim. It was a bit long because of the long, narrow element table at the bottom, but the split only shortened it a little. A view of the page before the split can be seen here. -- Renegade54 21:55, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I support a merge, the page looked fine the way it was before. Unless there is a compelling reason to keep them apart, it should be done.--31dot 21:59, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Puting them back together makes sense to me. Long Live the U.E.
Articles have been merged. --From Andoria with Love 05:01, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

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