Stardates and things

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Stardates and things

Postby Donald » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:14 am

Could do with some advice from the experts here.

I've written some nonsense of my own, but I can't get my head around Stardates. So far I'm typing in placeholder names, but stardate Bingley, Bingley, Bong isn't really authentic sounding. I've read the Wikipedia article, and the various web conversion articles on it. And I'm more confused than when I started.

So what do you do? Is there a magic potion for getting it right, or do I type random numbers and get insulted by everyone else?
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Re: Stardates and things

Postby borgcrazy » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:42 pm

There were never any hard set rules for stardates. The random numbers in the shows were, more or less, just random numbers made up by the writer (this was especially true in TOS). The only two "rules" are that 1000 units equals one year, so 2345-2346 would be something like Stardate 34567-35567 (I just made those up, so don't use those dates as a point of reference...) and that the number should always go up between consecutive stories.
I'm sure you already looked at the Memory Alpha article on it (Here it is in case you didn't) which seems pretty consistent with what I know of the stardate system. But basically, Gene Roddenberry pulled the whole Stardate thing out of his ass and everyone has been trying to make sense of it since then. So, really, we're all in the same boat and no one can make fun of you for not getting it because, well, none of us really get it lol! Just use your best judgement and as long as it seems close enough, we'll accept it.
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Re: Stardates and things

Postby b-guy » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:53 pm

To add to that, the third book of the Deep Space Nine: Millenium trilogy (awsome books, btw), had some speculation about stardates having evolved similarly to Greenwhich Mean Time. The way they said it, they needed to come up with a system that was immune to both planetary rotation as well as differing timeframes due to relativity. So if, for example, Mars and Earth wanted a common frame of reference independant of the two of them, they would use the midpoint of a line connecting them. Add a third point, and you connect them using a plane and use the midpoint as a reference. Four points and you have the surface of a sphere. The Millenium author claimed stardates were counted based on hypersphere with thousands of dimensions centered on the galactic core, so that every point in the galaxy could be located on the surface of the hypersphere. The differences in relativity between the reference point and various moving bodies was supposed to explain why stardates sometimes went fast, sometimes slow, and sometimes even backed up.

That said, this is complete speculation on the part of that author. But it does sound like a convenient way to explain away all the screw-ups various writers have made with the system...
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Re: Stardates and things

Postby Star Traks » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:09 am

ponder usage of the above suggestions and add your own flair.
IF there are stardate oversights, you may consider blaming discrepancies on either Q, Q2, or some diabolical rogue time traveler(s):

Q2 [7.19] Voyager
Neelix: He (talking about Q's son) may be omnipotent but he's still a young man in need of guidance
Janeway: (to Replicator) Coffee, black
Replicator: Make it yourself!
Q's Son: (after Q stopped some Borg which his son created assimilating Janeway) We were just getting to the good part!
Q:If the Continnum's told you once, they've told you a thousand times. DON'T PROVOKE THE BORG!!
Kathryn Janeway:You can't just dump your kid on someone and expect him to learn something!
Q:(incredulous face)I can't?
Janeway: He needs to be parented.
Q: And how exactly am I supposed to do that? Q was the first child in the continuum, which makes me the first parent. I don't even know where to begin.
Janeway: You could start by spending time with him
Q: Yugh!
(After Q's son stole a shuttle):Q's son: Aunt Kathy....
Janeway: Don't you Aunt Kathy me!
Distant Origin 3.23 Saurian Professor Gegen: It wasn't an invasion. We were on a field expedition to learn more about your species. We meant no harm. I'm a molecular paleontologist.
Chakotay: [referring to injury] Do you always harpoon the local wildlife?
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Re: Stardates and things

Postby cmdrajd » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:14 pm

We've always been a bit vague about stardates. We generally tried to follow the Trek format and keep to the 1000 stardates=1 year model that they used on the show. I also usually treated each one as a day, which, if you do the math, doesn't work at all. Really it should be almost 3 per day, and don't ask me how anything after the decimal point fits in. If you've ever looked at the Chronology link on the Nexus site, you can see how Anthony and I tried to keep things consistent through our series and with the actual show and movies. For example, we made clear that Bradley Dillon was off on the Explorer when Shinzon tried to take out Earth in Star Trek: Nemesis. If you want your stories to be contemporary to a particular period in Traks history, the chronology should make it easy. luck and make your best guess.
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Re: Stardates and things

Postby Captain B » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:40 pm

I was just watching the Contagion episode of TNG. It is been a long time since I watched a Star Trek episode.

Anyway Picard was looking through the logs of another Captain. The logs showed a stardate and time stamp. The decimal definitely lines up with the time. For example, at stardate #####.95, it was 2200 hours...the day was almost over. That's the closest I can come to official confirmation and is the way I've always handled it. I look at noon as stardate .5 and worked from there. Hope his helps!
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Re: Stardates and things

Postby Meneks » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:36 am

I'm in BorgSpace. I just pull the winged monkeys of datestamps out of...somewhere...and let'em fly. As long as they seems to be consequative, great! Of course, I may have gone backwards once or thrice...
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