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Muppet Wiki:Current Events Archive 19 (April 2007)

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Archive of Current events dicussions.

Lyrics at Lyricwiki

Hi all, I found Sesame Street Lyrics at Lyricwiki . The website admin claims that it's not a problem to upload lyrics there. What do you think? I would really love to see more Sesame Street / muppet lyrics here, or there, because I love singing it a lot! Chaerani 05:47, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Screenshots

Do any of you take screenshots from DVDs? If so, what program do you use? I'm on a Mac, but Windows is okay too if the program is only PC-based. Just trying to illustrate the Sesame English episodes, before I have to return the DVDs. -- Zanimum 18:53, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

There are a number of DVD screenshot-grabbing programs available. Where are the Sesame English DVDs available? I might be able to help out. —Scott (talk) 19:09, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I've been meaning to answer your question on my talk page. I've now checked a third one out of the Toronto Public Library, and I believe they have the complete series. If you live near a large metropolitan area, or anywhere that has a large Latino immigrant population, it would be probably quite easy to encourage them to get the set, as an ESL tool. -- Zanimum 19:58, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I use EasyCrop. It's pretty cool, but I'm sure there's better. -- Danny (talk) 20:06, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
It worked perfectly for me. I only wish I had asked sooner. -- Zanimum 19:28, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Upcoming Sesame Street Season 37 Airdates

Here's a little list I compiled (source), just in case anyone else wants to get their VCR ready. I just started taping these myself.

--Andrew T. 04:05, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

That's awesome, Andrew. Thanks! -- Danny (talk) 12:19, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Return of the Muppet Pirates

The "complete series" of Muppet Shows is back, from somebody called tvshowplanet.net. I mentioned it because they're on the list, but as .info. -- Ken (talk) 22:24, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

I haven't seen that one. Can you add it to Muppet Wiki:Pirates? —Scott (talk) 23:32, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, Sannse warned us about that when we asked her to block the sites -- that they might come back with variations of the URLs. So it's good that we're still tracking them. -- Danny (talk) 00:13, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

We're #4!

I just noticed that Muppet Wiki now comes up as #4 on a Google search for "Muppet", behind the official Muppet site, Wikipedia and Muppet Central. This is the highest we've ever been. We're so cool. -- Danny (talk) 19:42, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Hm, a few weeks ago, we were #3. But a search for "Muppets" (plural) didn't find us until the third page of results either. Now, that same search gets us on the first page finally (albeit on the bottom). We're cool indeed. —Scott (talk) 19:55, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Were we above Muppet Central? That would be exciting. -- Danny (talk) 19:56, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I thought we were, maybe I was mistaken. What's odd to me is that Bill Sherman's site has been dead for months and Google doesn't register as having anything pointing to it -- so why is it still listed? That would boost our rank for "Muppets" by at least one more. —Scott (talk) 19:59, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I dunno. It was in the search for so long, maybe it takes a while to completely circulate out. -- Danny (talk) 21:31, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Not to change the subject, but I was just reminded of something that maybe you guys can explain. Sometimes, just to see what comes up, I'll put in record numbers. On some numbers we come up first, on some numbers we're mixed in with record dealers selling one, but on some numbers we don't come up at all. How come, if the record number is in there, it doesn't grab it? (And I've tried it with and without quotation marks.) I've just been wondering about that. Thanks! -- Ken (talk) 01:38, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
It might just be that Google hasn't indexed those pages yet. —Scott (talk) 02:03, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, Google isn't instantaneous -- they have to "crawl" the pages to index them in the search. Sometimes pages get updated quickly in Google, and sometimes it can take a few weeks. So if you just added something to a page recently, then it may not show up in Google for a little while. -- Danny (talk) 13:26, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Song Template

Ken asked Danny a question about the "Source" field in the song templates. Specifically whether it should say "Sesame Street" for songs written for that show. The direction on the template reads "The source field is only necessary in cases where a song was not original to the production cited." However we don't always follow this very strictly and I think it's worth revisiting the matter.

For songs from external shows and albums it's obvious that we should fill in the source. But for a show like "The Muppet Show" or "Muppets Tonight" where 90%+ of the songs were not written for the show, and the general assumption is that the music is borrowed, it's actually nice to note that "These Are the Yolks, Folks" was written for the show, especially for the Ray Charles (music consultant) songs, which quite frankly might confuse the heck out of a casual viewer (and a not-so-casual viewer; I always do a double take).

For Sesame (and for that matter, Bear, Fraggle Rock, and Muppet Babies from what I've seen on a less-than-comprehensive glance around), generally all the songs were written for the show rather than being borrowed/covered. So that is the base assumption and adding the show to the source field could be seen as redundant. On the other hand, I find myself constantly adding text along the lines of '"C is for Cookie" is a Sesame Street song' to the start of the article, after stumbling across a few of the pages out of context and being disoriented about what show it was even used on until I glanced down at the category. I'm not sure that the casual viewer would see the category that quickly. Putting "Sesame Street" as the 'Source' in the box would solve the issue.

So the question is, do we fill in the Source, even if the song is original to the production? Or do we leave it out of the box and simply make our text more clear? I'm actually inclined to go with putting it in the box after thinking about it a bit. -- Wendy (talk) 18:13, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

I fought with Peter in the past over this, and I still feel very strongly about it. When I created the template, the only reason I even created a source section was to note songs borrowed from elsewhere. Plus, so many of the pages include text that "thus and thus is a Sesame Street song" and so on that including it in the box seems redundant to me. If there is a feeling that it should be in the box, then I'd insist that every "blank is a song from blank" sentence be removed. Plus, for original songs, there's also a category tag which automatically notes where it's from in most cases (Muppet Show Songs, Muppets Tonight Songs, Sesame Street Songs, etc.), which you don't have with excerpted songs. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:19, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. Although in truth we also say things like '"Do-Re-Mi" is a popular song from Rodger's and Hammerstein's 1959 hit musical The Sound of Music' in the text of some pages, which makes the whole box redundant. I always thought of the box as also serving an organizational, at-a-glance sort of function. -- Wendy (talk) 18:25, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I'd say it depends on context. If the page says that just to identify it, then yeah, take it out. If it says that as part of a longer history of the song, or because the Muppet performance specifically references/spoofs the movie/stage version, it's useful. Some of those may be remnants pre-box. Like I said, I personally dislike sourcing Sesame Street or so on, or pages which mention a song is from a Muppet album in the text and then someone adds the source to the box (the exception, where stating a Muppet source is valuable, is when a song is sued in multiple productions, like "Bein' Green"). But if majority prefers to have source in the box, then I'd definitely want to yank it from the text. I think we might need to hear from some other folks on this. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:37, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I'd rather have it in the box than in the text. I think "X is a song from Fraggle Rock" is clunky anyway. My vote is box. -- Danny (talk) 19:53, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I'll say box, too. Not to change the subject, but I think that also brings up the redundancy of release year, which is often mentioned twice, in the box, and text. I used to like it, but I guess we should treat that the same way, too. -- Ken (talk) 03:46, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I think I agree with Andrew (no need to state source unless it's from a different production), except for a couple of things. One, I think the box should be viewed as supplemental to the text; information should not be removed from the article solely because it's in the box (there may be box information that isn't necessary to have in the article, but the article should be able to stand on its own as encyclopedic without the box). Two, is there some way we could tag the box with "Muppet Show Original Song" (for example) or even "Muppet Show Song" with "original" implied unless there's a "source" field? Powers 13:25, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the box is there so that we don't have to include facts in the text that would otherwise sound clunky or out of place. If the text flows well using those facts, then it's fine to duplicate. If it sounds bad, then the box allows us to take them out.
So, to make up a couple of examples, "Rubber Duckie is a Sesame Street song written in 1969 by Joe Raposo" is a crappy first sentence, and we can move all that info to the box.
But something like this in the first paragraph would be fine: "Rubber Duckie was the first song that Joe Raposo wrote for Sesame Street in 1969; he was told by producer Dave Connell that the show desperately needed more songs about ducks."
The primary goal is a well-written article. The box is there to support that goal, taking the basic facts out of your way so you don't have to worry about where to include them. -- Danny (talk) 14:04, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Welcome messages

Hey all! Just wanted to make another shout-out about welcome messages. Now that we're in registered-user only mode (for at least a while to test things out -- see below), we won't be using the welcome and username templates for a while. Some of the admins have made customized welcome templates (for example, template:welcome-s is mine) for a more personable approach in introducing one's self to the new user. I know other folks have helped out in welcoming new users in the past, so instead of creating templates for everyone, I propose that we create a template that everyone can use which is piped so that you can personalize it if you want to. For example: {{subst:welcome|Scott}}.

Currently, I'm working with a bot to "subst:" all the welcome pages so that no pages will actually be linking to template:welcome. (subst: just substitutes the call for the template with the actual code that's in the template -- it cures a few software bugs to do it that way and decreases server load). Once that's done, I'd like to just continue using the welcome template so that we don't have a new, longer name to work with, remembering to always subst: it. This might all sound complicated, but most of it's going to happen behind-the-scenes and you won't know about it. All you have to know is that to welcome a new user, you'll be doing this: {{subst:welcome|Yourname}} ~~~~ instead of this: {{welcome}} ~~~~. I'll also be sure to engineer the template so that you don't have to use your name if you don't want to.

So, that's what I'm working on now. I'm open to questions and thoughts as always. —Scott (talk) 16:38, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Also, if you're worried about what Recent Changes has been looking like, you shouldn't be seeing that when I do such work very soon. I've discussed with Danny and Andrew about making those invisible in Recent Changes, but they'll still appear in each article's history. Some of that stuff you shouldn't care about as it's general wiki maintenance, but there are others that might be of particular interest, such as swapping out a parameter for the Sesame Episodes template which I did yesterday. For now, I've been marking all those edits as minor, so if you don't want to see them in Recent Changes, just click "Hide minor edits." —Scott (talk) 16:42, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
With all that in mind, I've created Template:Welcome-test -- please see what it looks like on the sandbox and feel free to tweak it to better suit our welcoming needs. I've finished subst'ing all the current welcome templates, and this is what I'd like to use in place of that with everyone's approval. Again, it would work as I described above and I think it's a good solution for keeping our templates need and uniform, as well as fixing that odd section editing bug that Wendy and I discovered this week. —Scott (talk) 20:36, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Active talk pages

Just wanted to point out that after some discussion, we're going to try placing talk boxes on the talk pages instead of on the articles. Basically it means categorizing the talk page in Category:Active Talk Pages rather than having the extra click-though from the article. For more, see the discussion. —Scott (talk) 20:08, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Trivia

I've been meaning to bring this up for some time, and of course it happens to be at a moment when I don't have time to do a whole lot about it myself. But I think it's worth looking at the "Trivia" sections on article pages, especially those for people and characters, which frankly, are a mess for the most part. Most of the film/TV trivia sections are reasonably standardized and edited, and little tidbits add to those pages. But in other articles, Trivia is a dumping ground; info is often unsourced, a lot of it is too trivial even for a trivia section, and other bits are actually important and interesting but really belong in a biographical section of the article itself. I think what often happens is that we find a new fact and rush to add it to the page, but can't see where it would fit in, or the current page uses a "press" bio, so that tidbit is just added as Trivia. Then the sections grow, and even when the main article is improved, the trivia is often overlooked.

So here's my thoughts. What should be in the main article, and not in trivia? Details and quotes about character names, pets, major hobbies, and other facets of a character's lives or personalities; the first three items on Miss Piggy all need to be incorporated into the bio. Pepe the King Prawn: outside of one re-cast bit, the rest is about his personality and life, and needs to be worked into the body of the article (the article as a whole is a bit of a mess right now anyway). If a puppeteer also wrote or directed projects, that needs to be in the body of the article too. Where a key Muppet performer was born? Article body. Details about a character's creation and origin, when sourced? Not trivia, should be in the body. Random character birthdates, technical inconsistencies, details on when another performer took over briefly on one project, or the puppet switched from live-hand to rod and so on? Trivia.

Take a look at Steve Whitmire. That he shares a birthdate with Jim Henson and likes The Muppet Movie? Trivia, and rightly noted as such. But the rest, much of which isn't sourced, is about his background or work with the Muppets and needs to be integrated. Kevin Clash is worse: three items about his physical condition (possible vocal strain, tendonitis, height and weight) which I don't think we really need to be noting, and the birth of his daughter, which is a biographical detail which needs integrating.

Like I said, I don't have time to do a whole lot with it right now, but I thought it was worth mentioning. This problem exists all over the Wiki, so if anyone needs something to do, take a gander at an article's trivia section, or at some of the pages I mentioned. While sometimes a judgement call is involved, more often it's just there because someone didn't know where to put it. Give these stray facts a home! -- Andrew Leal (talk) 14:37, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, that's a good point -- it's definitely a project worth working on. If you notice some pages that really need help, and you don't have time to deal with it right now, you could put an Attention tag on 'em. I think that would be a good use of the Attention system, since it's something that almost any contributor could help with. -- Danny (talk) 15:08, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
I have noticed that some pages have a "trivia" section and some have a "notes" section (I think in some cases there are both). Should we make a decision on whether pages should just have a "Notes" section or just a "Trivia" section? --Minor muppetz 15:07, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I like "Notes" better. Sometimes the items in "Trivia" aren't necessarily trivial; they just don't fit in the article. -- Danny (talk) 15:10, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree; right now, I think it's just that user's tend to use "Trivia" as the automatic catch-all term. Can you link to examples of pages which have both headings? Ideally, there's several pages which really should be brought to the point where there's no "Trivia" heading at all. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 15:12, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I can't think of any pages that have both. I'm probably the person who's been making Notes headings rather than Trivia, and I wouldn't add both. -- Danny (talk) 15:37, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I can't really think of any examples where both "Notes" and "Trivia" sections are used in the same page. I could just be thinking that there are. --Minor muppetz 19:31, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Just back on Kevin for a sec, I added those pieces of public medical info because they both have an affect on his long-term ability to puppeteer. -- Zanimum 16:34, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Mayhaps, but this isn't a sports wiki; I don't think we need to include such info to prognosticate on long term performance, and even that doesn't justify height and weight. If Clash does retire for one of the reasons cited or something, then it becomes relevant, but right now, it seems intrusive. I don't really see how such info, on that or any other page, really helps. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 17:09, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
You want to know something interesting? "Mayhaps" is not a word but "mayhap" is. These are the kind of wonderful and fascinating things I learn when fighting with my girlfriend. That is all. -- Peter (talk) 23:27, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Anonymous edits

This is huge news for the wiki: As a response to popular demand from all of the admins, Wikia has agreed to turn off anonymous editing on Muppet Wiki as an experiment. It's always been an important principle for us that contributors should have user names -- see the Muppet Wiki User Name policy -- because we feel that having names is essential to working together as a group. It's difficult to communicate with people who use IP addresses, and it's impossible for the folks with changing IPs. Turning off anonymous edits means that every contributor is connected to a history, and we can talk to everyone.

This is a big deal for Wikia, though. Wikipedia was founded on the idea that absolutely everybody should be allowed to edit no matter what, and there's a strong feeling at Wikia that making user names mandatory puts up a barrier that turns some people off. The fact that Wikia has agreed to this demonstrates the level of trust that they have in us as a community.

So this is an experiment right now. They agreed to try it for three months, and they're keeping track of how it goes in a bunch of different ways. They want to see the number of contributors go up, and the readership, and the quality of the contributions. At the end of three months, we'll look at that data and see if the policy should continue.

And the exciting thing is that if this works, it may be possible to use this as a model for other wikis. Ultimately, it may even have an impact on Wikipedia. So, like I said, huge news.

I hope that this is the start of a new phase for Muppet Wiki, where we really take off and become bigger and better than ever. We won't be distracted by anonymous vandals anymore, and we can just focus on building the database and building the community. Here we go... -- Danny (talk) 15:37, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Yay! -- Ken (talk) 03:48, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Neat. I hope this experiment doesn't "fail". I think this community works better when the edits have an identity attached to them, and this could be a good function other wikias could utilize if trying to build the same level of community and quality we have here. My only suggestion for it (if possible) would be to possibly tweak the message that non-logged-in people get when they click "edit this page". Currently it's just says "You have to log in to edit pages." I think expanding the brief blurb on that page just to also explain that anyone can create an account (and it's free/easy) and also point them to the place to register. This might help people that get that message when they go to edit actually go and get an account and get editing. -- Brad D. (talk) 04:27, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Right now it says "You have to log in to edit pages. Creating a username is free and only takes a minute to register." I agree that that could be expanded, and more friendly and welcoming. I'll have to ask around to see who knows how to edit that message... -- Danny (talk) 15:10, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
After I posted that Scott did something with MediaWiki:Whitelistedittext and now the line "Creating a username is free and only takes a minute to register" is there. So it's a bit more inviting now. -- Brad D. (talk) 15:18, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh! Duh. I shoulda known that before I went and e-mailed somebody about it. :) -- Danny (talk) 15:28, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
What do you guys think about putting the box from Template:Welcome there? -- Danny (talk) 18:54, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
That sounds cool! That way, they'll see a more friendly and detailed welcome message right away. By the way, a funny thing happened to me last night. It seems that the welcome template had somehow become linked to the "Welcome" 45! I thought for a minute that I had been kicked out for some reason! Fortunately, Wendy fixed it. -- Ken (talk) 03:04, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a good idea. —Scott (talk) 16:27, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Hollywood Bowl

HollywoodBowl

I found this image online with the caption "Kermit and Piggy at the Hollywood Bowl - 2006". Does anyone have any information on what took place there and could create an appearance page for the event? I'm in the dark on this one. -- Brad D. (talk) 04:40, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Wow, great picture! Where'd you find it? That's John Mauceri at a somewhat recent Hollywood Bowlf event. I keep meaning to start a page for that, but I think I had trouble finding out what the show was called on the program. There's a thread about it at the TP forum. —Scott (talk) 05:11, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
The event was called "Fireworks Finale" at the Hollywood Bowl on September 15-17, 2006. -- Peter (talk) 23:33, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

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