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Old January 4 2014, 08:10 PM   #1
USS Triumphant
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Laundry Day?

My daughter asked an interesting if somewhat trivial question at lunch today: Starting with TNG, when a crewperson takes off their clothes, I think the assumption is that they stick them in a dematerialization bin, and then replicate a new set for the next time they get dressed. (If I recall correctly, this assumption is backed up by at least one time when the replicators being on the fritz resulted in someone's uniform being the wrong size or similar.) And they probably do the same thing with their bedclothes and all sorts of other things. Well, alright, that seems logical, but what if a crewperson has a *unique* item such as a quilted blanket that has been in their family several generations, or a sweater knitted by an aunt, or whatever: how do they get them cleaned?

Do crew quarters have washer/dryers and we've just never seen them? Is there a secret laundry section of the ship that isn't on any of the schematics I've seen? Will hanging up the item in the shower and using the sonic function that I'm only presuming it has get items clean? Would they go to an open cargo hold and use the cargo replicators to replicate a washing machine and dryer to use, and then put THAT in the dematerializer each time? Would they use a scan of the item from when it was clean, and ask the transporter operators to beam away everything that wasn't in that scan? (Is this part of what O'Brien does with his time? )

And more than any of that, in the enlightened 24th century, would *not* allowing a personal effect to be scanned and made available for *anyone* to replicate be considered selfishness? And would people look at you odd (or maybe even consider you to have a mental illness of some sort) for insisting on hanging on to "the original" when so many things are digitally replicated and you could just replicate another one for yourself?
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Old January 4 2014, 08:54 PM   #2
1001001
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Re: Laundry Day?

In The Cost of Living, Worf complained to Troi about Alexander: "Before being allowed to play, he was to put his soiled clothing in the garment reprocessor." That does sound like de-materializing and re-materializing to me ("reprocessing").

However...

In In Theory, Keiko commented about putting O'Brien's socks in the "cleaning processor". It seemed to me at the time that was basically a space age washing machine. So perhaps you could put anything in there and it would come out clean.

It's one of those Great Mysteries...

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Old January 4 2014, 09:10 PM   #3
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Re: Laundry Day?

The fact that uniforms were easily rebuilt makes you wonder why occasionally a crew member had the wrong rank stripes or the wrong division color.

That was 20th-century economics asserting itself.
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Old January 4 2014, 10:08 PM   #4
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Re: Laundry Day?

I always assumed that clothing was broken down into its components and reassembled, like a transporter would do.
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Old January 4 2014, 10:13 PM   #5
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Re: Laundry Day?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I always assumed that clothing was broken down into its components and reassembled, like a transporter would do.
I think that usually that would be the case, as well, and said so in my OP. But if so, it begs the other questions I asked, also in the OP.

(What I'm saying here is, how about fully read the OP? )
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Old January 5 2014, 05:03 AM   #6
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Re: Laundry Day?

Living quarters in the TOS Enterprise had dressers, the drawers had clothing.

Possibly instead of washers and dryers, placing something "dirty" into one of the dresser drawers would result in the dirty items being cleaned and nicely folded. Any foreign materials not apart of the original garment would be removed, similar to the transporters bio-filter. The process could even make minor repairs.

You keep the original item, no losing Nana's hand made quilt.

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Old January 5 2014, 05:33 AM   #7
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Re: Laundry Day?

I've been wondering what prevents anything from being stored as a replicator file. Including antiques and such.
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Old January 5 2014, 05:54 AM   #8
Armored Saint
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Re: Laundry Day?

Vulcans must have an incredible laundry technology considering STIV.
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Old January 5 2014, 07:23 AM   #9
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Re: Laundry Day?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Possibly instead of washers and dryers, placing something "dirty" into one of the dresser drawers would result in the dirty items being cleaned and nicely folded. Any foreign materials not a part of the original garment would be removed, similar to the transporters bio-filter. The process could even make minor repairs.
The equipment would certainly be kept busy mending Capt. Kirk's torn shirts.
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Old January 5 2014, 02:22 PM   #10
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Laundry Day?

I'm sure the replicator had a setting that would just remove dirt and restore wear and tear, thus saving a lot of energy.
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Old January 5 2014, 02:44 PM   #11
Shawnster
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Re: Laundry Day?

robau wrote: View Post
I've been wondering what prevents anything from being stored as a replicator file. Including antiques and such.
Would a replicated antique truly be antique?
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Old January 5 2014, 03:51 PM   #12
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Re: Laundry Day?

I would have guessed that there's something like the sonic shower where you just put it in a chamber, something high tech happens and all the dirt and grime is removed.

I think even in the 24th century, if you asked somebody "Hey, you know that cherished sentimental object of yours? Can I have an exact copy?" it'd be interpreted by anyone as a dick move. If it doesn't have sentimental value and it's just a trinket of yours, I think anybody would willingly make it available.

This also has me thinking, are toilets still toilets or is there some kind of sonic shower like procedure to remove waste automatically?
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Old January 5 2014, 04:22 PM   #13
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Re: Laundry Day?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
are toilets still toilets or is there some kind of sonic shower like procedure to remove waste automatically?
We saw a toilet in ST V.
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Old January 5 2014, 04:23 PM   #14
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Re: Laundry Day?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
I would have guessed that there's something like the sonic shower where you just put it in a chamber, something high tech happens and all the dirt and grime is removed.

I think even in the 24th century, if you asked somebody "Hey, you know that cherished sentimental object of yours? Can I have an exact copy?" it'd be interpreted by anyone as a dick move. If it doesn't have sentimental value and it's just a trinket of yours, I think anybody would willingly make it available.

This also has me thinking, are toilets still toilets or is there some kind of sonic shower like procedure to remove waste automatically?
There is only one toilet aboard the Enterprise-D, according to the engineering MSD. How it works has never been explained.
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Old January 5 2014, 05:00 PM   #15
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Re: Laundry Day?

Shawnster wrote: View Post
Would a replicated antique truly be antique?
JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
I think even in the 24th century, if you asked somebody "Hey, you know that cherished sentimental object of yours? Can I have an exact copy?" it'd be interpreted by anyone as a dick move. If it doesn't have sentimental value and it's just a trinket of yours, I think anybody would willingly make it available.
Alright, we know some of the crew still attach sentiment to inanimate objects, especially the ships - which may partially answer what I was thinking in this regard, but it seems to me that embedding one's memories and emotions in inanimate objects might be seen as a negative thing in a lot of cases by the 24th century. Especially the idea that a special reverence or value should be placed on an object just because it has managed to survive intact for a long time. What can be learned from an older object would be a different story, but if the replicator can make one just like it, the *matter and energy* that make up the replicated one would be just as old, would they not?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
I would have guessed that there's something like the sonic shower where you just put it in a chamber, something high tech happens and all the dirt and grime is removed.
And there's no reason such a chamber couldn't be built into the dresser drawers as T'Girl was saying, I suppose. It's a little dissatisfying to say "and then, a miracle occurs" (or in your words "something high tech happens") when we have at least pseudo-explanations for a lot of other things, though.


PicardSpeedo wrote: View Post
There is only one toilet aboard the Enterprise-D, according to the engineering MSD. How it works has never been explained.
Something to do with those damned three seashells again, I expect.
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