Minutes ago I turned on the TV and saw an item on the wall of the Big Bang Theory apartment. I didn't know what it was, googled it, and was happy to find the exact question asked on Stack Exchange.

What is this item in Sheldon & Leonard's apartment?

I went to upvote the question, and strangely couldn't. I guess it has a historic lock for "the question is off-topic but has historical significance". Highly upvoted and 81k views.

The question seems pretty on-topic for me. The only thing I could find would be:

Unimportant trivia that does not add to the understanding or appreciation of the title.

Arguably that item would be "important trivia", if it's some scientific item that somehow relates to the main characters' jobs/hobbies and is perhaps referenced in an episode of the show.

Regardless, even if the item is "unimportant trivia", why does the question have a Historical Lock rather than a normal closure? There does not appear to be a closure or deletion war in the history.

  • 1
    This was locked almost a decade ago by a user who was last seen two years ago. Unless there is an answer in the questions and answers on Meta (i.e. here), I doubt you're going to get an answer.
    – BCdotWEB
    Jan 31, 2022 at 8:36
  • 2
    @BCdotWEB That user was presumably a mod at the time, so the current mod team should answer the question. If the question was closed/locked despite being on-topic for this site, it should be reopened or unlocked.
    – pk_
    Feb 1, 2022 at 18:39
  • 2
    Why should the current mod team know anything about a decision taken a decade ago? I also don't think it should be re-opened, regardless of its popularity. Some item in the background that is never interacted with is by definition trivia, and thus off-topic.
    – BCdotWEB
    Feb 2, 2022 at 9:11
  • 2
    Who's to say it is never interacted with? That might be answered by the question...
    – pk_
    Feb 6, 2022 at 2:59
  • There is no need to reopen the question, anyone with such evidence can come to meta and request a re-opening and provide sufficient evidence for such a request.
    – BCdotWEB
    Feb 6, 2022 at 9:05
  • It's not on-topic. That said, I suspect it's a piece of random passive electronics, like an interconnect block for a bank of analog telephone circuits. Feb 8, 2022 at 2:12
  • 3
    An off- topic post shouldn't be given a historical lock. It can just be closed.
    – pk_
    Feb 8, 2022 at 4:42

1 Answer 1


According to the rules for when to apply a Historical Lock, given on the Main Meta
What is a historical lock, and what is it used for?

Questions can be historically locked when:

The post does not meet the current guidelines for a good, on-topic question, and
The post is stellar, in spite of its off-topic nature, and
There are a large number of views, upvotes and inbound links on the post, and
The post is contentious; e.g., it has been closed and reopened at least once, or deleted and undeleted at least once.

That question has over 82,000 views - so it is stellar, it was tweeted on the site's Twitter feed so was contentious, it is (or was) off-topic.

The mods at the time seem to have been following the rules.

  • The post was not contentious though, negating the need for any kind of lock. Off Topic questions can just be closed...
    – pk_
    Mar 6, 2022 at 16:17

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