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In Honor Of EMSparks


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#1 Kosh

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 08:05 AM

On January 25th , the Ex Isle community lost a board member who had been combating cancer. It's always sad when we lose a member, even when it's just because someone moves on to other things, and it's especially sad when we lose someone permanently and know that they will not return.

And EM Sparks was not only a member of this community, he was a long-time member who had shown his commitment to the community by his continuing presence, his thought-filled dialogue, and his unending willingness to do the real work of communicating that is such a vital part of being a member of an on-line community.

EM Sparks was special, and irreplaceable.

It is hardest for his family, including his daughter, one of Ex Isle's own, Natolii, but it is a loss for all of us.
This is a thread in which to mourn our loss, as individuals and as a community. It is a thread in which to honor him, and preserve our memories of him, and to preserve some of his words and his ideas as well.


We are hoping that many of our fellow board members will post quotes from EM Sparks' posts that they found meaningful in some way, whether it was something that helped them get to know him better as a person, or something that seemed especially perceptive, or something that was personally meaningful in some way.

Yet we also encourage people to post whatever is most meaningful to them. Not everyone will have a particular quote or post that caught their attention. Some people may prefer simply to speak from the heart, sharing their own memories. We all honor, grieve and remember people in a variety of ways.

Peridot said that when she wrote her post last January, on the thread that told us all of EM Sparks' passing, she couldn't bring to mind one word that she wanted, that she felt fit Sparks well. Later, it surfaced.

The word was authenticity.

And EM Sparks' posts truly did have that quality of authenticity; he was a man who spoke as himself, without sham or pretense, with both self-respect and a real respect for his fellow board members.

We honor him here with our memories, and remember his words.

****************************************************************************
Peridot




When Peridot told me about doing this thread, and asked me if I would like to be involved, thinking that I was close to him, as I had added his signature to mine, I jumped at the chance. I wasn't unforturnatly, close to EM. I had spoke to him over PM once or twice, but hadn't really tried to build a relationship. I'll regret that. I admired the man's style, and his opinion, more then most people's. There are only two people on Ex Isle, who's word I would except without question, and one of those is now gone. I'll miss him. But I will remember him from now on, and I'll remember him fondly, as a wise man, who's stuck to his guns under fire, and who's opinions made me stop and reconsider my own.

Please post your favorite memories, quotes and comments that relate to EM, and let us create a lasting memorial for one who was our close friend for so long.
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#2 Darkside_1

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 08:46 AM

First off...

Kosh, those were very beautiful and eloquent words from Peridot and thanks for this tribute.  :)  My thoughts and prayers are still with Natoli and her family in their time of grief over the loss of our beloved EmSparks.  I know what it's like to lose a loved one to cancer.  My two grandfathers passed on from cancer, my grandfather on my father's side had it far worse than on my mother's side.

I'll always remember reading Sparky's threads and his unique insight on many topics of discussion.  I've always loved his avatar of the duck in the labcoat with the "Eureka!!" expression on the duck's face and gesturing with the hand.  Sparky never seemed to be at a loss for words and always had something to say.  

Rest in peace Sparky and we'll see you again in the place where no shadows fall.

Edited by Darkside_1, 23 March 2007 - 09:40 PM.

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#3 Bobby

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 08:55 AM

"I have on this board written pages and pages pointing out the science, and I will be dammed if I am going to attempt to reach closed minds that don’t even know how to use a reference library."   -emsparks

May whatever God or gods there may be speed him on his journey.

Edited by Life for Rent, 23 March 2007 - 04:33 PM.


#4 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 04:41 PM

View PostQueenTiye, on Feb 1 2006, 01:12 PM, said:

View Postemsparks, on Feb 1 2006, 09:07 AM, said:

I am really very tired of the spin put out by the President, the Republican Party, and dare I say the Democrats.

Lets get a few things straight this garbage about the loss of privacy rights, is nothing more then inflammatory rhetoric used by the democrats to insight a public reaction to a much more sinister and a bit more technical issue, the nullification of a duly constituted court by the administration. The Democrats think that they have to use inflammatory rhetoric because they either don’t understand what has happened or think the American public is just too stupid to understand the real issue.

The salient fact here is that a FISA court warrant can be applied for up to 72 hours after the wiretap has been put in place. Given the history of the court in granting warrants, there is a likely hood if the administration came to the court with a good reason why the 72 hours had to be exceeded I think the judge would have issued a continuance and granted the warrant any way. Congress has made it clear that if a longer time frame was needed, if asked they would have amended the law. This 72-hour rule makes a total lie about any claim that the FISA court is not responsive enough to deal with fast moving investigations, because you can get a warrant after the fact. AND I defy anyone on this board to give me a cogent example, where given the resources of the federal intelligence agencies the FISA court is incapable of keeping up with any investigation.

Understand something a judge can change time frames on information due to a court he or she presides over by issuing an continuance. If a federal officer known to a FISA judge, faxed that judge and simply said “Be aware we have something hot going and we need more them the 72 hours,” there is a high likely hood that an extension would have been granted, that’s one of the ways that courts work.

The real reason why the FISA court exist is not to prevent abuse, it is to document the how and why so that issues of abuse can be addressed at the appropriate time, in this country we call that “Oversight,” without which no one can say who was wiretapped and why. In such a case Water Gate pales by comparison.

Now there is a federal law against improperly nullifying a law or an arm of government, like a court, and it is the second highest crime a person can commit in this country it’s called “sedition,” because said nullification can be viewed as fomenting an act of rebellion. So there is the very real possibility that impeachment is called for. There is also the possibility that it is not. I am not advocating either way, I am just reporting the real issues.


Just felt the need to quote you...

QT

Still do.

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#5 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 04:45 PM

View Postemsparks, on Dec 9 2005, 06:51 PM, said:

Dear Qt;
...

On other subjects;

HI back at you…..

Have you ever seen the cartoon program “The Kids Next Door”? In particular a character called Number five. She’s drawn as a feisty African American girl of about nine, who is to “The Kids Next Door” as Zoe is to firefly only with a tad more attitude. I hope this is not offensive but when I see her I think of you.

This is a very fond memory.

QT

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#6 SparkyCola

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 05:44 PM

What I remember most about Sparky was his gentle protectiveness of Natolii, a fatherly love for his daughter that made me respect him instantly. What he said about Natolii to me touched me and even though it was a long time ago I still remember, he said that Natolii was a kind and generous person. I was always happy to see the relationship Natolii and emsparks had. I respected emsparks a lot and I miss him.

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#7 Raina

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 04:49 AM

View PostDarkside_1, on Mar 23 2007, 06:46 AM, said:

I'll always remember reading Sparky's threads and his unique insight on many topics of discussion.  I've always loved his avatar of the duck in the labcoat with the "Eureka!!" expression on the duck's face and gesturing with the hand.
That avatar is what really comes to mind for me when I think about him. I tried looking online for it, but while I think I narrowed down what character it is (Ludwig Von Drake), I can't find the particular picture that he used. Does anyone have a copy of it?

Edited by Raina, 24 March 2007 - 04:49 AM.


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#8 Nonny

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 06:03 PM

I can't think of a particular post or quote to add here, maybe I will later.  What I have is a general feeling of wellbeing whenever I saw that Sparky was posting again.  When he'd been gone for a while, it was always good to see him back, to know that whatever had kept him away, he was feeling better again.  

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#9 Peridot

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 09:51 PM

I also had some specific memories of my own that I wanted to share.

One of the posts that EM Sparks made that I found most memorable, I won't be able to quote; I read it not here at Ex Isle, but back at the Slipstream board.  I remember the sense of it quite clearly, though, and I found it not only memorable, but an eye-opener.

When replying to someone's comment about a post he had made, Sparky said something to the effect that the only way he could even write a post was that he had stacks of dictionaries and thesauruses sitting round his desk, because he had some kind of medical or cognitive condition that made reading and writing a real challenge.

What really impressed me was the tremendous drive to communicate that Sparky's comment showed; making a post wasn't something he just rattled off--it took real commitment, persistence, and something else I don't know what to call except love.  Love in the sense of that within us which makes us want to reach out to other human beings, that makes us want to connect. The comment not only said something about him, it said something about the power of one thing we all share:  the human need to communicate.  


The post that was the most meaningful to me was from just last summer:

"I would point out that we all are: one hit on the head, one microbe, one morsel of tainted food, one whiff of the wrong common chemical, or one poorly performed medical procedure, away from devastating mental illness.

The brain is the most easily damaged organ in the human body.

If you’ve hit your head hard enough to see lights, or have a headache, you have done brain damage. The question is not if all human beings have brain damage the question is how much.
"
EM Sparks


When I read that, I thought, "Wow...I need to PM him and ask him more about this."  I never wrote that PM; life intervened, and like Kosh, I am left with the feeling that I wish I could have known EM Sparks better.  But the reason this is meaningful is that I think--I have in fact thought for some time now---that I have some little neurological glitch that I didn't have as a child or early adulthood; an unwelcome souvenir of a serious illness I had when my first child was small.

And when I saw that post, it was as if a door had opened up for me. I realized that I might indeed be right in my conjecture, and I realized also that there might be other people I could talk to about it.  The post was not in response to anything I had said, but it stayed with me.  It was, in one sense, a gift.

Thank you, Sparky....and Godspeed...

Peridot

#10 Spectacles

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 02:43 PM

(Thanks, Peridot, for the heads up about this well-deserved thread to honor Sparky.)

Mainly, I just want to say that I miss him. Often in the past few months since he's been gone, I've wondered what Sparky would think about some world event or another because his perspective was always guaranteed to be fresh and non-ideological. We didn't always agree, but Sparky didn't *need* people to agree with him, which was part of his charm. :)  In fact, he seemed to love civil debate. Of course, if a debate became less-than-civil, he wouldn't take any crap--also part of his charm :) -- but he was always willing to have a grownup disagreement and he was not one to hold grudges. Every conversation was a new slate.

Discussing matters with Sparky felt like sitting at the kitchen table and drinking coffee with an interesting and wise neighbor--surrounded by reference books. In a disagreement, he had the grace to concede a point if you were able to argue it well enough, and he had the integrity to hold his ground until someone showed him a good reason to shift his position.  

Always he contributed to any discussion with his unique perspective. He kept himself and everyone else honest. And I learned a lot from reading his posts.

I miss him. Always will.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

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#11 Natolii

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 06:47 PM

Thank you all for the thoughts.

Dad did suffer from a number of Learning Disabilities that had, in effect, rendered him Functionally Illiterate. Yes he could read, but the disconnect happened between the eyes and the brain.

I am over simplifying to the extreme, but as time went on, other things contributed, including Sleep Apnea and the cancer.

I learned a lot about dad in few weeks up to the funeral. He was in the US Army during Vietnam and served Stateside at the Nike Missile base in Bristol, RI. He met my mom at one of the USO Dances in New Bedford, Ma. I learned of his station from mom, then I learn of what was there from my boss, and ex-Army man himself.

My Aunt was telling me a story from when he was a child. My grandmother told her to watch "the baby." Well, Dad being himself, managed to flip himself over in the swing and was hanging upside down. My grandmother came out yelling at my Aunt, "I thought you were watching him." My aunt had taken her literally and watched him do this, so she answered, "I was."

I got him good one day. I had just had my tonsils out and he drove up from NY with a co-worker/Lady Friend. They picked up me and my then boy-friend and were headed for the mall. On the way there, he and the lady friend were complaining about the "accountants running the electronics firm." I took one look at my boyfriend and said, "Welcome to the Fast Pace World of High Technology." Dad looks at his friend and states, "Up until now I could not appreciate her level of Sarcasm."

In the end, Dad passed away from a Pulmonary Embolism caused by Pneumonia and exacerbated by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. He was fighting up until the end. He was laid to rest at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

Two of the hardest songs in the world to hear...

Amazing Grace on the Bagpipes
TAPS on a Bugle...

I held on up until they handed me the flag.

~The kid with the big red truck.

Edited by Natolii, 26 April 2007 - 06:49 PM.

"I have on this board written pages and pages pointing out the science, and I will be dammed if I am going to attempt to reach closed minds that don’t even know how to use a reference library." -emsparks (Fenton E. Magill, dec. 1/25/07 - Love you Dad)

#12 Themis

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 09:08 PM

Wow.  Even more than we knew, he was quite a man.  Proud to have "known" him.
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#13 Nonny

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 04:07 PM

It's Memorial Day, and I'm thinking of Sparky.  I miss him, and wish I knew how to do image stuff so I could decorate his memorial thread with flowers.  I'm old enough that I remember when Memorial Day was Decoration Day BTW.  

Rest in peace, Sparky.
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"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#14 Godeskian

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 04:38 PM

You are missed Sparky. RIP

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#15 Vapor Trails

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 04:54 PM

Rest in peace, Sparky-and thank you for your military service.
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#16 Godeskian

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 05:50 PM

Posted Image

As requested as Nonny is experiencing some problems with the images. Poppies are the flower of choice of the British veterans associations, and I gather from Nonny that they have similar meaning for US troops.

Defy Gravity!


The Doctor: The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles... and that's a theory. Nine hundred years and I've never seen one yet, but this will do me.


#17 Spectacles

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 06:49 PM

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"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#18 Rhea

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 07:02 PM

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.

I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
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#19 Gagh

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 02:50 PM

I did not know this person, but a truncated life due to an incurable disease is no way for anyone to go. My condolences go to the friends & family.
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#20 mare serenitatis

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 01:21 PM

I knew him not very well. I regret that I never got a chance to get to know him better. {{{{{{{Natolii}}}}}}}, if you would like someone to talk with, please contact me any time.
A hug a day keeps the psychatrist away


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