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AdLib On September - 16 - 2013

PTOE-03

It is with a very heavy heart that Kalima and I share the news with the rest of our PlanetPOV family that our co-founder and wonderful, brilliant friend, KQuark has passed away.

From Kalima:

THANK YOU KQ.

Where does one start when one has to put into words the loss of two special and much loved friends just months apart?

In life sometimes we pass each other like two ships in the night, sometimes we collide. But sometimes, we glide into the harbour at the same time, and that’s how I felt about KQ.

We met over at HP in 08 during the primaries. I loved his passion and knowledge about issues, and the way he would use it to smack down the ignorant trolls. He encouraged me to speak my sometimes very different and loud European take on things, and we became friends. We continued this relationship at another site where we blogged together with another friend, AdLib.

It was unfortunately not the place to speak your mind or be different, so we talked about starting our own site one day in our emails to each other. Eventually we did, thanks to AdLib who came back from a trip to Europe in the spring of 09, and after growing tired of the sameness at the other place, said let’s do it, and we did. We planned for a few months, then launched The Planet where we hoped to give freedom to troll free discussions and ideas.

A scientist by profession. A humanitarian by nature. A man who had an unbending belief in fixing the injustice he saw, while often laughing like a playful child at simple and silly things we shared.

KQ was not a well man, but that never stopped him or his main passion for healthcare for all Americans. He had lost his insurance when he became too sick to work. Last year, due to the President’s ACA, his life became so much better. Unfortunately, his health did not.

I don’t know how to say goodbye to people who mean so much to me, so I won’t. I’ll just say thank you my friend for your friendship and for making my life that much better for having known you.

Rest well, your suffering is over. I miss you and thank you for letting me into your life. RIP.

If you missed his well researched articles on the Healthcare Reform bill. I’ve linked to them at the end of this to help us remember why he was such a special human being.

Periodic Table of Dangerous Elements | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2010/02/02/periodic-table-of-dangerous-elements

Periodic Table of Dangerous Elements: Final 2012 Edition | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2012/11/01/periodic-table-of-dangerous-elements-final-2012-edition

The Many Ways to Fight for Real Universal Healthcare Reform | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/09/14/the-way-for-progressives-to-fight-back-on-healthcare-reform/

The Fundamental Case for Healthcare Reform: Part One the Moral Case | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/08/05/the-fundamental-case-for-healthcare-reform-part-one-the-moral-case

Just Regulate Stupid! | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/10/02/just-regulate-stupid

A Healthcare Irony | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/09/01/a-healthcare-irony

Who’s Paying to Kill Healthcare Reform? | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/08/26/whos-paying-to-kill-healthcare-reform

My Personal Healthcare Story | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/08/01/my-personal-healthcare-story

Survivorman Circa 2009: Somewhere in NE Georgia Hospital | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/12/22/survivorman-circa-2009-somewhere-in-ne-georgia-hospital

Wow Under Different Circumstances this could be Me. | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/10/23/wow-under-different-circumstances-this-could-be-me

Proud to be a Scientist | PlanetPOV

http://planetpov.com/2009/11/02/proud-to-be-a-scientist

KQ wrote 143 articles for The Planet and these listed were a few of my favourites. You can check out others at: KQµårk 死神 | PlanetPOV http://planetpov.com/author/kquarks/

From Adlib:

There’s not that much I can add to Kalima’s description of how she and I met and came together with KQuark to found PlanetPOV.  I do recall after we had left HP for another site, KQuark had privately contacted me about helping him write a post and in doing so, really started our friendship. My response was being a bit surprised, I expressed how impressed I was with the comments he wrote and how I had no doubt he could write quite well. He showed me a draft of his first post before posting it and as I had expected, it was smartly written and very effective.

As a couple of months went by and we grew dissatisfied with the atmosphere of that other site, KQuark, Kalima and I soon discovered how like-minded we were in our desire for a place to blog where trolls, conformity, cliques and censorship did not have a home. We envisioned a site that was by bloggers, for bloggers, where everyone could freely express themselves as part of a community that respected individuality and freedom of expression.

If not for KQuark’s commitment to there being such a site as PlanetPOV, none of the conversations we’ve ever had here, none of the revelations or laughs we’ve shared, none of the people you’ve come to know here, would ever have been a part of any of our lives.

When we first launched PlanetPOV there was just Kalima, KQuark and me and a few very appreciated friends from that other site and HP. In those early days, KQuark and I were the only ones posting articles, Kalima’s focus was on building up our comments and conversations. Sometimes we’d both be posting articles in a particular week, other times KQuark would keep the posts flowing, sometimes I would, both of us knowing that to get this site off the ground, we had to keep it up till it caught on.

During all that time, while expending all of this energy, KQuark was dealing with a great deal of debilitating illness and pain, not to mention stress from not having health insurance to cover his serious condition. His passion though, for writing in defense of justice, fairness and the principles of a good society never wavered.

When the ACA was first being debated, KQuark was a fierce defender of it, giving no ground to those on the Right or the Left who wanted it defeated. When some on the Left promoted the belief that it would be better to kill the ACA than to have a plan that wasn’t single payer, KQuark was energized to knock that argument down by skewering intellectual exercises with humanity and sharing the details of his own dilemma with needing but not being allowed by insurance companies to get covered. No one was more a staunch campaigner in the blogging world for the need to pass the ACA than KQuark and when it passed, many here were as happy for and proud of KQuark as we were for Obama.

KQuark was our resident scientist, his delight at sharing a recent scientific breakthrough or a NASA discovery was contagious. He was a man of logic who never took a position that didn’t make sense, even if one disagreed with it. He was so creative as well and had such a sharp sense of humor, as his works such as his Periodic Table of Dangerous Elements that appears above attests. He enjoyed creating graphics for our posts and regular features and even created a very funny smiley of a stick figure peeing. From the sublime to the ridiculous, KQuark covered the whole spectrum.

We shared many things in common including an appreciation for Monty Python and Pink Floyd. We had our share of disagreements on issues which neither of us were bothered by, having that friendship meant never having to hold back on how passionate we were about our POV and though I was of course always right, I would sometimes let him think he was as I think he did with me for some inexplicable reason.

Life for KQuark was a challenge due to the severity of the pain he endured and the devastation of his health and abilities but he constantly fought against it, refusing to accept concession and insisting on making a difference every day he could.

Kalima listed some of his best posts above. His posts on his own condition and the issues he had to face due to our health care system were his most potent arguments for health care reform though his well-researched opinion pieces were very strong. His posts on science were always intriguing and enlightening, making me step out of my day to day thinking and zoom out a bit to ponder God, the universe and existence. His humorous posts would always make me smile no matter what was going on. The logic he exhibited in his comments and arguments made even the briefest one substantial.

KQuark was a brilliant, creative and witty man. Fortunately, he has left a lot of who he was here in the form of his posts, comments and creations. Due to that and as a co-founder of The Planet, KQuark will always be a part of my life and my universe even though he has passed on. I will always remember him as my friend, my partner and a singular, remarkable and irreplaceable human being.

RIP KQuark, you will always be missed.

Categories: News & Politics

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

117 Responses so far.

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  1. funksands says:

    It looks like this was published the day before I left town on vacation. I regret having missed it. This is the news I had been fearing, having not heard from him in so long.

    I’ve missed him here and over on Twitter, where he was really coming into his own using that medium.

    My sympathies to all of you that knew him so well for so long.

  2. empi says:

    ADLIB No worries about responding. I totally understand. It really helped coming to the Planet after learning of KQuark’s passing. I still can’t believe it but I know he is resting in peace. Thanks to all at the Planet

  3. Nirek says:

    To all of you who have been touched by KQ, I second everything good you have said. KQ and Bito were what we all aspire to be.

    May KQ rest in peace as I know Bito has already greeted him.

    • AdLib says:

      Nirek, in a time of growing pettiness and irrationality, it is pretty special to have had KQuark and Bito as inspirations here. Both exemplified the kind of humanity, reason and humor that all of us aspire to. We were lucky to have known them and to have shared with them all the conversations, debates and joking around we did. Their integrity will always remain as part of this community.

    • kesmarn says:

      They were two truly remarkable guys, Nirek. They made a great impact in the short time they were on the planet and on the Planet.

  4. empi says:

    Thank you AdLib, Kalima and all the others who responded to my posts about KQ. Yesterday was a catharsis for me because it was only a few days before that I received an email from his wife telling me of his passing and I was so very sad and couldn’t share my grief with anyone. That is what brought me to the Planet to see if there was anything about it and there was.

    Thank you again each and everyone of you.

    • AdLib says:

      Sorry for the delay in replying, empi. It has made it less difficult to work through this by having the chance to share memories and feelings with others who knew and cared a lot for KQuark. Glad you were here, hope to see you here again soon.

  5. I was so sorry to hear of KQ’s passing. I knew he was ill, but I didn’t know to what extent.

    I will miss his wit and knowledge. He was a good person who’s writing was excellent. He cared about people, our country and the world. He was a true progressive.

    RIP KQ, you will be missed. It’s amazing to see all the tributes to KQ here. It seems he touched a lot of people.

  6. agrippa says:

    KQuark was a great deal kinder and more patient than I was at Huffington Post.Because of the fatuous and ignorant posts by trolls, I wrote off that site. Now, I just go there for some news.
    I found this website from a comment that suggested planetpov with a link.
    His writings were most excellent.

    I wish that he were still with us.

    • AdLib says:

      Really appreciate your kind words, agrippa. KQuark was also more patient than I was with HP trolls though I did enjoy those occassions when he’d had enough and took them down.

      He did tire of all that unnecessary and manipulative conflict though, which is why he, Kalima and I came together to found The Planet as a haven for thoughtful conversations and debate.

  7. empi says:

    Who was Bito?

    • AdLib says:

      Bito was among the earliest Planeteers and after being such a passionate and prolific blogger-of-conscience here, he came on board as an Admin. He came up with the idea for and hosted our Time Out for Off Topic page which quickly became the hang out for Planeteers to chat about anything and everything.

      Bito then turned his focus to our Twitter presence and skillfully built it up and forged relationships with other Progressive sites and bloggers.

      And he was a great friend to many here, just as KQuark was. They had a good deal in common in many ways, they were each very singular and selfless.

      That’s just a thumbnail that can’t do justice to everything Bito meant to us and The Planet, Kalima’s link to the remembrance post for Bito is probably the best way to learn about who he was.

      It’s difficult to lose Bito and KQuark in the same year. I do feel so fortunate though to have shared so much with them. They are and always will be hugely missed…

      • empi says:

        Thanks Adlib. So sorry you lost two friends in one year.

      • AlphaBitch says:

        Dear Leader -- I lost a very good friend on the ValueJet crash in the Miami Everglades. His name was Walter Hyatt, and he was an amazing singer/songwriter I knew from Austin. A kinder soul probably did not exist. I mourned him deeply. When I saw a friend and told her of the huge hole in my heart from the absence of Walter, she told me the hole HAD to be there to make room in my heart for new ones. Took 57 Afghans to take Walter’s place, but I do understand the pain of loss and that empty feeling a little better now. It’s the waiting for something else to come along that is hard. Bito’s place is still open, but Bito and I both know it will be filled. -AB

        • AdLib says:

          AB, really appreciate your philosophical wisdom on this. You’ve proven how a tragic loss can lead one to truly remarkable expressions of compassion. I agree, it takes time to heal from such a loss and nature does abhor a vacuum so eventually, we can find a way to help fill the space that’s left empty but we never forget the one who left it.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      A great soul, a wonderful companion.

    • Kalima says:

      Maybe this will explain him better than I could right now, except to say that like KQUARK, he was a very sick man, a fighter against injustice, a friend who never complained and became part of the soul of The Planet. A very big part.

      A real shame that you never got to know him.

      http://planetpov.com/2013/01/31/in-remembrance-of-bito/

  8. empi says:

    Cliches are cliches because they are true and the one that comes to mind in response to SueInCA is:

    “The good die young”

    • Kalima says:

      In my personal experience, Empi, that unfortunately has been more true than not in my lifetime, and it makes me realise that we could do more when they are with us than facing the prospect of feeling guilt for the things we put off because we were lulled into believing that we had plenty of time later.

      • empi says:

        Well as one gets older, one gets to understand the importance of savoring the moment and living life to the fullest. We only have the present but we don’t live our lives that way because we always believe there is another tomorrow. I have a feeling that KQUARK was all too aware how fleeting his life was given his illnesses, yet he was able to stay positive and be thankful for his wonderful wife and his friends. Let us all remember KQ and enjoy every day as it comes if we are lucky.

        My hubby always tells me to “eat your ice cream while it’s on the plate”

        Being at the Planet today has been a catharsis.

        Kalima -are you british -- you spell realize with an “s” and not a “z”.

        • AdLib says:

          Empi, I do think that KQuark made a very conscious decision to make the most of the time he had and he really did. That should be a lesson well learned by those who knew him, he never gave up and he kept caring and investing himself in making a difference.

          This does make me think more about valuing each day as much as possible and the great people we’re lucky enough to be connected to.

        • Kalima says:

          That’s very true Empi, I hope I can grow into “savouring every moment” but living in a big, fast city like Tokyo, it’s much harder than it seems. I’ve lost many wonderful people who were in their 40s and 50’s, my mother being one of them, and the shock always takes me by surprise, even if they were sick. KQ often told me that he knew he was living on borrowed time, and he tried to live his life to the fullest never knowing what tomorrow might bring.

          I am a naturalised Brit but am German by birth. We first moved to England when I was 9 years old.

          So happy to hear that being here helped you today, please come back whenever you feel like it, we will always be here if you want to talk or join in.

  9. empi says:

    Thank you Kalima. I just want to cry reading all of the wonderful tributes to KQUARK. Do you think he had any idea how much he was loved? I saved all of his emails and when I found out the other day I opened one up where he included his picture -- just so I could see his face and remember that smile.

    Thank you again and thank all of you for such a wonderful tribute to such wonderful person. Has anyone been in touch with his wife. I am sure these tributes would be of some solace to her.

    • Kalima says:

      Empi, I think he would be quite shocked to read all of the many comments here, he was a very modest man who cared about others before himself, something that is quite rare these days, so I imagine he would be grateful but maybe blushing with his skin tone.

      I have “liked” this post on Facebook and was just wondering about sharing this link so that his wife might see it and find some comfort in knowing how much he was loved and appreciated by our members here at The Planet. I might just do that later.

  10. empi says:

    I just found out the other day about KQuark and my heart sunk to the floor on hearing the terrible news. His lovely wife said she was finally able to open his email and respond to those who had written and who were concerned. I also met KQ at HP during the 2008 election year and we just hit it off immediately. After reading some of the comments and tributes, a lot of us met him the same way. I couldn’t even begin to write a tribute as befitting as that written by Kalima but suffice it to say, he was a wonderful person with such courage and insight, and the world was a better place when he was in it. This is a tremendous loss.

    KQuark, you will be missed more than you could ever know. R. I. P.

    • AdLib says:

      Empi, thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts about KQuark. This is a profound loss for many though sending our best thoughts to his lovely wife.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Empi….thanks for the insight. I did not know KQ in the way you did….but I have come to know him in a number of the tributes shared….like yours.

    • Kalima says:

      Empi, he was always so happy to find you here, and btw, you just did write a “tribute as befitting” here, and I thank you with all my heart. The best thing we can do for his memory is to remember him for the way he fought his obstacles, and how this made us all stronger.

      Peace and the strength to heal.

  11. beowoof says:

    Thank you Kalima and AdLib for your thoughtful tributes. KQuark was one of the first that I remember really liking over at HP. So bright and willing to stand up for what he believed. Very sad to hear of his passing and may he be on his way and far away from worldly pain. Thank you also for this wonderful site, full of passion and reason along with open minded discourse and compassion.

    • Kalima says:

      beowoof, so sorry to be late with this reply and thank you so much for your kind words and for coming here to share this tribute to KQUARK with us. It is a great comfort to know how much he was appreciated and loved. Thank you.

    • Nirek says:

      Beowoof, because my eyes still water up , I thank you for voicing how I feel . I remember KQ at HP and here at the Planet. Your post really says what I want to say.
      Thanks.

    • AdLib says:

      beowoof, nice to see you and thanks for sharing such kind words and sentiments.

      HP is where I first met KQuark as well, his brand of moral conviction with logic and facts to back it up was what made him stand out for me.

      He was dealing with a great deal of pain and difficulty, I’m thankful that’s over for him but of course he is greatly missed.

      If he was here, I think KQuark would reply that it is you and the other members that are here on The Planet that make it what it is. Not being as humble about him as he was, I’d say that the smart and reasoned tone that KQuark set here, along with our invaluable co-founder, Kalima, had a lot to do with starting The Planet in the right orbit. And in that way and with the collection of his works that will always reside here, he’ll always have a presence here as far as I’m concerned.

  12. Khirad says:

    My condolences. Been away far too long. The Planet came crashing down upon me again when I heard the news.

    • AdLib says:

      Khirad, nice to see you though I regret as well that it’s under such circumstances. KQuark was so humble, he probably didn’t know how much he meant to so many people. Maybe, as Haruko said, he, Bito and Hume are all having an ice cream together after a heated debate and if so, I hope they have wifi and an iPad so KQuark can see all the comments here and all the people just at The Planet who cared about him.

      • Khirad says:

        I think I missed BITO’s passing, as well. A shame I never got to visit him. Both of them and Hume are all having a great ice cream social, I know.

        • GirlOutWest says:

          I remember Hume and KQuark from HP. I knew BITO from the Planet.

          It’s a sad day to think that these brilliant souls are not among the “living” but I believe they’re still surrounding their friends and family. They’re there when you need them.

          My condolences to everyone at POV and the families of Kquark, BITO. Peace be with you.

          GirlOutWest

          • AdLib says:

            Thanks so much for the kind and thoughtful words, GirlOutWest.

            We will always have their words and perspectives on life and the world, thanks to all they wrote. They have left a bit of themselves here so I agree, they will always be around in a way.

        • AlphaBitch says:

          Hi stranger! I’ve missed you. Got my two kids from Syria here -- both on Fulbrights. They are doing well. I will never forget your kindness in coaching me while I would Skype. Come stay for awhile. Would love to hear your take on Syria. -- AB

  13. Haruko Haruhara says:

    KQuark and I shared an affinity for anime, we both had anime characters in our avatars. This was the show his avatar came from. A wicked satire from Japan that is a lot like South Park.

  14. Nirek says:

    It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. KQuark and Bito greeted me here on the Planet with open arms. They both are sorely missed by me and for many other folks on the planet.

    I’m broken hearted right mow and have tears in my eyes. Maybe later I can write something.

    • AdLib says:

      Thank you for your heartfelt words, Nirek, they mean and say so much.

    • Kalima says:

      Nirek, what you wrote here came straight from your heart, and is very much appreciated. There is no rush to explain more as we know exactly how you are feeling. Thank you for caring about two of the most wonderful people to have been with us all here, even if for too short a time, at The Planet. They will live on in our hearts so we will never forget them.

  15. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    I joined the Planet on October 1st, 2011-

    -and I was greeted by the friendly support of Bito;

    -and the creative energies, and prosaic efforts of KQuark.

    Both illustrate why PlanetPOV remains a great gift for those of us who have the good fortune to discover it and to reside here (at least some of the time).

    Two of Our Founders have passed on and we are the lesser for it.

    It reminds me that it is important to thank and to support those who are our Founders while they are still with us (hopefully for a long time).

    I just looked at my Archive: I have 16 of KQ’s articles in my archive. I use half of them on a regular basis. His “stuff” on HealthCare was often brilliant, perceptive and prophetic.

    I have just finished my training as a ACA Navigator and will recall KQ’s devotion to the cause in the months ahead as another bit of motivation when the going gets tough.

    So, hats off, and head bowed.

    Thank you KQ (with your wonderful ideograms that made your screen name jump out at me) for all you gave to us.

    • AdLib says:

      Murph, I think it is a real tribute to KQuark if he is an inspiration to you when you’re Navigating people into the ACA healthcare plan he campaigned so hard for.

      Like everyone I know here at The Planet, KQuark walked the walk when it came to standing by his principles, respecting and valuing humanity and having an allegiance to conscience.

      His mix of intellectualism, curiosity, ethics and humor was truly unique. The many recollections of him here testify to what a special man that made him and how he affected so many.

      Always missed, never forgotten.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        your portrait seems to pick up on what so many others have shared….powerful….KQ and I sparred a number of times -- respectfully but wholeheartedly. In the end, he usually won me over to his POV and it is his perspective that led me to embrace ACA in the way I have. What a tribute it is to KQ, to Bito, to others I did not know that this on line community holds memory so dear.

    • SallyT says:

      Murph, you are my champion and battler of the homeland there in MO. Thank you for your kind words today to comfort our sadness and thank you for being my friend!

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Thank you Sally….I think KQ would be pleased that I accepted the challenge that he laid out re. Health Care. I now have new insights as to his motivation for being such a champion of better care for all thanks to your post re. KQ. I left a comment there as well. You have certainly been his friend in your support of my small efforts. Thanks for being a friend.

        • SallyT says:

          Murph, KQ would be very pleased that you are doing just that! You have made no small efforts, my friend. You have just had to deal way too much with small minded people in the area you patrol. I have always and will continue to support you in those efforts. I’m here for you, Murph! And, I know you are for me.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            Thanks. I am so glad that you and I have made the connection that we have. Mutual support- sincerely given and graciously received.

    • choicelady says:

      Magnificent tribute, Murph. KQuark would have been SO GLAD you’re becoming a Navigator!!!! He and I shared a lot of back and forth around ACA, and he gave me so much insight I could translate into explanations for people that I could never thank him enough.

      I will miss him so much. I still tear up over bito, and yes, with those two gone, there is a huge hole in my heart.

      I also want to thank everyone = AdLib, Kalima, kes, Sally, KT -- who provide us such great information and good ideas daily. We would not be half so well informed were you not here, had you not created the Planet on which we all dwell. Thank you to all. And please -- stay safe? We care so very much about you!!!

      • AdLib says:

        I know how you feel, CL.

        We move on because we must but we bring KQuark and Bito with us. Their thoughts, passions, opinions and sense of humor will always be a part of The Planet and a part of us.

        Kalima and I will be around for a very long time, there is no better place to be than on The Planet with such wonderful people.

      • foodchain says:

        Choice, I so feel the same in my way. My time has been so good in many ways but has made it hard for me to focus here. You all are such wonderful people.

      • foodchain says:

        My deepest sympathies to everyone; KQ touched so many lives--mine, unfortunately less than many here. The reflections you each bring in your tributes says so much about him and about you all. While the world is a bit dimmer for losing KQ, it seems each of your lives are that much brighter for having known him.

        What a wonderful gift he gave in his living. I feel blessed to have known him a little. And I hope his story helps mend a very painfully broken system.

        • AdLib says:

          Kind words indeed, foodchain, thank you. KQuark was a man of real character and he genuinely cared about people. That seems self-evident now.

          His words and actions do live on through others, what more could one hope for?

      • SallyT says:

        CL, what would I do without you! Your loyalty to my Funnies is so much appreciated. And, what would I do without you taking the time to school me when I don’t know all the facts on issues. But, even more importantly, what would I do without your friendship? That is a test I do not wish to experience. So, please stay with me as a friend for as long as we can. 🙂

        • choicelady says:

          You, too, Sally!!! We could not be half so informed without your weekly hard work on our behalf. Take care -- and know I feel your loss of KQ in those late night sessions of talk, laughter, love, and friendship. I’m so sorry you will not have that with him anymore. That is a deep and abiding hole in the fabric of your life, and I am so sad it has come to pass.

      • Kalima says:

        Thank you cl for your kind words, but we would be nothing without you and all the wonderful members who help so much with their own ideas and passion to keep the site alive and spinning.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Include yourself in that list of major contributors please.

        KQ is the one who predicted that the GOP would fight any Health Care Reform tooth and nail because it would be another in those fundamental shifts in social consciousness just as Medicare and Social Security was. Once it takes root it will make the ground for social change so much more pliable. They know it. They fear it. They fight it. AND KQ predicted it.

    • Kalima says:

      Thank you Murph but just one of the founders have passed. AdLib and I are still here to carry on the work we all started in 2009, and hope to continue until we are old and grey.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Welcome and Oh! I thought Bito was also a Founder. Don’t know why. Just an impression. OK, you and AD LIB better plan on staying around a long while then. And how are you? All moved in?

        • Kalima says:

          Bito joined Admin in 2011 and we were that much richer for having him in our daily lives both on the site and off. KQ, AdLib and I started The Planet in 2009.

          Yes, we plan to be here for the long haul Murph, The Planet and the people we share it with are our passion.

          We are moved in but the house is far from finished. Thanks for asking.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            Ah….that’s where I picked up on the “founder thing”- bito in admin. Glad to hear that you have long term plans….I am working hard to recruit from “the other place” and have confidence in the admin team in place at PPOV. The new house- moving in -- my last time took two full years.

  16. Kalima says:

    Just waking up on the other side of the Pacific I came here to find all of the heartwarming messages and memories shared of our dear friend, KQ.

    Thank you all so very much for your kind words, I know that he would be very touched and grateful that he had found a special place in so many good and caring hearts.

    Sincere thanks and many hugs from me over here. Peace.

    • AdLib says:

      Cheers back, Kalima. You’re so right, if KQuark was reading all of this right now, he would be deeply touched. It’s hard for me to think that he wouldn’t be aware of how much he was appreciated for all he shared with others but as humble as he was, he would be less focused on getting props and more focused on helping or standing up for something important.

  17. agrippa says:

    I am sorry to learn that.

    My condolences to his family and his friends.

  18. cpad says:

    Please accept my heartfelt condolences to all who knew and loved him, especially to his family.

    I did not know him, but I certainly remember reading many of his posts at HP and here. He was one of those posters who make it worthwhile to go online. His comments always shone with intelligence, wit and deep love for his fellow humans.

    Hugs to his cyber family. This must be a difficult time for you.

  19. SallyT says:

    Many a night when all of you were off your computers or gone to bed, it was just KQ and I on here. We both took meds that made it difficult to sleep at times. So, together he and I would comment back and forth on topics and sometimes, many times, just for fun. We shared personal information on our illnesses and troubles with getting Social Security coverage. He once told me that it was because of me that he kept fighting to get it because I had shared with him that it took me 2 years to succeed but I finally did. That made me feel so good that he thought to tell me that I had helped him and he wanted me to know he thanked me for the encouragement. I hope he knew how much that meant to me.
    There were nights that we laughed so hard that we ended our nights here thanking each other for ending our days with laughter. But, there were times that he and I disagreed on issues and those could be equally challenging. However, there were also times that we changed each others minds or we just chose to disagree but never to stop sharing.
    I have missed him and will miss him. My lonely nights have been missing finding him here waiting to share the events of the day or just to share a joke or two. He has gone on but the memories remain with me. I am fortunate to have known him and to have the rewards of those nights of just us on here.
    I think I will focus on the laughter. Even with tears rolling down my cheeks, I still can smile because I remember when.
    Rest my friend and I hope you knew how much I was going to miss you.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      My goodness Sally. How deeply, powerfully touching. One of the best descriptions of an internet friendship that I have ever read. I regard you as one of the “great souls” around this place….you have powerful instincts and an ability to focus in on what’s essential that I so admire.

      With each of these tributes, I miss KQ a bit more.

      • SallyT says:

        Murph, on a sad day you have made my better. Thank you, Murph, and I hope you know how much I value our friendship. And, don’t forget about the soldier in the grass and the girl scout. (I hope that made you smile. You are one of the few that loves my jokes. If you really don’t, thanks for letting me think you do.) 😉

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          I am still snickering…..yes, I do laugh at your jokes—- which includes your selection of ediorial cartoons….so there is some high brow stuff there too.

    • AdLib says:

      Sally, it means a lot to me to hear this, thank you. I remember seeing some of your conversations the following morning and I was always pleased to see all that you had discussed and all the camaraderie.

      There is a theme of how folks here really act like friends and neighbors, like a real community, inspiring and supporting each other and KQuark truly embodied that.

      • SallyT says:

        Very true, AdLib, I have made many good friends here. So, in case I go first, I want to take this time to tell all of you how important you are and how much I appreciate our time together. I offer a toast for many more years ahead for us all to share! And, together we will remember those that have gone ahead and never to be forgotten among us. Cheers, my friends!

        • AdLib says:

          Sally, so sweet of you, I’m toasting you back!

          Losing someone close to many of us does refocus one on making sure everyone here does know how much they’re appreciated and valued. Sending this out to all our members but also saying thanks to you Sally for all you contribute here.

  20. kesmarn says:

    It’s hard to know where to begin. Even knowing KQ only in the virtual world, you had a sense of his talent and complexity.

    He was a man utterly without self-pity. Caught in a situation in which self-pity would have been a totally understandable reaction. Treatment for cancer had damaged his heart. The irony of the cure that killed. It was awful. And he was smart enough to see it coming, yet still stayed focused. Not on himself — on the world around him.

    Funny? Yes he was. The Periodic Table was priceless. He goes down in the annals of blogging if only for that. But there was so much more to the man. He adored his wife in a way that is rarely seen. She was, in every sense, his helpmate.

    I had a chance to read earlier today his article of practical advice for people going through serious medical situations in the hospital, Wow — did that resonate now more than ever. Every word of it was so wise and true.

    But the one thing I’ll remember most about him was a word of advice that he gave — not to me, but to my son. My son had just gotten his bachelor’s degree in math and was teaching high school while applying to grad school programs. There was an invitation from a particularly prestigious school that looked like a sure thing. He was incredibly elated. At the last moment the whole thing fell apart. Funding vanished — and along with it, the offer. (This was not long after the financial crash.) He and I were both devastated. There was no Plan B.

    I was sharing all this (I believe it was on Vox Pop) one night, asking if anyone had any thoughts on how to console someone after such a profound disappointment. Typically, KQ — never a sentimentalist — was more interested in a plan of action to solve a problem than in words of condolence. He said that his suggestion would be for my son to go for a master’s degree, give it his best shot and really excel in it, and then apply again to PhD programs.

    That plan succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. My son is now in his second year of a math PhD program at a university that is #7 in the country in that field, and loving it. KQ’s advice — distilled to three words — “never give up.”

    I hope he’s able to see — from a different vantage point — a kid whose life was deeply impacted by a guy he (and I) never met.

    Godspeed, KQ. And thank you.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Kesman….I liked KQ a lot….I sensed in him the kind of person who I like working with….make a move, do it, don’t stand still, don’t wallow in the unfairness of it, don’t let the bastards get you down…..he was battling the odds when I got here so I never got to him as well as I wanted to. I am so glad you shared this story. I now know him a lot better….Most appreciated.

      I have noted at a few other posts here that it was KQ who really got me turned on to the need for health care reform and the shape that this form should take. He challenged me at several turns. He certainly had a part to play in my becoming a player in the ACA rollout efforts here in Mo. I have just finished Navigator training and will be working on line and by phone helping others here to understand the system.

      So hats off to KQ and to you for providing this expanded introduction to a fine person.

      • kesmarn says:

        Many thanks, Murph, for the kind words. It’s always hard to gauge how many ripples will result from one pebble tossed into the pond, but I think we’d all agree that those pebbles of wisdom that KQ tossed out went far and wide.

        Good to hear that you’re taking on that navigator role, which is much needed. There’s so much disinformation and misinformation out there that guides are very necessary at this point!

        • AdLib says:

          Kes, I was thinking the same thing, those who genuinely speak out against injustices and for humanity do so because they are compelled to by conscience, not because of the attention it may bring them.

          Knowing KQuark, I am confident he wouldn’t have been aware of how strongly people came to feel about him, that wasn’t why he was doing any of this.

          It’s rare to see such examples of courage and humility nowadays but it is inspiring.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          I did my final test module today for ACA….had KQ very much in mind. When I came to Mo. I did so because my options were few- 2008, very hard times. When I found the Planet in 2011 (with an invitation from one of our members) KQ really urged me to do some writing. Or, to put it another way, he pushed me to do so. I feel him pushing now= to fight all that mis and dis info……Yes sir!

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Kes, what a wonderful and genuine picture you paint of KQuark. It was always so impressive to me how devoid of self-pity he and Bito both were. They saved their concern for others, really remarkable.

      As you say, due to the blind brutality of today’s cancer treatments, he was indeed a victim of “the cure”, it is so sad.

      Sometimes the right person with the right words of encouragement at the right time can make a big difference in the lives of others. The story you tell really illustrates it, KQuark made a difference in the lives of many people, sometimes just by having the right thing to say at the right time.

      So happy for you and your son, our lives are undeniably better for having known him.

      • kesmarn says:

        Thanks so much AdLib, and you truly do speak the truth about KQ’s influence.

        To anyone who is ill, disabled, very young or very old — he was living proof that your usefulness to your fellow humans never really diminishes, unless you give up. And he never did.

        • AdLib says:

          Since my daughter was young, one key thing I’ve always tried to instill in her is to never give up. KQuark’s example impresses that even more profoundly on me and I’m grateful to him for it.

    • Questinia says:

      Wonderful account.
      So glad to hear about your son, kes.

      • kesmarn says:

        Thank you so much, Q. Hope all is well with you?

        • Questinia says:

          Well, but I think I’ve stumbled upon a new kind of math where I seem to work more and…you can guess the rest!

          The null set!

          Health care, as you know, yeesh…

          • kesmarn says:

            Oh dear God, yes. I retired just in time.

            Say — have you had a chance to check out Ricky Gervais’ latest: “Derek,” on Netflix?

            Speaking of health care. Brilliant.

            Funny. Sad. (And I wasn’t even a Gervais fan before this.)

            • foodchain says:

              Kes, thanks for mentioning “Derek”. I started watching later last night. Kudos to Netflix for fighting the system and to Gervais for his portrayal in this role.

              I’m going to start looking for nuggets of joy and beauty every where I can! Knowing a person is beautiful makes the system even harsher and yet knowing them-- KQ, Bito--makes us fuller, more complete and more resolute.

              Glad to hear your son. I know the smiles and they feel terrific!

            • Questinia says:

              I will check it out, tx, kes. Anything with humor.
              Lucky you to be out of it and onto other things!

              Fortunately, health care has its rewards as you know. No existential guilt here.

  21. AlphaBitch says:

    Lovely, caring and kind tributes for a friend so many of us knew only from here. I bought several of his Element Charts as gifts -- they crack me up. I will remember KQuark for his humor and intelligence. He will be missed. I feel lucky to “know” so many of you here. We are blessed. And the thought of Hume, KQuark and my beloved Bito eating ice cream in heaven? Perfect! Hope it’s chocolate….

    • AdLib says:

      Hey AB, I know how supportive you were of KQuark’s work, he really appreciated it.

      KQuark had so much to do with bringing us together here, we are quite lucky and I’ll always be indebted to him for it.

      I have a feeling that the Ben and Jerry’s franchise in heaven is pretty enormous and that KQuark, Bito and Hume are having their first round of sundaes on the house.

  22. SueInCa says:

    I am so sorry to hear about KQ. If you are in touch with his family, please pass on my sincerest condolences. I remember him on HP for sure and he was a very important contributor to this site as well. His posts on HP and some of his replies to me were responsible for my level of comfort in speaking my mind on these types of sites so I thank him deeply for that. I knew he had failing health but it seemed he always bounced back. This time, perhaps, he was just too tired. The following poem gives me comfort that in death, you still will find friends and family.

    Gone From My Sight
    by Henry Van Dyke

    I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
    spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
    for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
    I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
    of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

    Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

    Gone where?

    Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
    hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
    And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

    Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
    And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
    there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
    ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

    And that is dying…

    Death comes in its own time, in its own way.
    Death is as unique as the individual experiencing it.

    • AdLib says:

      Sue, that is a lovely and comforting poem, thank you so much for sharing it.

      Strength such as KQuark had and displayed did to a degree, lull me into thinking that he would always prevail and make a come back which makes losing him harder to process. He did fight the good fight for a very long time, he was tough and very modest about it, that’s just who he was.

      Death does come to all but too often it comes far too soon for the best people.

  23. Questinia says:

    My dearest POV. Am thinking of KQ (one of my first fans at HP, co-founder at Free Range Talk and here at POV) and all of you.

    I had a very similar experience to choicelady. He connected in a real way to all, from his incisiveness to his endearing occasional irascibility. Thinking of his wife!!! They had both endured his chronic ill-health at his relatively young age. I wondered how he managed to stay so involved, vibrant and with such good humor.

    His heart!!!

    (He said I gave him headaches when I argued, affectionately of course).

    Thank-you AdLib for the tribute. Your building and maintenance of POV, together with the irrepressible Kalima (!) was a great place for KQ.

    I didn’t know about bito. Wow.

    The unseen hardships that exist behind the screen.

    • AdLib says:

      Hi Questinia, I had the same kind of experience in meeting KQuark. when I joined HP, I saw him as one of the heavy hitters there and really followed his comments. After a while, we became friends and that friendship continued on as we moved on.

      He was indeed irascible at times and there was no one I’d rather have a disagreement with than him. You really had to be able to back up your assertions because KQuark had his and would accept no less from others in a debate.

      As with Bito, KQuark amazed me with his ready sense of humor despite all he was dealing with. He often made me smile and his work, such as his satirical Periodic Tables, just left me in awe and chuckles at how clever he was.

      Not many people whose legacy includes co-creating a Planet, the perfect legacy for a scientist and humanitarian like KQuark.

  24. chasethis says:

    This is sad news. He was a mighty poster on HP when I joined the group in 2007. I am sorrry for PlanetPOV’s collective loss. Ice cream in heaven, indeed.

    • AdLib says:

      Hi Chase, thanks so much for your thoughts. He was indeed a real powerhouse at HP as well as here. And the sentiments expressed here really reflect what a remarkable guy he was and what an impression he made on all of us.

  25. choicelady says:

    Oh no. Oh please, please no. This is as unbearable to learn as was bito’s untimely death so recently. I think his absence from Friday night chats made us all worried that he was failing, but this is just too hard to learn. My heart goes out to his family -- he spoke so often and so lovingly about his wife -- and I hope they know how much KQuark meant to us all.

    I am here at PPOV because of him. When I first went on HP in 2008, he immediately drew my attention with his profound posts. I fanned him and watched for his writings. Suddenly, in 2009, he disappeared, and I thought he had disliked something I’d written. Later that year, as my own dissatisfaction with HP was growing, he suddenly returned under a slightly different handle posting a link -- that must have been there only briefly given their censorship -- bringing me here. From then on I once again got to read his work, enjoy his acerbic wit, and learn more about him as well as this entire community of wonderful people.

    KQuark was deeply beloved because he was wise and insightful and well spoken on many issues that mattered to us all. I will miss him terribly and send my fervent hope to his wonderful wife that the memories of KQ will carry her through this loss and pain. He will live in our hearts. I’m honored to have known him.

    • AdLib says:

      A wonderful remembrance of KQuark, CL, thank you.

      It does seem like it was just the other day he was chatting with us on Vox Populi. When he reappeared there after a long absence, I was so happy. He was truly someone with whom you looked forward to discussing things and hearing his view.

      He and Bito had a special rapport, both dealing with difficult health issues but finding strength in the determination and courage of each other.

      He seemed very much in love with his wife and vice-versa which was wonderful to know and see.

      It is interesting how a person can profoundly impact others’ lives. If he had not been who he was on HP, we would never know each other and this site would never have existed.

      KQuark was beloved and respected, what came across clearly about him was his commitment to principles and reason. And the way he opened up about his own health problems in his campaign for the ACA left no doubt about how all-in KQuark was when it came to things that mattered.

      I too feel so lucky to have met him and to have all that he brought to my life. He will be hugely missed and always remembered.

  26. Haruko Haruhara says:

    Oh, this is so sad, I knew he had some health issues, but did not know they were that serious. 🙁

    I know he was one of the first posters on HP.

    Him, BITO and Hume will all be in Heaven arguing with each other and then going for ice cream afterward.

    • AdLib says:

      Hi Haruko, thanks so much. That’s a very pleasant thought, the three of them sharing an ethereal ice cream after they debate…though with the three of them, I don’t know if there would ever be an “after” with a debate.

      KQuark was an early blogger at HP and contributed to its growth. And of course, his commitment and determination made PlanetPOV possible.

      He made a real difference and impacted so many people, especially with his championing of the ACA.

      He was a great guy.


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