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Author Topic: Moments when you realise you're the only 'spark' in the room.  (Read 967 times)
Gerry Hunter
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« on: December 20, 2014, 02:24:55 am »

I had another moment the other day where I was interacting with other creative types and it seemed like every project or idea that was being discussed was related to an idea for a project I had been thinking about recent.

That's not too bad but I started to realise along the way that people seem to think of me as the person with all these projects and ideas. But I couldn't help but feel that the way in which they said it was with an implied eye roll. While it wasn't meant disparagingly it made me realise that even among other makers and creative types, I'm a rare kind of mad 'scientist'.

So being a reader of girl genius I dawns on me that I guess I qualify as a spark.

How about it? Any moments that made you realise you are not just a hobbyist at sparky activities?
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Drew P
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2014, 01:09:15 pm »

 Roll Eyes

 Wink Cheesy
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rod-on
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2014, 06:53:31 am »

My family and work mates think I"m a mad scientist nut who's likely to short out Melbournes power grid.  Yes I like to play with high voltage electricty, plasma, electro static machines and quack medical electric machines, and I'm always trying to recreate the experiments of the 1800's when "shed tech" was high tech!  It was an amazing time when you could literaly create and discover in your back shed. Now its all nano tech, robotics or silicon stuff that you really can't do in a shed.  They think I'm funny sometimes and always ask what I've invented or blown up lately!  Its good for conversation ... but yes they roll their eyes when I get going, when I get excited about what I've just done or recreated ... I'm doing it now just talking about it ...   you see!!!
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Patron Zero
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2014, 01:17:13 pm »

On a few occasions when I've been that 'spark', it's regrettably been finding myself in a room filled with volatile and combustible gasses. 
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Rory B Esq BSc
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2014, 06:23:32 pm »

There are other terms I prefer...one of my favorites is to be called a 'dream planter'.

On Friday evening (mad Friday) I met up with a few other local Steampunks for a drink... I was the only one without a top hat (goggles on my flat cap) and a woman on the next table was soon saying I looked like Cractipus Potts from chitty chitty bang bang....and I didn't even have the blueprints for my dirigible destroyer on the table!

I try to educate people that 'mad scientist' / 'mad professor' isn't the best term to use...like the part that operates the valve on a steam engine I'm 'a little eccentric' (and ofen wear a badge of one).
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2014, 03:11:06 am »

On a few occasions when I've been that 'spark', it's regrettably been finding myself in a room filled with volatile and combustible gasses.  

That analogy works really well:

Volatile gases = your local chavs.  Very hard to be a spark among them!
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Maets
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2014, 05:56:03 pm »

Dream Planter -  I like that.
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pakled
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2014, 06:00:50 pm »

Rarely in my case...Wink My problem is with those who profess 'willful ignorance' - they know they don't know, and they're proud of it...Wink
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Athanor
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Keep them off-balance and brazen it out!


« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2014, 06:56:38 pm »


I try to educate people that 'mad scientist' / 'mad professor' isn't the best term to use.

Oh, I don't know...... I tend to wear the designation "Mad Scientist" as a badge of honour.....

Athanor.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2014, 09:46:00 am »



 ASD - we are all on a spectrum
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Patron Zero
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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2014, 11:58:57 am »

I borrow the term adopted by the employees of Disney Studios, when such section was founded in the 1960s, and refer to my person as first and foremost an Imagineer.

Historically the word imagineering was first seen in print inside an Union Carbide in-house publication in 1957 but attributed to being originated by the Alcoa company in the 1940s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney_Imagineering
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frances
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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2014, 08:15:24 pm »

Wikipedia is asking for donations at them moment.
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Patron Zero
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2014, 01:40:37 pm »

Let the page load then look for the X on the upper right to close the solicitation, the page below then can be read
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4_0_4
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2014, 02:54:03 pm »

On a few occasions when I've been that 'spark', it's regrettably been finding myself in a room filled with volatile and combustible gasses.  


That analogy works really well:

Volatile gases = your local chavs.  Very hard to be a spark among them!


Why, if anything you would be more self  aware of it ( which is really all this thread is about ) replace bright spark with fittest , prettiest etc and you will get the same result - its all ying and yang ; black white . One can't exist without the other the only surprise is you think you need more white than black to be white !

Pink Panther Teaches Nonduality

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jonb
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2015, 01:50:12 pm »

For me I am sort of out of kilter with this thread, because I think the spark is what happens between people, and not the individual person. The concept of one person being brighter than another is not a thing i have found that stands up to much examination. True some people can make us spark more than others, but I have yet to find somebody that sparks others in every circumstance, or a person who is incapable of sparking with others.
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Maets
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2015, 02:31:11 pm »

For me I am sort of out of kilter with this thread, because I think the spark is what happens between people, and not the individual person. The concept of one person being brighter than another is not a thing i have found that stands up to much examination. True some people can make us spark more than others, but I have yet to find somebody that sparks others in every circumstance, or a person who is incapable of sparking with others.

Nicely put.
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Gerry Hunter
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2015, 10:36:40 pm »

A lot of putting words in my mouth going on here. Not sure I care for it, to be honest. Feel free to ask if something means what you think rather than ascribe an intent to the thread and it's author and then disapprove of them both for that ascribed intent.

As I thought I was fairly clear about before: There is no assessment of value in the spark/no spark dynamic. It is essentially the equivalent of twenty people showing up to discuss this cold weather and most talking about the virtues of heating oil vs gas vs electric; while off to the side somebody realises they seem to be the only one thinking about designs for winter clothing and designing whole lines in notebooks.

It has nothing to do with there being room for only one type at the table and imagining up which one is the better of the lot. It has everything to do with being aware that ones brain works quite differently.

In my case it's more to do with having a dozen crazy schemes of things to try that really don't seem to be on the radar of anyone else, while  there seem to be a dozen and one people working on an arduino project that takes a reading from one thing and correlates the data to a server while producing an output in response to the input.

Instead I'm playing with the idea of using a banana bread recipe but changing out the banana for a combination of food items that I know is how to create a bubble gum flavor. I like the idea of bubble gum flavored mini-muffins.

While also playing with the idea of a jump suit with small flexible hosing inside the insulated interior with a small blower and a peltier in a pack inside a pocket. Basically a wearable central air heating system. Put a retro space helmet on, and some gloves and boots and to have a climate controlled suit that could be warm in icy winters, and maybe cooled in hot humid summers.

and tinkering with a couple steampunk wind up toy ideas.

and a modification on the autoloading screwdriver that could very possibly put most every screw driver you ever need in on unit that pops out the desired head at a flip of a switch.

It was just a realisation at the time that I was an ADHD tinkering fiend, and these folks are bright and skilled specialist interest makers. They might build a remote tank tread bot with a camera on it they can drive around home and check if they left the oven on, or make an intercom system to replace their doorbell, or integrate a system into the home heating, and so on, but I get some funny looks for designing a climate controlled space suit/mr freeze costume, and figuring out how to rework a super-soaker to become a flame thrower, and bubblegum muffins, and wind up mechanical death spider toys, and mechanical multi-tools.

It's not that one or the other of us isn't a creative person or that we aren't makers in some degree or other. It's that one of us is clearly crazy - and that would be me.

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thezombiekat
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2015, 12:24:13 am »

there appear to be some different definitions of the word spark in use in this thread.

those that aren't getting the thread appear to be using a common definition related to interpersonal relationships working well together in an exciting way.

the OP on the other hand is using the term as it is used in girl genius (i make this claim with confidence based on the picture in his last post) there it refers to an individual with massive creative intellect, the ability to get things working that probably shouldn't, and usually psychological issues tending towards megalomania. cooperative projects between sparks occasionally happen but for the most part they work with minions there to perform physical labor.

Gerry. i agree, you are a spark in that sense.

you even have the over reaction to people misunderstanding you down pat.  Wink

i am shore, you will in fact, SHOW THEM ALL Grin
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jonb
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2015, 12:48:04 am »

As far as I know most people have thoughts running through their heads all the time, but is only stupid people like Gerry and I that are stupid enough to voice them and then we get all upset when others don't understand what people who voice their thoughts are trying to say. Clever people know how much confusion there are in interactions so tend to be more reticent about saying what they feel.
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Athanor
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Keep them off-balance and brazen it out!


« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2015, 09:32:28 am »

Perhaps you're a Spark if:-

- You always have at least three or four projects on the go at any one time.

- You look at some completely ordinary object and think "I wonder what I could make out of that?"

- The back of your workbench/computer desk would give an electrical inspector conniptions.

- You're always picking up odd bits and pieces that other people have thrown out, thinking "That might come in useful...."

- If someone asks you "What are you up to, these days?", your reply takes at least half an hour.

- Your leisure reading is "Make" magazine, "Electronics Now," "Home Shop Machinist," "Model Engineer," "Popular Science".....

- You regard the warning label "No user repairable parts inside" as a challenge.

- People are continually bringing you broken down appliances and asking "Can you fix this?"

- Your workshop is so full of broken down appliances you can barely move around......

Athanor.
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2015, 12:20:17 am »

First day back at work yesterday after the Christmas break.

"So, how was your holiday?"

"Well, I got my racing teapot and Tiffin Master's hat finished and made a good start on a time machine and a new ray gun.  How about you?"

"..."
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jonb
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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2015, 02:38:10 am »

My daughter often gives me that same quiet reply (. . .) when I say- 'well give me a hand and we will make a hoverboard'. I don't know what she means when giving me that look, but sometimes I get this disturbing feeling its a way of saying they do not altogether trust what we are saying.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2015, 07:28:57 am »

I don't really like to think in terms of being "special" in some way.  The fact is that is you will be eventually find and be surrounded by equally capable or superior sparks.  So I try no to separate myself from the populace, so to speak.

Havong said that it is noteworthy that you will show signs eraly in childhood.  Didi you break your toys just to see how they worked inside?  Better yet, were you able to put them back together again or make new ones? 

Back in the very early 1980's, before the "Ford Probe" was a real (and very disappointing) car there was a Ford prototype car called Probe.  This was a proof of concept for the aerodynamic design that Ford was trying to push into the autimobile industry, at a time when the more futuristic looking cars were rectangular-looking Japanese Toyotas and Subarus.

I was in San Diego at a planetarium, and Ford had place one of it's fibreglass mock-ups outside of the IMAX theatre.  After the show I told my grandparents I wanted to return the next day.

Some time between the shows, patrons at the theatre saw a pre-teen kid with a wooden ruler and measuring tape, carefully measuring the off ground height of the Probe.  A woman approached the kid and asked the boy: "are you goinf to build a copy of the car?" To which I replied, "No.  I'm designing my own car."  The woman seemed perplexed.

It doesn't matter if at the time you can do what you set out to do.  What matters is that you have started the process of doing it.  This is what you expect to see in a spark.

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jonb
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« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2015, 01:21:08 pm »

I remember when I was a boy, every Sunday most dads who had one would be out washing and also fixing bits on the family car. Think about that back in the fifties and sixties a car probably cost half to a years wages, now most people would not dream of changing a part on a laptop although it is simple to take a component like a fan out and clean or replace it. A laptop is about a weeks average wage but people are scared of playing with it. In my experience all people have the ability to make things or alter things to make their environment better, but somehow our cultures are switching off that natural ability.
Noticing this, is the reason why I love this place because there are so many switched on people here, this does not mean we are inherently special, but we are the ones that know we can make the world better just through play and that makes me evangelical about spreading the word. Because others can be switch on as well.
What I am trying to say is not against what anybody else has written here its just a bit of tuning.
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