Agent Palmer

Of all things Geek. I am…

Amy Shira Teitel delivers the Easily Digestible History of Spaceflight before NASA

Breaking the Chains of Gravity The Story of Spaceflight before NASA by Amy Shira Teitel

“NASA wasn’t created in a vacuum and suddenly tasked with the Moon landing,” writes Amy Shira Teitel in her debut publication Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA.

Without historians and authors, of which Teitel is both, it would appear as if NASA did just appear on the scene ready, able, and willing to start Projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. But the truth is much more intriguing and far less polished than pop culture and general history would have you believe.

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The Birth of Loud: Follows the Creation and Adoption of Iconic Electric Guitars

The Birth of Loud Leo Fender Les Paul Ian S Port Book Review

What we know of as rock n roll, is not only the story of music but the history of instruments as well. The Birth of Loud chronicles a rivalry that was at the center of more than one musical movement and it is superbly written by Ian S. Port who not only describes the people and their instruments, the trials and innovation, but the feelings of change and moments of inspiration.

Author Ian S. Port writes this book not only with great prose, but there’s some poetry in there too. His description of Hendrix at Woodstock performing the Star-Spangled Banner is the best I have ever read…

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Fighting for Space is not Jackie Cochran vs. Jerrie Cobb, but it’s a compelling duality

Fighting for Space by Amy Shira Teitel

Amy Shira Teitel’s Fighting for Space: Two Pilots and Their Historic Battle for Female Spaceflight features two characters who, while separated by 25 years in age, both lead the way for Sally Ride, but it wasn’t a smooth flight.

It’s compelling in the most dramatic of ways, and not just because the space program NASA had at the start consisted of “a bunch of rockets with a tendency to explode.” And despite a rallying cry of wanting the first woman in space to be American, it was Valentina Tereshkova from the Soviet Union who got there first.

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It’s in the cards: How Magic the Gathering made me appreciate Twitch

It would seem illogical at best to expect that a physical game like Magic: The Gathering would be my entrance into the digital world and the many communities and chats of Twitch, but that is exactly how it happened. And in my case, I’m still close enough to the beginning to understand how it happened.

My podcast, The Palmer Files, is a prime example of my interest in beginnings at the moment, so I figured I would track how this all went down.

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Jim Henson: The Biography is a Beacon of Positivity Just Like Jim

Jim Henson The Biography by Brian Jay Jones

Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones is, like it’s eponymous subject, a beacon for all times and all people. The things Jim Henson created, the things he inspired, and the way he lived his life are all examples that there can be good in the world, and we don’t just have to receive it, we can enjoy it, share it, collaborate on it, and create it ourselves.

The story of Jim Henson is the story of an innovator who was never satisfied unless he was on to the next thing, and then the next, and the next, and the next.

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