Agent Palmer

Of all things Geek. I am…

A Perfect Pairing of Extraordinary Canadians, McLuhan and Coupland

A Perfect Pairing of Extraordinary Canadians, McLuhan and Coupland

On at least three different occasions, I have picked up my parents’ hand-me down paperback of Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media and I have not gotten past page nine or ten yet. So I was happy to get a biography of the man and a cliffnotes of his career from of one of my favorite contemporary authors, Douglas Coupland.

Coupland was selected to write about Marshall McLuhan for the series Extraordinary Canadians. Now that I know more about McLuhan, at least more than I knew from friend Professor Sara Netzley and my parents, I now see the wisdom of series editor John Ralston Saul in pairing him with Coupland.

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Bye Bye Barry Makes Me Wish for More Modern Men like Sanders

Bye Bye Barry is a 2023 documentary that focuses on the circumstances and mystery surrounding Barry Sanders’ decision to retire at the height of his abilities. It’s told in a way that may actually satisfy some football fans’ sense of wonder regarding the decision.

But in order to understand the circumstances around his walking away, you have to tell the story of who Barry Sanders was and his career up until his retirement.

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Don’t Copy Xerox’s Errors as Told in Fumbling the Future

Fumbling the Future Xerox

Fumbling the Future, is a book published in 1988 about “How Xerox invented, then ignored, the first personal computer.” It all starts with three questions: Name the companies responsible for the longest playing series of personal computer commercials? The most creative single commercial? The first personal computer commercial?

The answers, as you find out through the first page and the subtitle, are IBM’s Charlie Chaplin ads, Apple Computers’ 1984 Super Bowl commercial, and Xerox.

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Celebrating Sydney and The Arts with Anthemic Play It Safe

Celebrating Sydney and The Arts with Anthemic Play It Safe

In October 2023, the iconic Sydney Opera House had a birthday festival to celebrate the 50 years since it opened its doors to the world.

The Sydney Opera House website, under “Our Story,” explains why this building should be a little more celebrated than most in their short three paragraph history, which is honestly one of the more accurate and succinct art building histories I have ever read.

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Lots of Love and Laughter in Grace Allen Biography by George Burns

I often get people asking me what I’m reading. Perhaps it has something to do with talking to authors on my podcast or other creatives who also read. Either way, I find myself talking about books quite a bit.

When asked about Gracie: A Love Story by George Burns, I described it as perhaps the most romantic book I have ever read. And that was when I was only about a third of the way through it.

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