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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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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Rocket Men Defines Apollo 11 Mission Better Than Anything Else I’ve Read

Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon is the most complete story of Apollo 11 I have ever read. And that’s saying a lot considering how much I have read on the subject and how still engaged I am in learning as much as I can about NASA during its height of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.

This book also covers the post-mortem of the program but let’s first see how this compares to the rest.

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Ever the Scientist, Sagan Connected All the Dots in the Original Cosmos

COSMOS Carl Sagan

If you want to go back to school to learn all there is to know of the known and unknown universe, you can’t do much better than the 365 pages of Cosmos by Carl Sagan.

“The Cosmos television series and this book represent a hopeful experiment in communicating some of the ideas, methods and joys of science.” This, at least in print form, is completely accomplished.

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