My Friday Five: TEDxDurham, Fort Bragg Game & More

Photo: Chris White

1. Our Country – Again

I’m tired.

Tired of writing posts like this. Tired of trying to find words that’ll make some sort of sense out of what is otherwise senseless hate and violence in our country. Tired of seeing the unwarranted loss of human life when there could have been alternative outcomes.

There are some people nowadays who believe you should agree with their opinion or else. Heck, you can’t even have an opinion around some people and in some places. There are some politicians and, yes, some law enforcement officials who believe they are above the law. There are some people who choose to generalize an entire race (as I witnessed someone do on Twitter Thursday night). There seems to be less of a regard for humankind – and it’s unequivocally despicable.

I’m tired, fed up and at my wit’s end with this. I don’t know what to say anymore, other than the following…

WAKE UP AMERICA!!!! We all have a red, beating heart inside of us and we all breathe the same air. It’s time to get our selfish masses up and start treating each other with the dignity and respect we all deserve.

P.S. Please watch Trevor Noah’s take on the recent events in our country. It’s spot on.

2. TEDxDurham

Now for a more positive story. Would you like the opportunity to experience an event that encourages conversation and connection? Then look no further than TEDxDurham. What is it? TEDxDurham (Saturday, July 9 from 9:30 a.m – 6:30 p.m. at The Carolina Theatre) is a local, independently-organized event as apart of the larger TED Conference that features a combination of live speakers and video to spark conversations about a variety of topics. The theme is “Centers and Edges” which will encourage participants to contemplate how centers and edges of their lives can both enrich and propel them forward in life, to paraphrase the event’s website.

A friend of mine, Jack Derbyshire, has worked tirelessly with his team throughout the past several months to bring a TED event to the Bull City. Derbyshire has scheduled 20 speakers for what I’m sure will be a day of purposeful discussion. It’s always inspiring to see my friends do great things in our society and I have a good feeling that this will be the first of many more TED events to come in Durham. Check out an interview about TEDxDurham with Derbyshire here and visit the TEDXDurham website for more information about the event.

3. Fort Bragg Game

File this one under awesome! Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players’ Assocoation partnered – which is a miracle in itself – to host a truly unique event: the Fort Bragg Game. The game was played Sunday night at Fort Bragg right here in North Carolina and featured the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins. The game was historic on a couple of fronts: 1) it was the first MLB game played in the state of North Carolina and 2) it was the first professional sporting event of any kind to be played on an active military base.

In case you didn’t know, Fort Bragg is the largest military base in the nation, housing more than 50,000 active duty personnel. What better place to host this historic game, right? And it’s quite remarkable that the event came to fruition in just a few months. Fort Bragg did not have a MLB-regulated field or stadium, so both had to be built. Organizers took an old, run down golf course and transformed it into a beautiful venue for the event, with plans to further develop the land into a sports complex with softball fields for people in the community. I was glad to be able to watch the game on ESPN to see all the service men and women and their families enjoy a historic day at Fort Bragg. It’s something that I’m sure they – and I – will not soon forget.

4. Too Rich for Me

Technology is ever changing. Seriously. It seems like a new gadget or gizmo is unveiled almost every day. I like tech stuff but I’m not the type of person that camps out for the latest iPhone (truth be told, I still have an iPhone 5s).

There is a developing market for 4K Ultra-HD. For those keeping score, this is a step up from your regular HD. The technology is fairly new, so there’s not a whole lot one can do with a 4K device at the moment with regard to Blu-ray playback. However, Panasonic has developed a $699 Ultra-HD Blu-ray player, due for release in September. Just let that sink in for a moment. $699. I could think of tons of things to do with $699 and buying a device when there isn’t a well-established market for its technology yet is not one of them.

Question: Do you spring for the latest tech gadget? Camp out for the latest iPhone? Still own a VCR and a flip phone? Sound off in the comments section below.

5. The Return of New Music Monday!

Just wanted to let all you music fans (or fans of my blog, whatever) out there know that New Music Monday is returning this Monday after a fairly long hiatus. Can’t wait to get back at it and feature some great artists!

Thanks for Reading

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