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40 years ago on Tuesday April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron hit a home run, the 715th of his career. That blast broke the all time home run record previously held by baseball legend, Babe Ruth. That is a story in and of itself that requires a book, not a blog.

But, when I head this news on Tuesday, I reflected back and was amazed at the technological advancements over the past 40 years.

According to the Bible, Moses and the Israelites roamed the wilderness for 40 years and the only technological advancements in that time seem to be quail, water from a rock, and manna from heaven. We can still see modern evidence that remains today of those miracles, KFC, bottled water and baklava.

(Don’t believe me about the baklava? In Exodus 16:31, manna is described as, “white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.”)

In the 40 years since Aaron and his historic dinger, the technological advances have been astounding. (Ironically, Aaron is the namesake of Moses brother and spokesman. It is one of the first documentations of an agent to represent someone. Baseball symmetry, catch it!)

Microwave ovens, electric cars, TV’s, digital cameras, cell phones, satellite and digital feeds are all relatively normal now, but were only a dream in 1974.

Social media and the whole internet thing, have developed and changed the way we communicate. We don’t even need to really talk to people anymore. Not sure if that is an “improvement” or not.

Many advancements that were once considered technological breakthroughs have even been rendered obsolete over the course of these same 40 years.

Music sources went from records to cassettes, to CD’s to videos to digital downloads. You can hear and see virtually any song you like with a touch of a button.

TV’s went from 19 inches to bulky big 32 inch big screens to light weight flat 50 inch screens that are broadcast in high definition. (I wonder if a Grateful Dead concert would be called high, high definition?)

TV sources went from antenna to cable to satellite to digital. You can watch anything you want anytime you want. You can even watch stuff on your cell phone or a tablet.

Hardly anybody sells film anymore as cameras have advanced from cameras with film to digital cameras to pictures you can take on your phone. Instead of waiting three days for your film to be developed to find out if you blinked, cameras these days have instant blink detection.

As Crash Davis said in the pitchers mound scene of the classic baseball movie, Bull Durham, “we’re dealing with a lot of shit.”

Speaking of dealing with a lot of shit, who knew what Hammering Hank was dealing with 40 years ago. It was more than the home run. Here’s a link to a book that I will admit I have not read, but the Amazon review is compelling enough to give a little insight to the trials and tribulations of the times even in 1974.

http://www.amazon.com/Hank-Aaron-Home-Changed-America/dp/B000HWYR1E

Here’s an excerpt from the review:

“Aaron’s magnificent feat provoked bigotry and shattered prejudice, inspired a generation, emboldened a flagging civil rights movement, and called forth the demons that haunted Aaron’s every step and turned what should have been a joyous pursuit into a hellish nightmare.”

So as we wander once again this Wednesday, Wedwand wonders if our progress in technology reflects progression in our perception of people.

Maybe yes. Maybe no. But we sure have cool phones now.

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