R.I.P. Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs was one of the first people I grew up listening to on the radio and on 45 (remember those?). What a pioneer of bluegrass.

Via the AP:

It may be impossible to overstate the importance of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs to American music. A pioneering banjo player who helped create modern country music, his sound is instantly recognizable and as intrinsically wrapped in the tapestry of the genre as Johnny Cash’s baritone or Hank Williams’ heartbreak.

Scruggs died Wednesday morning at age 88 of natural causes. The legacy he helped build with bandleader Bill Monroe, guitarist Lester Flatt and the rest of the Blue Grass Boys was evident all around Nashville, where he died in an area hospital. His string-bending, mind-blowing way of picking helped transform a regional sound into a national passion.

“It’s not just bluegrass, it’s American music,” bluegrass fan turned country star Dierks Bentley said. “There’s 17- or 18-year-old kids turning on today’s country music and hearing that banjo and they have no idea where that came from. That sound has probably always been there for them and they don’t realize someone invented that three-finger roll style of playing. You hear it everywhere.”

Country music has transcended its regional roots, become a billion-dollar music and tourist enterprise, and evolved far beyond the classic sound Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys blasted out over the radio on The Grand Ole Opry on Dec. 8, 1945. Though he would eventually influence American culture in wide-ranging ways, Scruggs had no way of knowing this as he nervously prepared for his first show with Monroe. The 21-year-old wasn’t sure how his new picking style would go over.

Spike Lee Does The Wrong Thing

Via The Orlando Sentinel:

A school-cafeteria lunch lady and her husband have received hate mail, unwanted visits from reporters and fearful inquiries from neighbors — all because their Sanford-area address is being disseminated on Twitter as belonging to Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman, her son said late Tuesday.

The woman, 70, who has a heart condition, and her husband, 72, have temporarily moved to a hotel to avoid the spotlight and possible danger, said son Chip Humble of Longwood.

The woman has another son named William George Zimmerman who lived with her in 1995 and still lives in Central Florida. He is no relation to George Zimmerman, 28, who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Feb. 26, sparking national outrage and international interest.

Zimmerman traced the tweets — which he said have been retweeted by actor-director Spike Lee — to a man in California. Zimmerman has implored the man to stop and said he received this response, “Black power all day. No justice, no peace” and an obscenity.

Lee’s tweet has been removed, but it continues to be retweeted.

Make Your Case About the Health Care Law

This week, the Supreme Court takes up challenges to the sweeping health-care law that was adopted in 2010, including whether or not the mandate for individuals to purchase health insurance is constitutional. As the justices hear arguments (view guide to hearings), the Washington Post wants to take the case to you. Tell the Post if you agree with the individual mandate by your vote, then explaining your view in the comments.

The vote right now is 96% feel the law is unconstitutional and 4% think the law should stand. Not what I was expecting for such a liberal paper.

Vote today!

Health Insurance Makes Health Care Far More Expensive

As the ObamaCare hearing at the Supreme Court kicks off today, a great piece by John Stossel when he was still on ABC’s 20/20 on health care and how health insurance makes health care far more expensive.

The solution to rising health care costs? Get Government out of health care.

The Citizen’s Guide To The Obamacare Supreme Court Hearings

Forbes has put together a ‘pre-game preview‘ of what to expect at this week’s Supreme Court hearing on ObamaCare.

If you are anxiously awaiting Monday’s kickoff of what many are calling the “Super Bowl of Constitutional Law”—the Supreme Court’s tackling of Obamacare—you may be looking for a layman’s explanation of this week’s events along with the possible outcomes.

Read more at this link.

Famous NYC Apartments: The Pads of Mad Men

Mad Men is back tonight at 9! Can’t wait. Newsy has a roundup of the media’s reaction to Mad Men’s return.

In the meantime, check out the new homes of Mad Men characters this season – and what they would have cost in 1964 compared to 2012. Love this!