[imgcontainer right] [img:TAYLOR-SWIFT-GRAMMYS-2012.jpeg] Taylor played a (6-string) banjo Sunday night at the Grammy’s and sang her song “Mean.” In “Mean,” Swift is triumphant because she says that she will live “in a big ole city.” Is that any kind of message for a country song? [/imgcontainer]

A friend noticed that web searches for “pinterest” are zooming — and that interest is largely in rural areas.

Pinterest is the new “online pinboard” where people post pictures of food, children, clothing, whatever. (Go here.) When my friend checked a Google device that finds the words that are “hot” he found “pinterest” near the top.

Then, when he began looking at where in the U.S. “pinterest” was racing to the top of the search charts, he saw a distinctly rural trend. If you go here you can find searches for “pinterest” broken down by state and then by regions surrounding metro areas. 

Pick a state, say Texas, and look at the regions where the interest in “pinterest” is highest. The big city regions (Houston, Dallas, Austin) are at the bottom of the list. The interest in “pinterest” is highest in Lubbock, Wichita Falls and Tyler.

In Virginia, the interest in “pinterest” is highest in the Tri-Cities (Johnson City, TN; Bristol, VA; and Kingsport, TN). It’s lowest in Washington, DC.

In Oregon, the highest scores for pinterest come from the east-central region. Portland is the lowest.

So, what’s the deal with pinterest and rural? Ideas out there? 

•The Omaha World-Herald is reporting that the head of the Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons, Nebraska, is going to run for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat. 

Chuck Hassebrook will run for the Democratic nomination for the seat being vacated by Sen. Ben Nelson, who decided late last year not to seek a third term. Hassebrook, a University of Nebraska regent, may be opposed by state Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha. 

Hassebrook is supposed to make his announcement Tuesday, according to the paper.

On the Republican side, Attorney General Jon Bruning and State Treasurer Don Stenberg have been campaigning for more than a year. They were joined in June by state Sen. Deb Fischer of Valentine.

• We watched the Grammy’s off and on last night. We were on when Taylor Swift picked up a banjo (albeit one with six strings) and donned what looked like Depression era garb to sing “Mean.”

We’ve read that “Mean” is one of Swift’s most “overtly country” songs (thus the banjo). It’s a song about somebody who did Swift wrong, apparently by telling her she had no talent. 

Swift’s retort in the chorus is: “But someday I’ll be living in a big old city; And all you’re ever gonna be is mean, yeah.”

It was a good production and all that, but we wondered why “living in a big old city” was seen as a mark of success in a country music song?

• A bill in the Kentucky legislature would require restaurants to tell folks the country of origin for catfish. It’s being opposed (likely unto death) by the state retail association and Cracker Barrel. 

• The longest-serving mayor in Colorado is a Democrat in a Republican town. Mayor Virgiil Harms is an 84-year-old farmer who has been mayor in Paoli, on the Nebraska border, for fifty years. 

“As long as there’s no square dance, he never misses a meeting,” said Marilyn Miller, who is both postmaster and town clerk.

• The USDA says beef prices will likely rise over the next two years, as much as 10 percent a year. The cause is the smallest cattle herd since the 1950s. 

• InsideClimate News is reporting that Republicans’ attempt to overturn President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline would probably not speed up approval of the Canada-to-Texas pipeline. 

Elizabeth McGowan reports that such a bill would probably not pass the Democratic Senate and if it did, “the law would almost certainly be challenged in federal court—probably by environmental organizations and/or landowners along the pipeline route.”

“This is unexplored terrain legally,” Tracy Hester, director of the University of Houston Law School’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Center, told InsideClimate News. “As a result it’s going to be very complicated and difficult to figure out where it’s going to go. There’s not a prior court decision with a crystal clear court decision that points the way.” 

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