"What a bizarre day. I'm sitting here watching my email fill up with message after message from people
from so many different times and places of my life, all congratulating me for the astonishing good fortune of receiving a MacArthur Fellowship. Not to mention a flurry of texts and tweets, and I haven't had the energy to even look at Facebook." Cartoonist and Graphic Memoirist Alison Bechdel (previously on MetaFilter: 1
) has won
MacArthur Genuis grant, giving her the opportunity to dig into her archives for a previous comic she drew in 2004
to conclude her reaction blog post
. [more inside]
Walter Kitundu is an artist and MacArthur Fellow (previously
). In this video
, he gives a lecture at the San Francisco Exploratorium about his bespoke instruments and lighting experiments. At around 16 minutes
in, he plays his digital revision of a kora
With the possible exception of the Nobel awards, physicists seem to get all the press these days, whether they're doing quantum level work at the LHC, or cosmology via the latest satellite data. Biologists, not so much. It's too bad, because Richard Lenski
is running one of the great evolutionary experiments of our time
, and it's producing interesting results. [more inside]
$500,000. Five years. No strings attached. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
has announced the 24 recipients
of its 2009 "genius grants."
Raising the Dead.
When scientist Mark Roth's one-year-old daughter died after heart surgery, Roth obsessed clinically first about immortality, then about suspended animation
, when all life processes temporarily cease. His subsequent research work
-- placing yeast, nematodes, drosophila, frogs, and zebrafish into suspended animation (clinical death) for up to 24 hours, then reviving them unharmed -- earned him a MacArthur Fellowship
and a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) Award. [more inside]
Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power,
an urban farm in Milwaukee, has won a MacArthur Genius grant.
Growing Power uses aquaculture, vermiculture, and sustainable agriculture
to raise food in an urban environment. Chefs of the region have taken notice
, but that's not Growing Power's main purpose. Congratulations to only the second farmer to win a Genius Grant. [more inside]
is one of this year's MacArthur Fellows
, a musician and artist who invents and builds new instruments
from turntables, strings and the interactions of the elements
. His recent invention, the Ocean Edge Device
, uses the flow of the rushing tides to provide energy for on-board accordion and turntable instrumentation.
: artist, Peace Corps alumni, MacArthur Foundation Award recipient. A retrospective of his artwork (1977-2007) opens at The Museum Of Modern Art today. Also online here
is my new hero. As the creator of Auburn University's Rural Studio
and winner of a MacArthur Fellowship
, he has his undergraduate students design and construct buildings. Not only are the structures they build attractive and functional, they are built in one of the poorest areas of the country, using discarded and recycled materials.
MacArthur Foundation genius grants
-- I didn't get one this year, but Ben Katchor
did. So did some other astonishing people, such as Patricia J. Williams, of whose column "Diary of a Mad Law Professor" in The Nation
I am a particular fan.