“A phone call out of the blue; $500,000 – no strings attached”
Reads the front page for the MacArthur Foundation. Sometimes called the genius grants, they are awarded to the ultra-talented in nearly any field – writers, scientists, photographers. Young and old, this year’s recipients range from 31 to 66 years old. And like the quote says, $500,000 over five years is provided and never talked about again, “in the spirit of fostering intellectual freedom.”
Officially called the MacArthur Fellows, 23 were awarded this year with a focus on “works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society.”
The foundation is one of the largest in the world worth $5.7 billion in 2011 – and awarding $230 million in that same year.
A selection of the winners:
Natalie Almada – documentary filmmaker capturing complex views of Mexican history, politics, and culture as both an art form and a tool for social change.
Claire Chase – arts entrepreneur forging a new model for the commissioning, recording, and live performance of classical music.
Dylan C. Penningroth – historian studying property ownership among former slaves and their children in the United States.
Terry Plank – geochemist probing the invisible but remarkably powerful thermal and chemical forces deep below the Earth’s crust that drive the motion of tectonic plate collisions.
Not since Prohibition have there been this many craft beer breweries. It’s a small business revolution and I am lucky enough to live next to one, San Diego:
This year’s World Beer Cup lived up to its international name, with winners coming from all corners of the globe — including San Diego County, where breweries took 16 awards.
The annual convention boasted a record turnout (4,500 attendees) and the every-other-year World Beer Cup also witnessed an unprecedented 3,921 entries — 600 more than in 2010.
That may be one reason why San Diego’s breweries saw their total number of medals fall from 2010’s 21.
“We had a good showing,” insisted Marty Mendiola, brewmaster at Rock Bottom La Jolla and the San Diego Brewers Guild’s president. “But the quality of the beer is stepping up around the world.”
Yet local brewers had reasons to rejoice this year. Pizza Port Ocean Beach won three awards; Pizza Port Carlsbad, Lost Abbey, AleSmith and Green Flash all took two apiece; Alpine, Manzanita and Rock Bottom La Jolla one each.
Karl Strauss also captured two awards, including its second consecutive World Beer Cup gold for Red Trolley Ale