MacArthur Fellows

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The MacArthur Fellowship recently came to my attention because Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, cartoonist and graphic memoirist) was awarded one of the grants in 2014. The MacArthur Foundation chooses 20 -25 fellows who receive a grant of $625,000 paid in installments over 5 years. They also have a no strings attached policy to allow those selected to do what ever they want with the funds, with no reporting obligations.

This is the stuff of dreams in my opinion. Winning a MacArthur Fellows grant and being given the freedom to pursue whatever you choose. How extraordinary!

From the macfound.org website:

What is the MacArthur Fellowship?

The MacArthur Fellowship is a five-year grant to individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future. The fellowship is designed to provide recipients with the flexibility to pursue their own artistic, intellectual, and professional activities in the absence of specific obligations or reporting requirements. There are no limits on age or area of activity. Individuals cannot apply for this award; they must be nominated.

What are the selection criteria?

The selection decisions focus primarily on exceptional creativity, as demonstrated through a track record of significant achievement, and manifest promise for important future advances. Emphasis is placed on nominees for whom our support would relieve limitations that inhibit them from pursuing their most innovative ideas. The MacArthur Fellowship is not a lifetime achievement award; we are looking for individuals on the precipice of great discovery or a game-changing idea. Recipients must also be citizens or residents of the United States and must not hold elective office or advanced positions in government as defined by statute.

Why are no strings attached?

The MacArthur Fellowship is designed to provide seed money for intellectual, social, and artistic endeavors. We believe that highly motivated, self-directed, and talented people are in the best position to decide how to allocate their time and resources. By adopting a “no strings attached” policy, we provide the maximum freedom for the recipients to follow their creative vision, whether it is moving forward with their current activities, expanding the scope of their work, or embarking in entirely new directions. There are no restrictions on how the money can be spent, and we impose no reporting obligations.

How does the program define “creativity”?

Creativity comprises the drive and ability to make something new or to connect the seemingly unconnected in significant ways so as to enrich our understanding of ourselves, our communities, the world, and the universe that we inhabit. Creativity can take many forms: asking questions that open onto fields of inquiry as yet unexplored; developing innovative solutions to perplexing problems; inventing novel methods, tools, or art forms; fusing ideas from different disciplines into wholly new constructions; producing works that broaden the horizons of the imagination.

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http://www.macarthur.org/

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Mad Max Fury Road

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Went to see Mad Max Fury Road this past weekend. The reviews have been amazing for this next film in the series from the Mad Max universe. The Last film, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was released 30 years ago. And let me tell you, Fury Road is ambitious, visually incredible, and visceral. It was hard to even understand how they accomplished the filming with the stunts, driving sequences, and battles. But accomplish they did.

An interesting aspect of the storyline involves women and how they are the strength and wisdom behind finding true hope, rebirth. The men, for the most part, are savages that are in survival mode. The women, while also surviving, also have an eye to the future which they hope will be better for themselves, and for their children.

Mostly, if you are looking for an incredible action film, this is about as good as it gets.

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And for old time sake:

Met Gala

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So maybe you caught the Met Gala when it took over the media on May 4th, 2015. The theme this year was “China: Through the Looking Glass: Costume Institute’s Spring 2015 Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum to Focus on Chinese Imagery in Art, Film, and Fashion” (Press release). New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. April 14, 2015.

I find this event fascinating because fashion is always reinventing & challenging itself. I’m by no means a fashion expert, more of an interested observer. Each year this “A-list” event brings out the stars, sure. But it also send this amazing message of forward thinking. Breaking rules, challenging what we expect. And that’s kind of cool.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/red-carpet-watch/met-gala-2015

Jack Daniels

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Oh Jack Daniels. So this Tennessee Whisky (not a Bourbon they say) has some history in my family. It is one of my Grandmother’s go to drinks. In fact, one of her nicknames is Lady Jack or Lady J. I really didn’t start drinking until I was approaching 30. And having waited a long time to partake, I discovered very quickly what appealed to me and what didn’t. Jack Daniels appealed to me.

Jack Daniels is the highest selling American Whisky according to Wikipedia. It is also named after Jasper NewtonJackDaniel born in 1849. He was an American Distiller.

The taste is part of why I drink Jack Daniels, it has a kick, and it connects me to family…surprisingly. So drink responsibly and raise a glass to toast my Grandma Mary the next time you happen to be holding the Tennessee Whisky in your hand. Cheers.

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Website: http://www.jackdaniels.com/verify-age

Blueberry Coffee

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Admittedly, this is an unusual post. But when I started this blog the intention was to write about a weekly fascination. And the truth is, this week, I have been fascinated with Blueberry Coffee.

Now, I am not really a fan of flavored coffee. However, the other day at work they put out Wild Mountain Blueberry Coffee at our Coffee Café and I reluctantly decided to give it a try.

At first sip it made me feel like I was drinking a blueberry muffin. A co-worker said, “it smells like pancakes”. Who knew I would want to drink a blueberry muffin. But I did, and I do. I’ve even kept a few of the Keurig Cups at my desk so I don’t have to have a day without it. (Shh, don’t tell my co-workers).

And I have also sent a box to my Dad for his birthday, which happens to be today. (Happy Birthday Dad!) PS. He loves flavored coffee.

If you have any inkling to drink a blueberry muffin, run…don’t walk.

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Dunkin Donuts has it too!

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