macarthur award


The Richardson Guerilla Shotgun,

Illif D. Richardson was certainly an interesting figure during World War II.  A radio expert and PT Boat crewman with the rank of ensign, Richardson was stationed in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked and invaded the islands.  When the Japanese took over the country, he fled into the jungles and became a guerilla fighter, joining the Philippine Resistance.  With his radio skills, Richardson was able to set up a secret communication network between all of the various Filipino resistance groups, and for three years he was responsible for coordinating the operations of the Philippine Resistance. In 1944 Gen. Douglas MacArthur awarded him for his exploits by assigning him to US Army Intelligence and awarding him the rank of Major. Interestingly, Richardson was the only US serviceman to hold officers commissions in both the US Army and US Navy simultaneously.

While working with the Filipino Resistance, Richardson took special interest in the homemade firearms produced and used by many Filipino people.  Often simple people with access to few resources, they were able to cobble together crude but working firearms built from scrap metal and cast away parts.  Such home gunsmithing had been a tradition in the Philippines dating back to when they revolted against the Spanish in the late 19th century, and continued during the Spanish American War and Philippine American War. Home gunsmithing is still common today. One of the most common firearm designs was the slamfire shotgun.   A single shot shotgun, it had a very curious action. The barrel consisted of two tubes, an inner tube shrouded by a larger out tube. To load the user would remove the outer tube and insert a shotgun shell into it. The inner tube was mounted with a fixed firing pin, and the user would then replace the outer tube. Finally, the user would slam the outer barrel back, banging the cartridge primer against the firing pin which discharged the shell. It was a very crude system, and not a very effective combat weapon, but the Filipinos were able to successfully ambush enemy soldiers with them, thus acquiring rifles, machine guns, and grenades.

When Richardson returned to the United States, he instantly became famous, writing his memoirs and touring the country. To cash in on his fame, Richardson attempted to go into the firearms business by making replicas of the slamfire shotguns that were used by Filipino fighters.  The Richardson Guerilla gun was also a slamfire shotgun, chambered in 12 gauge.  While it appears that it had a trigger, its actually a safety mechanism so that any bump or jolt does not cause the primer to make contact with the firing pin, causing an accidental discharge.  The trigger connected to a lever which held the barrel in place, so the use would have to hold the trigger, unlocking the barrel so that it could be “slam fired”.  The Richardson shotgun was cheap to produce, and was meant to simulate the crudeness of the Filipino design.  Even the stock was crudely cut and poorly finished.  The Richardson Guerilla gun was a commercial flop, and few wear produced.  While it was an interesting novelty, in the end it was a piece of junk, based on the designs of desperate people who threw away their slamfire guns when they acquired something better.
Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Hamilton' Wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Broadway smash becomes ninth musical to win prestigious award.

Great to see a Puerto Rican win this award, and for such an incredible work!

“The Pulitzer is the latest of countless awards Hamilton and Miranda have won this season. The musical won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Miranda, Hamilton’s 35-year-old composer, also became the recipient of the 2015 MacArthur “Genius” Award. The musical has grossed more than $60 million at the box office and has been sold out for months, according to Fortune.“

Originally posted by iguessijustlikelikingthings

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer and star of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” thought it was the cable company calling to beg him to reconsider his recent service cancellation.

Nicole Eisenman, the artist, was in the meat section of a Fire Island grocery store, buying bacon.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the best-selling nonfiction book “Between the World and Me,” was at home in his Paris apartment when the call came.

“I wished I could be cool,” Mr. Coates said in a telephone interview. “But you just can’t be cool.”

These three were among the 24 people selected as 2015 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The fellowships, which have come to be known as “genius grants,” come with a stipend of $625,000 over five years — no strings attached.


However accomplished the fellows may be, they say the MacArthur grant frees them to experiment in their work without the burden of financial pressure.

“This goes a long way toward giving artists breathing room,” Mr. Miranda said. “While ‘Hamilton’ was being written, I wrote another musical; I was on a TV show that was the lowest-rated TV show in the history of NBC; I spoke at schools; I did some corporate gigs — there’s just jobs you do because you are feeding your family.”

Mr. Miranda said he would donate some of the prize money to “organizations that I have fallen in love with,” like Graham Windham, founded in 1806 by Alexander Hamilton’s wife, Elizabeth — which continues to serve needy children and families — and the Mariposa Center, which helps girls in the Dominican Republic.

“This is not all going to go to me,” he said. “This is also going to go to some of the places that have fed my soul.”


MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ Winners for 2015 Are Announced (NYT)

congratulations to LMM on breaking up with his cable company & also the MacArthur Genius Grant

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In advance of HAMILTON opening in Chicago, Pulitzer, Emmy, Tony, Grammy, Olivier and MacArthur “Genius” Grant award-winning actor and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda joined Chicago Tribune Theater Critic Chris Jones to discuss his life, inspiration, and past creative works including IN THE HEIGHTS and the cultural sensation, HAMILTON.

full video of the talk with Chris Jones!


The University of Pennsylvania’s 260th Commencement ceremony will take place on Monday, May 16, 2016 in Franklin Field at 10:15 a.m., and will be preceded by student and academic processions through campus. The ceremony will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, greetings by University officials, and remarks by the Commencement speaker, Lin-Manuel Miranda, an award-winning composer, lyricist, and performer, as well as a 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award recipient.

the livestream turns on at 9:00am EST [x x]

There is a hip-hop in Hamilton, but there are a lot of other things, too, which reassures and comforts a conventional Broadway audience while also hopefully attracting and satisfying a more diverse group of spectators (diverse in age and race and aesthetic orientation) who are less gratified by traditional Broadway balladry. There’s nods to the Beastie Boys and Biggie Smalls in here. But a lot of Sondheim and Kander and Ebb, too.

It’s not that Miranda’s isn’t an original voice. It is. Wildly. Wonderfully even. He has just been awarded a MacArthur “genius grant” and it’s hard to think of a contemporary music theater composer who deserves it more. But what’s original about his work is the fervor and fearlessness with which it borrows and recombines other genres and styles – pop, rock, jazz, operetta. He is a living iPod Shuffle. I don’t know too many other theater artists who could appropriate, with dash and conviction, TLC, 40s girl groups and Gilbert and Sullivan. All in the same song.


Congrats to StoryCorps on their MacArthur Award! Couldn’t have gone to a better project. A particular favorite from this corner of the peanut gallery is this one from Mr. Studs Terkel.

From StoryCorps series of animated shorts.

Northwestern University -  (Evanston, IL, USA)

Monastery Northwestern graduate also several major research initiatives, including the Global Health Center, Initiative for Sustainability and Energy in the North West region, and international research opportunities in the North West region.
This university is home to 12 schools and colleges.
The school employs a full-time teaching staff strength of 3344 which now includes the prestigious Nobel Prize, the winners of the MacArthur Fellowship, and Tony Award winners.
A $ 9.8 billion endowment is the reason that the school can use more than $ 500 million for research in a given year, and why the library can hold more than five million pieces, including many magazines and microfilm.
21000 Northwestern University students and enjoy the three universities, two of which border on Lake Michigan, while the third found in Doha, Qatar.
Often it seems that this is the case, and this is leading research university benefits from its proximity to the powerful neighbor, the University of Chicago.
As it is well-known university to attend the 19 teams “in the framework of the ten major sports conference.