David Simon Gets MacArthur Genius Grant

The Wire writer David Simon was awarded a prestigious MacArthur "genius" grant of $500,000, as were a breeder of honey bees and researcher of jellyfish. Marla Spivak, who developed a breed of bees that helps hives plagued by pathogens get healthy, said she was so shocked she thought the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation had gotten the wrong person. The foundation said it honored Simon with the award because he crafted "richly textured narratives that probe urban America's most complex and poorly understood realities." John Dabiri’s work on jellyfish can be used to diagnose heart failure and make better windmills. Other grant winners include Jessie Little Doe Baird, who’s working to bring back the Wampanoag language, sign-language expert Carol Padden, population geneticist Carlos D. Bustamante, and physics teacher Amir Abo-Shaeer. “Exceptional” people are rewarded for creativity and making “great things happen,” the foundation says.