What will David Macaulay build with $500,000? The author and illustrator of The Way Things Work was one of 25 winners of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant. (Here is the whole list of 2006 fellows.) Adrian LeBlanc, whose book (nonfiction, for adults) I mentioned last week, is also in the money.
From the MacArthur web site: The Fellows Program "awards five-year, unrestricted fellowships to individuals across all ages and fields who show exceptional merit and promise of continued creative work. It is limited to U.S. citizens and other residents of the United States."
Update: Interviewed yesterday evening on NPR, Macaulay said that he is in the middle of a big project on the human body and how it works; he'll use some of the money to finish this. Also, when the mortgage and the oil truck arrive at the same time, he won't have to worry, the Vermont resident jokingly told Robert Siegel.