The MacArthur Foundation announced its annual Genius Grants today—those no-strings-attached, five year, $500,000 awards that let the best among us pursue their science or art or writing free from the cares of the working world. And look who got one: Alex Ross, the classical music critic for the New Yorker! Ross is certainly deserving when it comes to smarts, if not to finance (he won't be quitting the NYer for a mere 100K per year). But genius knows no financial criteria, despite the jealousy of the poors! Ross says he'll use the cash to help him write his next book, upgrade his website, and "launch some home improvements." God, geniuses are the luckiest people ever. [FBNY]