Sam Ervin, chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee

Slow Burn: a podcast series about Watergate

If you lived through the Watergate crisis (1972-1974), you probably remember a lot about what happened and about the major characters, such as John Dean, Richard Nixon, John Ehrlichman, etc. And you probably remember how it felt to have a new development in the story just about every day. It was an interesting, often thrilling, […]

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MrShakespeare

Folger Shakespeare Library podcast interviews author of recent book on a newly discovered Shakespeare source

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. has an interesting podcast with June Schlueter and Dennis McCarthy. These authors were mentioned in a post on JPROF.com in February (and also in Jim’s newsletter) about a newly discovered source for William Shakespeare. How they discovered this source is as interesting as what they discovered. McCarthy is an […]

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The ‘Lightning Sketch Artist,’ a vaudeville act in the early 1900s

Not long ago, a friend alerted me to Gurney Journey, the website of artist James Gurney, and it has become one of my daily stops on my web rounds. Gurney comes up with a wide variety of fascinating items, including the video above that shows sometimes about which I was completely unaware: the lightning sketch […]

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A frame of bees from one of the hives

Starting beehives; surviving March; sketching in the urban; more on Darwin: newsletter April 13, 2018

There is this thing in America known as March Madness. To the untutored among you, that refers to the three-week long national collegiate basketball tournament that has the country mesmerized until the Monday evening (usually the first Monday of April) when the national championship games takes place, and in a few days, you’ve forgotten completely […]

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Winston Churchill during World War I; watercolor, Jim Stovall

Winston Churchill on the Western Front: ‘I am afraid only of people who cannot think.’

While at the front, Churchill started reading poetry, particularly the poems of Siegfried Sassoon, a British soldier not well known at the time but whose anti-war poetry would later become famous. Churchill not only read Sassoon’s poetry but memorized them and recited them whenever he could.

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Shadows of Summer - 1

Shadows of Summer – four line and wash drawings

  These drawings come from a watercolor class that I am taking at the local community college (Pellissippi State) this semester. They were executed in about an hour and a half. The main point of these drawings was for me to learn something about “hot press” paper. In watercolor there are three kinds of paper: […]

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Wrigley Field

Urban Sketching is among us – so pay attention

People who draw and paint outside the confines of their studio are now known as urban sketchers. In fact, there is a world-wide organization —  a long-standing one, I understand — of Urban Sketchers with a substantial website. Here’s the Urban Sketchers manifesto: We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from […]

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MrDarwin

Charles Darwin’s plan for Origin of Species – and his luck

Darwin’s basic marketing plan, according to Johnson, was to let others promote the book while never appearing to do so himself. He planned to be drafted into immortality. And so he was.

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March: the month of madness

Glad you survived March, dear reader. It’s sometimes a dangerous place to be. There is this thing in America known as March Madness. To the untutored among you, that refers to the three-week long national collegiate basketball tournament that has the country mesmerized until the Monday evening (usually the first Monday of April) when the […]

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A frame of bees from one of the hives

Starting a new beehive – what it takes

We’ve had a cold, wet spring in East Tennessee this year, and that kind of weather is not particularly good for bees or their honey production. The crimson clover, which the bees love, still has not bloomed, although it should be at its peak in the first or second week of April. Our attitude is, of […]

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The fears of Charles Darwin; Typhoid Mary; installing the bees: newsletter, April 6, 2018

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,171) on Friday, April 6, 2018. Planting the garden was the first order of business on the farm this week. After I had completed the tilling last week, we had some more rain, so the planting did not begin on Good Friday, as is our […]

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Charles Darwin

The three fears of Charles Darwin and the writing of The Origin of Species

Two of them slowed his writing down. He feared that his work would be dismissed by the fellow scientists for whom it was written. That would have been a humiliation that he did not believe he could stand. He also feared what his wife, a deeply religious woman, would think. The final fear had the […]

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A newspaper depiction of Typhoid Mary (National Institutes of Health)

Typhoid Mary: not an ogre from the Dark Ages

Typhoid Mary is not just an expression, and she’s not a ghost from some mysterious past. She was a real person who lived in the 20th century and whose story is a sad one. Her name was Mary Mallon. She lived and worked in New York City during the first decade of the 20th century. […]

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Batter2017-4

MLB-Facebook combo presents first full-length game this week

s Facebook going to be the new sports channel for cord-cutters? Probably not, but it does raise some interesting factors and possibilities.

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Disgraceland

Free audiobooks and more; Churchill the writer, part 3; the Stone Fleet; newsletter, March 30, 2018

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,198) on Friday, March 30, 2018. My poor math skills were on display in last week’s newsletter when I noted the birthday (March 31) of Johann Sebastian Bach. I was only off a hundred years. Saturday is actually the 333rd anniversary of his birth. (Thanks […]

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Winston Churchill caricature

Winston Churchill’s World War II saga (part 3): Churchill the writer

In November 1895, Winston Churchill sailed for America for the first time. His ultimate destination was Cuba, where the Spanish government was attempting to put down an insurrection by Cuban rebels. The twenty-year-old Churchill (he turned twenty-one while in Cuba) was a Second Lieutenant in the British Army, and he was going to Cuba as […]

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Opening Day Slide

Opening Day 2018: Casey at the Bat

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;/ . It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;/ . It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,/ For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

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radioguy

More than just free audiobooks: LibriVox offers plays, poetry, more

William Shakespeare is still on my mind, and I recently thought it was would be cool to listen to some Shakespeare rather than read him. After all, he wrote plays — things that should be seen and heard. Listening to his words should be the consumption mode of choice. What I found was a gold […]

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IMG_1157

The making of a watercolor: A public building

Buildings and structures are among my favorite subjects when I paint with watercolors. Part of the reason for that has to be that when I was learning watercolors, I was teaching at the University of Alabama (where I spent 25 years of my career). That campus has to be one of the prettiest in the […]

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Churchill commands history (or tries to); My Lai; how to avoid sugar; and a bonus: newsletter March 23, 2018

When the American public heard about what happened a year later, My Lai quickly became a symbol for America’s tragic misadventure in Southeast Asia. My Lai exposed the lack of clear mission, inadequate training, miscommunication, and less-than-straightforward truth-telling that had characterized the whole enterprise.

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