The Digital Journalist
July 2004

by Beverly Spicer

Last month we gave you Tyson, a stoked bulldog demonstrating the unlikely art of canine skateboarding. Who knew a dog could possess such a talent? The Digital Journalist has to wonder where else hidden talents may lurk but remain largely unnoticed. Dual abilities are especially fascinating, such as Woody Allen playing the clarinet at Michael's Pub for years on end, or when we find out that Christopher Walken's heart and soul belong as much in the kitchen and on the dance floor as in acting. Or when he reveals that his odd, syncopated speech is really a little percussive dance routine he's doing in his head. Much to our surprise, Former President Bill Clinton honked out a few tunes on the saxophone before, during and after his presidency. It turns out that talent is popping out all over-and again in the halls of government-as one familiar member of the administration bursts into song. E-Bits finds another glimpse at the unexpected in U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's fascinating public debut as a singer/songwriter during a speaking engagement at a North Carolina seminary in February of 2002. A short clip of Ashcroft performing his own "Let the Eagle Soar" appears in the recently released Fahrenheit 9/11, but here we see a longer version that has found a life of its own in cyberspace after originating as a news item from CNN and WBTV. Our response, "Who knew?"

Speaking of fascinating talents, we've found the source of several photos of anonymous of sidewalk art that are crowding in-boxes all over the world. Santa Barbaran artist Kurt Wenner has created sidewalk masterpieces in the US, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Mexico. He has worked as a space illustrator for NASA, lectured at the Smithsonian, and is featured in National Geographic's documentary, "Masterpieces in Chalk." Here we present some of his amazing work that travel anonymously as E-Bits. See more of Wenner's street paintings and learn more about his art at his website,

More sidewalk art turns out to be the work of Julian Beever of Belgium and England, who has also created incredible drawings in public spaces in Europe, the US and Australia. The drawings of both artists have such visual depth it may be hard to believe that they are all created on completely flat surfaces. You can learn more about Julian Beever's work at

We hope you'll enjoy this month's E-Bits as much as we do.

Watch Ashcroft sing "Let the Eagles Soar"
View a gallery of Kurt Wenner's sidewalk art
View a gallery of Julian Beever's sidewalk art

© Beverly Spicer

Beverly Spicer is a writer, photojournalist, and cartoonist, who faithfully chronicled The International Photo Congresses in Rockport, Maine, from 1987 to 1991. Her book, THE KA'BAH: RHYTHMS OF CULTURE, FAITH AND PHYSIOLOGY, was published in 2003 by University Press of America. She lives in Austin.