In an effort to keep up on news related to the beats I cover, I have several Google Alerts set up. One of them is "CZT," which is shorthand for cadmium zinc telluride (CdZnTe). This material is similar to the semiconductor cadmium telluride (CdTe), which is used in thin film solar cells. CZT is also a semiconductor and it is useful for detecting radioactive materials. This is important for homeland security, in order to screen for overseas shipments that may contain a dirty bomb, and also in medical imaging, to monitor radiation dosage. So if I get news that a CZT supplier has ramped up production or has landed a contract with an influential customer, that is something I need to know. My CZT Google Alert today sent me something completely different, news about the first "Certified Zentangle Teacher" in the state of Maine. I had never heard of Zentangle, but I will admit it probably has more appeal to a general audience than CdZnTe. The article title includes the phrase "Zentangle Yoga for the Brain," but this isn't exactly yoga. It's a form of art designed to be fun and relaxing. There's a workshop called "meditation in pen and ink."
Too bad Zentangle can't possibly help a bit with my upcoming report on radiation detection. Or could it? The technique promises to help improve focus and increase creativity, both of which sound useful for writers. Maybe I should try it. This teacher in Maine is a bit far away, but there are classes near me.
The moral of the story? Keep those news alerts coming. You never know when you're going to come across something surprising.