ValleyZen, Ancient Organisms, And Happy 'Beatles Birthday' Pop

Drue Kataoka is full of surprises. Not only is she a master Sumi-e artist, an ancient Japanese brush stroke technique, she's also an accomplished musician, world traveler, and Web pioneer. Her site,, has only been around for a couple months but it's getting attention for its message of simplicity in a tech world often cluttered with distraction and consternation. Indeed, her motto on the site is: "At the intersection of Zen and technology." I know, I know, if you're always stressed out and multi-tasking then then you might think Zen+technology seems like an oxymoron, especially in a place like Silicon Valley. Au contraire, mon frere. That's exactly why Kataoka believes it's such a worthwhile pursuit.

Her site contains stories, ideas, and videos that revolve around the Zen ideal, and some of the clips are illustrative of Zen through their spontaneity, such as the time a Silicon Valley exec decided to flip Drue (Judo style) and she gracefully went along for the ride. You have to see it. Anyway, I recently interviewed Drue for a CBS Radio segment, so keep an ear out for that, too.

Wanted to mention a cool story from the BBC today, which shows how researchers in France are using a high-powered X-ray to peer through dense amber (fossil resin) and analyze bugs and insects that have been trapped there for millions of years. It's part spycam, part high tech, and very gee whiz. They can even build 3-D images. Check it out here.

And a quick shout out to my dad, who was introduced to Tech Talk/ readers last year when I traveled to the Arctic. Birthday greetings, bottle of wine? Yep, he's 64 today. Lookin' good, Pop. And speaking of the Arctic, I'm working on a possible story for tomorrow's Early Show about the debate surrounding listing polar bears as threatened on the Endangered Species list.

Until next time, stay connected!

P.S. Also working on a story for next week about CRAGs (Carbon Reduction Action Groups -- neighborhood gatherings very popular overseas aimed at saving the environment and money on their energy bill), and that will also mark the debut of a behind-the-scenes video shot on the Flip camera.