Protecting Sight #38: Hunting for ancient ruins & lost civilizations with satellite technology. Let Ahab beware of Ahab.

Welcome to my daily learning journal. My daily goal is to watch one Ted Talk and one cataract surgery. I also plan to read one journal article and read/listen to a book chapter, short story or significant work.

Here’s today’s list:

1A. Ted Talk – Sarah Parcak – Help discover ancient ruins — before it’s too late. “Sarah Parcak uses satellites orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth to uncover hidden ancient treasures buried beneath our feet. There’s a lot to discover; in the Egyptian Delta alone, Parcak estimates we’ve excavated less than a thousandth of one percent of what’s out there. Now, with the 2016 TED Prize and an infectious enthusiasm for archaeology, she’s developed an online platform called GlobalXplorer that enables anyone with an internet connection to discover unknown sites and protect what remains of our shared human inheritance.” (February 2016 talk, via

1B. Sarah Parcak – Hunting for Peru’s lost civilizations — with satellites “Around the world, hundreds of thousands of lost ancient sites lie buried and hidden from view. Satellite archaeologist Sarah Parcak is determined to find them before looters do. With the 2016 TED Prize, Parcak is building an online citizen-science tool called GlobalXplorer that will train an army of volunteer explorers to find and protect the world’s hidden heritage. In this talk, she offers a preview of the first place they’ll look: Peru — the home of Machu Picchu, the Nazca lines and other archaeological wonders waiting to be discovered.” (

I was drawn to Sarah Parcak’s Ted Talk when I stumbled upon this 2nd talk on Machu Picchu and Hiram Bingham (Yale 1898).

I collect Yale-related historical documents as a hobby. Many years ago, I came across a manuscript for a Dr. George F. Eaton (Yale 1894), who accompanied Bingham on his 1912 Yale Peruvian expedition (JStor). The manuscript was too rich for my blood — though I did alert a friend who worked in the Yale President’s office of the auction — and I’m constantly on the look-out for Bingham related items (See my Yale collections here.)

2A. Cataract Surgery – Richard J. Mackool, MD – Shallow Anterior Chamber and Severe Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy. “This patient exhibits severe corneal gutatta with an endothelial cell count of 368 cells/sq mm, and an extremely shallow anterior chamber. I first perform a pars plana vitrectomy to deepen the anterior chamber followed by cataract surgery using techniques intended to protect the already compromised endothelium. Because of the patient’s anatomy, I again choose to use the Trendelenburg position to obtain better access to the eye. I think you will really enjoy this case!” Excellent case by Dr. Mackool.

Figure thumbnail gr1

3A. Journal article – Cost-Effectiveness of Preoperative OCT in Cataract Evaluation for Multifocal Intraocular Lens. Ella H. Leung, Allister Gibbons, Douglas D. Koch. Ophthalmology July 2020, p859–865.

Figure thumbnail gr1

3B. Pictures & Perspectives – Infiltrative Choroidopathy Revealing Leukemia. Edward Gigon, Anthony Gigon, Ariane Malclès. Ophthalmology July 2020, page 873.

Moby-Dick FE title page.jpg
Title page, First edition, 1851 (Wikipedia)

4. Book Chapter – Herman Melville – Moby Dick. Listened to Chapters 109-114 via See also Sparknotes (narration) and Gutenberg (book text).

Chapter 109, Starbuck states, “But let Ahab beware of Ahab; beware of thyself, old man.”

See Protecting Sight Daily Learning posts here.

Please send me feedback. Would appreciate suggestions of Ted Talks, cataract videos, and journal articles to learn from and share.

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