Protecting Sight #42: Being young and making an impact. The BBC, Harold Bloom and Melville’s Shakespearean prose. Long live Moby Dick.

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 – Natalie Warne – Being young and making an impact (April 2011) “At 18, Natalie Warne’s work with the Invisible Children movement made her a hero for young activists. She uses her inspiring story to remind us that no one is too young to change the world.” (

This was a Ted trending talk. Love the concept of the anonymous extraordinaire. Also, though not mentioned directly, this reminds me of the concept of the Serving Leader.

2B. Ted Talk – Chip Kidd – Why books are here to stay. Good visuals. 3-minute Ted Talk.

2. Cataract Surgery – Uday Devgan MD – Review: if the bag shallows during cortex removal. Watch Uday everyday and you’ll continue to become a better cataract surgeon. A pearl a day! 7 minutes & a twist.

3A. Journal – JAMA Ophthalmology Clinical Challenge – Garcia ML, Starr MR, Smith WM. Middle-aged Woman With Optic Neuritis and a Rapidly Progressing Retinal Vaso-occlusive Disease. 2020;138(7):797–798.

3B. Journal – JAMA Ophthalmology Clinical Challenge – Venkateswaran N, Tonk RS, Berrocal A. Corneal Edema in a Gardener. Published online July 23, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.1325

4. Book Chapter – Herman Melville – Moby Dick. Listened to Chapters 133-Epilogue via See also Sparknotes (narration) and Gutenberg (book text).

I finally finished Moby Dick! A most enjoyable novel. This wasn’t a book I could pick up and just read. Life has many distractions and the text is dense. I needed the audio version. A big shout out to LoyalBooks and their podcast version with narration by Stewart Mills. He’s an extraordinary narrator.

Would suggest reviewing the Sparknotes or other book guide which draw out the chapter highlights and thematic messages.

©SCRAN/University of Aberdeen, Harpoon

After listening to the book today, I listened to and recommend two discussions of the book:

  1. BBC Radio (Podcast, December 2017) – “Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Herman Melville’s (1819-1891) epic novel, published in London in 1851, the story of Captain Ahab’s pursuit of a great white sperm whale that had bitten off his leg. He risks his own life and that of his crew on the Pequod, single-mindedly seeking his revenge, his story narrated by Ishmael who was taking part in a whaling expedition for the first time.” This is excellent and a British take on the classic American novel!
  2. Harold Bloom’s Moby-Dick – Open Source (November 2011). The reporter states, “Harold Bloom is giving us a one-man performance of a one-act play. He invited us months ago to his class at Yale on Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, and finally here it is and here we are. Because this is Harold Bloom on stage, himself the “living labyrinth” of literature, his jazz-like solo improvisation is endlessly allusive …”

Yale English professor Harold Bloom holds court with his students to discuss Moby Dick. One of my great regrets is not taking more English classes while at Yale — I was an Ethics, Politics and Economics major & pre-med.

The pre-med college experience — complete with labs and problem sets — left little time to enjoy great works of fiction. When I read Hamlet a few years ago, I Googled and tried to process Yale professor Maynard Mack’s classic essay on Shakespeare & Hamlet. Much as I tried to do with John Nash’s original article which led to a Nobel Prize and the movie Beautiful Mind.

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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