Protecting Sight #114: Why I have coffee with people who send me hate mail. Loose zonules, vision loss after facial injection, and Leonardo da Vinci’s grotesque drawing of five heads.

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:

1. Ted Talk – Özlem Cekic: Why I have coffee with people who send me hate mail. “Özlem Cekic’s email inbox has been full of hate mail since 2007, when she won a seat in the Danish Parliament — becoming the first female Muslim to do so. At first she just deleted the emails, dismissing them as the work of fanatics, until one day a friend made an unexpected suggestion: to reach out to the hate mail writers and invite them to meet for coffee. Hundreds of “dialogue coffee” meetings later, Cekic shares how face-to-face conversation can be one of the most powerful forces to disarm hate — and challenges us all to engage with people we disagree with.” (

Wonderful insights in this talk, and especially that “A bridge can’t be built in one day.” I can think of more than one person I need to invite to a #dialoguecoffee.

“When you start at #dialoguecoffee, you have to remember this: first, don’t give up if the person refuses at first. Sometimes it’s taken me nearly one year to arrange a #dialoguecoffee meeting. Two: acknowledge the other person’s courage. It isn’t just you who’s brave. The one who’s inviting you into their home is just as brave. Three: don’t judge during the conversation. Make sure that most of the conversation focuses on what you have in common. As I said, bring food. And finally, remember to finish the conversation in a positive way because you are going to meet again. A bridge can’t be built in one day.”

Özlem Cekic (Ted Talk)

2. Uday Devgan MD – Surprise! Loose Zonular Support! Dr. Devgan writes in part, “This patient has a dense cataract and a surprise waiting for the surgeon: as the nucleus is being cracked, we notice a dark shadow seen under the iris at the pupil margin. This is because the nucleus is being pushed posteriorly due to lack of good zonular support. How should you proceed with phaco? Should you implant a capsular tension ring (CTR)? What about IOL choice and positioning? While the posterior capsule remains intact for this case, the challenges are many!” Great pearls.

Figure thumbnail gr1

3. Journal – Vision Loss after Facial Injection of Hyaluronic Acid. Ling-Ping Cen, Yun Wang, Zeyi Li. Ophthalmology (October 2020), p. 1330.

Recto: A man tricked by Gypsies. Verso: An inscription describing evil men
Recto: A man tricked by Gypsies. Verso: An inscription describing evil men c.1493
Pen and ink | 26.0 x 20.5 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 912495 (link)

4. Book Chapter – Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. Chapter 6, “Court Entertainer.” A masterful chapter in which Isaacson explores in part the meaning of Five Heads.

As much as possible, I’ll try to find the original source of the Leonardo work. This piece is held by the Royal Library, Windsor. Isaacson’s book will lead you to learn about many of Leonardo’s works.

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