Protecting Sight #152: A butt tuba & medieval art. Shallow anterior chamber & necrotizing scleritis. Machiavelli, Borgia, and Leonardo’s map of Imola. The Artificial Eye: 2020 and the Dawn of Innovation.

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 – Michelle Brown: What is a butt tuba and why is it in medieval art? “A rabbit attempts to play a church organ, while a knight fights a giant snail and a naked man blows a trumpet with his rear end. These bizarre images, painted with squirrel-hair brushes on vellum or parchment by monks, nuns and urban craftspeople, populate the margins of the most prized books from the Middle Ages. Michelle Brown explores the rich history and tradition of illuminated manuscripts. [Directed by WOW-HOW Studio, narrated by Adrian Dannatt, music by Jarrett Farkas].” (

A fun and fast four minute video on the tradition of illuminated manuscripts.

2. Cataract surgery – Richard Mackool MD – Episode 24: Shallow Chamber and Convex Anterior Lens Capsule. Dr. Mackool writes, “An eye with a shallow anterior chamber is at increased risk for endothelial cell loss during phacoemulsification. A convex anterior capsule increases the risk of anterior capsulotomy “runout”. In this case I discuss and demonstrate techniques that protect the endothelium and prevent capsulorhexis problems in these eyes.” Great technique and pearls.

3. Journal article – Blitzer AL, Skondra D, Farooq AV. Scleritis and Retinal Detachment After Strabismus Surgery in a Patient With Thyroid Eye DiseaseJAMA Ophthalmol. 2020;138(11):1209–1210. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.2034

LEONARDO DA VINCI (VINCI 1452-AMBOISE 1519) – A map of Imola 1502
Black chalk, stylus lines, pen and ink, coloured washes | 44.0 x 60.2 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 912284

4. Book Chapter – Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. Chapter 23, “Cesare Borgia.” Excellent descriptin on the relationships between Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Cesare Borgia.

Imagine the scene. For three months during the winter of 1502-3, as if a historical fantasy movie, three of the most fascinating figures of the Renaissance – a brutal and power-crazed son of a pope, a sly and amoral writer-diplomat, and a dazzling painter yearning to be an engineer – were holed up in a tiny fortified walled town that was approximately five blocks wide and eight blocks long.

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (page 342)

5. #AAO2020 – AAO 2020 is upon us! Friday November 13 – Sunday November 15. I’ll list the sessions I attend and recommend below.

Please join us for a Simu-LIVE symposium during #AAO2020! The Artificial Eye: 2020 and the Dawn of Innovation – (SYM35V on Sat. Nov. 14, 8:35 am PST). Magnetic nanoparticle delivery, bioelectronic artificial sight, digital healthcare & more!

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