Protecting Sight #200: Why the buildings of the future will be shaped by … you. Cataract surgery, a non-healing epithelial defect, & papilledema. Cultural life in Elihu Yale’s London. Lessons learned from Montaigne.

Welcome to my 200th daily learning journal! I started the journey in mid-June 2020 during the height of COVID-19 social distancing. I found that I would often fall into the rabbit hole of social media & vignettes of popular shows via short YouTube videos.

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, podcast, or significant work. Here’s today’s list:

1. Ted Talk – Marc Kushner: Why the buildings of the future will be shaped by … you. “‘Architecture is not about math or zoning — it’s about visceral emotions,’ says Marc Kushner. In a sweeping — often funny — talk, he zooms through the past thirty years of architecture to show how the public, once disconnected, have become an essential part of the design process. With the help of social media, feedback reaches architects years before a building is even created. The result? Architecture that will do more for us than ever before.” (

Like George Costanza, I’ve often wished I, too, could be an architect. This is a super-fun Ted Talk, filled with insights on an architect’s intellectual process. I especially enjoyed the many images Kushner shares of buildings which successfully push boundaries.

2. Cataract Surgery – Uday Devgan MD – complete cataract case: optimize steps. Dr. Devgan writes, “Most of us will have the opportunity to perform thousands of cataract surgeries (often tens of thousands) during the course of our careers. This means that we have the ability to truly refine every step of the surgery to achieve exactly what we desire. This constant improvement and learning benefits our patients but also gives us a tremendous source of enjoyment and pride. We want to achieve an outstanding incision and capsulorhexis, for example, because this will benefit our patients and also give us the pride of creating a beautiful signature that will be seen forever.”

3. Chen A, Ahmad M, Akpek E. A Nonhealing Epithelial Defect in a Patient Experiencing Alcohol Use DisorderJAMA Ophthalmol. Published online December 30, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.4651. Excellent case.

4. Papilledema – Dr. Lee shares pearls in papilledema grading & management.

Elihu Yale Sundial (1708).
Estate and possession of Eilhu Yale, at his estate at Wrexham; by descent in 1721 to Lord and Lady Guilford of Glenham Hall, Wickham Market, Suffolk; by descent to R. Eden Dickson, Esq. of Eden Lodge, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England; purchased and donated to Yale University.

5. Diana Scarisbrick and Benjamin Zucker. Elihu Yale: Merchant, Collector & Patron. Chapter 5, “The Pleasures of Music, Books, & Science.”

This is a fun chapter which details Elihu Yale and early 1700s London cultural life. Bibliophiles will especially enjoy highlights from Yale’s 2000+ book collection.


6. The Good Life (Sean Murray) – TGL037: MONTAIGNE ON LIVING THE GOOD LIFE WITH MICHAEL PERRY. “On today’s show, Sean’s guest is Michael Perry, a writer from rural Wisconsin who was so influenced by Montaigne that he wrote a book, “Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles through Philosophy.” In this episode Michael talks about how he came to discover Montaigne, the lessons he’s learned from Montaigne, how surprised he was that he could relate to this 16th-century French Nobleman, and most importantly, how reading Montaigne has changed his life for the better.”

After listening to this podcast, I Googled and found that nephrology articles do, indeed, include frequent mention on Montaigne and his kidney stones! A fun episode and Sean Murray continues to add books to my reading list! (Often the mark of a good podcast episode!)

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