Protecting Sight #225: The dazzling flying machines of the future. White cataract needle decompression, ciliary body mass as a feature of ocular sarcoidosis. Trend following & post-presidential narratives.

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, podcast, or significant work.

Here is today’s list:

1. Ted Talk – Raffaello D’Andrea: Meet the dazzling flying machines of the future. “When you hear the word “drone,” you probably think of something either very useful or very scary. But could they have aesthetic value? Autonomous systems expert Raffaello D’Andrea develops flying machines, and his latest projects are pushing the boundaries of autonomous flight — from a flying wing that can hover and recover from disturbance to an eight-propeller craft that’s ambivalent to orientation … to a swarm of tiny coordinated micro-quadcopters. Prepare to be dazzled by a dreamy, swirling array of flying machines as they dance like fireflies above the TED stage.” (

This is an amazing Ted Talk. Love watching scientists & artists explain the love of the journey.

2. Cataract Surgery – Uday Devgan MD – white cataract needle decompression. Dr. Devgan writes, “This patient is a good candidate for needle decompression because the intumescent cataract has a distinct fluid layer and we are able to keep the anterior chamber pressure higher than the intra-lenticular pressure. This allows the needle to puncture and then decompress the capsular bag by aspirating liquefied lens cortex.”

CataractCoach includes many wonderful posts on white cataracts. This is an excellent demonstration and I love Uday’s insights on keeping the anterior chamber well pressurized. See also one of my submissions to CataractCoach, Two-Handed Capsulorhexis Technique, which I learned after watching many of Uday’s videos!

3. Journal article – Teo HMT, Elner SG, Sassalos TMP, Elner VM, Demirci H. Ciliary Body Mass as a Feature of Ocular SarcoidosisJAMA Ophthalmol. 2020;138(3):300–304. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.5704

4. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things by Robert Fulghum (page 105-127).

5. TIP333: TREND FOLLOWING W/ NIELS KAASTRUP LARSEN. “On today’s show, we have a veteran of the finance industry, Mr. Niels Kaastrup-Larsen. We discuss how simulations of trend following work together with an equities portfolio, and how models built on historical data perform in a year with a pandemic.”

As a long-term value investor, I find trend following to be a technique suited for more professional managers. Interesting episode.

6. Deep Background with Noah FeldmanThe Inaugural Episode (January 20. 2021). Podcast summary, “Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley shares his predictions and warnings for writing historical narratives about the end of the Trump presidency. He also discusses Trump’s decision to not attend the inauguration and how we should apply the 25th Amendment in the 21st century. This is the first installment in a new Deep Background series focusing on power in different fields and forms.”

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