Protecting Sight #252: Revealing the lost codex of Archimedes. Phaco chop efficiency and the trigeminal nerve pathway. The Great Mental Models & Circle of Competence.

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 – William Noel: Revealing the lost codex of Archimedes. “How do you read a two-thousand-year-old manuscript that has been erased, cut up, written on and painted over? With a powerful particle accelerator, of course! Ancient books curator William Noel tells the fascinating story behind the Archimedes palimpsest, a Byzantine prayer book containing previously-unknown original writings from ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes and others.” (

This is a fascinating talk! I love the journey of discovering hidden treasures within manuscripts. And especially that the manuscript’s owner wanted to make the contents of the manuscript freely accessible online.

I collect historical documents as a hobby, and follow collectors and curators on social media. A few years ago, I received a private tour of the University of Pennsylvania Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, courtesy of Senior Curator Mitch Fraas.

I met then-Kislak Director William Noel while on the tour. A wonderful morning which included Penn’s historical documents related to ophthalmology and Signers of the Declaration of Independence (including a Button Gwinnett!).

2. Cataract Surgery – Uday Devgan MD – 1019: from one chop to the next. “This complete cataract case shows how we move from the first chop to the next in order to efficiently break the nucleus into small pieces. Look at the picture above which shows the phaco probe being embedded into the nuclear half after the first chop has been accomplished. We then place the chopper to split that heminucleus into smaller pieces. Moving from one chop to the next will help you refine your phaco chop technique.”

Excellent pearls & technique.

3. Andrew Lee MD – Cranial nerve V. Great reviews of neuro-ophthalmology concepts.

4. The Great Mental Models Volume 1: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish and Rhiannon Beaubien. 2019. “Circle of Competence.” This chapter especially resonates for physicians and surgeons. The authors mention the work of Atul Gawande MD and the benefits of finding a coach to expand your circle of competence. You’ll notice I’ve adopted Uday Devgan MD, Ike Ahmed MD, Andrew Lee MD, and many others as coaches!

1 week away! Register now!
Join us on Wednesday February 24, 9 pm EST!

5. KOL Knockout™: Cataract Edition — Maximizing the Use of Aberrometry, Femtosecond Lasers, and Advanced IOLs to Improve Postoperative Outcomes in Cataract Surgery. Join us on Wednesday February 24 at 9 pm EST! Delighted to be a panelist with cutting edge colleagues. Registration (FREE CME!)

Join us on Wednesday February 24!

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