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A week or so ago, I was poking around in the cluttered back room of this website when I found something that truly stunned me: The SoPD website had 468 posts (This post is #470)
For a moment I was speechess. And as I looked at the number, a mix of horror and awe passed over me. If I had to have a guess, I would have said there were perhaps 300 or so posts on the website, but definitely not 500. That’s a ridiculous number!
Having given it some thought, a round number like 500 deserves something special.
Today’s post is a request to readers for ideas on how to mark the occasion.
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Beau Miles. Source: Youtube
The guy in the image above is Beau Miles – University lecturer, filmaker, adventurer, “poly-jobist”.
When I need a break and I want something off beat, Beau’s Youtube channel is my usual first port of call. If you have never heard of him, I would recommend starting off gently with his Run the line video and then diving head first into the madness that is A mile an hour.
Beau is one of those “exploring the human experience” types and he films himself doing it. He’s a great story teller and his quirky adventures are always good viewing – like the time Steinbeck inspired him to eat his own body weigh in canned beans. Just beans. It took him 40 days (Click here for that video).
What does this have to do with Parkinson’s?
After discovering that the Science of Parkinson’s website was approaching the crazy milestone of 500 posts, I told my wife and she suggested that I should mark the occasion some how.
Not being the sentimental type, I suggested that I could add a small #500 in the bottom right hand corner of the post (“we’ll see if anyone notices“).
My wife rolled her eyes and told me to try and think bigger.
By chance, I watched Beau’s latest video that night. It was about him sitting in his field, drinking a bottle of wine that he found on the side of the road (I kid you not) and answering viewer’s questions:
Now, I am a bit of a wino, and this idea appealed to me greatly: Sitting in our little courtyard with a really good bottle of wine and answering reader questions. The idea seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
As I was going through the wine rack and considering various options, however, my wife asked me what I was doing (she seems to be rather weary everytime me and the wine rack hang out together for some reason). I explained the big idea to her and the inspiration for it, and she rolled her eyes again before suggesting that I should try to think of something more original.
I can see her point, but I’m not sure if you have noticed dear reader: I am not very original.
But then I had my eureka moment: All the best ideas for this website have come from the input of readers, so hey, let’s ask them what they think.
Thus, here it is reader: How should I mark the 500th post on the Science of Parkinson’s website?
You can write your answers in the comments section below, or contact me directly.
All ideas will certainly be considered. The bigger, the better. Ideally something that will make my wife’s eyes roll (I love it when she does that). I’m looking for a fun challenge – still 30 posts away, so there is time to prepare (famous last words).
I look forward to reading your thoughts.
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13 thoughts on “Administrative post: Approaching 500”
Hello dr. Stott,
first all thank you for very elucidating, detailed and extensive 500 posts which brought more knowledge to the laypeople.
Honestly I like your idea of answering readers questions. However I can understand your wife’s perspective as well. I cannot offer any good advice on that matter.
However I do have some number of questions and if you may I would like to ask the first one.
Can laypeople assist the current research other than through donations? Maybe just by sifting thorough some data?
Best regards dr. Stott!
Thanks for your comment and kind words. Laypeople can already assist the current research efforts. Many take part in helping with the reviewing of grant funding applications and also volunteering their time to research clinics (helping with admin and data analysis). Everyone comes in with a different set of skills and it is just a case of determining where they can be best applied. And research advocacy is already a very important factor. Organisations like the Parkinson’s Foundation have structured training programs (https://www.parkinson.org/research/Patient-Engagement/Advocate-for-Research). So there is already many options available. Perhaps you have some additional ideas that could be added to the mix?
And regarding my wife’s perspective: she is always right.
I did not know of Beau Miles, but have viewed part of his video ‘Run the Line’ to learn about him so that he could have some influence.
I would like to suggest a visit to 1 Hoxton Square, Shoreditch, London & have a celebratory drink & something to eat – a nibble or something more substantial – before leaving for either Kew Gardens at Richmond OR Wakehurst Botanic Park at Adingly, Haywards Heath at Sussex.
Reasoning behind my suggestions are that because James Parkinson’s description of Parkinson’s Disease brought it to medical attention, & this foundation has been built on since to produce all the work being done today. Hat’s off to him for that & to you for your part.
Why Kew Gardens or Wakehurst Botanic Park? Due to all the current uncertainties (COVID 19, weather events etc.) I can think of no better places to go to enjoy the UK outdoors (in the Beau Miles style without the running), which also encompasses & typifies the areas on this planet where Parkinson’s Disease is found & no doubt many of your postings find their way to.
I must mention that I live in the Southern Hemisphere & have never visited these places but I would do exactly that if I was in the UK.
Keep up the good work, Simon.
Thanks for your comment and idea. I have to admit that I have had a long fascination with James Parkinson and I have already been to visit #1 Hoxton Square. Before the SoPD, I ran a website called ‘Searching4James’, which was focused on finding a likeness of the man (none exists) and learning more about his past. And as part of that effort I visited the “family home” (https://searching4james.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/no-1-hoxton-square/). James was born there and lived all but the last 2 years of his life there. He never owned the house, but he ran a very successful practice from it and maintained an impressive fossil collection in the back room (he was a rock star in the geological world). Unfortunately the original building was knocked down and a factory put in its place, but there is a restaurant in there now and I had a lunch there while visiting.
During that visit, I also stopped by St Leonard’s, which is just around the corner from where James lived (https://searching4james.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/the-bells-of-shoreditch-st-leonards-church/). The church was the centre of the Parkinson family world – James and most of the family were baptised, married and buried there. I had a long chat with Rev. Paul Turp, the vicar of St Leonard’s, who is quite the historian on the James.
Kew Gardens is a beautiful spot, but I have never visited Wakehurst – it is now on the long list of things to do when COVID is done. I’ll be happy to give a full report on it when I get back.
I hope the Southern hemisphere Spring is being good to you. Autumn has been spectacular here this year.
I would suggest some kind of online fundraising campaign to support a Parkinson research project of your choice.
Thanks for the comment – I like the idea, but I am kind of reluctant to do any kind of fundraising campaign. The PD community already contributes significantly to ongoing efforts, I don’t want to be the guy asking for more. Plus, I suspect that there might be some conflict of interest clauses in my contract at the day job regarding this. So if you don’t mind I might put this idea on the back burner, until all the other options have been explored.
Maybe shortly put out a chronological bullet list of the posts to date with links, so those who have missed a few can catch up. Then ask for suggestions on subject matter to complete the marathon. Possibly more importantly, an update on ones you yourself had forgotten about. Every now and then I find an old one and wonder – what has happened to that? Or think – wow that makes sense or rings a bell.
And many tx for your efforts to educate, inspire, inform and give hope to us all.
Thanks for your comment. The good news is that the list of previous posts already exists. If you have a look just below the banner at the top of the page, you will see a “Previous posts” option. And if you click on that it will take you to the list of previous SoPD posts on the site map page (https://scienceofparkinsons.com/site-map/). I hope this is what you are looking for.
I have not yet found a good way to link between old post and new updates. Feedback indicates that readers don’t like clicking to different pages, so I try to have all the information on the one page with each post, but this results in long posts which some readers find tedious. I am not sure what the solution is, but I welcome suggestions.
Could you write a post for the kids sometime please? What interests you the most about this field (it seems like EVERYTHING interests you in some posts ;0) What topics keep you awake reading until 3am? How can young people get into this field and help find a cure? What is needed to support young people with an interest on this area? What’s the equivalent to a Raspberry Pi in this area? A microscope and a fruit fly?! What are the hoverboards and flying cars of biological sciences and nuerodegenerative diseases.
To celebrate this milestone, I would suggest a retrospective on how the site came to exist, including some background about yourself.
Because I suspect that you are a quite fascinating person, not only well-informed on the science behind PD, but also quite unusual in the extent to which you have selflessly invested in educating those of us who are struggling with this illness.
I’m sure that many here would like to know more about your current and past research, how you came upon the idea of starting this blog, how you are able to obtain the wonderfully detailed and up-to-the-minute information that is included in your articles, what role the blog has served in your other professional involvements, and so on.
I am a regular reader of your website, and think it is a great idea to get reader engagement on the #500 posts. Malcolm Gladwell recently asked his listeners to vote on the ‘top five podcasts’ for the fifth anniversary of his podcast, I think it would be fun to do something similar. Why not ask people to vote on their favourite post, and you could list the top 5 of 500?
P.S. I would have trouble choosing between your post about the dogs that can smell Parkinson’s, and one about the research on the relationship between chocolate consumption and Parkinson’s. Others may be more highbrow 🙂
Congratulations on nearing the 500th post. It must be pleasing to know that your blog is so widely read. I cannot imagine being able to read all the articles that you must, and then distill the essence of them in an understandable form. And to do the day job as well.
If you want a suggestion of a field to write about , how about tackling the Parkinson’s Plus Syndromes [PSP; MSA; CBS; LEWY BODY DEMENTIA. ETC].
TO CELEBRATE THE 500TH, PAULA’S IDEA IS GOOD.