Archive for July, 2009

Filming in Addis

Muddy shoes
L.C. has started to film the various steps of genebank procedures taking place in Addis, to produce a few interesting short illustrative movies for some of the website pages. We have been calling him at odd times (some things happen unexpectedly!) whenever something is going on at the genebank. Good he leaves nearby!… He has also been drinking a lot of tea while waiting (he does not like the Zebu club coffee at ILRI!!!) as things take sometimes time to set up.

It is rainy season in Addis and that means waiting for the rain to stop to do the shooting, perhaps an extra budget to clean the muddy shoes (?!) and having extra shoes in the office for the daily shooting in the soft and wet fields (at least for me that in the last few months have been mostly working at my computer with very limited field work…)  

Yellow soil marks
We have decided to try to follow the individual plant growth of a few grasses and legumes in the field. We have selected some nice plots to follow and trying to use yellow plastic labels to mark the plants being followed. Let’s hope they will not be removed and the right angle is maintained to have a nice sequence!

Field trip
We also went to the field station in Debra Zeit to film the seed cleaning process that started last week. We got very nice shootings of the various seed types being cleaned and threshed with different methods. We also got delayed with a two hour power cut that did not allow the seed cleaning machines to work. Good that we did not need electricity to film the work in the field, so we could make a good use of the time! The weather was much warmer than Addis and the fields lovely maintained with a grass path between the plots.

Comments (2)

First comments on the blog

I realized that since I started this blog, I did not inform many people about it. That is perhaps why we still have ‘zero’ comments to any of the blog posts…

So I have decided to send a note to the people directly involved in the website (our direct  and indirect collaborators) as well as some people involved in the blog, knowledge sharing  and communication business. Thank you very much for all your comments (and hope you do not mind me posting your opinion here …).

The first results are shown below:

General comments

“I love the photo on the homepage!” V.K. from Hamburg .

“Congratulations on this launching. The Knowledge Base really looks like a powerful tool with an attractive and user-friendly interface! Well done indeed! I’d be happy to do a more thorough review after the summer.” P.R. from Rome.

“Many thanks, that’s a great idea. Maybe you know our blog http://agro.biodiver.se/?” L.G. from Rome.

“Congratulations! After a quick browsing through the website I was happy to see how many doubts can be clarified from the content of the various blog pages.” M.V. from Portugal.

“Great website and blog! Congratulations on such useful communications tools.” S.M. from Nairobi.

 Things to improve:

  • Increase the font size for the bullet points (some are too small). Perhaps replace on the home page ‘Questions?’ with ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ which seems to be pretty much web standard. P.R. from Rome.
  •  The RSS feed does not always work, depending from which browser is used. It seems to work well when using firefox. The frame (showing the blog within the website frame) is not very nice and makes bookmarking a page on the blog impossible. L.G. and J.C from Rome.

Hoping to receive more comments (either via email or directly into the blog comment boxes) so we can improve!

MAJ

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A short update of our activities

The next 3 weeks will be busy for some of us, trying to finish several tasks before almost everybody goes for summer holidays (or just escaping the rainy and cold season in Addis that just started!).

I was absent for a short holiday during 2-3 weeks, just coping with urgent emails clarifications and replies. Most of the real work (getting the seed crops pages of the website ready for further revisions by the respective crop leaders) is still to be done and I hope to have it finished by mid July.

The web site was mostly revised for editorial purposes by I.T. in Rome, before asking the crop leaders to revise the technical side of it (next coming step, very soon).

G.C. is being busy in Montpelier uploading flip books (series of photos and text with details about specific procedures) and photos gathered from various partners. As you may noticed, most of the photos were taken at ILRI, just because I am based there (and asking regularly for existent photos or taking some of the pictures myself), but many of the pages of the flip books do not have any photos yet. If we get good photos from you we could nicely complement some of the pages and show a broader spectrum of activities carried out in the various centers. You are most welcome to have a look and send us your comments (or additional pictures illustrating any missing steps). Check the latest links:

ELISA flip book http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org/content/view/191/294/lang,en/

Flip book of germination methods to determine forage grass seeds viability http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org/content/view/190/293/lang,en/

Flip book of germination methods to determine forage legume seeds viability http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org/content/view/176/280/lang,en/

Photos of forage legumes regeneration

http://cropgenebank.sgrp.cgiar.org/content/view/171/274/lang,en/

S.A. helping us in Addis with uploading information and corrections finished part of his assignment at the end of July but might joint us again later in the year to help us with the final rush to complement the website.

E.D., E.G. and I.T. have been busy drafting a questionnaire and the program to test the website during the upcoming training in Korea (Korea International Course on Plant Genetic Resources and Genebank Management 7-18 September). We would like to have as much as possible ready to be tested there. We are aiming to do that for the seed crops, 80% of our crop pages.

MAJ

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