WordPress craziness

I have found a few glitches with WordPress, which are a bit frustrating.  For my images, I have typed in a description on each photos Insert/edit Image screen.  When you roll over the photos with a cursor, most of them display this description.  However, there are a couple that display the photo’s URL rather than its description.  I checked carefully and there is a description for each photo, so I’m not sure why this is happening.  I have written to WordPress to see if they can help.

There have been a few other funky things that have happened along the way as I have created my Culture Site.  Once, my entire intro page was deleted without my having highlighted the entire page and hitting delete (or deleting the page in my manage screen). There was no way to undo the delete, so I had to copy everything back in.  I guess every form of technology has its moments!

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Image optimizing update

Well, after much trial and error I figured out how to optimize my photos.  I found that I did have Photoshop on my computer, so I was able to use the instructions to make the file size on all of the photos smaller.  What a relief!  Sure enough, every time I get to the end of my rope and write to Ms. Van Londen asking for her help I figure it out for myself a short while later.

Image optimizing frustration

I have been trying to optimize the images that I uploaded for my Culture Site project, but I have been having a hard time.  I am not using any of the programs listed in the instructions for how to optimize the images, so those instructions aren’t helpful to me.  I tried using one of the online optimizing services, but it makes my photos into a thumbnail.  I tried putting the thumbnails into my site, but they are just too small and don’t look good.  You can’t make the thumbnails any bigger because the image gets distorted.  I am just exhausted by this whole process because I have spent at least 3 hours working with the photos and I can’t seem to get them optimized and a decent size.  Aaaargh!!!

OSU Online Writing Lab

I submitted my paper to the OSU Online Writing Lab last week. It was helpful that they asked some questions about the purpose and goal of my paper, as well as my thoughts on the paper’s strength’s and weakness’s. The person who reviewed my paper, Michelle, was very thoughtful in addressing my specific concerns. I found her to be encouraging and supportive, while also willing to mention areas in which she felt my report could be improved. I generally enjoy getting feedback from others about my work (I have been asking everyone I know to read and edit my report!), so this was a service that I truly appreciated. I will definitely submit future papers to the writing lab.

Research update

I finally received the answers to my interview questions from Dr. Prakash.  She did send them last week, but they got lost in cyberspace.  I wish I could get further clarification on some of the specifics of her invention, but I can tell she is feeling a little frustrated with the back and forth process of answering my questions.  I much prefer interviewing people in person so you can ask clarifying questions right away.  Communicating solely through e-mail can be tedious.

Research frustrations

I have finished compiling all of my research and am now just waiting for Dr. Prakash to respond to my interview questions via e-mail.  I tried to call her in India one night last week (there is a 12 1/2 hour time difference), but all the lines were busy and I couldn’t get through.  She had promised to answer my questions last Friday, but as of today (Tuesday evening) she still hasn’t returned the questionnaire.   While I think I have enough information to complete my report, I am really hoping to include more about her personal life experience as a female inventor in India.  I just don’t feel my project will be complete with her insight!

On a positive note, she did send me a bunch of great photos which will really enhance the visual aspect of my report.  I was also able to interview a retired professor from OSU’s Agricultural Research department to get some clarification on the technical aspects of Dr. Prakash’s invention.  I feel I have a good grasp of Glass Bead Liquid Culture Technology.

I have been frustrated with my inability to get current statistics about women and technology in India.  I was hoping to find out how many women are graduating from college with science and technology degrees.  I wrote to over 10 Indian universities to ask for their most recent graduation statistics, but no one responded.  I was able to find a little bit of information online, but not as much as I had hoped.

Library Help

For the past week and a half, I have been communicating with Jane Nichols, the Women’s Studies librarian at the OSU Valley Library.  Jane has been a huge help!  She directed me to various search engines which helped me gather research about women and technology in India.  She has also helped me locate statistics to back up my findings and gave me suggestions for citing resources.  Not only has she been incredibly helpful, Jane has also been very pleasant to work with and genuinely friendly.  In the past, I have been reticent about asking librarians for help because I always assume they are busy and I should try to figure things out on my own.  Honestly, if it hadn’t been a requirement for this class to ask for help I don’t think I would have.  However, it has turned out to be such a good experience that I know I will feel more comfortable about asking a librarian for help in the future.

Cultural Site Topic

I have decided to do my research on Dr. Seema Prakash from India. She invented Glass Bead Liquid Culture technology. This technology uses glass beads to culture plant tissue and is more cost effective than the typical method of using Agar as a medium. It was designed to allow farmers to clone particularly high yielding or disease resistant strains of plants.

I have been doing a lot of research online and have found very little information. I think the fact that Dr. Prakash is still living and working in her field has left very little available resources. I have contacted Dr. Prakash directly and she has agreed to answer my questions about her experience as a female inventor in India. I am also researching the current cultural climate for women in India in technology fields. I am excited about the opportunity to add to the available information about female inventors.