|Description:|| Henry Ford once said about his Model T: "They can get them in any color, as long as it is black". With LOFAR, we cannot afford such magnificent arrogance.|
The highly paid consultants of the LOFAR marketing division (who of course get a lot more than the socalled "Garrett norm") have decided that we can triple the sale of LOFAR stations to our European partners by offering brightly colored electronics cabinets. The idea is that even scientists feel the need nowadays to make a personal statement.
The cabinet shown here has been ordered by a German customer, who happens to have a female Italian CEO. Until it is shipped, it is on display in the ASTRON parking lot.
We have used this opportunity to do some small-numbers research from the vantage point of the ASTRON sun-deck. This has revealed that the PR people may be worth their money, because the bright colors do indeed have a marked effect on passing employees. They tend to straighten up (a bit), pull in their stomach, and smile whimsically. Further research is needed to determine what this means exactly, and whether it is beneficial for our core business (see AJDI 03-07). Maybe some other colors, or perhaps a high-musk LOFAR fragrance, will make them square their shoulders, grit their teeth, steel their gaze, and quicken their step.
Unfortunately, there is a fundamental asymmetry in this research: an important subset of employees comes in too early for the investigators on the sun-deck, so they are only observed on their way home. This may color the results a bit.