|Madroon, E. J.
| For many years, the traditional Dutch weather pattern used to feature a false spring with a few nice days in March, followed by an interminable April with bracing sheets of sleet and storm. But, by Appointment, on April 30th, the Sun always shone on the Queen's Birthday, as a harbinger of another season of gezelligheid to come.
Now that the Artic ice has disappeared, North-Western Europe has more of a land climate, with hotter summers and colder winters. Still, on April 30th, the Sun shines brightly on the House of Orange, to allow the grateful subjects to gawk at the royal hats and dresses. For this reason, we lovingly speak of an "Oranje Zonnetje" (a typical Dutch diminuative of an Orange Sun).
Now, quite serendipitously, a perceptive ASTRON scientist has discovered that this is not just a figure of speech. The Sun really is more orange on April 30th (at least in the Netherlands). This was noticed when its rays happened to caress a dispersive chrystal that was lying around on the window-sill of one of our more diverse astronomers (who won it for crushing the all-male opposition in the National Science Quiz recently). The images clearly show that the orange part of the spectrum is much brighter than the rest.
Needless to say that we are all very much thrilled by this. Finally we have a scientific result that does not need to be frantically twittered up by Uncle Mike, but one that will make the front page of the papers all by itself. Such maatschappelijke relevantie cannot fail to rake in unlimited grant money, to study this remarkable phaenomenon, and to explain it in a way that reflects well on 'us', whoever 'we' may be.