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As Good as it Gets

Submitter: Madroon, E.J.
Description: The picture shows a "source close to the ASTRON Leadership" revealing the official outcome of its recent evaluation by a distinguished, discerning and understanding panel of the Great and the Good. The faceless official explained to a mildly ecstatic crowd that the final report was even better than expected, since it now awarded the highest score (5) in all categories. He added modestly (albeit correctly) that this result will never be bettered by any future Leadership. A climax indeed.

This highly satisfactory outcome is of course a boost for ASTRON's leading role in the conception and delivery of the Square Kilometer Array Interferometer (SKAI). This was emphasized by the presence of an international gaggle of experts, who had come to pay tribute. To occupy themselves while waiting, they serenely contemplated the inevitable triumph of Aperture Verification Arrays (AvA), the only sensible contender for SKAI station technology. Since our visitors were a bit shy and dazzled, they kept to the back of the room, hidden behind the noisy and exuberant ASTRON claque.

The ceremony took place in the ASTRON canteen, which is not the one where the SKAI idea was born, 22 years ago (do not believe anyone who says otherwise). The old canteen was a vital ingredient of the celebrated ASTRON creativity, because its pre-lifestyle acoustics still allowed the ruminatory exchange of ideas. Also, in those halcyon days, we still had the leisure to think and to follow through, and lions (astronomers) still lay down with lambs (ingenieurs). Regaining this lost paradise is our manifest New Year's resolution.

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