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Building Bridges (pun intended)

Submitter: Jan Noordam
Description: As pointed out in a highly stimulating recent book(*), human beings bond and cooperate with the help of shared myths and arcane rituals. And whereas the myths are necessarily rather uniform, the rituals can vary from place to place. In Dwingeloo they take the form of teaching visitors to play bridge. The image shows a recent batch from Zuid Afrika, who arrived under explicit instructions from their bosses back home to subject themselves to this ordeal(**). From left to right:

  • Kshitij Thorat
  • Modhurita Mitra
  • (The venerated teacher of generations of visitors)
  • David Prinsloo
  • Marcellin Atemkeng

    We greatly value our strong ties with ZA. David Prinsloo is from the stable of David Davidson in Stellenbosch. He has left us by now, but not before sparking a spirited debate about alternative solutions for Mid-Frequency Aperture Arrays (MFAA) for SKA. The other three are members of the lively 3rd Generation Calibration (3GC) and Imaging group around Oleg Smirnov at Rhodes University and Cape Town. They are here to be let into the secrets of LOFAR data reduction by Tammo Jan Dijkema. Perhaps they will turn out to be harbingers of the return of MeqTrees, which sadly disappeared from Dwingeloo(***) a few years ago.

    (*) "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind", by Yuval Noah Harari.
    (**) As usual, they were relieved to find that it actually was fun, especially after 22:30.
    (***) The phrase is a none-too-subtle reference to a Dutch book with the title "How God disappeared from Jorwerd", the latter being a small town in Friesland.

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