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Caltech Pranks MIT's Prefrosh Weekend

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the our-nations-youth-at-work dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 530

doughnuthole writes "Caltech students ventured to Massachusetts this past Wednesday to unleash a series of pranks at MIT's prefrosh weekend. They distributed shirts with MIT on the front and '...because not everyone can go to Caltech' on the back. They placed inflatable palm trees in the infamous Tomb of the Unknown Tool and around the great dome and floated Caltech balloons in building seven. A banner transformed Massachusetts Institute of Technology into That Other Institute of Technology. Saturday night a LASER spelling the letters C-A-L-T-E-C-H was directed at the top of the Green building. A full account of the pranks is located at www.caltechvsmit.com."

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spelling? (5, Funny)

Wizy (38347) | about 9 years ago | (#12198183)

Being that caltech is so much better than MIT you would think that they could find a good spell checker...

oi... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198187)

Small penis/clit syndrome ensues on both sides....

Just get a girl/boyfriend already.

Who's Caltech, by the way? (4, Funny)

unclocked (854664) | about 9 years ago | (#12198191)

Who's Caltech, by the way?

Re:Who's Caltech, by the way? (1, Funny)

TummyX (84871) | about 9 years ago | (#12198214)

Some oil company i think

Re:Who's Caltech, by the way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198230)

no, is some school in India that Dell uses to train their support monkeys.

Obligatory Simpsons reference (0, Offtopic)

ari_j (90255) | about 9 years ago | (#12198256)

Apu graduated high in his class at Caltech. That is, Calcutta Technical Institute.

news for americans stuff that 191 countries dont (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198244)

give a shit about

perhaps we can chat about what the school in Eastern Timor did this weekend, or maybe the University in Argentina, maybe read about those wacky people at Mumbai uni are up to this weekend

Re:news for americans stuff that 191 countries don (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198276)

RTFF [slashdot.org]

Re:Who's Caltech, by the way? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198255)

Best theoretical college in physics and engineering. Best. In the world. Period.

Where's the sticker? (0, Offtopic)

gardyloo (512791) | about 9 years ago | (#12198312)

Best theoretical college in physics and engineering. Best. In the world. Period.

OK, so does it have a big sticker on the front doors? Really, have we learned nothing lately?

Re:Who's Caltech, by the way? (4, Interesting)

KiloByte (825081) | about 9 years ago | (#12198271)

Being just a dirty foreigner, the name "Caltech" doesn't ring a bell.

On the other hand, I know about MIT damn well. When I've been to the ACM world finals, those bastards defeated my team (through pure luck, I'm sure). Two other our teams fixed that stain on honour later, of course.

And Caltech... who's Caltech?

Real Genius was filmed there... (3, Funny)

John Seminal (698722) | about 9 years ago | (#12198354)

And it looks like that is the film where they got their prank ideas from, the laser lights. Too bad they did not have the frozen ice that turns directly to gas... maybe... or kaboom. I couldn't finish the equations last night so I don't know how volatile it is.

sounds like a great time was had by all (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198192)

but it still won't improve your grades [nationmaster.com] (
Literacy (total population) CIA factbook)

this is news ? (-1, Troll)

bushboy (112290) | about 9 years ago | (#12198196)

If so, Slashdot is indeed going down the tubes !

Re:this is news ? (3, Interesting)

XanC (644172) | about 9 years ago | (#12198202)

This is news for nerds. If we don't keep up with the MIT / Cal Tech rivalry, who will??

Re:this is news ? (1)

Nos. (179609) | about 9 years ago | (#12198216)

Well if we want to rehash old rivalries, we could bring vi vs. emacs in, or one of the numerous others that has been flogged to death over the years. However, its not like we'll get to see emacs running around with a VI t-shirt, so I guess the *IT rivalry is more entertaining.

Re:this is news ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198305)

This is definitely a one-sided rivalry. MIT really doesn't care about Caltech, but Caltech really cares about MIT. MIT has it's own one-sided rivalry with Harvard, but believe me, most MIT people just don't give two shits about Caltech. (I was an undergrad at MIT, but spent over a year working at Caltech. I know both cultures.)

um... (3, Funny)

ImaLamer (260199) | about 9 years ago | (#12198212)

This is "Slashdot" news, you know news for nerds.

The topic is MIT and Caltech, not much nerdier than that!

Re:this is news ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198218)

You're still new around here?

Re:this is news ? (2, Funny)

cmacmanus (713176) | about 9 years ago | (#12198308)

No you dolt, it's the nerd Super Bowl. Soon we will have collegiate teams of geeks that contest with each other in great fashion like the other college sports..betting on such, making regional trees, ranks, etc :p

Caltech to MIT: (5, Funny)

ImaLamer (260199) | about 9 years ago | (#12198198)

All your freshmen are belong to us!!!

Slashdotters to caltechvsmit.com (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | about 9 years ago | (#12198237)

All your servers are belong to us!!!

24 comments and the site is down :(

Re:Slashdotters to caltechvsmit.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198318)

Yeah, those bastards at ITS limit undergrad upstream to 10 megabits/sec.

MIT Email (5, Funny)

doughnuthole (451165) | about 9 years ago | (#12198200)

The following email went out on the MIT hacking mailing list:
>Someone apparently released a number of balloons in lobby 7 with
>CalTech written on them. There is also a much larger Mylar Balloon
>with C.I.T. My initial reaction, and the reaction of most people I
>talked to was "C.I.T, what's that?"
>Several suggestions were made on what to do about this since if we do
>nothing the balloons will float mockingly over lobby 7 for days:
>-Remove the balloons tonight (might be able to get a number of them
>with a needle on a stick from the intersticial space).
>-release a second large mylar balloon that says "SUCKS"
>-Hack Caltech.
>one friend I talked to commented that she was friends with the moles,
>the "legitamate" hackers at CalTech, and they claim to have no
>knowledge of this and are busy with some other project. It would be
>good if we could find out who did this. Could it have been an overzealous prefrosh?
>As I said my initial reaction was "what is C.I.T? I have drafted an
>article that I hope to send to the Tech Newspaper. Offering an
>alternate explanation.
>Comments, and suggestions are highly encouraged as this is a first draft.
>>>proposed tech article follows below>>
>C.I.T Looses BALLoonS
>The Center for Incompetent Technologies lost all of their display props
>on the way to the activities midway today. Representatives from the
>research group lost numerous small balloons and a larger one bearing
>the group's acronym while crossing lobby 7, "We thought slip knots
>would hold," said Ben Bitdiddle director of C.I.T.
>The Center for Incompetent Technologies is a newly formed nationwide
>research group interested in developing ineffective, arcane, and
>generally useless technologies. "So many companies and institutes are
>focused on doing 'good research' and developing 'useful technologies'"
>said Mr. Bitdiddle accenting his comments with air quotes, "we decided
>there was an untapped niche market for useless technologies." The
>group's motto is taken from an episode of The Simpsons: "Aim so low
>that even if you succeed, no one will care"
>The smaller balloons were apparently leftover from numerous C.I.T
>events at Caltech. The balloons were custom printed for the school
>where the group is apparently very popular. Many of the poorly made
>balloons have already popped and are littering the floor of lobby 7.
>"We probably should have had some new customized balloons made, but if
>we wanted to do things well, we wouldn't be CIT."
>The lost balloons were originally mistaken for a hack, but
>representatives for the hacking community quickly corrected the error,
>commenting "No, that was just a screw up, hacks are generally more
>interesting and creative," Jack Florey.

Re:MIT Email (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198220)

i guess spelling isn't a popular course

C.I.T Looses

i think ill stick with my current school thanks

Re:MIT Email (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198283)

The C.L.I.T. commander needs a speelchecker.

Sophomoric pranks (3, Funny)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | about 9 years ago | (#12198204)

While I tend to understand the enthusiasm that each of these groups of students have towards their alma mater, I have to wonder if the Caltech kids are as smart as they think they are.

I'd much rather stay in warm CA during April than go to MA. Invite the MIT whiz kids down and haze them in the relative comfort of your own hometown. For chrissakes, what fun is it to freeze your ass off over there?

Re:Sophomoric pranks (2, Interesting)

Vagodin (606853) | about 9 years ago | (#12198351)

Dude, it was really fun. Definitely worth the plane flight. Also, the weather turned out to be pretty warm. Today was warm enough for shorts, t-shirts, and frisbee tossing. We'll be back in sunny CA soon enough, though, don't you worry!

They want to play like that, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198206)

Of course you know this means war.

That's just great. (1, Insightful)

TheOriginalRevdoc (765542) | about 9 years ago | (#12198207)

College students conduct prank - film at 11!

Seriously, why should I care about this? I mean, it's about nerds and all that, but... how is it "news for nerds"?

Re:That's just great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198223)

I personally prefer funny light-hearted stuff like this to the usual content of religious Linux-izing. This is bigger news than reading about the burger Linus ate for lunch yesterday.

Re:That's just great. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198238)

What if the burger was made from the ground-up flesh of the Pope? It's newsworthy then, isn't it?

Re:That's just great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198288)

it's called, "it is just plain funny"

i know you dont have a sense of humor, which removes all possibility that you would enjoy this article.

but basically. get a fucking sense of humor and stop being so idiotic.

Argh... (5, Insightful)

avalys (221114) | about 9 years ago | (#12198211)

See, the problem with this is, MIT has a reputation (deserved or not) as being better than Caltech. Caltech can do this to MIT, and people go "Hah hah, how clever." But, if MIT were to do this to Caltech, people would say "What stupid arrogant assholes, why don't they stay in Cambridge and stop bragging about their superiority at other schools."

Re:Argh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198250)

They're both good tech schools - lighten up. This sort of no-harm, no-foul rivalry is healthy.

Re:Argh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198279)

what the parent said is true.

what you said is true.

but public perception is what the parent said

Re:Argh... (4, Informative)

ShoeHead (40158) | about 9 years ago | (#12198353)

Popular perception, perhaps. That's because more people go there, and more people care about USN&WR than care to hear the facts. Just ask an Asian parent.

Search for the THES World Rankings (it's a pdf). Caltech has been the best training ground for young scientists for the past decade. Look at the data for yourself.

They get into better grad schools (again, data available online), have higher starting jobs, work harder, play more sports, enjoy much better weather, have a huge legacy (Feynman, Millikan, Einstein, Hale, Beckman, Richter, and more) and have much more depth in education than anyone out there. They write the important papers, and do the hottest research.

If you want to be a scientist, Caltech is the place to be.

Good pranks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198213)

This is the sort of stuff that I like - good natured, harmless pranks. Reminds me of the various MIT hacks that I read about many years ago (something involving a VW bug if I recall....).

I call hoax. (5, Funny)

Electroly (708000) | about 9 years ago | (#12198219)

They don't have girls at Caltech. (T-shirt picture.)

Re:I call hoax. (1)

burdalane (798477) | about 9 years ago | (#12198368)

Yes, they do, just mostly ugly or weird ones. I'm a girl who graduated from Caltech, and though I don't consider myself ugly, I certainly have an antisocial personality.

Wow, going cross country... (1)

GrodinTierce (571882) | about 9 years ago | (#12198221)

...that is some serious dedication. However, I was under the impression that Caltech had a rival on the West Coast, namely Harvey Mudd, right?

Re:Wow, going cross country... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198265)

I'm a Caltech student myself, and as far as Harvey Mudd goes, they aren't really considered around campus. However, we do consider ourselves rivals with MIT. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing what MIT comes up with in response!

Re:Wow, going cross country... (2, Informative)

Joe Decker (3806) | about 9 years ago | (#12198296)

Caltech alum here (Darb/Ma/84), I'm wondering if the parent is thinking of the Cannon thing (the Fleming Cannon, as I recall, was stolen back and forth with Mudd a few times--maybe as late as the 1970s?)

Re:Wow, going cross country... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198336)

They've decided that instead of doing something clever but harmless they'll just firebomb every building on campus instead.

In response, MIT... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198227)

In response, MIT slashdotted a server carrying accounts of the pranks.

MIT (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198228)

Then MIT submitted the story to slashdot and took out Caltech's servers... Mirrors?

MIT returns fire... (4, Funny)

MAdMaxOr (834679) | about 9 years ago | (#12198234)

destroying CalTech's web servers...

Re:MIT returns fire... (2, Informative)

csrjjsmp (819838) | about 9 years ago | (#12198338)

They actually did. For most of Saturday, the site was either incredibly slow or completely unreachable because of a DOS attack from MIT.

Frosh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198235)

So what's the origin of the word "frosh?" That's one of the dumbest-sounding words in the English vocabulary. Frosh. Sounds like a refrigerator malfunction. Why not just say freshmen? That at least makes a modicum of sense.

MIT wins (5, Funny)

donutello (88309) | about 9 years ago | (#12198236)

Looks like they slashdotted http://caltechvsmit.com

Re:MIT wins (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198291)

No, that would be the DoS attack that was launched before the site was /.ed, in case you were wondering.

I'm posting Anon because I go to Tech.

Last laughs (4, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | about 9 years ago | (#12198241)

Caltech may have pranked MIT's prefrosh weekend, but MIT got the last laugh by having their puppet doughnuthole submit the story to Slashdot. Caltech is a small (no, tiny) campus, and that one server fire could take the entire place out by morning.

Re:Last laughs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198273)

From the article: "We suspect that some Jacks had been DDOS-ing the site in order to cause it to overflow and shutdown we would like to say that DDOS-ing is not productive, not funny, and is not in any way under the code of conduct of pranks or hacks, and is in fact quite illegal. You will also notice that the site is currently up and running."

Re:Last laughs (1)

Joe Decker (3806) | about 9 years ago | (#12198347)

Doesn't appear to be an MIT puppets site, check the IPs--caltech.edu and caltechvsmit.com are in the same /16, and I'm pretty sure that Caltech at least at one point rated a class B address space.

Re:Last laughs (1)

Joe Decker (3806) | about 9 years ago | (#12198359)

Nevermind, I had misread the parent of my post (parent). Mod down both at will, I should have read more carefully.

The Last Caltech/MIT prank... (-1, Offtopic)

boingyzain (739759) | about 9 years ago | (#12198245)

Last time, Caltech students hacked the 1961 Rose Bowl game:

One Caltech student posed as a reporter and 'interviewed' the director of the University of Washington card stunts (such stunts involve people in the stands who hold up colored cards to make pictures). The reporter learned exactly how the stunts were operated, and also that the director would be out to dinner later.

While the director was eating, the students (who called themselves the 'Fiendish Fourteen') picked a lock and stole a blank direction sheet for the card stunts. They then had a printer run off 2300 copies of the blank. The next day they picked the lock again and stole the master plans for the stunts -- large sheets of graph paper colored in with the stunt pictures. Using these as a guide, they made new instructions for three of the stunts on the duplicated blanks. Finally, they broke in once more, replacing the stolen master plans and substituting the stack of diddled instruction sheets for the original set.

The result was that three of the pictures were totally different. Instead of 'WASHINGTON', the word 'CALTECH' was flashed. Another stunt showed the word 'HUSKIES', the Washington nickname, but spelled it backwards. And what was supposed to have been a picture of a husky instead showed a beaver (nature's engineer-- the Caltech mascot).

I grabbed that one from here [elsewhere.org], which lists a bunch more hilarious ones. --
Grab a Free PSP [freepsps.com]
And a Free DS (or PS2/GC/XB) [freegamingsystems.com].
Proof It Works (and more info) [slashdot.org]

Re:The Last Caltech/MIT prank... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198316)

Hey spammer, grab a free shut the fuck up.


Rufus211 (221883) | about 9 years ago | (#12198320)

I wish I had mod points. Take a look at the last few stories. This guy's just been copy/pasting stuff to get his FREE CRAP links up.

Re:The Last Caltech/MIT prank... (4, Funny)

John Newman (444192) | about 9 years ago | (#12198321)

A bunch of Yalies pulled a similar prank at this year's The Game, but there was no lock-picking or theft involved - just pure social engineering. They reconnoitered the Cantabs' stadium and designed their own card stunt. The day of the game, they dressed up as the "Harvard Pep Squad", and passed out their cards, without, apparently, raising an eyebrow. And not once, not twice, but three times (or more!), they got 1800 Havard students and alums to declare as one: "WE SUCK" [harvardsucks.org].

In their own words [harvardsucks.org], or as told by the Yale Daily 'News' [yaledailynews.com].

caltechvsmit.com (1)

cvdwl (642180) | about 9 years ago | (#12198246)

So... anyone want to comment on why the web (caltechvsmit.com)page is down? You REALLY ought to secure your server when you're bragging.

Re:caltechvsmit.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198257)

You can't tell me you haven't heard of the Slashdot Effect...


DoS (1)

kf6auf (719514) | about 9 years ago | (#12198301)

It was DoS attacked it before it was /.ed.

If it was insecure why didn't MIT just deface it and then brag about it by changing the score and leaving a noten like the rules say to do?

Et tu, /. ? (1)

nsayer (86181) | about 9 years ago | (#12198248)

We suspect that some Jacks had been DDOS-ing the site in order to cause it to overflow

We suspect that someone posted the URL to /.

MIT wisely chose a more effective prank (1)

melted (227442) | about 9 years ago | (#12198258)

They've posted a whole bunch of links to Caltech sites on slashdot. Bwahahahaha!

Guess what mit students did... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198262)

Flood that website! haha

C-A-L-T-E-C-H (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198263)

The laser message also included an arrow, which I can only assume the Caltech students meant to point west toward their own campus. Instead, they incompetently aimed the arrow to the east, directing anyone who wants to visit as a result of this hack straight into the Atlantic -- and if anyone does follow it, well, it serves them right.

MIT pranks (5, Informative)

A Sea and Cake (874933) | about 9 years ago | (#12198264)

MIT pranks tend to be so much more artful than the ones listed here. Caltech has yet to transform an MIT building into a cathedral [mit.edu] or cause the president's office to disappear entirely. [mit.edu]

I'm unimpressed by Caltech if they can't pull pranks that are better than the pranks MIT pulls on itself.

Re:MIT pranks (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198284)

Actually, a few years ago, we _did_ cause our president's office to completely disappear.

that's not funny (1)

jtbauki (838979) | about 9 years ago | (#12198268)

that's not funny. what WOULD be funny would be to see a Caltech student fight a M.I.T. student. I would pay to watch that.

Re:that's not funny (1)

TechnologyX (743745) | about 9 years ago | (#12198297)

haha hell yeah.. making fake doors and putting a car on top of a building... yeaaah.. *yawn*.. an all out nerd bloodfest, ENTERTAINMENT

girls (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198272)

suzi, hey you kids better play nice.

gosh darn slashto just meentioned you.

its clear that this is a slashqueer topic/pov as nobody else would pay attention.

Is that the best they could do? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198311)

Travel 4k+ miles to put balloons up and put on a laser show? When I was in college all we ever did was get drunk and have sex, I am glad I never turned in my app to CalTech.

I just love these (4, Interesting)

TrondS (732720) | about 9 years ago | (#12198330)

Say what you want, but pranks and happenings such as these really spice up the students days and I love reading about them. We used to do similar pranks when I was studying, several made it to the news. Our favourites included installing elevator music in the elevators, bashing the Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology students (we were electronics) and their train (they had one train, we had one on tracks that actually works). One night we made two "full size" garden gnomes out of paper mache and placed them on two readily available points. We made the news in several newspapers for that. See the pics here http://www.dagbladet.no/kultur/2004/06/24/401413.h tml?i=1 [dagbladet.no] 16 pictures total.

Re:I just love these (1)

joulesm (844554) | about 9 years ago | (#12198382)

I know!! At least we caused a stir :-D People can say how lame our pranks were all they want, but this has created such a commotion in the MIT hacker's community and here. Isn't this part of the fun??

Purdue Pranks (1)

redswinglinestapler (841060) | about 9 years ago | (#12198337)

In the first phase of my undergraduate career (long story), I was at Purdue, a place famous for engineers and infamous for its mind-numbing, unspeakable conservativism. We didn't get many pranks, but one of the better ones was the time someone erected three outhouses outside of the Math building: one for Men, one for Women, and one for UNIX. Sadly, they were torn down only a bit later. Steve Beering had no sense of humor.

C.I.T. == california institute of technology (2, Funny)

I33II3 (875039) | about 9 years ago | (#12198341)

Also, nearly immediately after the banner was placed that read:
"That Other" Institute of Technology
"That Other" was changed to "The Only" by the M.I.T. kids.

Compared to other Hacks . . . . (1)

redswinglinestapler (841060) | about 9 years ago | (#12198349)

Compared to MIT's history of frankly, wicked cool Hacks (What the students and faculty at the nerdiest of the nerd schools call prectical jokes) this one is pretty lame. Topical, but lame. See the MIT Campus Police Car Hack for one of the better ones performed by MIT. I'm still partial to the Harvard/Yale/MIT football game though.

Re:Compared to other Hacks . . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198360)

Oh please, I'm sure MIT has its share of lame hacks. If you're going to compare the Police Car Hack to something, compare it to Caltech's Rose Bowl prank.

Re:Compared to other Hacks . . . . (1)

javaxangel (875038) | about 9 years ago | (#12198363)

Are you not aware that that Yale/Harvard football game prank was itself a rip-off of the Caltech Rose Bowl prank? Guess not...

Enough April Fools jokes already!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198355)

I thought it would be safe to come back to Slashdot after April 1 was over. Guess not.

These pranks prove which school is better: MIT (2, Insightful)

cheesedog (603990) | about 9 years ago | (#12198357)

Think about it: doesn't the fact that these Caltech guys were willing to shell out for airfare to travel 3000 miles in order to pull this stuff speak for itself? Doesn't this act itself turn MIT's campus into a sort of 'Mecca' for these people? Did they bow down and pray to The Great Dome before offering their sacrifices on the alter of prankdom?

Would anyone at MIT have entertained, even just for a moment, traveling to California to do something similar to the California Institute of Technology? I doubt it.

Not to say that Caltech isn't one of the top engineering schools in the country: of course it is. But it doesn't enjoy MIT's prestige, and these pranks just go to enlarge that prestige.

Re:These pranks prove which school is better: MIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198384)

Don't think so. They probably just think MIT's overrated, and want to get even more cool freshmen for next year.

Besides, they can keep their engineering. For bio and physics, Caltech is number one.

Speaking of pranks... (1)

redswinglinestapler (841060) | about 9 years ago | (#12198361)

The undergraduates used to award a nice-looking trophy with a large aluminum left-handed screw to that professor that best exhibited the kind of callous attitude that makes getting through MIT more difficult than it needs to be.

You know, like scheduling a 4 hour final exam at an inconvenient time, etc; the kinds of things that drove the sale of the IHTFP T-shirts.

There wouldn't be such a list on the web, would there?

Caltech once changed famous Hollywood sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12198366)

Caltech students once changed famous Hollywood sign to this:

Caltech [caltech.edu]

MIT, Caltech, and College Prank books (1)

redswinglinestapler (841060) | about 9 years ago | (#12198371)

For those interested in the whole MIT/Caltech hack/prank scene, this is an excerpt of a review I did some years ago of books from The MIT Press, the Caltech Alumni Association and St. Martin's Press.

First up, Legends of Caltech and More Legends of Caltech. These two 80 page volumes chronicle technopranking at Caltech from the 1920s to the late 1980s. Learn about the classic Rose Bowl card section prank that was broadcast live on NBC, See the HOLLYWOOD sign become the CALTECH sign before your very eyes. Vicariously enjoy the revenge of Caltech students upon a greedy police department.

These books MUST be ordered from the Caltech bookstore, as they are privately published by the Caltech Alumni Association. Ordering info is at the bottom of this page.

Ah, but what of MIT? For their history we must turn to a pair of books.

The Journal of the Institute for Hacks, TomFoolery & Pranks at MIT. Published by the MIT Museum, this is a 158 page book with lots of photos and text concerning the hacks pulled by MIT men and women over the decades. See The Great Breast of Knowledge, The Great Pumpkin, the legendary Smoot Marks on the Harvard Bridge. Read about the chronic humiliation suffered by the inmates at Harvard as MIT has its way with the statue of John Harvard and the Harvard Stadium.

"Is This The Way To Baker House?" - A Compendium of Hacking Lore. 165 pages of legends, essays, photographs and stories of and about hacking at MIT. This book, published in 1996, continues where the Journal leaves off. The MIT Campus Police car on the Great Dome, arguably one the greatest hacks in MIT history, graces the cover and several inside pages. Regrettably, only black and white photographs are used in the body of the book, as there are several hacks, most notably, the Cathedral of Our Lady of The All Night Tool (The "stained glass" panels in Lobby 7) that really should be seen in full color. That minor gripe aside, this is a fine companion volume to The Journal and shares the same binding dimensions as The Journal, making them a handsome pair of books to grace the shelves of any creative malcontent. (The title refers to the canonical reply to an MIT Campus cop when one is discovered in a spectacularly inappropriate location, such as the apex of the Great Dome at 4:00AM.)

Our final book is published by St. Martin's Press and should still be available via any bookstore that will special order books for its customers.

If At All Possible, Involve A Cow - The Book Of College Pranks, is a 240 page history of collegiate pranking in America, beginning with the earliest colleges in America, and even taking note of some hijinx taking place in Canada.

This is an excellent companion volume to the preceeding four books, as it covers collegiate pranking in general, as well as detailing some events that are NOT covered in either the Caltech or MIT books.

If I were sending a son or daughter off to college, I would certainly include all five of these books in their "books to bring to school" box. Start 'em off right!

I have all five books and have enjoyed reading and re-reading them. I trust that these will be inspirational to all who enjoy a good hack and tweaking the nose of Authority, be it the State or the School.

Ordering information

Legends of Caltech is $9.00
More Legends of Caltech is $15.00

The mailing address of the Caltech Bookstore is:
Caltech Bookstore Mail Code 1-51 San Pasqual Street Pasadena CA 91125

The website for the Caltech Bookstore looks like you might be able to order these online.

The toll-free number for the Caltech bookstore is 800/514-2665. For those of you outside the US, their non-free number is 818/395-6161.

In my case, shipping was $6.00. Call to find out what your charges might be or to use a credit card.

(Neither book has an ISBN, so ordering via your local bookstore is not recommended and may very well be nigh-impossible.)

The Journal of The Institute for Hacks, TomFoolery & Pranks at MIT is $20.00 The ISBN is: 0-917027-03-5

"Is This The Way To Baker House?" - A Compendium of Hacking Lore is $20.00. The ISBN is: 0-917027-04-3

The address of the MIT Museum is:
The MIT Museum 265 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge MA 02139

If At All Possible, Involve A Cow - The Book Of College Pranks
by Neil Steinberg

$9.95 St. Martin's Press ISBN 0-312-07810-2

I'm told by Editor Keith at SMP that as of September 1994, there were about 4000 copies still in the warehouse and SMP will fulfill orders for the book. St. Martin's Press officially urges you to order this book from your local bookstore or Amazon.com.

I've just found out that this book has now made it's way to the remainder tables at some bookstores. If you want a copy, order it NOW from Amazon or inspect those remainder tables very carefully.
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