April Fools' Day is fast-approaching, so we've picked a few images of MIT "hacks" from Nightwork: A History of Hacks and Pranks at MIT (updated edition) by Institute Historian T.F. Peterson to inspire you. According to T.F. Peterson, "The word 'hack' at MIT usually refers to a clever, benign, and 'ethical' prank or practical joke, which is both challenging for the perpetrators and amusing to the MIT community (and sometimes even the rest of the world!). Note that this has nothing to do with computer (or phone) hacking (which we call 'cracking')." Be sure to check back throughout this week as we celebrate famous MIT pranks.
Originally built for the Franco-Prussian war, the Caltech cannon has never fired a shot in anger, with the possible rumored exception of potshots toward Caltech's student housing office. In the late '60s, the cannon was "decorating" the campus of a private high school near Caltech, when Fleming House students chopped its wheels out of concrete and swiped it. After a back-and-forth, the cannon ended up permanently at Caltech, except for a brief abduction in 1986 by Harvey Mudd College pranksters and its legendary 2006 cross-country jaunt to MIT.
On the fifth anniversary of 9/11, hackers paid unusual tribute to the heroic firefighters of the NYFD. The logo painted on the truck, Meminimus, translates to "We remember," 2006.
Solar-powered MBTA Red Line cars on Dome, 2009.
John Harvard revealed as Halo 3 hero by MIT hackers the night prior to the video game's release, 2007.
"Portrait" of hackers just before completing their work, 1987. Tech Dinghy floats in Alumni Pool.
Hackers create a smiling jack-o'-lantern on the Green Building for Halloween, 1975.
The symbol from the popular movie Jurassic Park shines down from the ceiling of the Lobby 7, 1994.
Almost fully inflated MIT Balloon at the 1982 Harvard-Yale football game.