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History, tradition, and innovation link MIT students to a long line of campus pranksters

The Great '06 Cannon Hack

The MIT Hack Gallery

The Top Ten College Pranks of All Time

Student Pranks at Princeton

Bascom Hill Pink Flamingo

Stretching back through the annals of student life, there have been those in the leafy groves of higher education who have sought out shared solace in designing and executing various pranks. Pranks, by their very nature, are of course not meant to be malevolent or mean-spirited, but rather to bring a smile to the face of an elderly dean or an outright moment of laughter for a professor who has spent many an hour in the section of the library dedicated to viticulture in ancient Gaul. No doubt young students might have played a few tricks on Abelard, the noted professor of theology in medieval Paris, and the historical record gives ample information about the various jibs and jabs played on various administrators at the University of Wisconsin in the late 19th century. In recent years, an anonymous group of MIT students have become quite well known for their campus-based endeavors in this area, and also for a few that have been played on their friendly rival, CalTech. This week, a group of students placed a fire truck on the school's massive Great Dome, and placed the Latin phrase "memininum" (which means "we remember" in English), as a way of offering tribute to those who perished on September 11th, 2001. The school's administration refrained from commenting on the prank directly, but noted these objects are always installed and taken down safely.

The first link will take users to a piece in the Boston Herald that proffers some brief details about the prank that took place on the MIT campus earlier this week. The second link contains a piece from the Technology Review that recounts the history of the famed cannon "hack", that can only be described as truly bicoastal in scope and execution. The third link takes users to a very nice gallery that contains photos of such well known MIT hacks as the appearance of a replica of a 2006 Olympic gold medal on the Great Dome and the manifestation of a Waffle House banner strung along the exterior of a dorm on campus that bears some resemblance to the surface of a waffle. The fourth link leads visitors to a list of the top ten college pranks of all time, which recounts such endeavors as the theft of the sacred cod from the Massachusetts State House by a few members of the Harvard Lampoon in 1933. The fifth link recounts a number of like-minded events performed by a variety of Princeton students over the years. Finally, the last link leads to a photo (and explanation) of the 1,008 pink flamingos that greeted students as they made their way up Bascom Hill at the University of Wisconsin on the first day of classes in 1979. This tropical-themed prank was the brainchild of the "Pail & Shovel Party", and the event is still fondly remembered to this day.
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Alternate Title
MIT students place fire truck on dome to honor Sept. 11th
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Date Issued
Date of Scout Publication
Date Of Record Creation
2006-09-15 09:18:42
Date Of Record Release
2006-09-15 17:23:28
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