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Caltech Pranks MIT's Prefrosh Weekend 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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Caltech Pranks MIT's Prefrosh Weekend

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  • spelling? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wizy ( 38347 ) <greggatghc@ g m a i l .com> on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:21AM (#12198183) Journal
    Being that caltech is so much better than MIT you would think that they could find a good spell checker...
  • by unclocked ( 854664 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:23AM (#12198191)
    Who's Caltech, by the way?
  • by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john.lamar @ g m ail.com> on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:24AM (#12198198) Homepage Journal

    All your freshmen are belong to us!!!
  • MIT Email (Score:5, Funny)

    by doughnuthole ( 451165 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:24AM (#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 (Score:4, Informative)

      by Smattacus ( 875069 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @07:39AM (#12199156)
      >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

      Moles are nothing like the "Jacks" you have at MIT. Unlike whatever exclusive (and respectable, I'm sure) club there is for Pranksters at MIT, "Moles" means they live in Blacker Hovse. Blacker is a house, your equivalent of a dorm or a college. Granted they like building things, but trust me. The other thing they were working on that is referred to is their yearly get-drunk-and-get-laid-party, which was modeled after Escher paintings. Pretty cool, but pretty occupying. Pranksters at Caltech can be pretty much anyone; we do not need to be in a club to create things like this.

      Just trying to clear it up :-p

      Also, the general sentiment at Tech is that MIT is full of douchebags until they do something cool in return, rather than say how our pranks are not real hacks. I'm looking forward to see what happens.

      - Some Tech undergrad

      PS The REAL Tech.
      • The other thing they were working on that is referred to is their yearly get-drunk-and-get-laid-party

        Any college student that only gets drunk and laid one time per year clearly has more than enough free time to plan and execute pranks like these.
  • by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <DancinSanta@gmail.com> on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:25AM (#12198204) Journal
    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 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Vagodin ( 606853 )
      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!
    • by wirelessbuzzers ( 552513 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @03:27AM (#12198445)
      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?

      MIT has a weather machine. It's always warm and sunny on prefrosh weekend. This one was no exception.
    • Re:Sophomoric pranks (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LegoEvan ( 772742 )
      I suppose you don't know of the Campus Preview Weekend (CPW) myth. It has been beautiful weather for the last 10 or so CPWs, with nasty weather on either side. Rumor has it that the administration has a weather machine. Who really knows what that big round thing on top of the Green Building is anyway, considering it's illegal to go there.
  • Argh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by avalys ( 221114 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:26AM (#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... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 11, 2005 @03:23AM (#12198435)
      Caltech = balloons, a banner, and some t-shirts

      MIT = a freaking huge droid [mit.edu]

      I don't know about you, but the winner is clear...
    • Re:Argh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Vagodin ( 606853 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @03:26AM (#12198444)
      I don't think people who know both schools think one is particularly better than the other in any consistent manner. (Though there are way more MIT alums than Caltech alums... including graduate students, Caltech has about 20,000 living alums, while MIT probably cranks out that many every 5-10 years or so.)

      My perception from the INFORMED public (in part from talking to both MIT and Caltech prefrosh, and my own experience at Caltech) is that Caltech is seen as a little more hardcore in the amount of work one has to do and in its nerdiness. To quote some MIT prefrosh I talked to just a few days ago (while posing as an MIT prefrosh on the bus from the airport.. yay free ride!), responding to why she isn't going to Caltech's prefrosh weekend next week, "I didn't even apply. I want to be alive in 4 years." Another one informed me that "Caltech students have the reputation of being the epitome of nerdiness."

      I'm not convinced that this repuation describes the truth, though. From my own observations, the student populations seem very similar, though MIT's larger population perhaps makes it easier for it to pass as less nerdy to those who want to see it that way. On the other hand, prefrosh interested in hacking and nerdy delights will no doubt see a paradise ignored by those who want normal social lives but top notch science or engineering education. Caltech may have the same proportion of on-the-surface-normal kids as MIT, but their absolute smaller numbers make it more difficult for them to present a unified front, as if there's a population threshold a group must pass to be easily noticed.

      Students at both schools seem to think they're getting the best science/engineering educations available in the world, and they probably are. Many also regret that fact because of the pain and sleepless nights such an education can lead to.

      More questions? Do some research for yourself, in both Caltech and MIT tradition: http://www.google.com/ [google.com]

      In conclusion, they're all fine houses.

    • 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."

      I am not affiliated with any school. When I applied for colleges in the early 90's, I did not apply to either, although I did my research. MIT has been declining

      • rofl...Berkley is the best public school in the nation. Yeah, they rested on their laurels...
      • Re:BS... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Samari711 ( 521187 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @03:59AM (#12198547)
        I looked at MIT 4 years ago and was not very impressed at all. Sure from a prestige standpoint once you get your MIT degree people will always be impressed but the feeling I got when I went to visit was that they didn't really give a shit about undergrads because they're not bringing in research money. It was like they weren't even trying to sell the school. Maybe they didn't think they needed to but one info session there was all it took to convince my not to apply.

        First they were using a promo video that was at least 10-15 years old, that contained more than a few inuendos about parties and drinking that seemed a little bit out of place since it was a few years after Scott Kreuger's death. Also they were bragging about how the president of Bose Stereo taught a class there every year while the speaker system buzzed the entire hour and a half the presentation lasted. The school might have a ton of resources available but I would rather be at a school where professors actually cared about their students.

        looking back, I definitely made the right choice. I'm confident that got more out of my education here at Notre Dame than I would have at MIT and had a lot more fun doing it too.

        • Re:BS... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anitra ( 99093 )
          I had a similar experience to you. MIT struck me as being very cold and impersonal. I wanted a great engineering/tech education, but that didn't seem like the right place for me.

          Instead, I went to WPI [wpi.edu], jokingly referred to as "that other tech school in Massachusetts". It's a fairly small school, focused on teaching undergraduates. The people are friendly, and just as nerdy as they are at MIT. A degree from WPI is pretty well-recognized within the Northeast, and I know a few undergraduates here who managed
  • by Electroly ( 708000 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:28AM (#12198219)
    They don't have girls at Caltech. (T-shirt picture.)
  • ...that is some serious dedication. However, I was under the impression that Caltech had a rival on the West Coast, namely Harvey Mudd, right?
    • by FleaPlus ( 6935 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @03:28AM (#12198453) Journal
      However, I was under the impression that Caltech had a rival on the West Coast, namely Harvey Mudd, right?

      http://everything2.com/?node=one-way+rivalry [everything2.com]

      A situation where people in group A compete in their minds with people in group B, while the people in group B are barely aware group A exists and would laugh at the idea of competing with them if they thought about it. Examples: Harvard vs. MIT, CalTech vs. MIT, Linux vs. Microsoft.

      As I understand it, there's a series of one-way rivalries which goes something like so: Harvard targeted by MIT, which is targeted by Caltech, which is targeted by Harvey Mudd. Members of the targeted school are largely oblivious that they're the subject of said rivalry.

      Hopefully getting this on the slashdot front page (which is widely read by folks at both Caltech and MIT) might escalate the current prank war. It should be fun to have an active prank trade-off going between both MIT and Caltech. Hopefully people have a lot of frequent flyer miles.

      I have no idea how the Caltech students managed to find the free time for this, though. Maybe they're all seniors or something?
      • Caltech cannon heist (Score:5, Interesting)

        by droche ( 816897 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @04:50AM (#12198672)
        from: http://people.bu.edu/fmri/somers/cannon.html

        I think the first cannon attempt goes back to '74 or even '72. They once got it on a pickup truck only to break the axle. Another time the fire hose was turned on them. By the mid 80's there was still a buzz about the cannon, but no serious efforts had been made for awhile. Mark Moeglein and I made a trial run as a frosh, with a pick up truck and a pair of bolt cutters, but all we did was cut the lock -- I don't know how we would have gotten it on the truck.

        In '86 I was ASHMC president and had a bit of a prank reputation. ( I was nearly expelled for moving the stakes of New II/ 7th/ Case Dorm early in construction ). Jeff Hong and Steve Olson revived the idea of stealing the cannon and had made a few observational runs. They knew it was a big job and that it would take some money (hopefully ASHMC's) so they brought me in. I got some covert help from the administration -- the phone number of an alum, Bob DePietro, who had a construction engineering company -- and a promise to post bail if we got busted.

        The DePietro connection was critical. We used his name to rent a flat bed truck and a fork lift in Pasadena. I don't think they would have given it to a 21 year college student with a visa card. There were so many logistics. We had to find 2 people with class 2 drivers licences to drive the truck and the fork lift off site -- Greg Felton and Tom Jed.

        We also had the problem of where to park the fork lift. We planned an early Saturday morning raid. But had to pick up the forklift by 5 on Friday. The forklift was huge and clearly could make a trip on the 210 between Claremont and Pasadena. So I scouted around and found some road construction where they left the equipment over night. We picked the fork lift right at 5 and fortunately the work crew quit a little early. Tom Jed just drove it in behind the Pasadena equipment, parked it and took the key. Well, actually it wasn't that simple. Tom ran into a BMW on the way! As we would later discover, the hydrolic steering on the forklift was defective.

        OK, so we had the hardware, but how we're we going to pull it off. We picked an early Saturday morning when most of Fleming House was off on a dorm ski trip. But still we needed cover. We decided to go in daylight and pose as a construction crew. Joe, after a stint in the army, was a bald 27 year-old Mudder. He was made foreman and H&M construction was born. Phony work orders were made and blue workshirts, overalls, and workmen flannels were aqcuired.

        We could not think of one story that would fool everyone, so we came up with two stories. We told campus security that we had be contracted to take the barrel for polishing. There was no way would that the students have bought that lame story. So we told them we're just moving it to get access to a broken water main that was below. Still a little fishy, so we added some decoys. Tom, Steve, and Eric went in 15 minutes before to pose as Caltech students. Two playing catch and one reading. I think this was critical. Each time someone would come along, they would be suspicious. But then they looked around and saw other "techies" who seemed to think all was right so they moved along. And to add insult to injury, Byrne Sanford hid inside the dorm and shot 8 rolls of photos of the whole event.

        Of course it wasn't all so smooth. Campus security was called almost immediately upon our arrival. I thought we were busted. But Joe our foreman played his role beautifully and made our story hold up. Once campus security was pacified, we knew we were going to make it. Also there was a Fleming house frosh who was up early and chatting with us. He gave us a bit of a scare, but by the end he was telling us stories of how people had tried to steal the cannon in the past. Poor frosh.

        Unfortunately, the steering on the forklift was no good and we had to do it by hand -- two of us on each wheel, back and forth trying to back into a corner so we could lift the cannon. The wheels were so rotte
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:30AM (#12198227)
    In response, MIT slashdotted a server carrying accounts of the pranks.
  • by MAdMaxOr ( 834679 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:30AM (#12198234)
    destroying CalTech's web servers...
  • MIT wins (Score:5, Funny)

    by donutello ( 88309 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:31AM (#12198236) Homepage
    Looks like they slashdotted http://caltechvsmit.com
  • Last laughs (Score:5, Funny)

    by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:31AM (#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.
    • Caltech is a small (no, tiny) campus, and that one server fire could take the entire place out by morning.

      Nah, I'm pretty sure Caltech's Segway police [caltech.edu] will be able to quickly respond to put out the fire. ;)
  • 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 /.

  • They've posted a whole bunch of links to Caltech sites on slashdot. Bwahahahaha!
  • MIT pranks (Score:5, Informative)

    by A Sea and Cake ( 874933 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:36AM (#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.
    • by _defiant_ ( 120560 ) <stephen.butler@gmail.com> on Monday April 11, 2005 @03:36AM (#12198479)

      I still think the 1961 Rosebowl prank [museumofhoaxes.com] is one of the very best. But yeah, these latest MIT ones were lame.

      • ...Dave Rosum, Emu founder and Caltech Alum, hacked the Rosebowl scoreboard when Nixon was in office. The hack was going to display various Caltech-centric messages on the scoreboard as the game progressend. To make it difficult to disable, Rosum hid his hacked circuits in a tube and buried the tube in a bunch of cables.

        Nixon was a big football fan and decided to go see the Rosebowl game that year which meant the Secret Service had to scour the Rosebowl. As part of their checkout, they powered up the score

    • Re:MIT pranks (Score:2, Informative)

      by bartr0n ( 875045 )
      I personally am a big fan of the '84 Rose Bowl Prank, where the scoreboard was modified to say "Caltech 38, MIT 9." Look into the "Legends of Caltech" books for more Caltech prank history. About making rooms disapear: I am a Caltech student who has already had his room disappear over thanksgiving this year. I can also back up that we have made Dr. Baltimore's office (our prez) disappear at least once while I've been here, but it was not considered a big deal.
    • What have you done this century?
    • Re:MIT pranks (Score:4, Informative)

      by prockcore ( 543967 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @04:39AM (#12198642)
      Caltech has yet to transform an MIT building into a cathedral or cause the president's office to disappear entirely.

      MIT has yet to have a movie made about their pranks.
  • by lost in place ( 248578 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:44AM (#12198294)
    Newsflash: Dorkwads Prank Dickwads in Famous Wad Rivalry!
  • I just love these (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TrondS ( 732720 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @02:54AM (#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.
  • 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.
  • 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 doub

    • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @03:50AM (#12198523)
      I'm not going to get into which is a better school, that's rather subjective when you get down to it better how) but they are worse because they pull pranks? HArdly, Caltech is known to be the king of pranks, this pales in comparies to their ultimate, the ultimate prank if you asked me.

      The year was 1961, and it was the Rose Bowl, which is held in Pasadena California. Now this is also where Caltech is located. Now Caltech doesn't play in the Rose Bowl ever, they don't play 1A ball for that matter, but some students form there decided to get in anyhow.

      That year, the Washington Huskies had an elobrate halftime show planned. It involved not only the band, but a set of cards that the audience would display. The way it worked was audience members sitting in the selected section had a bunch of coloured cards, and a sheet of instructions, telling them which colour to hold up on which cue. The cheerleaders then called cues, and the cards went up to form pictures.

      Well a group of Caltech students, later known as the Fiendish Fourteen, decided to alter what happened. They broke in to the room where the instructions sheets were stored, took them, made alterations, made copies, ageded the copies, then replaced them. Nobody noticed that a switch had been made.

      On game day the modified sheets were distributed and during halftime the show commenced. Most of the images were left largely unaltered, expect for minor changes, so no one knew what was happening. PRoblems started on the 12th image. It was supposed to be a huskie, but had been altered to look somewhat like a beaver (Caltech's mascot). The 13th image was worse, it was to spell out "HUSKIES" but Caltech reversed it to say "SEIKSUH". Seeing this, and figuring it for a fuckup, the cheerleaders quickly called for the next image, which read "CALTECH" in block letters.

      The band stopped playing, the stadium went silent, and the announcers were speechless. It couldn't have been more perfect, as the cameras were focuesd on the crowd at the time (halftime shows were broadcast then) and it went out on national TV. After a few moments silecnt, laguhter broke out. The band left the field, and the final image was never called.

      Now that, my friend, is a prank, and it's one of the things Caltech is known for. It's an odd university, with a somewhat different sense of humour, but that certianly doesn't make it bad. That they traveled to MIT to pull a prank is not supprising, like I said, they've done better.

      FYI: If this stuff intrests you, read If At All Possible Involve a Cow by Neil Steinberg. It was there that I orignally heard of this great prank.
      • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by porcupine8 ( 816071 )
        Caltech is known to be the king of pranks

        You've obviously never been to http://hacks.mit.edu. If the only Caltech prank worth talking about (which I assume it must be since two separate people felt the need to put the whole story on here) was 35 years ago, that's sad.

        If this stuff intrests you, read If At All Possible Involve a Cow by Neil Steinberg.

        This book also mentions some MIT hacks. But if you're more interested, check out the three [amazon.com] separate [amazon.com] books [mit.edu] that have been written solely about MIT's hacks.

  • mirror (Score:4, Informative)

    by SkyIce ( 184974 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @03:05AM (#12198380)
    mirror [nyud.net] (see the pranks link for images)
  • by adorai ( 870142 )
    know that Caltech is more hardcore. We also hear that it's more miserable.
  • Related Reading (Score:2, Informative)

    by Carpet ( 214377 )
    For all those interested in more school rivalries and pranks, get a copy of:

    If at All Possible, Involve a Cow: The Book of College Pranks

    by Neil Steinberg

    Very fun reading.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 11, 2005 @03:20AM (#12198429)
    one time, in middle school, some people let some pigs onto the campus. They painted on the pigs "1", "2", and "4". The faculty spent weeks looking for the third one.

  • Eyewitness (Score:2, Interesting)

    As one of the Caltech students who was at MIT this weekend, I'd just like to point out that regardless of how lame the MIT hackers may think our pranks were - and I know from talking to many of them personally that a large faction of them were actually quite impressed - I haven't seen MIT doing anything better in the past 10 years.
    • by FleaPlus ( 6935 )
      IMHO, MIT's R2D2 Great Dome Hack [mit.edu] was pretty cool, and that was just a few years ago.
  • Prank war rules (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FleaPlus ( 6935 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @03:41AM (#12198493) Journal
    Because most slashdotters probably won't actually browse around the site, I think it's important to repeat some of the rules of this prank war. The intent of this is good-natured fun, which seems to be missed by some of the commenters here.

    From http://www.caltechvsmit.com/overview.html [caltechvsmit.com]:

    Both Caltech and MIT require that students put in a lot of hard work studying math and science. Because the stress is so intense, we students at Caltech believe that pranks are an important, if not essential, way to relax and have a little fun. We are familiar with MIT's tradition of hacks and hope that we can merge the cultures at the two schools, if only for a short time.

    We propose that MIT joins us in a pranking/hacking war. As you may have already noticed, we struck first, so now it is MIT's turn. Obviously the distance between schools poses a great difficulty, but we believe that MIT students will find that this difficulty can be overcome. In fact all of the pranks need not even be on the other school's campus so long as the pranks are made public enough through the media.

    The rules of the contest are simple and are essentially the same as Caltech's prank ethics and MIT's hackers' code. Pranks should be reversible. No permanent damage should be done and the pranksters must provide some sort of contact information on a note so they can be contacted if things are damaged. The note need not contain names, but it must be a reliable way to contact the pranksters.

    Pranks should be creative and display some form of originality. Novel ideas, particularly novel ideas involving technology, are generally well received, but repeats are strictly discouraged. We suggest that those wanting to participate make themselves very familiar with the history of pranks and hacks at both schools in order to prevent repeating pranks.

    Finally, we wish to inform MIT students that Caltech Prefrosh Weekend is next weekend. It may not be possible to organize something so quickly, but we have faith in the ingenuity of MIT students. We hope to see you all in Pasadena soon.

    As a side note, denial of service attacks are lame. Anybody can do that. Wouldn't your time be better spent trying to put a '2' on the scoreboard?
  • These pranks only seem to indicate that CalTech students have a massive inferiority complex? These pranks are lame. How hard, interesting, creative, or amazing is it to release balloons with C.I.T on them or print T-shirts? Flying thousands of miles just to do that only shows you have too much money and not enough creativity.

    Sorry CIT, but you only seemed to have proven to the rest of the world how lame you are (and I didn't even go to either of these schools).
  • Source of the laser? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by __aaijsn7246 ( 86192 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @04:27AM (#12198615)
    "The Jacks began searching for the source of our laser, which they shortly found but could not shut off without risking costly damage to MIT equipment."

    Anyone know how this is so?
  • by i_like_spam ( 874080 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @04:51AM (#12198682) Journal
    Even though I'm an alum (you guess from where), the following are un-biased examples of inscription hacks.
    (1) recent hack by the west coast school [caltech.edu]
    (2) a classic inscription hack [mit.edu]

    It's clear which of the two is more thoughtful, creative, and true to the spirit of hacking.

Usage: fortune -P [] -a [xsz] [Q: [file]] [rKe9] -v6[+] dataspec ... inputdir