Saturday, April 08, 2006

Heard About Our Latest Visitor in Cambridge?

Shoot! We've just lost our two-ton cannon in ultimate student prank

From Chris Ayres in Los Angeles

AFTER decades of rivalry between America’s geekiest colleges, a group of undergraduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has pulled off one of the most audacious student pranks in history: they have stolen a 130-year-old, two-ton cannon from the grounds of the California Institute of Technology, and shipped it 3,000 miles (4,800km) to their campus on the East Coast. The stunt was all the more impressive given that Caltech is literally a school for rocket scientists, thanks to its famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory. As of yesterday, the antique Fleming Cannon was still in Cambridge, Massachusetts, adorned with a large Massachusetts MIT “school ring”. Next to it was a plaque that referred to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) as “its previous owners”. The plaque explains that the cannon was moved using bogus documentation to get it past the Caltech security guards. The theft was perfectly timed for maximum gloating value: this is the week when prospective students visit college campuses across America. It is thought to be retaliation for last year’s prank by Caltech, which involved distributing official-looking, shrink-wrapped MIT-branded shirts to students visiting the Cambridge campus. The front of the shirts said ‘MIT’. On the back was written: “Because not everyone can go to Caltech.”

read the rest.


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