Friday, April 07, 2006
In the ongoing friendly war between the two schools, this now means that MIT is on top 11 to 6 in successfully executed hacks. The students at Cal Tech have reportedly granted us the full 10 points on this one, based on daring and engineering alone. We get nothing for originality since the cannon has actually been stolen before, although it didn't go anywhere near as far the first time.
Twenty years ago, the cannon was stolen by students from Harvey Mudd in retaliation for Cal Tech besting them in freshman SAT scores that year. But the cannon never left the state of California on that occasion.
This time, the cannon was taken in broad daylignt by a group of "movers" wearing the right uniforms and bearing all the right credentials. Presumably the Cal tech community was concerned but possibly also, they had an idea that someone was pulling a hack and that they would eventually see their more than century old cannon again back on their
Spanish colonial style campus in its normal location. If and when it surfaced someplace.
The cannon now stands in today's sparkling sunlight at the foot of I.M. Pei's tall, narrow Green Building at the edge of a perfectly round piece of lawn affectionately known as The Dot, probably because when you look at building and round lawn from photos taken by helicopter, the whole composition looks like a perfect exclamation point.
Oh and that gold colored thing slipped onto the barrel of the cannon like a ring on a finger: it IS a ring. It's a giant MIT class ring, the famed "brass rat" named for the material of its manufacture and its prominent image of a beaver--nature's engineer--that has pride of place on the top instead of a jewel or enameled school coat of arms.
Knowing how things work here, I'm going to bet that ring cannot be removed with any degree of ease and that it will be left to the CalTech students to figure how to remove it. When it's made the trip back across the continent, that is.