By Institute Historian T. F. Peterson,Eric Bender
An MIT "hack" is an inventive, benign, and nameless prank or useful funny story, frequently requiring engineering or medical services and infrequently pulled off less than disguise of darkness -- cases of campus mischief occasionally coinciding with April Fool's Day, ultimate checks, or graduation. (It shouldn't be stressed with the occasionally non-benign phenomenon of machine hacking.) Noteworthy MIT hacks through the years comprise the mythical Harvard--Yale soccer video game Hack (when a climate balloon emblazoned "MIT" popped out of the floor close to the 50-yard line), the campus police motor vehicle came across perched at the nice Dome, the plain disappearance of the Institute president's workplace, and a pretend cathedral (complete with stained glass home windows, organ, and marriage ceremony) in a foyer. Hacks are through their nature ephemeral, even supposing they live to tell the tale within the reminiscence of either perpetrators and spectators. Nightwork, drawing at the MIT Museum's exact choice of hack-related images and different fabrics, describes and records the easiest of MIT's hacks and hacking tradition. This generously illustrated up to date variation has additional insurance of such contemporary hacks because the cross-country abduction of rival Caltech's cannon (a prank requiring months of making plans, complex choreography, and last-minute improvisation), a hearth truck at the Dome that marked the 5th anniversary of Sept. 11, and various pokes on the celebrated Frank Gehry-designed Stata heart, or even a operating solar-powered pink Line subway automobile at the nice Dome. Hacks were stated to precise the essence of MIT, delivering, as alumnus Andre DeHon observes, "an chance to illustrate creativity and knowledge in learning the actual world." What higher option to mark the a hundred and fiftieth anniversary of MIT's founding than to commemorate its local ingenuity with this re-creation of Nightwork?
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Nightwork: A History of Hacks and Pranks at MIT (MIT Press) by Institute Historian T. F. Peterson,Eric Bender