Ingrained in MIT’s DNA is a history of hacks so impressive they have been cataloged back to the 80s. A new slew of stories have surfaced, however, only reiterating how prevalent and absolutely hilarious the underground culture brewing in Kendall Square is.
Try and deny the entertainment value, but let’s remember that just last June, MIT’s incoming freshmen hacked Harvard’s class site and replaced all the newcomers’ faces with images of Mitt Romney.
C’mon, people. That’s funny — as are these five fun facts now floating around the Web.
MIT Students are Party Animals…
A poor freshman residing in MIT’s Baker House just wanted to finish his problem sets on time. But, oh no, he couldn’t dodge the constantly crowded lounges or regularly raucous parties. So, he dragged a bed, table, chair and lamp into what’s become known as the “Tomb of the Unknown Tool.” Hackers did stumble upon this hidden home — where the student allegedly lived for years — but kept his well-earned peace intact. Although the furniture was eventually removed, every new hacker is now shown the Tomb, which contains a mural of the Hacking Ethics.
…But They Can Also Outsmart the FBI
In the early 1970s, MIT’s Bexley Hall became notorious for alleged LSD manufacturing. As one could imagine, the FBI wasn’t thrilled, so they called the president of MIT to alert him of an upcoming raid — a raid he shared with the Bexley Hall Housemaster. Authorities rolled up to a “Welcome FBI” sign, as well as a painted set of footprints that led them to nothing but a plate of milk and cookies.
When the agents did start tearing the Hall apart in outrage, they discovered a chest wrapped in chains and covered in padlocks. Too bad all that was inside were three marijuana seeds — “exactly one fewer than the minimum needed for a conviction.”
Toad Sexing is a Thing
Per the tale:
Toad sexing is an extremely smelly and unpleasant process, since determining the gender of your average toad involves examining the inside, not the outside.
And apparently, MIT biology majors have been forced to fondle toads’ unmentionables in the confines of their dorm room. So, if you ever see a sign that reads, “No Toad Sexing,” thank the hacker stuck cohabitating with this girl for starting the quiet pro-bio protest movement.
MIT Was Almost Home to a Giant Hairball
An artist named Maggs Haries was commissioned in the 1970s to craft a hanging sculpture between the first and second floors of the Stratton Student Center. What Haries wanted was her sculpture to be an oversized Shaman’s Hat, woven of students’ hair. The wire frame she constructed to collect these donated locks was mysteriously replaced with a 10-foot-long working slide rule — “a truly appropriate decoration for MIT.” Harries fled the Institute and allegedly never returned the Institute’s money.
Can you blame the students, though, Harries? They likely see enough hairballs in the communal shower stalls.
MIT’s East Campus Could Have Been Named “Fred.” Or Worse.
The school’s East Campus dorm — currently boasting the tagline, “The weak shall be eaten” — was suggested to be granted a new name, since the current one is more a location description than anything else. Of the proposed names included “Fred” and “The Gang of Assholes.” Neither passed, but a petition to rename the dorm has resurfaced every few years. This year, we hope the latter moniker makes a comeback.