The Freshman Fishwrap / IHTFP Hack

Changed Lobby 7 Inscription

Location: Lobby 7
Date: August 25-30, 1994

The inscription around Lobby 7 reads "Established for Advancement and Development of Science its Application to Industry the Arts Agriculture and Commerce. Charter MDCCCLXI."

Hackers changed the words "Agriculture and Commerce" to "Entertainment and Hacking" by covering the original with styrofoam panels, which were painted to look like the stone and engraved with the modified text. The styrofoam was held in place by six spring-loaded devices placed between the blocks above the text.

The hackers were seen as they finished deploying the hack. The resulting Campus Police Report emphasizes the hack's subtlety.

Physical Plant attempted to remove the hack on Friday, August 26 with scaffolding. They aborted when the scaffolding was judged too wobbly to be safe and the hack stayed up for three more days. The hack was removed on Tuesday, August 30 by MIT's Confined Space Rescue Team, which rappelled over the ledge to get to the hack. Evidently the team had been scheduled to practice that day anyway, so it removed the hack in lieu of the scheduled practice session.

A description and several pictures of this hack appear on pages 14-16 of "Is This The Way To Baker House?": A Compendium of MIT Hacking Lore.

Additional Information

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Last modified: $Date: 2008/12/03 01:53:12 $