Hackers Finally Explain How They Get to the Top of The Great Dome

by Jay London on September 15, 2015 · 2 comments

in Alumni Life, Campus, Campus Culture, Hacks, In the News, Modern Geekhood


Image via the IHTFP Hack Gallerys (hacks.mit.edu)

Two sure signs that the fall semester has begun on MIT campus:

  1. Traffic
  2. Hacks

Hackers successfully pulled off the first hack of the semester on September 4, when they simultaneously paid homage to pranks of the past and answered the age-old hack question, How do they actually get on top of the Great Dome, anyways?


The “hackapult” via hacks.mit.edu. Click for larger.

According to the hack, the answer is simple: catapults. The anonymous pranksters situated a catapult—renamed the “hackapult”—on the Killian Court lawn, with its barrel aimed directly towards the Great Dome, which featured an amalgam of hacks past, including a cow, a fire truck, the One Ring from Lord of the Rings, an MIT Police car, and a TARDIS.

The hackapult also featured handy diagrams and notes for each hack. They were not entirely effective, however, as the cow, truck, and police car appeared to crash land on the Dome. (Don’t try this at home.)

In latest MIT hack, a tribute to pranks of years past,” Boston Globe:

“This is what is great about MIT, “ Aaron Weinberger, MIT’s assistant director for institute affairs, said. “There is a sense of creativity here — something unusual occurs here all of the time.”

When asked if the school gets frustrated by the hacks each year, Weinberger said MIT “loves it.”

“This is at the heart of what MIT is about,” he said.

Perhaps the hack was also an homage (or protest) of last year’s Hack Madness tournament, which featured the cow, fire truck, and police car, but not the One Right or Tardis.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Hawron September 15, 2015 at 9:15 am

I very much enjoyed my recent visit on campus for East Campus Day with my grandson in May (about which I devoted a chapter in my newly completed book)

I have just completed writing a humorous book, (memoirs), which includes, among many other things, tales from my MIT days, including “Hacks”. The title is “Entertaining Detours”

Michael J. Hawron ‘74


Stephen J. Bridges October 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Although I lived one floor above 3rd East, I will never forget my tour of ‘MIT at Night’ in the Fall of 1976 led by Roger Powell of 3rd East aka “Hackito Ergo Sum’.


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