Cannon is fodder in MIT-Caltech rivalry
Students and passersby examined a cannon that showed up at MIT after its disappearance from the Caltech campus. (Globe Staff Photo / Suzanne Kreiter)
April 7, 2006
MIT and Caltech not only compete for the brightest science and engineering students; the brainy archrivals also try to outdo each other in pranks.
MIT pulled off a big one yesterday, when a cannon more than a century old and weighing nearly 2 tons appeared on the Cambridge campus after disappearing from Caltech’s campus in Pasadena, Calif., on March 28.
According to the website documenting the war of pranks, www.caltechvsmit.com, it earned MIT a whopping 10 points, for execution, but not originality, giving MIT an 11-6 lead over Caltech in the latest round.
”They pretended to be a moving company and absconded with it," Jill Perry, director of media relations at Caltech, said, laughing. ”How they got it across the country is a mystery."
But perhaps more perplexing is how Caltech students let a fabled caper be repeated. The cannon was captured on the same day 20 years ago, when Harvey Mudd students stole it to avenge Caltech’s slightly higher freshman SAT scores, according to a webpage linked to the MIT pranksters’ press release.
CATHERINE ELTON© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.