September 12, 2009 / by Kevin Brackett
Early Wednesday morning, hackers installed seven notes on the great dome’s temporary scaffolding, commenting on its close resemblance to a musical score. The notes were the first seven of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
This isn’t the first time that the Great Dome has been hacked. Here is a list of some of the other honorable mentions:
- May 17, 1999 – MIT’s Great Dome becomes a droid as students pull off Star Wars hack
- Marking off the length of the Harvard Bridge in 5-foot, 7-inch segments known as Smoots, celebrating the stature of Lambda Chi Alpha pledge Oliver Smoot Jr. The Smoot markers, first painted in 1958, have been renewed regularly for 41 years as the paint fades. The bridge measures 364 Smoots and one ear.
- The weather balloon that popped up at midfield and self-destructed during the player introductions for the 1982 Harvard-Yale game. Members of Delta Kappa Epsilon took credit for this prank.
- The MIT banner that shot out of the sod and draped around a goalpost as Yale prepared to kick a field goal during the 1990 game at Harvard.
- On Oct. 15, 1990, Charles M. Vest’s first day as MIT’s president, the door to his office was hidden behind a poster-covered bulletin board carefully constructed to fit into the entryway. A bottle of champagne was placed in the office. “My first major policy is that we’re going to keep that,” President Vest said. “The first time issues get hot on campus, we’ll pull it out.”
- The Oscar won by Good Will Hunting on March 24, 1998 was celebrated by arranging the lighting in the earth, atmospheric and planetary science building to depict a 16-story, 185-foot-tall image of the statuette.
- On April Fool’s Day 1998 a story appeared on the MIT home page announcing the acquisition of the Institute by the Walt Disney Co, with an illustration of Mickey Mouse pointing to the Dome decorated with mouse ears. “I knew it was a hack as soon as I saw the price,” said MIT spokesman Ken Campbell. “Only $6.9 billion? Much too cheap!”