4 June 2010

R2-D2 in College Observatory Prank

R2-D2 took on a whole new life yesterday at Carleton College in the USA.  In possibly the best ever astronomy related college pranks of all time (not that there can be that many, surely) the Goodsell Observatory on the College Campus was transformed in to a massive albeit temporary piece of installation art. Ingredients required - an observatory, lots of sheets, huges amounts of taping and draping and - hey presto!

The enterprising students were able to R2-ise the observatory in a short time, thanks to s pre-prepared array of appropriately colored pieces of cloth which were then taped and draped over the building.  All in all much quicker than a spray can and less likely to result in any legal action. An environmentally friendly prank, too, then!

The massive R2-D2 came complete with sound effects.  Can you imagine the size of the Princess Leia hologram had it appeared?  She would have been clearly visible from Minneapolis pleading with Obi Wan Kenobi to send assistance!  The observatory is the largest in the state and was built in 1905 and named after Charles Goodsell who donated much of the land on which the college is built.

Carleton College in the state of Minnesota was founded in 1866 and has quite a history of student pranks.  The two thousand or so students at the college seem to have a special affinity to pranking and previous escapades have included a reproduction of the face of Bill Clinton on the day of his commencement speech in 2000.  Oh yes, that was on the college water tower.

There seems to be a history of streaking at the college, too - but fortunately R2-D2 seems to have been put in place by fully clothed students.  Also, a bust of Friedrich Schiller has been making guest appearances on Campus for more than half a century. This Star Wars prank, however, must be the best (certainly the largest) that the college has ever seen.

The prank was accompanied by a plaintive note from the students for R2-D2 to be left alone for twenty four hours. Take a look at the PS - it will cut the hardest heart to ribbons. It can only be hoped that this request was granted as this is just way too cool to be taken down immediately.

Here is the best YouTube clip I can find at the moment!