27 April 2012

The Dalek Invasion of MIT

It seems the Daleks are in need of our scientific minds because this week saw their first assault on an American university.  The Stata Center of Massachusetts Institute of Technology became what is to become just the first of their many outposts at earthly institutions of higher education.  Or perhaps they are just fans of the architecture of Frank Gehry and are simply looking for a little home decor inspiration for a new pad back on planet Skaro?

Hmm! We suspect the presence of this particular genetically engineered Kaled mutant, replete with mechanical shell is more to do with student high jinks than any immediate threat of invasion from the fictional frighteners! The Stata Center – which has divided opinion since it opened in 2004 as to whether it is brilliant, a mess or a brilliant mess – has been the victim of a number of pranks (or hacks in modern parlance) in its short life.

The building, which houses MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, as well as the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy seems to be a magnet to pranksters.  Harry Potter broomsticks, Where’s Waldo’s facial features and a crashed UFO are just some of the hacks that have taken place in and around the center. That’s before you mention the changing of the MIT sign in front of the building – amazing what the addition of two letters (in this case  V and O) in front can do to a name.

This dalek, however, does not seem to be as home made as some of the previous hacks.  It is certainly not an example of the new paradigm but someone has taken a huge amount of time and care to create this classic era replica. One can only hope this dalek reigns supreme at MIT for at least a few days before he is removed to a secure location...

Footnote: If you do not know what a dalek is, read the Wikipedia entry and wonder what you have been missing since 1963!

First Image Credit Chris Devers