March 12, 2007

MIT Bouncy Ball Hack

The new members of the Class of 1994 at MIT dutifully assembled for their freshman class picture on the steps of building 10. As they were getting situated, a banner with the simple word SMILE dropped silently from a skylight behind them.

While this did not catch their attention, the 1994 superballs which immediately followed the banner and fell immediately behind them, did. The superballs rebounded 20-30 feet into the air on the first bounce, then were kept aloft by the frosh who caught them and then threw them at each other, the camera, and observers.

The drop itself happens about 5--10 seconds into the video; you have to look closely to see the tiny balls. After that you can see students throwing balls.

After a few minutes, the photographer said, ``Please stop throwing balls at the camera!'' The freshman obliged and all threw their superballs at the camera.

Each superball was decorated with a smiley face.