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MIT student blogger Anthony R. '09

Friends, Carafes, and the Infinite Corridor by Anthony R. '09

What a week! Watch Tim play his instrument after a morning of camaraderie and cheap electronics.

(Note: to everyone who has emailed or commented with questions, I got your messages! I will reply in detail soon. Thanks!)

This has been a busy week. Yeah, there were p-sets, but there were also crazy kitties. It rained for the majority of the week and everyone generally stayed indoors… ah, New England weather. More time to do homework? Something like that.

While I rested most of the weekend, Sunday proved interesting. Join me for brunch, electronics, and numerous hijinks involving Tetazoa and long hallways. ;-)

After an aborted hall photo that saw us walking all the way to the Z Center with nothing to show for it, I headed up Mass Ave to Sidney Street, the location of the ubiquitous Star Market and the Hotel@MIT. Greg’s mom, Diane, was staying there for Family Weekend and had some extra brunch vouchers. I dined with her, Greg, and Christina. (It’s about a fifteen minute walk from East Campus.) The food was pretty good! I had my first omelette since coming to MIT, so that was very nice.

We then moseyed over to the Swapfest at Albany and Vassar Streets. Several times per year, a swap meet-style event takes place where you can get all kinds of obscure electronics and computer equipment for really low prices. They borrow a parking lot and some other nearby space, and set up shop around the liftgates of pickup trucks and sport-utes. I got an older machine suitable for a server, with delivery to my dorm, for a mere $10!

You have entered the Dollar Zone! ! !

Oh, mercy! Who could this possibly be? Never will I know with that MASK aka turtleneck. And yes, only at MIT can you walk past Building 32 (yeah, fine, the Stata Center) on a daily basis. ;-)

Back at East Campus, Greg basks in the “ambient light” of his new $3 construction lamp, acquired at the Swapfest. Alas, basking blondes are no match for pillows in flight.

Back on Tetazoo, I met up with a certain Tim. You see, this fellow has a passion for playing instruments, particularly copper pipes from unknown construction sites. He has seven distinct notes that he plays, and he’s got this ridiculously low voice to go along with them.

Tim wanted to demonstrate his musical prowess to a wide audience, so I donned my corridor gear and gathered Ben and Hannah for a little “excursion” through MIT’s internal highways and byways. Ingredients: modified dorm room chair outfitted with Rollerblade wheels, copper pipe, coffee carafe, and a camera. ;-) The carafe acted as a prop to distract onlookers. (Thanks to Hannah for the photos.)

It’s important to keep in mind the loud harmony of Tim’s pipe as accompaniment to the chair-rolling and general carafe mayhem.

We reached the top floor overlooking Lobby 7, at 77 Mass Ave — MIT’s front entrance. Tim’s piping ability resonates quite soundly through the lobby. Confused tourists and pedestrians were pondering the lobby’s new orchestral feature for several minutes.

(Sound Recordings One, Two)

That’s Tim lurking behind a pillar.

Here’s Greg again — he sauntered in to enjoy the tunes with us, and brought his hallmate from Fifth East, David Sheets.

We got Tim down from the top level for some wet-floor chair rolling and pipe playing, along the slick surface of Lobby 7. That’s Ben commanding the ship from behind.

With my and Ben’s assistance, Tim plays his way down the Infinite, attracting quite the looks from passers-by.

Here, Tim serenades Lobby 10 demonstrators as he passes.

There’s Dean Redwine’s office…

This staircase leads to the basement and provides an interesting acoustic environment.

Ben — such a showoff. ;-)

Yes, the Infinite is … quite long. Tim’s still going!

Ah, the Ellen Swallow Richards Lobby, near the Math Department. Tim’s horn works wonders.

We ventured out onto Killian Court (in front of Building 10) for some outdoor pipe playing. Tim and his horn — they make a majestic duo.

Ben observes from a distance, atop a statue.

I look ridiculous! But that’s the whole point.

Tim found a new perch.

Understandably, all of this fanfare on Killian Court attracted some attention. Several tourists and visitors made their way over to investigate and marvel at our ingenuity. They took several pictures to bring back for the family albums.

This man remarked that Tim’s pipe utterance strongly resembled that of an Alpine horn.

We investigated the acoustic properties of another statue on the Court, but first had to establish the location of a prop.

He is ecstatic! Apparently the statue was cold and it felt interesting on his back.

The carafe was empty.

Back indoors, we explored a hallway in Building 14 near the Hayden Library. Yet another person stopped to gaze.

Much later, Tim and Hannah located more pipes and tubes through which to emit musical melodies.

And then I went to bed! :-)

Back soon.

6 responses to “Friends, Carafes, and the Infinite Corridor”

  1. Wow, does Tim do Tuvan throat singing?! Nicely done, everyone. grin

  2. Catherine says:

    Awesome idea for an entry indeed. That was extremely amusing. ^____________^

  3. Laura says:

    Hah- I love the pictures of the confused tourists in Lobby 7. =)

  4. Christina says:

    Sounds like I should’ve stuck around for the concert! Maybe the Tetazoo band should come pay a visit to John Harvard sometime wink

    And who IS that in the turtleneck? I can’t see through the stealthy ninja skills!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Hey look, it’s Anisa’s brother!

    Looks like tons of fun. I am jealous of freshmen and their free time.


    aw, i thought I could be clever and link to Anisa’s blog. . .but this thing doesn’t seem to like html.

  6. Greg says:

    And the very next day, the pipe was laid violently to rest by another vicious tetazoan. Mourners could be found across the campus, as a thing of great beauty had been destroyed. RIP.