Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Night Climbers of Cambridge

Last week, three fire engines were dispatched to Cambridge University in Britain. The firemen had been called by university officials and asked to perform a rather unusual task. A student hoaxster had placed red Santa's hats on the spires of two tall buildings, and the humorless university officials wanted the hats removed. (Read a news report here.)

That's not the interesting part. The question is: How did the hats get up there in the first place? As you can see from the photos above, the hoaxster didn't choose the most accessible rooftops.

That's why some are suggesting that the hoaxster must have made use of a book known as The Night Climbers of Cambridge. Written by the mysterious "Whipplesnaith" and published in 1937, the tome offers a guide to exploring the roofs of the city's ancient buildings. It even offers handy tips on how to get around chimneys, pillars, and gargoyles.

I love the idea of students slinking through the night, hopping from rooftop to rooftop with their trusty guide tucked into their back pockets. On the awesome meter, The Night Climbers ranks right up there with Glimpses of Gotham and the Perforating Mexicans. (Below: One of the many amazing photographs from the book.)

Want even more awesome? (I can barely take it!) You can read the entire book here.


Blogger TheMog said...

I am in awe.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Irregular Kiki said...

Dangerously fun.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Dahlia said...

Ooh, that reminds me of this part in P.L.A.I.N. Janes where they put knit hats and scarves on everything in town, like mailboxes, streetlights, and fire hydrants. Only waaay more challenging and impressive.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

CAN'T TAKE THE AWESOME *moves to england* I need an actual Glimpses of Gotham.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Dame Orchid said...

Santa Hats on old buildings is soooo funny, it is also a very amazing feat. It reminds me of both "P.L.A.I.N. Janes", and "The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks".

10:15 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Fun! I wish I would do that!

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Undiscovered Universe said...

Seriose Lolz
(sorry, I can't spell for my life XD)

I am in extreme awe over that book. Wowz.

Wait, does this mean they're (I think that is the right they're! YEAH!) is acually a Glipses of Gotham *knows there isn't but hopes anyway*

12:37 AM  
Anonymous she who must not be named said...

Wow. That is awesome. And I so want a book like that.

Has anyone heard of this book by David Fermer, called "Rats"? They have it at my school library now, but I haven't read it yet. Apparently it involves a kid on a desert island who then finds the island is inhabited by giant rats....

8:59 AM  
Blogger LittleChar said...

haha! thats great

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Hazel said...

Sweet! I want to study there!

6:57 PM  
Blogger International Mastermind said...

Hey a few years ago the M.I.T. students in Cambridge got a car on the roof! They are geniuses!

Of course I HAD to go view it and attempt to climb the wall.....the guards didn't quite like that. ;)

9:23 AM  
Anonymous 6yearsoldandcute said...


12:19 PM  
Anonymous Dee said...

There was actually a fictional novel about the Night Climbers (called, predictably, The Night Climbers) by a writer named Ivo Stourton published last year. It's quite good.

6:11 PM  

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