"Cornell University’s McGraw Tower is 137 feet tall. It’s visible for miles, and most days, its 21 chimes ring out morning, afternoon, and evening. It’s a campus touchstone, one that community members use to meet up with friends, give people directions, and generally anchor themselves.
So on October 8, 1997, as students walked to their Wednesday morning classes, it’s fair to say they were surprised to discover that their beloved landmark had grown an appendage. “One day, there was this thing at the top of the tower,” remembers Oliver Habicht, at the time a recent graduate working for the university IT department. It was way up at the top, impaled on the spire. It was round, and about the size of a beach ball. Was it… was it a pumpkin?