Arizona Police Investigate Super Mario-Styled Box

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In that photo, I see a lot of parked cars, each infinitely more likely to be chosen as the hiding place of a weapon of terror than a cardboard box with a bunch of question marks on it.

This is stupid. Terrorists are not Adam West Batman villains. It's kind of hard to maximize civilian fatalities when you put your bomb in something that screams "I don't belong here."

Paranoid people are paranoid.

Gilhelmi:
A week after the Boston Bombings and Ricin attacks? I do not call it paranoid. Let us say that a package was delivered to your house. This package has your name misspelled, has an oily substance on the bottom, and smells bad. You do not recall ordering anything. Do you open the Package?

I'm pretty certain that such a package would never reach my door in the first place. There are pretty stringent requirements for anything put through the mail these days. A box that's dripping oil and gives off an odor would not make the cut.

So yes, I'd call this paranoid. Because it is. There was no indication that the box was hazardous. The fact that they felt the need to call out a bomb squad and waste so much time and money on such a thing, that's just silly.

If we start jumping at every vaguely suspicious-looking object and throwing away all of our freedoms for the promise of greater safety, as we have been, then the terrorists have done their job. They've won, essentially. Because even if we wipe them off the map, we've still thrown away the fundamental core of the country, the thing that made it so great to begin with.

And you can see it happening everywhere, unfortunately, as politicians take advantage of tragedies like the Newtown shooting or the Boston bombings or 9/11 to institute bans on various weapons, limitations on where you can go, and limitations to your rights as a citizen. I certainly don't mind if the government steps up its defense policies, as that is its job. But when they're making unprecedented strides towards a system that records and observes every step of every citizen's life, then I start getting a wee bit paranoid about what they'll ban next.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." ~Ben Franklin

Captcha: and that's the way it is

They should have found a turtle shell to chuck at it. Best to release its contents from a distance.

rezboyjoey:
I have a hard time buying that the resemblance to a Super Mario style question box is a coincidence. This has much more of the "prank gone too far" stink to it.

The fact is, Mario is so ubiquitous that it's very possible for someone to know the iconography without knowing the source. I'm not saying it did happen, but it very well could. Especially since we live in such a meme and reference based culture these days. I mean, even non-Portal fans know the cake is a lie, non-Zelda fans sing the major theme for the last 3-ish decades of the series, etc.

raankh:
Isn't that obviously a prank? Not everyone would consider a box in the street cause for alarm. I'd call that a bit paranoid even. If you want to see terrorists everywhere, I suppose it makes sense though.

Considering the timing, why take any chances?

DVS BSTrD:
That Aqua Teen Hunger Force thing pissed me off, I mean did they report electric bar signs to?
At least this could ACTUALLY have been a bomb.

Yeah, electric bar signs so frequently get placed randomly about the city, without any easy way to trace back the actual installer, and with characteristics resembling those of an IED more than a finished piece of electrical equipment.

I mean, why would anyone think that something that looked like a bomb might actually be a bomb? A box with a question mark on it is so obviously more bomb-like. Especially since the Mooninite signs only had exposed, amateur and unfinished looking wiring, while the box had...PAPERS!

CriticKitten:
I'm pretty certain that such a package would never reach my door in the first place. There are pretty stringent requirements for anything put through the mail these days. A box that's dripping oil and gives off an odor would not make the cut.

Are you serious? I got a package dropped at my door where the contents' battery was freaking leaking. Granted, it was from a place I ordered, so in this case it was okay, but stringent requirements my arse.

Zachary Amaranth:

DVS BSTrD:
That Aqua Teen Hunger Force thing pissed me off, I mean did they report electric bar signs to?
At least this could ACTUALLY have been a bomb.

Yeah, electric bar signs so frequently get placed randomly about the city, without any easy way to trace back the actual installer, and with characteristics resembling those of an IED more than a finished piece of electrical equipment.

I mean, why would anyone think that something that looked like a bomb might actually be a bomb? A box with a question mark on it is so obviously more bomb-like. Especially since the Mooninite signs only had exposed, amateur and unfinished looking wiring, while the box had...PAPERS!

Cuz whenever I see a polygon giving me the finger, my first though is it's going to kill me.

No offense to a lot of people commenting on this, but this is the exact reason why most people have trouble relating to, or respecting gamers.

Because a lot of people are under the impression that gamers don't respect or relate to them.

I'm not going to pull the 'I had a friend who was supposed to run in the marathon' card. I'm not going to pull the 'My brother was almost swept up in the 9/11 dust cloud' card. I'm going to pull a 'I'm a freaking human and I get people are on edge' card.

The first successful attack on our soil since 9/11. That means something to people. Arizona, where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was gunned down and six others lost their life, they are probably still on edge. An object of suspicion during a vulnerable time will surely incite fear. It's fun to be callous when you're removed, but we're talking about parents with children and this mysterious 'thing' that they don't know about. Not only does it make sense to be wary of it, but it's fucking survival 101 anywhere that you are cautious of something you don't know about.

People were right to be worried.

CriticKitten:
So yes, I'd call this paranoid. Because it is. There was no indication that the box was hazardous. The fact that they felt the need to call out a bomb squad and waste so much time and money on such a thing, that's just silly.

If we start jumping at every vaguely suspicious-looking object and throwing away all of our freedoms for the promise of greater safety, as we have been, then the terrorists have done their job. They've won, essentially. Because even if we wipe them off the map, we've still thrown away the fundamental core of the country, the thing that made it so great to begin with.

Here's a statement I never got. Terrorists don't really care about terror. They don't care that you're not wavering in the face of their actions. They will continue to attack even if we stand firm. Hell, they have been. All around the world. We stand together and united and they go "Great, they are all in one place and feeling secure. They won't expect this!"

Terrorists care about body count. They want the message that they can get to us 'high on top of our ivory towers'. Letting the terrorist win is giving them chances to strike. A terrorist message isn't fought with people casually disregarding things because they don't want to give into fear, a terrorist message is fought by stopping the message before it ever gets out in the open.

Hell, just look over at the Gaza Strip. Each side decides they are going to be brave and not move. Then an Israeli air strike here, a bombing over there... and since no one is budging, the attacks still occur.

Given the shape of the question mark on the box I highly doubt it's resemblance to the iconic Super Mario question block is a coincidence.

Well good thing it was harmless. Now authorities can get to work on solving the rash of tortoise flattenings that have been happening in the area.

Huh ... you don't suppose these two cases could be related somehow do you?

Desert Punk:

Gilhelmi:

Desert Punk:

If they put it in a glass bottle they dont need nails, a person who taps it with their foot and makes the two substances connect will get an explosion, poisonous gas and hot glass ripping into them.

I got a BIG lesson on the dangers of these for my job.

The worst part is that when the police try and arrest the bombers. The idiots try to say "it was just a joke" to stupid to realize they just tried to kill me.

Did the police make any arrests in your case?

Oh I havent encountered one just yet. I just work for a security/asset protection company, so whenever a new 'popular' threat shows up we get lessons on the threat and how to deal with it.

Ah yes. They did the same thing with us in the Army as well.

I remember a long time ago in Toronto people were hanging up question mark blocks and putting like cardboard fire flowers and mushrooms in them for fun. People just thought it was a funny little thing.

The world has gone paranoid, unless the Joker is a real supervillain.

Zachary Amaranth:

CriticKitten:
I'm pretty certain that such a package would never reach my door in the first place. There are pretty stringent requirements for anything put through the mail these days. A box that's dripping oil and gives off an odor would not make the cut.

Are you serious? I got a package dropped at my door where the contents' battery was freaking leaking. Granted, it was from a place I ordered, so in this case it was okay, but stringent requirements my arse.

Beat me too it, Thank You.

Things slip through all the time. You can assume that the package was not dangerous, but to a lot of others(many have lost people to these type of traps) we are not taking the chance. I know a man who was in an IED explosion, the IED was hidden in plain sight, disguised as something "Normal".

I agree that the politicians do wrong when the pass bad 'reactionary' legislation. But we are not talking about that here. We are talking about a suspicious device, that I do not know what it is.

I am not giving up my liberties, but I am not going to ignore a bomb on the side of the road either. I AM going to report the suspicious devices because I could never forgive myself if I ignored good sense and someone died because I did nothing.

Yup. That's the point our culture has reached

We are officially terrified by boxes...

raankh:
Isn't that obviously a prank? Not everyone would consider a box in the street cause for alarm. I'd call that a bit paranoid even. If you want to see terrorists everywhere, I suppose it makes sense though.

Heck, unless the terrorist in question is either The Riddler or the Joker, I still don't see why you'd be worried about a cardboard box with a giant question mark on it. Terrorists aren't known for their flamboyance, they'd rather their bombs not be noticed until they go off.

Same thing with the Boston Bomb Scare (the mooninite one that got the old CEO of Cartoon Network fired and resulted in Stewart Snyder being called in to screw everything up, not the bombing from the other day.)

Edit: /Especially/ with this being a college town, I'm having a hard time believing that anyone but the one nut who reported it was worried about anything, and the police just had to respond. You'll notice that the only person who was interviewed was the same one who reported it. I'd bet that his thought process was "it's a college town, things should be quiet!" While everyone else was thinking "it's a college town, this is a normal weekend."

Considering what has happen in the US lately, I don't blame the people for not getting/ laugh at the joke side of it.

My first thought was why is it not hovering.

Are so many people from the US really that scared of everything? Is that really any way to live? I see a new trend in see through boxes and bags being compulsory... maybe, if everyone had to apply for a permit to own a box and take responsibility for its use this heinous act would not even have taken place!

I imagine a bald yellow/orange guy riding a cloud was spotted flying away from the area shortly after the box appeared. Detectives Mario and Luigi are on the case!

Gilhelmi:

raankh:
Isn't that obviously a prank? Not everyone would consider a box in the street cause for alarm. I'd call that a bit paranoid even. If you want to see terrorists everywhere, I suppose it makes sense though.

A week after the Boston Bombings and Ricin attacks? I do not call it paranoid. Let us say that a package was delivered to your house. This package has your name misspelled, has an oily substance on the bottom, and smells bad. You do not recall ordering anything. Do you open the Package?

If you answered yes, You are now dead, Because the package was a bomb (obviously). This scenario happens more often then I like too remember but because of the "counter-terrorism" classes that half of the government (and all of the military) goes through. You never hear about them because the packages are intercepted by the staff, disarmed, and kept quiet to avoid public panic (and because the liberal media has a bad habit of "black-out reporting" when they do not like the people attacked).

If I am paranoid, it is only because we have been too often attacked.

And yet, more people died from smoking in the time it took you to write that post than died in the Boston bombing, to say nothing of heart attacks or car accidents.

People absolutely do worry too much about terrorism because the risk is completely out of proportion to how many people are actually injured or killed by it. This is mostly because terrorist attacks are rather dramatic. That's the whole point of terrorism in the first place: to send people into a panic and make them feel unsafe wherever they are. That's why it's called terrorism.

A society as large and open as ours can't guarantee that we can prevent terrorist attacks. However, we can choose how to respond to them when they happen. We can respond with panic and fear and paranoia, and with knee-jerk policies, laws, and political decisions, and the terrorists will have accomplished their goal because we let them. Or, we can realize that that's what they want, and not panic in the face of their actions. As horrible as these attacks are, they are quite low on the list of things any given person is likely to die from. I think that we could be a more courageous, victorious, and resilient society be keeping this in mind. So far we have not.

McMullen:

Gilhelmi:

raankh:
Isn't that obviously a prank? Not everyone would consider a box in the street cause for alarm. I'd call that a bit paranoid even. If you want to see terrorists everywhere, I suppose it makes sense though.

A week after the Boston Bombings and Ricin attacks? I do not call it paranoid. Let us say that a package was delivered to your house. This package has your name misspelled, has an oily substance on the bottom, and smells bad. You do not recall ordering anything. Do you open the Package?

If you answered yes, You are now dead, Because the package was a bomb (obviously). This scenario happens more often then I like too remember but because of the "counter-terrorism" classes that half of the government (and all of the military) goes through. You never hear about them because the packages are intercepted by the staff, disarmed, and kept quiet to avoid public panic (and because the liberal media has a bad habit of "black-out reporting" when they do not like the people attacked).

If I am paranoid, it is only because we have been too often attacked.

And yet, more people died from smoking in the time it took you to write that post than died in the Boston bombing, to say nothing of heart attacks or car accidents.

People absolutely do worry too much about terrorism because the fear about it is completely out of proportion to how many people are actually injured or killed by it. This is mostly because terrorist attacks are rather dramatic. That's the whole point of terrorism in the first place: to send people into a panic and make them feel unsafe wherever they are. That's why it's called terrorism.

A society as large and open as ours can't guarantee that we can prevent terrorist attacks. However, we can choose how to respond to them when they happen. We can respond with panic and fear and paranoia, and with knee-jerk policies, laws, and political decisions, and the terrorists will have accomplished their goal because we let them. Or, we can realize that that's what they want, and not panic in the face of their actions. As horrible as these attacks are, they are quite low on the list of things any given person is likely to die from. I think that we could be a more courageous, victorious, and resilient society be keeping this in mind. So far we have not.

BrotherRool:
"a college town like this I wouldn't think that something like that would happen"

~Isn't a college town exactly where something like this would happen? Students spend most of their working nights stealing signposts and moving ducks afterall

That's exactly what I thought as well. Speaking as someone who lives in a college town, this sounds like just the sort of prank some bored fraternity with too much time on their hands would do.

In fact, this is mild compared to most student antics that have happened in my town. I'd rather have a few residents that aren't familiar with video games spooked by a Super Mario Bros. question block than dozens of arrests for drunkenness, assault, rape, and general asshattery on a typical holiday weekend.

I wonder how police would've reacted if the box contained a fire-flower?

While the videogame iconography branding the box is likely to amuse some, this incident is exactly the sort of the thing gaming community really doesn't need. Granted, no one knows the origins of the box, so it is possible this was all just an accident or a misunderstanding. It's even conceivable that, whoever did this, had no idea they were mimicking something from a game. That said, with many politicians pointing the finger at games as an instigator of violence, it's not in the slightest bit helpful to have something even remotely related to videogames be at the center of a real world panic.

This, I don't get. There's no politician pointing to games over this. It also wasn't a bomb-omb. So it would sooner be evidence of the benign nature of gaming than its maliciousness.

Captcha: skynet is watching.

Let skynet watch.

Gilhelmi:
...the IED was hidden in plain sight, disguised as something "Normal".

That would be typical, no? As opposed to being not-at-all-hidden, in plain sight, and "disguised" as something noteworthy and out of the ordinary? Do you panic every time you see any ordinary object that could conceivably conceal a bomb? Because that would be a much more sane reaction to evidence than panicking over unusual objects - given that unusual objects specifically built to attract attention pretty much never conceal bombs.

Guffe:
I thought, hey cool a mario box, is it a mushroom or a flower inside?

Does that make me weird for not having the first thought "omg it might be a bomb!!"
Because that's defineatly not what I thought. Well good thing it wasn't anything dangerous in the end

No, that is EXACTLY what any logical, non-paranoid, person should think. "Oh, ha! A Mario box, this was clearly left here so a like-minded individual will find something funny inside." -_- Yet another reason to hate people.

Normally, this would be amusing.

Given the recent bombing, it isn't funny at all.

AT least there wasn't an actual bomb in there.

Damn...

You think the person who did this ever had "Too soon mate" Running through his head at all?

Sonic Doctor:

Akexi:

StewShearer:

"They made me leave the street. It's just crazy, a college town like this I wouldn't think that something like that would happen," said Andries Efthymious,

Sadly, Andries is forgetting that this college town is that of ASU, a party school where the students are more interested in screwing around than actually you know, studying.

I was going to say something similar.

That apparently that person never went to college or something, because no matter how grounded or upstanding an image colleges might have, they always have a group of people that pull pranks and mess around, get drunk, do shit, and whatnot.

Heck at my first college, the drinking fountain outside my dorm room door just up and disappeared, and it wasn't the maintenance crew that did it.

Actually I have attended college including one year at ASU. That institution epitomizes the party environment to the point of it affecting my studies and causing me to transfer (noise complaints are often neglected by the police).

Some-what poorly timed, if it had been a month or two before or after the boston iccident, then this would likely have been treated as the joke it was.

I can appreciate the humour, the timing was just against them on this one,

Does anyone know if there was actually anything written on those papers? Because leaving blank papers in a Mario-themed box doesn't make any sense at all, and is probably more suspicious than just leaving it empty. I mean, really, if you're going to do a Mario prank, why put all the effort into building the box and then not even keep the theme?

Not really surprised that it happened in Tempe since they've been known to do stupid shit like this at the most inconvenient of times. At least they waited until after the Pat Tillman Run to pull this, but poor timing anyways.

The power of ASU "brilliance" strikes again!

Some crazy just happened in case some of you weren't aware, Ricin attacks, bombing at the Boston Marathon, which lead to the Watertown, Mass, shootout. It is very possible to believe that people outside the gaming community might be worried by a box left in the middle of the road. Who leaves a box in the middle of the fucking road? A box of which doesn't look much like a question block from Mario to me, not the last time I saw one anyway, colors were different, seems as odd as a purple Police Box to me.

This is a problem with the gaming community, some of you do not understand that there are people who do not know what you know. If someone doesn't get the joke, you think they're stupid, when simply they don't know subject matter. Which to you is somehow offensive. HOW COULD YOU NEVER HAD PLAYED GTA? HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW PORTAL IS?!?!?11? Because not everyone obsesses over the same things. Add to it, people are stupid and get details wrong so then the thing doesn't even make sense.

I'm just going to believe someone had the box on the back of their bike or something and it without notice it just fell out.

Well, since no one else is asking, I will...

StewShearer:
"Nothing of concern was in the cardboard box," said Molly Enright, a spokesperson for the Tempe police. Reportedly, the box contained only papers.

What sort of papers? Was anything written on them?

I think the answer to that question would shed a LOT of light on this incident.

And no, I don't expect that you, StewShearer, know the answer to that question. But I'd really like to ask Molly Enright that question.

If this was the neighborhood where I grew up in Phoenix, I can guarantee you the cops would've never been called, because it would've been stolen by meth addicts.

One thing about jokes is there's a build-up and a punch line. Part of the build-up and the punchline is the timing of it all. With the Boston incident that just happened.......yeah....People will make the error.

I bet you somebody was trying to make a youtube video.

They probably put it there to see if anyone would try to open it or interact with it in a way that mario would.

and then the police showed up and they ran away.

Bit too soon to be playing jokes like this I'd think. Oh and news flash, bombs don't look like fucking ACME cartoon mobs with a giant fuse coming out the top. You can easily hide a bomb in a cardboard box and boom, you're dead.

This doesn't mean we need to live in fear over every little thing but I can understand why people would be suspicious with the recent events that have gone on in Boston.

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