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15 Suspicious Packages That Were Definitely Not Explosives

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Getty Images

Reports of suspicious packages are common across the United States. Police take all reports seriously — as they should — and they look into every unmanned briefcase or wayward box. More often than not, abandoned gym bags just wind up being lost gym bags. Here are 15 fairly recent suspicious package reports from alert citizens that became great stories to share at the local precinct.

1. Like a rock
On September 5, a suspicious package in Montana turned out to be a bunch of duct tape around a brick of Styrofoam.

2. Beans, please
Also on September 5, a suspicious package in Utah turned out to be a cardboard tube filled with dried beans.

3. Look at the box. Now back at me.

On August 31, a suspicious package in Pennsylvania turned out to be a cooler with a stick of Old Spice deodorant in it.

4. Rocking out
On August 9, a suspicious package in Massachusetts turned out to be a cassette player and some wires.

5. Kick one back
On August 3, a suspicious package in Tennessee turned out to be four unopened cans of Budweiser.

6. Play it again
Also on August 3, a suspicious package in Maryland turned out to be an accordion.

7. Darkness falls
Also on August 3, a suspicious package in Michigan turned out to be a paper sky lantern.

8. Where's the beef?
On July 30, a suspicious package in Ohio turned out to be a box full of rotten meat.

9. Sit. Stay.
On July 24, a suspicious package in Missouri turned out to be a dog tracking collar charger.

10. Boogie flights
On July 17, a suspicious package in California turned out to be the world's largest penis.

11. A bug's life
On July 12, a suspicious package in Vermont turned out to be some harmless dead bugs.

12. Schrödinger!
Also on July 12, a suspicious package in Alabama turned out to be a cat in a box.

13. Hello, Dolly
On July 2, a suspicious package in Connecticut turned out to be a wooden doll wrapped in duct tape.

14. Match game
On June 26, a suspicious package in Illinois turned out to be smashed matches in an envelope.

15. Thirst first
On June 20, a suspicious package in South Carolina turned out to be a bottle wrapped in tape.

College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy

One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

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