I saw the news about the situation this morning by the time it was all over, the police chief calling it "a hoax, and not funny". Basically, to advertise the upcoming (unfunny, from all reports) Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, Adult Swim hired a PR company to do some guerrilla advertising. The PR company had some signs made up and hung them in a few places around 10 cities across the nation about 3 weeks ago, including in Boston.
The signs are FLAT circuit boards, about 1.5' by 1', with 4 D-cell batteries to power a bunch of super-bright LEDs soldered onto the front in the shape of either of the show's mooninite characters - Err or Ignignot - in the "Adult Swim is #1" pose that also happens to be them flipping the bird (but since they have no fingers the rest of the time, it's not technically the "middle finger").
The signs lit up at night brightly for over 2 weeks until someone in Boston this morning noticed one and somehow got it in their head that it was a bomb, and then they found more and more of these and thought it was a huge bomb conspiracy. Now, where were the explosives on something that was flat, powered by 6 volts, and looked extremely similar to a Lite-Brite toy? Apparently those were not questions the Boston police department took upon themselves, seeing in their heads visions of some mad plot straight out of the pages of Batman and claiming 9/11 was happening all over again. Naturally the BPD shut down a large portion of the city. Over a Lite-brite. Giving an obscene gesture.
The most dangerous aspect of these signs being the offense taken if one figures out that Err and Ignignot are not gesturing that Adult Swim is #1.
As soon as the Adult Swim guys heard about the situation, they called the authorities and explained it, told them where the others were and how they posed absolutely no danger. Turner Broadcasting issued an official apology and ordered the PR company to take the remaining ones down. But that apparently isn't enough for the city of Boston, they've arrested the PR company employee who hung them around town claiming he intentionally placed hoax devices intended to incite panic in the public, and the mayor is fuming over this and threatening to sue Turner Broadcasting for the money spent sending their police and bomb squad all over town over this.
Let me close by pointing out yet again that this thing looks nothing like a bomb from anything I can see (I've attached photos of it while it's turned off and while it's on). Also, let me point out that these had been set up in those locations for weeks already, not just in Boston, but also in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. So Boston thinks they have another 9/11 on their hands while NEW YORK CITY - home of the actualSeptember 11th - didn't show a worry about these for 2 weeks!!! I'm sorry, but city of Boston, your officials have to be the stupidest, most overreacting morons ever and apparently haven't read the fable of The Sky is Falling - please go out, purchase copies, and pelt your leaders with them mercilessly!