The Odd Side – May 31, 2016

Expired Radio Beacon Sends Distress Call After Being Dropped

BOSTON (AP) – The Coast Guard says rescuers needlessly searched a Rhode Island bay after receiving a distress call from an expired radio beacon that had been improperly discarded.

The Coast Guard says in a statement that a command center received a transmission Sunday afternoon that indicated a boat was in distress. The transmission came from an electronic position-indicating radio beacon.

Helicopter and boat crews were dispatched to Mount Hope Bay to search for the vessel.

But about two hours later, the command center learned that the signal was coming from an improperly disposed of radio beacon that had been dropped while being handled.

Lt. John Mansolillo with the Coast Guard says batteries need to be removed from the beacons when they are expired to prevent false distress signals.

Oregon Collie Saved by Sharp-Eyed Vet Intern

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A paralyzed collie was saved just moments before being euthanized and his Oregon owners will have many more days to share thanks to a sharp-eyed vet intern who spotted the culprit — a tick.

KPTV in Portland reports that Ollie’s owner Falline Fate says a thorough check at the vet revealed no answers as to why he couldn’t stand, walk or do everything else a dog needs to do. So they made the tough decision to let him go.

But just before he was to be euthanized, a tick was discovered behind the dog’s ear.

Ollie was back to his energetic self about 10 hours after the tick was removed.

Dr. Adam Stone explained that paralysis from ticks is pretty rare. He recommends using several different methods to prevent them, such as oral and topical treatment, in addition to a collar.

Officer Finds 911 Caller, Then Both Lost in Woods

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – A police officer dashed into the woods alone to search for a man who called 911 saying he ran into forest to escape two armed men.

The gunmen were never found, and the officer soon located the distress caller, but now neither of them could find their way back to the street.

And so it went for three hours in the forest in Birmingham, Alabama, where it took a police K9 unit to track them down.

Birmingham media reported Friday that police would not identify the rescued officer. A spokesman tried to defend him.

Lt. Sean Edwards said “the woods are very difficult to walk through … The officer was trying to clear a path here, clear a path there, and got turned around a little bit.”

Dubai Says Opening World’s First Functioning 3D-Printed Office

DUBAI (Reuters) – Dubai has opened what it said was the world’s first functioning 3D-printed office building, part of a drive by the Gulf’s main tourism and business hub to develop technology that cuts costs and saves time.

The printers — used industrially and also on a smaller scale to make digitally designed, three-dimensional objects from plastic — have not been used much for building.

This one used a special mixture of cement, a Dubai government statement said, and reliability tests were done in Britain and China.

The one-story prototype building, with floorspace of about 2,700 square feet, used a 20-foot by 120-foot by 40-foot printer, the government said.

“This is the first 3D-printed building in the world, and it’s not just a building, it has fully functional offices and staff,” the United Arab Emirates Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Mohamed Al Gergawi, said.

“We believe this is just the beginning. The world will change,” he said.

The arc-shaped office, built in 17 days and costing about $140,000, will be the temporary headquarters of Dubai Future Foundation — the company behind the project. It is in the center of the city, near the Dubai International Financial Center.

Gergawi said studies estimated the technique could cut building time by 50-70 percent and labor costs by 50-80 percent. Dubai’s strategy was to have 25 percent of the buildings in the emirate printed by 2030, he said.

Cops: Lost Couple Cuts Chain to Enter Nuclear Plant Property

DELTA, Pa. (AP) – A couple who got lost in Pennsylvania while driving to New York entered the property of a nuclear plant by cutting a chain at a gate, apparently in a quest to get back on the right road, authorities said.

The Chesapeake, Virginia, couple was driving from Baltimore on Friday night when they got onto an access road at the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, owned by Exelon. The driver told police he didn’t see two “No trespassing” signs when he cut the chain on the gate, The York Daily Record reported.

Exelon spokeswoman Krista Merkel said the couple never posed a threat to the plant and security was monitoring them the entire time they were on plant property.

“It seemed they inadvertently made it to our property and were trying to find their way back out,” Merkel said. “They thought the only way they could get back was to cut the fence.”

Police initially said, after consulting with security staff, that the pair appeared to have made it to “a highly security sensitive area where radioactive material is transferred from the main power plant. If the couple had gone inside a nearby outbuilding, the plant would have been placed on lockdown and there was a “possibility of lethal force being used,” authorities said in court documents.

But Merkel said Saturday that the two hadn’t made it to any areas where radioactive materials are transferred or stored and didn’t make it past security officers who constantly monitor all sides of the plant. She said the couple was “very cooperative” and waited until police arrived.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Diane Screnci also said there was no threat to the plant or harm done to equipment, and officials believe “security at the plant is appropriate.”

The couple was charged with trespassing.