The Odd Side – November 17, 2015

Pocket Dial to 911 Leads to Vandalism Arrests

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — Police in Maine say a teenager’s pocket dial to 911 led to three arrests for vandalism that included damage to a fleet of school buses on October 31.

The Sun Journal reports that the errant call led police to the teenagers.

Two 18-year-olds were charged with criminal mischief.

Police Stop Google Self-Driving Car for Going Too Slowly

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — A car built by Google that drives itself around city streets had a brush with the law for driving too slowly.

A police officer in the tech giant’s Silicon Valley hometown pulled over the prototype car Thursday because it was going a traffic-tying 24 mph in a 35 mph zone.

The officer spoke with the person in the driver’s seat but issued no citation, according to the Mountain View Police Department. Though the car was driving itself, state law requires a person to be able to intervene when the technology is tested on public roads.

The officer wanted to “learn more about how the car was choosing speeds along certain roadways and to educate the operators about impeding traffic,” according to a department blog post.

The bubble-shaped prototype has two seats. Its top speed is 25 mph.

“Driving too slowly? Bet humans don’t get pulled over for that too often,” Google’s self-driving car project wrote in a blog post.

Other self-driving cars that Google has been testing on California roads and highways were involved in 16 minor collisions between May 2010 and October, according to the company. A Google spokesman did not immediately respond Friday when asked by email whether any collisions have occurred in November.

Google has said all the collisions were minor and happened over 2.2 million miles of testing, including nearly 1.3 million miles in self-driving mode. Google has said self-driving cars caused none of the accidents.

Representatives of Google’s self-driving car project have said that in recent months they’ve been trying to program the vehicles to drive less like robots and more like people, in part to reduce the number of times they are hit by other drivers expecting certain driving behavior.

Saudi Arabia Cracks Case of Smuggled Beer Disguised as Pepsi

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Customs officials in Saudi Arabia say they’ve cracked a case  of smugglers trying to bring illicit cans of beer through the kingdom by disguising them as Pepsi.

Customs officials say they intercepted 48,000 cans of beer moving through the al-Batha border crossing with the United Arab Emirates.

In video posted Wednesday on Twitter, the customs officials show an officer using a box cutter to open a wrapped 24-pack of the fake Pepsi only to find the green-and-white Heineken cans beneath it.

Drinking or possessing alcohol is a criminal offense in Saudi Arabia.

Lamb on the Lam for Hours After Nevada Crash to Be Adopted

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — A lamb that was on the lam for hours after a tractor-trailer crash in Nevada killed 74 other sheep has been caught and will be adopted by a foster family.

The female lamb, nicknamed Dodger, wandered off from the crash site and was missing in the desert overnight before being captured Tuesday, officials said.

Dodger and five other sheep ran loose Monday after a big rig overturned and sent its animal cargo onto U.S. 95. It shut down traffic on part of the highway near Boulder City.

Inabnitt was told it would cost too much for the company to come back again for the missing lamb, so they relinquished custody to animal control.

“They said, ‘If you find it, you can have it,’” Inabnitt said.

Dodger spent the night in the desert before being spotted on the highway early Tuesday. It took about 50 people four hours to finally catch her, including cowboys from the nearby horseman’s association who would eventually lasso the lamb.

Dodger was hungry, thirsty and tired but she wasn’t hurt. A foster family from the association took her in and said they would adopt her. Inabnitt said Dodger is now keeping “a very lonely” female goat company. “It worked out. I wasn’t going to allow her to be food. “