Unbelievable But True

By | September 13, 2018

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A robot waiter stands in a restaurant at Huangpu District on July 3, 2016 in Shanghai, China. The robot waiter is used to deliver food to customers, and it can play welcoming words and music. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Robot Waiters in Shanghai!  No, it’s not Back to the Future – it’s the present! This is just one of several restaurants in Shanghai and other cities in China that utilize robots. Naturally, the kids love them. One of them is even called Wall-E. Another café in Ningbo has automated waiters that not only take your order and serve you, but also to speak to you, telling you to enjoy your meal. At Alibaba’s restaurant, which is also in Shanghai, fresh seafood is delivered to your table. Conveyor belts, robotic arms, and mobile carts, along with a software system, have replaced human workers.

The software system uses the QR code from the customer’s phone to handle seating arrangements, ordering, and payments. Restaurant owners love it because they don’t have to concern themselves with employees calling in sick or asking for a raise. They don’t have to pay any other employee benefits either. All they have to do is charge up the robot and it’s ready to work for a 10 hour day. There’s also the added benefit of them being fast and efficient since they don’t get tired and they don’t talk back.

When it comes to cooking, they know the exact ingredients to use and they don’t forget so the meals are cooked precisely the same way every time with no room for error. In 2015,  restaurant owners all over China start implementing these robots. The cost of each robot is around $7,400 or 48,000 yen – less than the annual salary of most human workers, so after that first year, the rest is profit other than minimal costs of keeping them charged up between shifts. Their lifespan is about three to five years. By the year 2020, they expect to have over 400,000 in China.

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Raining Cats and Dogs? Maybe not cats and dogs but have you ever heard of animal rain? It’s actually a rare phenomenon that can occur when strong winds traveling over water pick up animals like fish, frogs, or even birds and carry them from one place to another, where they are usually dropped from the sky like rainfall. Amazingly, the animals usually survive the fall.  

Those who have been witnesses to this phenomenon say that the animals appear to be startled, at first, but then will resume normal behavior with the exception of a few that do die or are frozen in ice. Occurrences have been reported in the Philippines in 2012, Australia in 2010, and India in 2009. Scientists explain that the cause of this phenomenon is tornadic waterspouts which are capable of “picking up” the animals and literally lifting them in the air – sounds like The Wizard of Oz These waterspouts then carry them over large distances – maybe somewhere over the rainbow?