Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto (Thank you very much, Mr Robot)

Robotic waiters

In 1983, a Chinese fast-food restaurant in California hired two disco-blasting robotic waiters, much to the amusement of the locals. Tanbo R-1 and Tanbo R-2 didn’t last long though; despite being able to serve food and tell jokes, they were prone to drop things and got confused easily. Humans were rehired, natural order was restored.

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When Science Fiction Becomes Science Fact

plastic

Who remembers Michael Crichton’s 1969 novel ‘The Andromeda Strain’, about the outbreak of a deadly extraterrestrial microorganism that degrades plastic?  Or the first episode of Doomwatch, a BBC sci-fi series that aired in the 70s, which revolved around a plastic dissolving microbe and was aptly named ‘The Plastic Eaters’?

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Magic Beans

chickpeas

Full of vitamins, minerals and cancer-fighting properties, the humble chickpea is one of the cheapest sources of protein and a store cupboard staple worldwide. But until last year, no one had realised that the cooking liquid we so frequently pour down the drain would open up an exciting world of recipes for people that – for ethical, medical or personal reasons – don’t eat eggs.

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Where The Wild Things Are

Chernobyl

After Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant’s Reactor 4 exploded on 26th April 1986, the surrounding area impacted by the radiation fallout (known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, or CEZ) was evacuated.

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The Art of Deception

Zebra crossing

A 1998 study in Sweden revealed that rather than braking when approaching a zebra crossing, motorists were more likely to maintain their speed or in some cases actually accelerate towards it.

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