Tuesday, April 28, 2009

London Marathon 2009: It's a Carrot, It's a Smurf, It's Superman?!

We went out to support the runners at Flora London Marathon on Sunday near mile 24. Watching the runners run their last couple of miles was incredibly inspirational and surprisingly entertaining. While some runners made it look like a walk in the park without even breaking a sweat, others embraced the cheers from the crowd to help push them to the finish line.

The costumed runners attempting to set Guinness World Records (TM) looked like they were having the time of their lives!

Ten Guinness World Records (TM) were set on April 27th at Flora London Marathon 2009:

1. The fastest marathon dressed as Santa Claus - 2:55:50 Paul Simmons (Manchester, UK)

2. The fastest marathon in a film character costume (male) - 3:11:50 Ian Benskin (Loughborough, UK)

3. The fastest marathon dressed as a vegetable - 3:34:55 Robert Prothero (Staines, UK)

4. The fastest marathon dressed as a cartoon character (Banana Man) - 3:36:07 Darren Stone (Taunton, UK)

5. The fastest marathon in an animal costume (male) - 3:42:27 Alistair Martin (Scotland)

6. The fastest marathon dressed as a leprechaun - 4:22:08 Jack Lyons (Ireland)

7. The fastest marathon dressed in full suit - 4:19:37 Thomas Day (UK)

8. The fastest marathon dressed as a fruit - 4:32:28 Sally Orange (UK)

9. The fastest marathon carrying a 40 lb pack - 5:35:19 Gordon Chaplin (UK)

10. The most runners linked
- (6:18:41) Neal Gardner and his 29 friends from Wales

Click (below) to view my slideshow from the London Marathon or click here.

If you'd like to participate in Virgin London Marathon 2010, check out these charities listed here. Make a difference, have some fun and stay healthy while doing it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

KFC's Self-Serve Cashiers: Will it Take Away Jobs?

I haven't stepped foot in a KFC in years, but after relocating to London I find myself visiting American fast food chains every once in a while to get over my feeling of homesickness.

Yesterday, I walked into a KFC and couldn't believe my eyes!!! No, no, no, it wasn't the fact that KFC actually charges 10p for each packet of ketchup, mayonnaise or barbecue sauce in London. BUT I was shocked to find myself face-to-face with a self-serve touch screen cashier!!! I don't know about you, but I was kind of expecting to be greeted by a low-spirited human with a 50-50 chance of screwing up my order. Call me cynical, but customer service at fast food chains isn't the BEST out here, to say the least.

At first, this new option to physically place my order myself caught me off guard and I felt a bit lost, but I think it will definitely catch on just like airports' self check-in kiosks and grocery stores/drug stores' self-service check-out aisles (e.g. Boots and Wal-Mart).

The self-serve cashier at KFC is a great idea, but how will it impact the job market?

Who knows what's next! As you can see from the photo below, technology has made the ordering process more efficient, but humans aren't keeping up with the orders fast enough. The queue on the left is where people pick up their food after placing their order. Looks like they may need to speed things up a bit back in the kitchen.

Perhaps robots will be preparing and serving the food the next time I visit KFC!