Topic: Czech Republic

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🔗 Rossum's Universal Robots

🔗 Science Fiction 🔗 Robotics 🔗 Theatre 🔗 Czech Republic

R.U.R. is a 1920 science-fiction play by the Czech writer Karel Čapek. "R.U.R." stands for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum's Universal Robots, a phrase that has been used as a subtitle in English versions). The play had its world premiere on 2 January 1921 in Hradec Králové; it introduced the word "robot" to the English language and to science fiction as a whole. R.U.R. soon became influential after its publication. By 1923 it had been translated into thirty languages. R.U.R. was successful in its time in Europe and North America. Čapek later took a different approach to the same theme in his 1936 novel War with the Newts, in which non-humans become a servant-class in human society.

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🔗 Defenestrations of Prague

🔗 Military history 🔗 Military history/Early Modern warfare 🔗 Military history/Medieval warfare 🔗 Former countries 🔗 Czech Republic 🔗 Former countries/Holy Roman Empire

The Defenestrations of Prague (Czech: Pražská defenestrace, German: Prager Fenstersturz, Latin: Defenestratio Pragensis) were three incidents in the history of Bohemia in which people were defenestrated (thrown out of a window). Though already existing in Middle French, the word defenestrate ("out of the window") is believed to have first been used in English in reference to the episodes in Prague in 1618 when the disgruntled Protestant estates threw two royal governors and their secretary out of a window of the Hradčany Castle and wrote an extensive apologia explaining their action. In the Middle Ages and early modern times, defenestration was not uncommon—the act carried elements of lynching and mob violence in the form of murder committed together.

The first governmental defenestration occurred in 1419, the second in 1483 and the third in 1618, although the term "Defenestration of Prague" more commonly refers to the third. Often, however, the 1483 event is not recognized as a "significant defenestration", which leads to some ambiguity when the 1618 defenestration is referred to as the "second Prague defenestration". The first and third defenestrations helped to trigger a prolonged religious conflict inside Bohemia (the Hussite Wars, 1st defenestration) or beyond (Thirty Years' War, 3rd defenestration), while the second helped establish a religious peace in the country for 31 years (Peace of Kutná Hora, 2nd defenestration).

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🔗 The Prague Pneumatic Post system (early mechanical networking)

🔗 Philately 🔗 Czech Republic

The Prague pneumatic post (Czech: Pražská potrubní pošta) is the world's last preserved municipal pneumatic post system. It is an underground system of metal tubes under the wider centre of Prague, totaling about 55 kilometres (34 mi) in length. The system started service in 1889 and remained in use by the government, banks and the media until it was rendered inoperative by the August 2002 European floods.

Sold on by former owner Telefónica O2 Czech Republic after some limited attempts to make repairs, the system now belongs to businessman Zdeněk Dražil, who has announced plans to repair and reopen it as a working tourist attraction. As of 2012, however, it remains closed.

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🔗 Strč Prst Skrz Krk

🔗 Linguistics 🔗 Czech Republic 🔗 Slovakia 🔗 Linguistics/Phonetics

Strč prst skrz krk (pronounced [str̩tʃ pr̩st skr̩s kr̩k] (listen)) is a Czech and Slovak tongue-twister meaning "stick a finger through the throat".

The sentence is well known for being a semantically and syntactically valid clause without a single vowel, the nucleus of each syllable being a syllabic r, a common feature among many Slavic languages. It is often used as an example of such a phrase when learning Czech or Slovak as a foreign language.

In fact, both Czech and Slovak have two syllabic liquid consonants, the other being syllabic l. (There is also the syllabic bilabial nasal m in sedm in Czech.) As a result, there are plenty of words without vowels. Examples of long words of this type are scvrnkls, čtvrthrst, and čtvrtsmršť, the latter two being artificial occasionalisms.

There are other examples of vowelless sentences in Czech and Slovak, such as prd krt skrz drn, zprv zhlt hrst zrn, meaning "a mole farted through grass, having swallowed a handful of grains".

The longest Czech vowelless sentence (with 25 words and 82 consonants) as of 2013 is Škrt plch z mlh Brd pln skvrn z mrv prv hrd scvrnkl z brzd skrz trs chrp v krs vrb mls mrch srn čtvrthrst zrn. The meaning of the sentence is: Stingy dormouse from Brdy mountains fogs full of manure spots firstly proudly shrank a quarter of handful seeds, a delicacy for mean does, from brakes through bunch of Centaurea flowers into scrub of willows. IPA pronunciation of this sentence is [ʃkr̩t pl̩x zml̩x br̩t pl̩n skvr̩n zmr̩f pr̩f ɦr̩t st͡svrn̩kl̩ zbr̩st skr̩s tr̩s xr̩p fkr̩s vr̩p ml̩s mr̩x sr̩n t͡ʃtvrdɦr̩st zr̩n].

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