Saturday Scenes

Thu 16 February 2012

Domo Arigato Mr Roboto

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 22:31

On the 11th of February in 1938, BBC Television produced the world’s first ever science fiction television program, an adaptation of a section of the Karel Capek play R.U.R.

R.U.R. was written in 1920 by Karel Capek in Czech although the English phrase Rossum’s Universal Robots appeared as the subtitle in the original. The play premiered in Prague in 1921. The following year, Paul Selver translated R.U.R. into English (and toned down the ending) and his version was a big hit in New York and London.

R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) (Dennis G. Jerz, Seton Hill University)

Virtually every encyclopedia or textbook etymology of the word “robot” mentions the play R.U.R. Although the immediate worldwide success of the play immediately popularized the word (supplanting the earlier “automaton”), it was actually not Karel Capek but his brother Josef, also a respected Czech writer, who coined the word. The Czech word robota means “drudgery” or “servitude”; a robotnik is a peasant or serf. Although the term today conjures up images of clanking metal contraptions, Capek’s Robots (always capitalized) are more accurately the product of what we would now call genetic engineering.

Meanwhile, on the 11th of February in 2012, the following photographs were engineered by aristokracie and robotniks all over the world.

Aren’t they beautiful? Don’t you want to know who took them? Make new friends! Say hello to the photographers:

Why don’t you join us? It’s easy:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url

I’m looking forward to seeing your Saturday Scene in the next edition!

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