Spanish dramatic genre of short plays on sacred or biblical subjects. Performed outdoors as part of Corpus Christi feast-day celebrations, they were verse allegories dealing with some aspect of the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. The form first appeared in the 16th century and reached its height in plays by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, who covered a wide range of nonsacramental subjects. Their performance was prohibited by royal decree in 1765 on the ground of irreverence.
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Battery-powered motor vehicle. Originating in the 1880s, electric cars were used for private passenger, truck, and bus transportation in cities, where their low speeds and limited battery range were not drawbacks, and the cars became popular for their quietness and low maintenance costs. Until 1920 they were competitive with gasoline-fueled cars; they became less so after the electric self-starter made gasoline-powered cars more attractive and mass production made them cheaper to produce. In Europe electric vehicles have been used as short-range delivery vans. Renewed interest in electric cars beginning in the 1970s, spurred especially by new consciousness of foreign oil dependency and environmental concern, led to improvements in speed and range. Recent laws, particularly in California, have mandated commercial production. “Hybrid” cars employing both electric and internal combustion engines and providing the best features of both technologies, have recently become commercially available. Experimental vehicles have used solar fuel cells.
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Sport practiced in a variety of forms on roads, tracks, or closed circuits. It includes Grand Prix racing, speedway racing (including the Indianapolis 500), stock-car racing, sports-car racing, drag racing, midget-car racing, and karting, as well as hill climbs and rally driving. The International Motor Sports Hall of Fame is located in Talladega, Ala., U.S. There is no central governing body for automobile racing in the U.S. as there is in most other countries.
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Four-wheeled automotive vehicle designed for passenger transportation and commonly propelled by an internal-combustion engine using a volatile fuel. The modern automobile consists of about 14,000 parts and comprises several structural and mechanical systems. These include the steel body, containing the passenger and storage space, which sits on the chassis, or steel frame; the internal-combustion gasoline engine, which powers the car by means of a transmission; the steering and braking systems, which control the car's motion; and the electrical system, which includes a battery, alternator, and other devices. Subsystems involve fuel, exhaust, lubrication, cooling, suspension, and tires. Though experimental vehicles were built as early as the 18th century, not until the 1880s did Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz in Germany begin separately to manufacture cars commercially. In the U.S., James and William Packard and Ransom Olds were among the first auto manufacturers, and by 1898 there were 50 U.S. manufacturers. Some early cars operated by steam engine, such as those made from circa 1902 by Francis E. Stanley and Freelan O. Stanley. The internal-combustion engine was used by Henry Ford when he introduced the Model T in 1908; Ford would soon revolutionize the industry with his use of the assembly line. In the 1930s European manufacturers began to make small, affordable cars such as the Volkswagen. In the 1950s and '60s U.S. automakers produced larger, more luxurious cars with more automatic features. In the 1970s and '80s Japanese manufacturers exported their small, reliable, fuel-efficient cars worldwide, and their increasing popularity spurred U.S. automakers to produce similar models. Sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and minivans, with their greater cargo and passenger capacities, became highly popular in the U.S. during the 1990s and led to a resurgence in sales of domestic vehicles. By the start of the 21st century, China had surpassed all European nations to become the third largest automobile market behind the U.S. and Japan. Seealso axle; brake; bus; carburetor; electric automobile; fuel injection; motorcycle; truck.
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Example of auto-configuring devices:
Example of auto-configuring devices and protocols: