The Poruba of 2018 vs. 1958
In this suburb of Ostrava, Czech Republic, there are a few things one can take a day trip to see. The tram from the center of Ostrava will get you there in about 30-40 minutes as it is only 10km away.
Once there get off at the stop for the VSB Technical University of Ostrava. This University offers bachelor, masters, and Doctoral degrees in engineering, computer science, and economic disciplines.
Super Geek, Super Cool
Adjacent to the University is the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Lab. It is there our group was given a presentation by a young genius PhD who described in technical details what the supercomputers are and what they do.
In 2013 the first supercomputer in the Czech Republic was launched. It was named Anselm. It contains:
- 94 TFLOPs
- 209 computational nodes
- 3,344 CPU cores
- 15TB of RAM
Compared to its younger brother, the Salomon, created in 2015 which is now ranked as the 78th most powerful supercomputer in the world.
- 2011 TFLOPs
- 1008 computational nodes
- 24,192 CPU cores
- 129TB of RAM
What do these supercomputers do?
What these supercomputers calculate is extraordinary mathematical computations that help scientists determine ways in which to improve a community, maximize health treatments, and information about the solar system.
Quote: “Projects include drug design, ultrasonic wave propagation through the human body in tumor treatment, heat transmission inside planets and their moons, simulation of probes for controlling fusion reactors, precipitation outflow modelling for flood simulations, predictions of contact fatigue wear, and many others. These projects are specific and therefore require the use of the supercomputer for their computations. They cannot be computed on a PC or laptop, even if the scientists had more of them available at the same time.”
Thinking this would be a good tour stop for say, IT Professionals, coming over to the Czech Republic on a business trip. I asked our hostess how that could work and she said to have their company arrange a tour beforehand as it takes 2 days to get security clearance, by emailing to [email protected]
What is Soviet Realism?
After our mini-lecture was over we headed outside to view the Soviet Realist Architecture – at least that’s what it was coined in the 1950’s. This was soviet-built communist style housing with one exception, the Vezicky Towers.
Connected to it is the Arch or Oblouk in Czech. Designed by Soviet architects to resemble St. Petersburg style architecture. This was to give some character to the entrance of this town. If you really want to study this architecture here is an in-depth guide.
Our knowledgeable young guide, with a degree in the Polish language, pointed out to us the spikes atop the building roof edge. He said that the soviet police could act as snipers upon crowds below. We were incredulous at this bit of information. What? Why? Well, you know there was a revolution and the soviets were ousted…but I don’t think anyone was actually shot in Poruba protesting the communist rule. They cleared out. But what was left was this unique soviet architecture with its designs of young maidens holding wheat, and hammer and sickles, and the worker. All reminders of the propaganda tools for communist mindset of the proletariat.
Pensioners live in these same buildings nowadays. Families go about their daily business as the street traffic is light. Shops and cafes adorn the bourgeoisie boulevard. One can always stop for an espresso or snack.
We stopped at a bakery called Cukrarna u Babicky or Grandma’s Bakery. Here is a photo of her:
We were hot and thirsty and they had a variety of naturally flavored lemonades, such as my favorite, mint lemonade. Even though the sweets looked delectable it was too hot to snack and besides we were at the end of tour. Heading back to the bus stop we all caught the bus or tram we needed to get back to our hotels in Ostrava. The transportation system is efficient and runs on time. Make sure you download the Czech transport app, IDOS, for your phone when travelling in the suburbs of Ostrava.
We also passed by the oldest Cukrarna u Babicky in the Czech Republic. And the beautiful Catholic Church, the St. Nicholas. For a place that was once under strict communist rule in contemporary time, these churches stood the test of time and remain a historical point to the past history of Poruba.
From communist rule to an independent Czech rule, the city of Poruba offers a glimpse into former soviet life through architectural buildings. The Poruba of today exhibits a peaceful family life. Lending to it’s culture is a bustling University student life thanks to it being a technological supercomputing center.