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Cambridge Computer IDs World's Most Boring Day

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the because-they-can dept.

United Kingdom 186

smitty777 writes "Scientists hard at work at Cambridge used a computer algorithm and nearly 300 million historical facts to identify the most boring day in history. The winner? On April 11, 1954, absolutely nothing happened. That is, unless you count the most boring day in the world happening."

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I can say now: faulty (0, Flamebait)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34371918)

For the software and it's conclusion to be valid you would have to have a dataset with ALL things that happened. That's include your dad tying his shoe-laces. So, this one can go to dev/null where it belongs. Rubbish. I hope it wasn't too expensive to do cause we gained absolutely nothing from it. Ah well, at least the prof was kept busy.

Re:I can say now: faulty (2, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34371990)

Not really, all you would need is a dataset of all the interesting things that happened. Your dad tying his shoelaces is in no way interesting. It's a simple heuristic.

Re:I can say now: faulty (1, Interesting)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372040)

Thats not for you to decide what I find interesting. Man, maybe some genius was being made that day. Pretty interesting to me. Even if it would take 9 months to poop out. Maybe the CIA constructed some sort of great conspiracy that day.... Maybe Einstein came up with something really good that day.... If the dataset is lacking, it will not show up. And the dataset is lacking. Good news is, they want to use the software in other ways.

Re:I can say now: faulty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372386)

So you're bitching because it was not the least interesting day for you? Geez, talk about self-centered. Why doesn't a team of Cambridge scientists dedicate themselves to something *I* might find interesting?
You sound like one of those pedantic dweebs that has learned not to enter my cubicle.

Re:I can say now: faulty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372476)

Thats not for you to decide what I find interesting.

Hey - that's not for you to decide what I decide.

Re:I can say now: faulty (1)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372878)

The idea of a "the most boring day" is the the consolidated most boring day for all of mankind...not the most boring day for santax, the dude who thinks Cambridge should be studying what he finds interesting.. Given that mankind as a whole generally records what it finds interesting and relevant in history books, news casts, and other public / government documents you can assume the rest of the stuff is generally noise. It's not that something important didn't happen or that something influential didn't happen just that it wasn't noteworthy or interesting to the whole of mankind at the time that it happened... hence it was a boring day

Re:I can say now: faulty (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34373090)

Why not pick a day for which there are no records? There are probably fewer interesting things recorded about April 11th 1954 BC. The researchers probably just decided to exclude all of the thousands of years which were probably pretty boring, just because we don't have as much documentation about them. Who knows what we would know about April 11th 1954 AD if they had twitter back then.

Re:I can say now: faulty (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34373178)

Abdullah Atalar [wikipedia.org] (and his parents) would definitely disagree about the lack of historical signficance to that day.

Re:I can say now: faulty (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34373028)

the database is lacking, on that date, Arthur Murray flew the X-1A on a test flight. Any test flight of that thing is by definition 'not boring'
Heck, just feeding that date into wikipedia returns several notable results, including the above.

Re:I can say now: faulty (-1, Redundant)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372048)

My response seems to have vanished. So here it is again. It is not for you to decide what is interesting to me. Maybe that very day, Einstein came up with something new. Maybe a great genius was being made that day, it would just take another 9 month before birth. Maybe some government was making up plans for a coupe somewhere that very day. The dataset is lacking. So its an absurd claim. And they know that too. They are gonna use the software to improve internetsearch. And for that it may be valuable. But for this crazy conclusion... neh, faulty by default.

Re:I can say now: faulty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372868)

My response seems to have vanished...

That's because your "Vanished" = everyone else's "-1, Pedant with Stick Up His Arse".

Re:I can say now: faulty (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372076)

all you would need is a dataset of all the interesting things that happened. Your dad tying his shoelaces is in no way interesting

It's all a matter of perspective: my dad tying his shoelaces would have been a major achievement, considering he had Parkinson's diseases.

In the same vein, consider, for instance, a bedouin, constantly on the move in the desert, who doesn't have access to any newspaper, TV, and pretty much doesn't know or give a fuck about anything outside his little world of camels and trading. For this guy, 9/11 was a completely ordinary day.

Despite what most westerners believe, it turns out that most things we consider important and newsworthy aren't even known to the vast majority of the world's population. So the most boring day picked up by Cambridge was only boring to people who share Cambridge's worldviews.

Re:I can say now: faulty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372548)

i.e. the people that matter...

Re:I can say now: faulty (1)

angus77 (1520151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372626)

...consider, for instance, a bedouin, constantly on the move in the desert, who doesn't have access to any newspaper, TV, and pretty much doesn't know or give a fuck about anything outside his little world of camels and trading. For this guy, 9/11 was a completely ordinary day.

The fact that some bedouin didn't know about it doesn't mean it was uninteresting---it doesn't even mean it would have been uninteresting to the bedouin to the bedouin. Do you seriously mean to suggest he would have been bored to hear that the tallest buildings in the world were destroyed by a couple of planes?

First I've heard of someone equating ignorance with "worldviews".

Re:I can say now: faulty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372874)

Considering it happened in a place he'd never see or have relations in, why would he care?

The significant part of the news, to him, would have been that this meant the US would go on a rampage through the middle east again, leaving him pretty much screwed.

Re:I can say now: faulty (1)

Katchu (1036242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34373150)

What is a "Cambridge?"

Re:I can say now: faulty (4, Interesting)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372102)

Seriously? Why are so many people reacting negatively to this?

Look, here's what happened: the researcher came up with some system for weighing the importance of events, probably kinda like page rank but with more structured information, and fed it a ton of historical data.

He then realized that from there, calculating the least important day (as defined by the sum of the importance of the events that happened during that day, I imagine - it certainly wasn't an average over the importances) was essentially just a query away.

Seriously guys, what's wrong with doing that? This researcher came up with a useful system that can answer this sort of question relatively easily, decided to ask the question and got a blurb about it in the newspaper. It probably took him all of five seconds to pose the question to the system, and then a max of maybe a couple of minutes for the system to spit out the answer. It's not like the whole thing is going to be tossed in the trash can now that this one useless question has been answered!

Re:I can say now: faulty (0)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372142)

Read the full article. There is no mention of such a system that weights the importance of events.

Re:I can say now: faulty (3, Insightful)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372394)

Considering the current state of scientific journalism, that is basically all I need to conclude the system does exist.

Re:I can say now: faulty (4, Interesting)

thoughtfulbloke (1091595) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372104)

To determine the most boring day, you either need every fact or one fact: That on Good Friday, 1930, the B.B.C. evening news announcer led the bulletin with "There is no news tonight" and gave a piano recital in place of the normal bulletin.
Mentioned on the BBC website [bbc.co.uk]
or according to the software used, does the fact that the day was recognised as one on which nothing happened make the day itself interesting.

Re:I can say now: faulty (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372260)

So nothing happened that particular Good Friday. That doesn't mean that April 18th is not chock full of interesting stuff in other years: The Carpathia brought home the Titanic survivors on April 18th. Paul Revere rode in warning that day. Billy the Kid escaped from jail. Lucrezia Borgia, Conan O'Brien, and David Tennant were born on that day. Thor Heyerdahl, Albert Einstein, and some guy by the name of Julius Caesar (no not that one, an English judge) died that day.

Re:I can say now: faulty (1)

thoughtfulbloke (1091595) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372412)

Maybe a lot of interesting stuff did happen on April 18ths in other years. But the article is about the most boring day since 1900 (though that wasn't mentioned in the summary) rather than most boring day of the year, hence the computer determining April 11th 1954. April 18th 1930 was the day noted at the time as so boring they cancelled the evening news.

Re:I can say now: faulty (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 3 years ago | (#34373038)

>April 18th 1930 was the day noted at the time as so boring they cancelled the evening news.

In Britain - there are plenty of other countries, where many interesting things may well have happened that simply didn't reach British news services in time.

More-over the software also considers events that NEVER make the news on the same day - things like famous people born that day and such. It took me about 30 seconds to learn that at least one celebrity (Actor Clive Revil) was born on that day.

The day identified here had only one birth that comes close being noteworthy, that of a phycicist.

Sincerely
The guy who actually RTFA'd.

Re:I can say now: faulty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372522)

lots of events in Wikipedia on that day (I looked in French page). Including:
- A revolt in Yanaon in India against French sovereignty
- National election in Belgium
- France against Italy football match
- birth of Alexandre Averine, soviet runner
- 42nd French students union meeting
- Papanduva in Brasil becomes a town

I don't find this boring at all, so that whole "most boring day in history thing" is a hoax!

Re:I can say now: faulty (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372986)

I had mod points but since there's no way to do it, consider this post to be a mode for:
-1 Doesn't know a thing about statistics.

Anyway, the identification of the most boring day was a sideline, the actual project is researching better ways of doing web searches, so your concerns about the "cost" is irrelevent, if you have a project with one notable and worthwhile goal - and one way to test it gives you an interesting bit of sideline knowledge, I consider that a nett gain for science.

Remember -the first pulsar's were discovered by accident by radio astronomers who were actually looking for SETI like signals.

If I remember correctly... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34371920)

Richard Stallman was molested by a priest that day.

Re:If I remember correctly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34371976)

He was born in '53, so I'm guessing you mean his baptism? RMS would consider anyone forcing him to take a bath as assult.

Re:If I remember correctly... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372290)

I'm guessing you mean his baptism?

Unlikely. RMS is Jewish.

Re:If I remember correctly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372698)

Unlikely. RMS is Jewish.

That would explain a lot. [youtube.com]

Google agrees.. (1)

moogied (1175879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34371922)

Interesting number paradox (1)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372436)

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and WolframAlpha [wolframalpha.com] would beg to differ.

More interesting though, there is an parallel to the Interesting number paradox [wikipedia.org] : If there is an uninteresting natural number (or day), there must be a smallest (earliest) uninteresting natural number (date), which would make it interesting of course. Therefor, all natural numbers (days) are interesting.

Slow News Day (3, Funny)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34371924)

Must be the second most boring day ...

Re:Slow News Day (1)

Ismellpoop (1949100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34371960)

Not in Canada anyway. Every is just passed out drunk from to much Grey Cup celebrations.

Re:Slow News Day (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372848)

Surely this is more important: Leslie Nielsen died.

Re:Slow News Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34373122)

Surely this is more important: Leslie Nielsen died.

Don't call me Shirley.

Re:Slow News Day (1)

nos2k (1949382) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372124)

And you just know that on this particular day, some boy sat around thinking "Today is the most boring day in the history of the universe" - and hey, he was right!

Make that the third (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372162)

December 8, 2002 was really boring. Nothing important happened.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34371954)

That's my birthday, you insensitive clod!

My Birthday (3, Funny)

shikaisi (1816846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34371958)

That's my birthday, you insensitive clod.

Re:My Birthday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372056)

^ Ninja'd...

Slashdot Poll (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372064)

That's my birthday, you insensitive clod.

I was born on:

The most boring day in history

A different April 11

April Fool's

In 1954, and I'm still living in my Mom's basement

A workbench in my Mom's basement

Dates are numerical data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372330)

The options would most likely be "Between 1900-1920", "Between 1920-1940", "Between 1940-1960", "Between 1960-1980", "Between 1980-2000", "I'm waiting for Cowboy Neal to conceive me"

Re:My Birthday (3, Funny)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372158)

Well, you just gave us some corroborating evidence. Thanks.

Re:My Birthday (0)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372266)

I'm sorry, who are you and why should I care?

Re:My Birthday (1)

TolkienLibrary (1083105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372406)

omg... imagine a super computer calculating the most boring day in human history and ending up at your birthday! Wonder what that tells about the super computer or about you!

Re:My Birthday (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372496)

not buyin' it, mr. or ms. over-1.5-meg-slashdot-ID.

Re:My Birthday (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372812)

What does his id have to do with his birthdate?

Re:My Birthday (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34373064)

ummm, seniority???!!!!ONE!@!!!

Re:My Birthday (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372934)

Well, it's your party and you can cry if you want to. Cry if you want to. Cry if you want to.

The 10 days nothing happened... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34371968)

... on the calendar in use today by the western civilization: 5 Oct 1582 to 14 Oct 1582 inclusive. ( :) and, yet, I didn't ask for research funds to feed the computer to reach this 'True knowledge'...)

Re:The 10 days nothing happened... (3, Interesting)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34371992)

on the calendar in use today by the western civilization: 5 Oct 1582 to 14 Oct 1582 inclusive

Incorrect. Open a terminal and type cal 9 1752

Re:The 10 days nothing happened... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372018)

Yep. Came here to post this. Sep 3, 1752 thru Sep 13, 1752 were so uneventful that they decided to remove the days from the calendar.

September 1752
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
.. .. .1 .2 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Re:The 10 days nothing happened... (2, Informative)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372236)

Yep. Came here to post this. Sep 3, 1752 thru Sep 13, 1752 were so uneventful that they decided to remove the days from the calendar.

September 1752 Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa .. .. .1 .2 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

:) Nope, can't be! The Sep 3 1752 is the date the Anglican churches decided to finally adopt the Gregorian calendar. :)

Re:The 10 days nothing happened... (2, Informative)

complete loony (663508) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372160)

You're both right... from a certain point of view [wikipedia.org] .

The last day of the Julian calendar was Thursday, 4 October 1582 and this was followed by the first day of the Gregorian calendar, Friday, 15 October 1582

Britain and the British Empire (including the eastern part of what is now the United States) adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752 by which time it was necessary to correct by 11 days. Wednesday, 2 September 1752 was followed by Thursday, 14 September 1752

Re:The 10 days nothing happened... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372228)

:) Your cal must be protestant. Somehow, still better than a Russian orthodox cal, but worse than an Irish Catholic one :)

Doesn't this in fact make it an interesting day? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34371996)

Doesn't getting named the most boring day actually make that day interesting for not being interesting, thus the day is no longer boring. I think they should shoot for something like the 12th most boring day in history to avoid this happening.

Re:Doesn't this in fact make it an interesting day (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372072)

Great! Now you've made the 12th most boring day interesting. Oh well: I guess we can always look to the 13th mo...DAMN IT!

Re:Doesn't this in fact make it an interesting day (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372152)

Reminds me of one of the futurama commentaries when they were talking about the proof that there are no uninteresting numbers. Suppose there were a set of uninteresting numbers, then there would have to be a minimum in that set, but since the minimum uninteresting number is interesting, there cannot be any uninteresting numbers.

Re:Doesn't this in fact make it an interesting day (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372316)

Suppose there were a set of uninteresting numbers, then there would have to be a minimum in that set

Logic Fail! In an infinite set of numbers there does not have to be a minimum number. Suppose all the real numbers were uninteresting. What is the minimum real number? There is none. Since one of your premises is false, your conclusion is not sound. Thus there may be uninteresting numbers.

Re:Doesn't this in fact make it an interesting day (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372512)

Get your set theory out of here. We are talking finite here...finite number of days and finite number of events. The poster's logic above was correct. The number of events may seem infinite to you, but they still are finite...just like there are a finite number of atoms in the universe. The number is huge, but it is theoretically countable.

And fuck you for making me even have to waste time thinking about set theory class where we pointless shit like debate why 2 + 2 = 4.

Re:Doesn't this in fact make it an interesting day (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372262)

Insert the interesting number paradox [wikimedia.org] here.

Very imprecise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372002)

They should have narrowed it down to the most boring hour and minute.

Time travel! (2, Insightful)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372004)

Now we know the first location we can safely visit once time travel is perfected.

Kirk Douglas' Dad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372020)

Didn't Kirk Douglas' Father die on that die?

I am pretty sure there was an armistice in the Egyptian war too.

Paul Specht died.

There was a trade of Enos Slaughter in baseball.

There was an earthquake in the Soloman Sea

The first Turbine car was shown at the Autolite parade of stars.

Meh, a lot happened on that day. Pedoe is an idiot.

Snowball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372030)

People born in that day will be very angry..

Great Scott (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372062)

This is also the day that doc brown fell and hit his head on a toilet seat and when he came to he had the idea for a machine to read minds.

That is until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372068)

56 years, 7 months, and 18 days later... when April 11th, 1954 was slashdotted.

Or maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372082)

Or maybe everyone had so much fun they just totally forgot to write it down? Or maybe even something really did happen but everybody agreed that it was better if later generations never knew about it? Someone is clearly hiding something here

Re:Or maybe (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372378)

Maybe the 10th was so good everybody had a hangover on the 11th and decided to call in sick and stay at home.

"Suicide Bomb" Reference (1)

markass530 (870112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372088)

anyone read a little bit on the telegraph page? It talks about a "Cobalt" bomb and why it would not be effective because.. (wait for it..) it would be suicide to use it. It then defines a good weapon as one that destroys the enemy without harming those who use it. Oh how I long for he good ole' days of warfare.

...That we know of... (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372098)

It is of course well known that careless talk costs lives, but the full scale of the problem is not always appreciated. For instance, at the very moment that Arthur Dent said "I wouldn't want to go anywhere without my wonderful towel," a freak wormhole opened up in the fabric of the space-time continuum and carried his words far far back in time across almost infinite reaches of space to a distant Galaxy where strange and warlike beings were poised on the brink of frightful interstellar battle. The two opposing leaders, resplendent in their black jewelled battle shorts, were meeting for the last time, when, a dreadful silence fell, and, at that very moment, the words, "I wouldn't want to go anywhere without my wonderful towel" drifted across the conference table. Unfortunately, in their native tongue, this was the most appalling insult imaginable, so the two opposing battle fleets decided to settle their few remaining differences in order to launch a joint attack on our galaxy, now positively identified as the source of the offending remark. For thousands of years the mighty starships tore across the empty wastes of space and finally dived screaming on to the planet Earth - where, due to a terrible miscalculation of scale, the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog. Those who study the complex interplay of cause and effect in the history of the Universe say that this sort of thing is going on all the time.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - credit imdb for exact quote
The real left out portion is: that we know of... if we recall an older movie also (sorry I'm on a movie quoting mode and it doesn't matter if you like this one or not), It's a Wonderful Life, we can see how a pointless life was only appreciated when that life was taken out of the picture and the two alternate universes were left to comparison.

Did this supercomputer calculate an entirely alternate universe for every day and conclude that the universe closest to our present day implied the most boring day? I think not!

Mr Tunstall-Pedoe's computer programme, called True Knowledge, came to its lofty decision after being fed some 300 million facts about "people, places, business and events" that made the news.

This is about people, yes the view is that shallow but it really is to all us as the human race can record.

If a tree fell in the woods, and nobody was there to hear it, did it really make a sound?

And who is to say the news reports interesting stories anymore? Because I am in the movie citing mode (sorry), think of Anchorman, and that water-skiing squirrel. Well anyone that has been around a local news organization can say that what constitutes important or newsworthy may not exactly be important or significant. So the presence of news and information for a particular date would not necessarily make that "less boring" in terms of what the human race considers boring.

(I need a beer)

...

"It is of course well known that careless Slashdot Stories costs lives, but the full scale of the problem is not always appreciated..."

Most boriing for computer? Day it ran this algo (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372128)

I bet the computer wished it could tell the researchers that the day they made it find the most boring day in history was itself the most boring for the poor computer.

Not in "history" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372138)

Only the 20th Century was considered, seemingly [nineteenfiftyfour.org]

o`relly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372146)

April 11, 1954 - Kenya authorities announced that negotiations with Mau Mau terrorists for a mass surrender had broken down and had been abandoned

Not tax dollars at work (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372164)

This person who did this work, Mr Tunstall-Pedoe, is not an academic Cambridge University. He is not even a scientist or researcher. He is the CEO of his own firm True Knowlegde (sic).

The connection with Cambridge is that it happens to be the town he lives in. He also attended the university there, 15 years ago, and still does part-time teaching of undergraduate courses.

This silly story is just an attempt to raise the profile of his company. The "results" should be considered in the spirit of fun and not as legitimate scientific output.

By name-dropping Cambridge, in order to try and impart some credibility to the story, both the original Telegraph article and Slashdot summary intentionally misleading.

Re:Not tax dollars at work (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34373166)

To be fair, at least he's doing it to raise the profile of his own company. Year-in, year-out we get unscrupulous scientists coming up with (or simply endorsing) "formulas" to go with "research" coming out of the marketing arms of all kinds of bullshit companies in exchange for cold hard cash, which is much, much lower. The most famous is that stupid "mole people" item that escaped from a press release about the Time Machine remake (!) appearing on Bravo (!) and ran amok through the media, causing all sorts of debate before anyone bothered to examine the total invalidity of the exercise.

something like math here (1)

jimouri (1947922) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372168)

Well, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interesting_number_paradox [wikipedia.org] . So, at least a posteriori, there is no such thing as a boring (==uninteresting) day.

Re:something like math here (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372650)

posteriori

I LOVE THAT STUFF. It's the san francisco treat you know.

Not boring in Belgium (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372172)

In Belgium, there were elections on April 11, 1954. The Catholic Party lost its absolute majority in parliament, which resulted into an anti-clerical government of the Liberal Party (right of center) and the Socialist Party. This change had a major impact on the Belgian educational system, being the "Schoolstrijd" (School Struggle [wikipedia.org] ). Not a boring day at all.

Re:Not boring in Belgium (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372230)

This only reinforces the computer's conclusion. Belgium is the very definition of boring.

Re:Not boring in Belgium (4, Funny)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372254)

In Belgium, there were elections on April 11, 1954. The Catholic Party lost its absolute majority in parliament, which resulted into an anti-clerical government of the Liberal Party (right of center) and the Socialist Party. This change had a major impact on the Belgian educational system, being the "Schoolstrijd" (School Struggle). Not a boring day at all.

Boooooring!

Re:Not boring in Belgium (1)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34373086)

Interesting.
Not for Ash-Fox I guess. His definition of fun is getting mockery mod points. His modders agree.

I can imagine a conversation from that day (2, Funny)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372202)

From TFA:Plans for the coup d'etat in Yanaon, then a small French colony in India, are also believed to have been hatched that on the evening of April 11 1954 but nothing actually happened that night.

Dadala Raphael Ramanayya: Gentlemen, prepare yourselves. This is a great Historical night!!

Dudes: HUZZZAH!

Was an early spring Sunday (1)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372204)

For people not living in cellars feeding large computers,  it was an early spring Sunday on the western hemisphere.  Even the smallest amount of sun makes such a day great. 

Yes, that's correct. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372226)

I remember that day. It was boring.

Viet Nam and the Comet Jet-liner inquiries (1)

MagikSlinger (259969) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372234)

Front-page: America & England discuss the problems in "Indochina". That's Viet Nam to you younglings.

Also: a report on the status of the Comet disaster investigation [wikipedia.org] which would lead to major changes in aviation and introduce us to the safe age of jet travel. When metal fatigue became an everyday part of the aeronautical engineer's lexicon...

It may have been event-less, but the bubbling of bigger things are quite apparent.

on the contrary (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372272)

I bet Jack Shufflebotham's relatives would disagree ..

For fucks sake (1)

naich (781425) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372298)

This is not "scientists hard at work at Cambridge". As a scientist who actually works in Cambridge doing real research, it's pretty offensive to see this phrase attached to a story about a single person (who is not a scientist) drumming up some publicity by releasing a press release about some random old cobblers he's supposedly calculated using his super duper computer program. Can we just all try to be a little less gullible please?

Not as uneventful as 1582/10/12 or 1752/9/13 (1)

maxwells_deamon (221474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372302)

Nobody at all was born or died on those days in some parts of the world!

Baby Boom (2, Funny)

joeme1 (959209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372356)

There was a spike in births [wikipedia.org] shortly after this date. I'd say they might have to take a little more into consideration for their algorithm, or did the most boring day cause this spike in procreation?

No longer so boring. (1)

RavenousBlack (1003258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372374)

Doesn't making it the world's most boring day also make it much less boring?

Publicity Stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372376)

it's just one "scientist" and not "scientists" according to the linked article
he was just "educated" at Cambridge, this is not university work.

according to his website http://www.williamtp.com/ he's employed at his AI-startup which is named the same way as his miraculous program

nothing to see here, fake "study" used to garner funds

Why is this a "Computer IDs world's..." article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34372480)

Let's get real, they had a database of 300 million events. They type in one line of SQL and look for the minimum number of events on a certain date.

Let's not get too carried away here. Unless the computer decided to figure this out on it's own and called up the researchers in the middle of the night to announce it's finding, then it was just a researcher looking for something to do that stumbled across this.

There's no angle by while specialized or powerful computing had to relate into this sensational article.

Important Election day in Belgium (1)

bmcage (785177) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372524)

The election that day in Belgium was quite important. Changed the coalition to socialist and liberals, causing a huge 'rebellion' later on when they tried to change the school system (which was Catholic dominated), Schoolstrijd [wikipedia.org] .

Actually a search start-up True Knowledge (1)

williamtp (966036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372592)

The 'scientists' are actually employees of trueknowledge.com - an AI question answering start-up. The experiment was a fun bit of work that dropped out of compiling hundreds of millions of machine understandable facts about the world. The original story is here: http://blog.trueknowledge.com/2010/11/most-boring-day-in-history.html [trueknowledge.com]

Get your facts right (1)

aggro_nerd (1949462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372636)

I'd just like to to point out that these guys aren't technically scientists and certainly aren't scientists at Cambridge University! The press seems to have jumped the gun with this one and a lot of silly assumptions have been made about this on a slow news day. Also, the work wasn't actually done by one person, but a company called True Knowledge. Their original blog article can be found here on blog.trueknowledge.com/2010/11/most-boring-day-in-history.html.

Surname (1)

jimbob666 (1050308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34372662)

That scientist has an unfortunate surname :-/

Time Zone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34373080)

The "day" they refer to, is not an actual time-span, as no timezone is specified. Instead what is referred to is the idea of "April 11, 1954" which has (slightly) different actual meaning depending on which timezone observer/referrer is located in.
Not to mention to people travelling across timezones, datelines and what not..

Most boring day for posts (1)

Things_falling_apart (856111) | more than 3 years ago | (#34373126)

All these replies from people mentioning events that happened on this day in order to try to invalidate the claim that this wasn't the most boring day in history, and yet none of these are offering any suggestion of which day is a better contender. Please don't just say "this cannot be the most boring day because [insert random event] happened on this day!" and think you are clever without offering a new day which could take its place.

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