12 november 2018

Bored British scientist found out the most boring day in history. It paid in $26 mln

Image: William Tunstall-Pedoe/Facebook

An old proverb says, “Only boring people get bored”. In 2010, a British computer scientist found a good reason to be bored on one Sunday evening. William Tunstell-Pedoe crunched some numbers and found out that April 11th, 1954 was the most boring day in recorded history.

Initially, the programmer from Cambridge, UK, did not intend to make a software to flip through the historical chronicles in search of dull days. William coded a search engine named True Knowledge. It was a database designed to help researchers analyze huge arrays of data.  

As it often happens to scientists, William decided to have fun.

Tunstell-Pedoe’s team fed roughly 300 million facts to True Knowledge. “We wrote a script to scan all days (from the beginning of the 20th century) and set it going,” William wrote in a blog post.

No one worth mentioning died that day, no major tragic or happy events occurred, and only one notable birthday took place“What was the most boring day in history?” was the question the team put into the program. They presumed that boredom is a result of a lack of action and interest, so they probably looked for a day with no disturbances of any kind, neither positive nor negative.

No assassinations of politicians, no sports records or notable birthdays. Only pure boredom.

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When True Knowledge crunched all the numbers and facts and compared the recorded events, April 11th, 1954 popped up as the honorable winner. No one worth mentioning died that day, no major tragic or happy events occurred, and only one notable birthday took place, the one of Abdullah Atalar, a Turkish university professor. However, his parents surely had a day full of action.

After newsflashes were published, Amazon became interested in Tunstell-Pedoe’s program. The scientist is now one of the most famous tech evangelistsNewspapers included reports about the Queen Elizabeth II sporting a fine party dress. The Daily Mail wrote about a thief who stole a cup through a window.

That’s pretty much it.

William’s team spent their valuable time and resources to define the 24 hours in Dullsville. Well, was it worth it? Jokes aside, yes. After newsflashes were published, Amazon became interested in Tunstell-Pedoe’s program. The company acquired True Knowledge for $26 million and hired William to work on Echo assistant. He is now one of the most famous tech evangelists.

Nice bonus from such a dull day, huh?

Featured Image: William Tunstall-Pedoe/Facebook

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