No such thing as a universally boring day

Lisa Goudy
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Lisa Goudy

According to a computer scientist trained at the University of Cambridge, 60 years ago today was the most boring day of the 20th century.

When I first saw that online, my curiosity was piqued. As ridiculous as it sounded, I wanted to read where that claim could’ve possibly come from.

William Tunstall-Pedoe, computer programmer, calculated April 11, 1954 as the boring day. His program, True Knowledge, used 300 million facts about “people, places, business and events” that made the news, according to an article on The Daily Telegraphwebsite.

Apparently nothing significant in the terms of news took place on that day, at least according to Tunstall-Pedoe and his computer program that uses complex algorithms.

He was quoted as saying, “Lots of famous people are born, famous people die, there are events happening ... This particular day was extremely notable for having almost nothing happen.”

I wasn’t alive on April 11, 1954. People who were might not be able to remember anything that happened on that date, but then again, not everyone can remember everything on every day of their lives. I don’t believe there is a such thing as a universally boring day.

Besides, the whole idea of what is boring is subjective. Someone might find doing taxes boring and others might love it. Some might find watching golf boring, but others do not. Someone might find agriculture boring, but some people have a passion for farming and related news. You get my point.

Not to mention that just because something is considered boring by someone doesn’t mean it’s not a significant event in the eyes of others.

So maybe it was my desire to prove the claim wrong that prompted me to investigate further to see if I could find something that happened on that day. Maybe it was because I refuse to believe that any day is boring for everyone as that is impossible.

Whatever the reason, I did a search. I found a columnist from The Telegraph based in Calcutta, India suggesting the date was only examined based on what’s important to Western media.

“The events of April 11, 1954 can be called boring because nothing of consequence followed from them,” the article said. “But suppose the perspective is shifted a bit. Anandabazar Patrika, the most important Bengali daily published from Calcutta, reported on April 12, 1954 that on the previous day a group of goons broke up a meeting in north Calcutta of concerned citizens who had gathered to discuss growing rowdyism in the city.”

It said that event was an important event in the city’s history of “lumpenization” or “a problem of immense relevance today.”

Another finding was that on April 11, 1954 there was a restructuring of the cabinet of Alexandros Papagos’ government in Greece.

No doubt other events took place that day. I’ll say it again. There is no such thing as a universally boring day, in my opinion.

People have been alive every day and so interesting things have happened each day of significance to someone, somewhere around the world.

So go out and make every day count. After all, no day is boring unless we make it so. Life is short. Enjoy and make the best out of it.

And, on that note, have a wonderful Easter week and weekend next week.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.


Organizations: Daily Telegraphwebsite

Geographic location: Calcutta, India, Greece

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