Monday, November 29, 2010
Computer identifies the most boring day in history - Telegraph
On that day a general election was held in Belgium, a Turkish academic was born and an Oldham Athletic footballer called Jack Shufflebotham died. Apart from that nothing much happened.
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.
Using complex algorithms, such as how much one piece of information was linked to others, True Knowledge determined that particular 1950s Sunday to be outstanding in its obscurity.
Cambridge University-educated Mr Tunstall-Pedoe said: "Nobody significant died that day, no major events apparently occurred and, although a typical day in the 20th century has many notable people being born, for some reason that day had only one who might make that claim - Abdullah Atalar, a Turkish academic.
"The irony is, though, that - having done the calculation - the day is interesting for being exceptionally boring. Unless, that is, you are Abdullah Atalar.
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.
Mr Tunstall-Pedoe emphasised that True Knowlegde was not designed solely to search for boring days.
"It's just a sideline," he said.
Its true calling was to provide a more intelligent way of searching the internet.
Professor Abdullah Atalar now researches atomic force microscopy and digital integrated circuit design at Bilkent University.
*What was the most boring day in history to you?