It's a bad day to be Abdullah Atalar, an engineering professor at Turkey's Bilkent University. That's because Atalar was born on April 11, 1954, which a Cambridge computer scientist has determined to be "the most boring day in history."
A bit of background: The scientist in question is William Tunstall-Pedoe, an executive at a search engine project called True Knowledge. (His bio on the True Knowledge Web site notes that he is also "the first and only person to develop software that can solve and explain cryptic crossword clues," which frankly sounds terrifying.) True Knowledge is a database that indexes more than 300 million facts. And, as Tunstall-Pedoe explains in a recent blog post:
It occurred to us that with over 300 million facts, a big percentage of which tie events, people and places to points in time, we could uniquely calculate an objective answer to the question 'What was the most boring day in history?' For fun, we wrote a script to scan all days (from the beginning of the 20th century) and set it going.
The most boring day in history, apparently, or at least of the past 110 years, was April 11, 1954. The Telegraph notes that "on that day a general election was held in Belgium, a Turkish academic was born"--that would be Professor Atalar--"and an Oldham Athletic footballer called Jack Shufflebotham died. Apart from that nothing much happened."
Not even any worthwhile Canadian initiatives? Well, the Wire may not make any friends by saying this, but Abduallah Atalar has had a long and distinguished career, and has a wife and three lovely children at home. He seems like an interesting guy to us.