ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
From Cambridge, England, comes this audacious judgment: The most boring day in modern history was April 11th, 1954. That is the conclusion of William Tunstall-Pedoe, a computer programmer and founder of trueknowledge.com, also known as the Internet answer engine. He joins us from Cambridge.
And Mr. Tunstall-Pedoe, first of all, how did you arrive at this completely unsupportable conclusion that 4/11/54 was the least notable day in modern history?
Mr. WILLIAM TUNSTALL-PEDOE (Founder, trueknowledge.com): Well, we scanned a knowledge base we've built, of over 300 million facts. So we have huge amounts of knowledge about the world. So we wrote a computer program that analyzed it, and worked out that that was the least interesting day in recent history.
SIEGEL: What happened - or I guess, more to the point, what sorts of things didn't happen on April 11th, 1954?
Mr. TUNSTALL-PEDOE: Well, typically, lots of famous people are born; famous people die; all sorts of things happen on any typical day. This particular day was extremely notable for having almost nothing happen.
SIEGEL: You do note on the website the birthday of Abudullah Atalar(ph), a Turkish author. He was born on April 11th, 1954.
Mr. TUNSTALL-PEDOE: That's right.
SIEGEL: And there was an election in Belgium, I believe.
Mr. TUNSTALL-PEDOE: That's also true.
SIEGEL: I dug out a clip from the New York Times the following day - that there'd been dinghy races in Largamente, New York, the day before. So something happened there.
Mr. TUNSTALL-PEDOE: It's not that nothing happened. It's that it was spectacularly unnotable in terms of the events that happened that day. So it was the most boring day in recent history.
SIEGEL: Well, perhaps someone in our audience knows of something that happened on April 11th, 1954, that might lead to some revision of this judgment.
Mr. TUNSTALL-PEDOE: I'm totally up to the challenge.
SIEGEL: You're up to the challenge.
Mr. TUNSTALL-PEDOE: Up to the challenge, yeah. A lot of people have tried already in the last few days. So but yes, absolutely.
SIEGEL: There was, I think, an exhibition baseball game between the then-New York Giants and Cleveland Indians, who would go on to play in the World Series later that year.
Mr. TUNSTALL-PEDOE: And you think that counts as...
(Soundbite of laughter)
SIEGEL: Well, Mr. William Tunstall-Pedoe, thank you very much for talking with us.
Mr. TUNSTALL-PEDOE: My pleasure.
SIEGEL: Mr. Tunstall-Pedoe is the founder and CEO of trueknowledge.com. His computer has determined that the most boring day in modern history was April 11th, 1954.
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