Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Dullsville Calibration System

Calibration system that enables a new town to be built
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I'm attracted to images of bland and boring places, like bleak car parks surrounded by rusting fences clogged with tattered plastic bags.. oops that sounds too interesting to be located in Dullsville.

Dullsville allows three ideas to be rolled into one.
The building of the new town.
The establishing of its features.
The creation of an international new standard of dullness calibration system, with the issuing of a handy reference card pack.

Dullsville would feature the singularly most barren and bland buildings, along with numerous other detailed internal features, and populated by only the most extremely bland of citizens playing out their monotonous lives.

Detailed photographs of every feature would then be used to create a set of calibrating cards that enable comparisons to made against other potentially dull locations.

For example, the expression: "dull as dishwater" would have a proper scale to facilitate a realistic reading. i.e. are we talking about the dishwater that contains some curry stained flecks of rice found in the oval stainless steel sink at no 3 Mope Street, Bland Ave, Dullsville?

Folk could choose to live in Dullsville, but only after they had passed an entrance test, to verify their blandness credentials. They would then find that cards based on their personal characteristics soon entered the reference pack.

xenzag, Apr 16 2008

Boring Postcards, by Martin Parr http://www.amazon.c...d=1208419811&sr=8-1
No, really, this is actually a very interesting book. I have this, and "Boring Postcards: America". [hippo, Apr 17 2008]

Lots of boring ideas http://www.halfbake...m/user/nineteenthly
Charity vending machine, computer cable frame, dropper/plug bottle - all stunningly dull, and it's not a problem. [nineteenthly, Apr 17 2008]

Trainspotting Sim Train_20Spotting_20Simulator
The apotheosis of dull... [wagster, Apr 17 2008]

Beigeometer http://www.scooperg...ges/beigeometer.jpg
Interestingly dull [nineteenthly, Apr 21 2008]

[link]






       Gold standard reference build: Milton Keynes
coprocephalous, Apr 16 2008
  

       Nah - too many interesting roundabouts and of course there are the famous concrete cows.
xenzag, Apr 16 2008
  

       I know a perfect candidate for mayor [+]
reap, Apr 16 2008
  

       I see a flaw. The first such town to be built would be interesting because of its dullness, so it wouldn't count, then the next, and so on. In order to avoid this paradox, they should all be built simultaneously.
nineteenthly, Apr 17 2008
  

       I suspect there will be a concrete fountain that doesn't work in the middle of it.
wagster, Apr 17 2008
  

       I often get my students to make maps of boring journeys... and they end up being really interesting. Concrete fountain that doesn't work? - sounds quite interesting - and therefore only scores 12 out of 100 on the Dullsville Scale (public fountain section)
xenzag, Apr 17 2008
  

       Newton Aycliffe and Stevenage were built specifically to fulfil this requirement.
angel, Apr 17 2008
  

       //I often get my students to make maps of boring journeys//   

       What exactly do you teach?
wagster, Apr 17 2008
  

       Is the scale open-ended, like the Richter?
Or with some massive pinball table-like multiplier, like the Scoville?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 17 2008
  

       Is it exponential? Is it a question of something of dullness level three being ten times as boring as dullness level two?   

       What about people who are dull in unusual ways? What if you're really interested in streetlamps? Does that make you more boring or more interesting than, say, a birdwatcher?   

       Would trainspotters be standing room only on the station platforms?
nineteenthly, Apr 17 2008
  

       I was going to link to a baker's profile page but that's just mean.
theleopard, Apr 17 2008
  

       It's basically a matrix formed from comparing the topic and detail levels of two things to arrive at a measure of the dullness of one thing relative to another. Thus the interests (and intensity of detail within those interests) of two trainspotters will be highly correlated and so they may not be dull to each other. However, by a similar analysis, a "Heat" magazine reader may be considered dull by the trainspotters and may also consider the trainspotters dull.
hippo, Apr 17 2008
  

       [theleopard], i don't think that is mean, even if it's me. Not all interesting ideas are useful and vice versa. I have a stunningly boring idea about plugging the bottom of a bottle to enable it to be emptied, and my charity vending machine idea was also pretty boring. [UnaBubba] has an idea called "a serious idea with a dull name", which is just that but still a good idea. This place is occasionally quoted as prior art, which is in itself a good reason for posting an idea here even if it is boring.
nineteenthly, Apr 17 2008
  

       //What exactly do you teach?// [wagster] strategies for invention, amongst other art related nonsense
xenzag, Apr 20 2008
  

       [19thly], oops, I didn't mean to imply a specific person, just that it would be funny to link to someone. As for boring ideas, I used to have a edit > copy > paste- special-default idea that was a little less than invigorating. Plus another in my head head for edit > swap (for design layout) but I shan't bore you with the drabness of it.
theleopard, Apr 21 2008
  

       [theleopard], no offence taken, it's just "interesting" to contemplate dullness. I also think it's OK to be dull but worthy, and you have piqued my interest in your "boring" ideas, so where does that leave us?   

       How about trying to think up really dull ideas and posting them to see if anyone notices?
nineteenthly, Apr 21 2008
  

       I'll see if I can come up with something...
theleopard, Apr 21 2008
  

       You'd never find curry used in Dullsville. Potatoes, perhaps. Fish and chips. Maybe some pickles.
RayfordSteele, Apr 21 2008
  
      
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