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Yearly Boring Conference Finds Joy in the Ordinary

Did you know there's a conference dedicated to boring stuff? It's called, appropriately, the Boring Conference. The conference's website claims it's a "one-day celebration of the mundane, the ordinary, the obvious, and the overlooked." James Ward, author of Adventures of Stationary and creator of the blog "I Like Boring Things," launched the idea in 2010 in response to the sudden and rather tragic cancellation of the "Interesting Conference."

Speakers have addressed the following topics: sneezing, toast, the sounds made by vending machines, the Shipping Forecast, barcodes, yellow lines, assorted arcane features of the Yamaha PSR-175 Portatune keyboard, inkjet printers of 1999, ice-cream-van chimes, how to cook elaborate meals with the equipment found in hotel bedrooms, and similarities between 198 of the world's national anthems. Previous highlights include a talk about electric hand dryers by "a man so fascinated by them that he had installed a Dyson Airblade in his house," and a speaker who "rollerbladed around the hall while reading from a book about the relative weights and densities of different kinds of metal."

Sounds pretty boring, right? Actually the conference has been a sell-out hit because it has a serious aim: to take "subjects often considered trivial and pointless, but when examined more closely reveal themselves to be deeply fascinating." As James Ward explained,

The basic idea is that the theme needs to be boring, but the content shouldn't be. There has to be something in the topic that a speaker with a real enthusiasm for it can bring out and make interesting. In fact most things, if you look at them in enough detail, can become fascinating. There's almost always something there.

Possible Preaching Ideas: Thanksgiving; Wonder—In the same way, the Bible calls us to a whole lifestyle of finding joy in and giving thanks for the ordinary and often overlooked things and people and places that are actually gifts from our creative and wonder-filled God.

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