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SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (Germany)

Worldcrunch

Think of the most boring thing in the world: Tupperware? Celery? Jazz music? People talking about jazz music? That cool friend from college who can't stop telling you how motherhood has changed everything...

Now imagine a roomful of people giving enthusiastic talks about all these things, and you have the third annual "Boring Conference," which took place last week in London"s, Bethnal Green.

James Ward, a marketing manager (zzzzz), hatched the idea in 2010 to encourage people to "take the time to examine what we think of as boring just because it’s part of the every day."

[rebelmouse-image 27086078 alt="""" original_size="499x333" expand=1]Big snooze

Writing on the conference's webpage, Ward speaks of his other endeavors into the mundane: The Stationery Club, where members bring stationery and talk about stationery; as well as Crispival "08 - a whole festival dedicated to potato chips (to be fair, that sounds kind of fun).

At the 2012 Boring summit, attendees explored the cutting edge of breakfast options in American chain restaurants and serial numbers of subway cars, taking a break to gorge themselves on the “most boring buffet in the world,” which included bits of cucumber on toothpicks, parsley on flabby white bread, sugarless cookies, tap water.

Technical journalist Leila Johnston spoke of her fascination with IBM automatic cash registers. She photographs every model she comes across, and enters their locations on Google Maps. "The first white cash register I ever saw was the rare IBM ‘surePOS 300." It was my Moby Dick. It was in a drugstore in Sheffield. I shall never forget that day."

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Geopolitics

What Lula Needs Now To Win: Move To The Center And Mea Culpa

Despite the leftist candidate's first-place finish, the voter mood in Brazil's presidential campaign is clearly conservative. So Lula will have to move clearly to the political center to vanquish the divisive but still popular Jair Bolsonaro. He also needs to send a message of contrition to skeptical voters about past mistakes.

Brazilian votes show a polarized national opinion with two clear winners: former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and sitting president Jair Bolsonaro

Marcelo Cantelmi

-Analysis-

The first round of Brazil's presidential elections closed with two winners, a novelty but not necessarily a political surprise.

Leftist candidate and former president, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, was clearly the winner. His victory came on the back of the successes of his two previous administrations (2003-2011), kept alive today by the harsh reality that large swathes of Brazilians see no real future for themselves.

Lula, the head of the Workers Party or PT, also moved a tad toward the political Center in a bid to seduce middle-class voters, with some success. Another factor in his first-round success was a decisive vote cast against the current government, though this was less considerable than anticipated.

The other big winner of the day was the sitting president, Jair Bolsonaro. For many voters, his defects turn out to be virtues. They were little concerned by his bombastic declarations, his authoritarian bent, contempt for modernity, his retrograde views on gender and his painful management of the pandemic. They do not believe in Lula, and envisage no other alternative.

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