9 stories
·
0 followers

Voting Software

16 Comments and 48 Shares
There are lots of very smart people doing fascinating work on cryptographic voting protocols. We should be funding and encouraging them, and doing all our elections with paper ballots until everyone currently working in that field has retired.
Read the whole story
rjstegbauer
70 days ago
reply
Amen!! Paper... paper... paper. It's simple. It's trivial to recount. Everyone already knows how to use it. It's cheap. It's verifiable. Just... use... paper.
Share this story
Delete
13 public comments
siskamartin
51 days ago
reply
uff
caffeinatedhominid
65 days ago
reply
Yep.
tante
68 days ago
reply
xkcd on voting software is spot-on
Oldenburg/Germany
wmorrell
69 days ago
reply
Hazmat suit, too. Just to be safe.
ianso
70 days ago
reply
Yes!
Brussels
ChrisDL
70 days ago
reply
accurate.
New York
reconbot
70 days ago
reply
Legitimately share this comic with anyone who represents you in government.
New York City
cheerfulscreech
71 days ago
reply
Truth.
jth
71 days ago
reply
XKCD Nails Secure Electronic Voting.
Saint Paul, MN, USA
skorgu
71 days ago
reply
100% accurate.
jsled
71 days ago
reply
endorsed; co-signed; it. me. &c.

(alt text: «There are lots of very smart people doing fascinating work on cryptographic voting protocols. We should be funding and encouraging them, and doing all our elections with paper ballots until everyone currently working in that field has retired.»)
South Burlington, Vermont
alt_text_bot
71 days ago
reply
There are lots of very smart people doing fascinating work on cryptographic voting protocols. We should be funding and encouraging them, and doing all our elections with paper ballots until everyone currently working in that field has retired.
alt_text_at_your_service
71 days ago
reply
There are lots of very smart people doing fascinating work on cryptographic voting protocols. We should be funding and encouraging them, and doing all our elections with paper ballots until everyone currently working in that field has retired.
srsly
71 days ago
Seconding this policy ^^

Universal Dreams

1 Comment and 11 Shares
"That's ... unsettling." "Yeah, those definitely don't sound like the normal drea– LATITUDE THREE FIVE POINT..."
Read the whole story
rjstegbauer
274 days ago
reply
I've had the flying dream and exam dream, but not the undiscovered room dream. What's that about?
DrGaellon
274 days ago
Fear of things missed or forgotten
MaryEllenCG
274 days ago
Never had a flying dream or an undiscovered room dream, but I do have recurring dreams about my teeth all falling out.
HarlandCorbin
273 days ago
Used to have the falling dream. Would always wake with a jump when I hit the ground, but I did remember hitting the ground.
rjstegbauer
273 days ago
Why would many people have these common dreams?
duerig
272 days ago
The worst one is the 'dreaming that you woke up, went through your morning routine or did some unpleasant chore' dream. Because inevitably you wake up and realize that you have to do all those things all over again.
MaryEllenCG
272 days ago
Yeah!! I hate those dreams.
Share this story
Delete

Desert Golfing

2 Comments and 4 Shares
I just want to stay up long enough to watch the ball drop into the hole number 2018.
Read the whole story
rjstegbauer
283 days ago
reply
I'm wondering if Randall wrote Desert Golf. He should at least get a commission.
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
alt_text_bot
290 days ago
reply
I just want to stay up long enough to watch the ball drop into the hole number 2018.

Seven Years

9 Comments and 34 Shares
[hair in face] "SEVVVENNN YEEEARRRSSS"
Read the whole story
rjstegbauer
308 days ago
reply
Touching and beautiful! One of your best.
Share this story
Delete
8 public comments
chrisrosa
307 days ago
reply
😢
San Francisco, CA
alt_text_bot
308 days ago
reply
[hair in face] "SEVVVENNN YEEEARRRSSS"
ameel
309 days ago
reply
<3
Melbourne, Australia
MaryEllenCG
309 days ago
reply
::sniffle::
Greater Bostonia
kyleniemeyer
309 days ago
reply
😭
Corvallis, OR
louloupix
309 days ago
reply
That's why I still watch it..Time to time they deliver...
Celine17
298 days ago
j'ai toujours autant de mal à comprendre la trame...
marcrichter
309 days ago
reply
Awesome. I'm speechless.
tbd
deezil
309 days ago
reply
OKAY I'M CRYING AT MY DESK NOW.
Louisville, Kentucky
sfrazer
309 days ago
God damnit, Randal.
deezil
309 days ago
For those that don't know the whole story: Approximately 7 years ago (imagine that) Randall posted this on the blog https://blog.xkcd.com/2010/11/05/submarines/ and made some vague references to tough times in the comics. On in to 2011, he posted this on the blog, and things seemed to be scary but hopeful. https://blog.xkcd.com/2011/06/30/family-illness/ . He's made mention several times about it over the years inside the comics, and I really believe that "Time" was made for some express purpose as to get his emotions out. But this update seriously is making a grown 32 year old man weep openly at his desk (thankfully I have a door that closes), as I always wondered how things were. Things look good, and this makes my heart happy.

Sky Spotters

2 Comments and 9 Shares
Where I live, one of the most common categories of sky object without a weird obsessive spotting community is "lost birthday party balloons," so that might be a good choice—although you risk angering the marine wildlife people, and they have sharks.
Read the whole story
rjstegbauer
350 days ago
reply
...as long as the sharks don't have lasers, you're relatively safe.
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
daanzu_alt_text_bot
336 days ago
reply
Where I live, one of the most common categories of sky object without a weird obsessive spotting community is "lost birthday party balloons," so that might be a good choice—although you risk angering the marine wildlife people, and they have sharks.

Exploring Boston: Where was the first restaurant in North America?

1 Comment
I was surprised to learn to that the likely first restaurant in America opened in in 1793 in what is now Boston’s Post Office Square.


I was further surprised to learn that the word “restaurant,” in the sense we now use it, is only a few years older, dating to Paris, 1765. 


Prior to than, a “restaurant” wasn’t a place, but a meal – literally “a food that restores.”

By tradition, the restorative meal was usually some kind of soup –  beef or chicken bouillon with roots and vegetables. (More info via links at the end of this text.)

But in 1765, a Parisian named Boulanger changed that. He owned a traditional bouillons restaurants near the Louvre, and wanted a way to differentiate his shop from others. So, he also began serving more substantial fare, such as leg of lamb. However, in the rigid society of pre-Revolution France, that type of food was supposed to be within the sole preview of the Caterers' Guild. Lawsuits ensued.

But – remember the times – the courts actually ruled in favor of the little guy, Boulanger, allowing him to offer a variety of food to his customers. Thus, his bouillons shop started down the road to something closer to the modern meaning of restaurant.

A few years later, with the French Revolution in full swing, one Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien fled to Boston, bringing this idea of a new-style restaurant with him.

In Boston at that time, for ordinary folk, hot meals outside the home were usually obtained in inns, boarding houses, hotels, and such; or you could buy some food to accompany your ale or wine at the tavern. In any case, patrons generally ate whatever communal/public meal the kitchen currently had on the stove or in the oven. If you didn’t want what the kitchen was already cooking, you went someplace else, or you didn’t eat.

In 1793, when Julien opened “Julien's Restorator” – a restaurant with on-demand kitchen services offering a variety of foods – the idea was so new, he had to describe how it worked in his opening announcement in a Boston newspaper:

“… a Bill of Fare will be kept constantly for exhibition; from which each visitor may command whatever may best suit his appetite.”

The rest of his newspaper ad stressed the healthfulness and economy of his Restorator, including its “suitable nourishment” for the infirm; and appealed to Puritan sensibilities by carefully balancing the offered “excellent wines and cordials” with the promise that “all gaming [is] disallowed;” and of course, “no spirits.”




 A few years later, people knew what the Restorator was, and his ads could focus on the current specials.


 
With that as background, I went looking for the site of the Restorator, originally on “Leverett’s Lane,” a street that no longer exists.

Wikipedia shows what the Restorator looked like, but without any surrounding landmarks or reference points:

I dug further, checking the Boston Public Library (not much info) and the Boston Atheneum which turned out to have, in its collection, an unfinished 1796 watercolor by Daniel Dearborn; it identifies the local buildings including – number 14 on the watercolor – Julien’s Restorator.


"Perspective view on the northward of Mr. Dearborn's School:" (low-res shown: see links at end for full-res version via the Atheneum site.)




Closeup:

Tying to align still-extant buildings with the painting made me think the Restorator – and the vanished Leverett’s Lane – were under what is now the John W. McCormack Post Office and Court House; the looming federal structure that gives Post Office Square its name.

A corroborating fact: In 1825, after changing hands several times, a new building, Julien Hall, was "built on the land where formerly stood the much noted Julien's Restorator." Julien Hall eventually became an auditorium and public meeting space; and later, a gym and several other things, before fading into obscurity.

Julien Hall was indeed on the corner of Milk and Congress Streets; roads that still exist in Boston, and the current location of the McCormack Post Office and Court House.

Combining the current, known landmarks and adjusting for the view in the watercolor, my best guess as to the location of Julien's Restorator is 42°21'25.4"N, 71°03'24.9"W https://tinyurl.com/mvxpyqm

That's here:

Or, zoomed in, about where the red X is here:


Current views: Looking west on Milk Street; the Restorator would have been somewhat towards the back, and under, the massive building on the right side of the street
.









And now you know about as much as I do about what was likely the first restaurant in North America.




Sources:

Julien's Restorator https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julien%27s_Restorator

James C. O’Connell: “Dining Out in Boston: A Culinary History.’’ via the Boston Globe: http://edition.pagesuite.com/popovers/article_popover.aspx?guid=cd425c60-b819-466c-bcbc-d59ccb5a81b1#sthash.TrEMKVYm.dpuf

Boson Atheneum’s “Perspective view on the northward of Mr. Dearborn's School.” http://cdm.bostonathenaeum.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15482coll8/id/140

Julien Hall (Boston) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julien_Hall_(Boston)

The Online Etymology Dictionary (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=restaurant) has more info on the origin of the term “restaurant,” including: “Ever since the Middle Ages the word restaurant had been used to describe any of a variety of rich bouillons made with chicken, beef, roots of one sort or another, onions, herbs, and, according to some recipes, spices, crystallized sugar, toasted bread, barley, butter, and even exotic ingredients such as dried rose petals, Damascus grapes, and amber.”
Read the whole story
rjstegbauer
521 days ago
reply
Fred, wonderful article! Excellent research on a topic that I never would have thought to ask about. Now the next time I go out, I'll have some trivia.
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories