Linkdump for May 28th through June 15th

Sometime between May 28th and June 15th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • Why is English so weirdly different from other languages?: No, English isn’t uniquely vibrant or mighty or adaptable. But it really is weirder than pretty much every other language.
  • PureText: Have you ever copied some text from a web page, a word document, help, etc., and wanted to paste it as simple text into another application without getting all the formatting from the original source? PureText makes this simple.
  • Let’s Be Real: Americans Are Walking Around With Dirty Anuses: “I find it rather baffling that millions of people are walking around with dirty anuses while thinking they are clean. Toilet paper moves shit, but it doesn’t remove it. You wouldn’t shower with a dry towel; why do you think that dry toilet paper cleans you?”
  • The Racist History of Portland, the Whitest City in America – The Atlantic: All in all, historians and residents say, Oregon has never been particularly welcoming to minorities. Perhaps that’s why there have never been very many. Portland is the whitest big city in America, with a population that is 72.2 percent white and only 6.3 percent African American.
  • No more ‘product of its time,’ please:I don’t think that we should hide texts with troubling elements. They are part of the literary canon and they have influenced us, for both good and ill. We should definitely be reading them, and we should also be talking about them. A lot.

Goodbye (and Good Riddance) Alfaretta!

Yesterday, the Stranger’s Slog posted about the number of “[gorgeous old buildings][1]” that are disappearing in the name of progress. Most of what was talked about was a building on Broadway, disappearing to make way for the light rail system, but one address caught my eye…

[1]: “Slog: Last Days”

> On Eighth Avenue and Seneca Street, the wrecking ball is halfway done leveling this old brick building….

8th and Seneca. I used to _live_ at 8th and Seneca, in an old brick apartment building. I don’t suppose…

8th and SenecaYup, that’s it. The Alfaretta Apartments, formerly the Park Seneca Apartments, is going down. And to that, I say good riddance! I tried to post the following comment, but it kept running afoul of the Slog’s spam filter. Here, then, for posterity, is my reaction to the sad news of this gorgeous old building being torn down:

> Oh, wow. Lots of old buildings might be worth mourning, but the Alfaretta, that building at 8th and Seneca? Just a poorly-managed shithole. During the years I lived there, I had to deal with [two water shutoff notices][2] from the city because the management hadn’t paid the water bill, an elevator that seemed to be broken more often than not, a renovation that seemed to drag on forever, with constantly shifting reports on when various services would be turned on or off, months without on-site laundry services, a few weeks surrounding the replacement of the water heater when there was little to no hot water at all in the building, and an often broken front door that had us occasionally having to have a drunk or drugged transient ‘escorted out’ after they went wandering the halls, or — once — started squatting in one of the vacant apartments.
> Factor in the constant hassles from the Jensonia next door, whose residents seemed to embody all the worst stereotypes of Section Eight housing, which only stopped when the [third fire in as many months][3] finally did enough damage to condemn the building, and it’s a wonder I put up with the Alfaretta as long as I did.
> That’s one old brick building I’m not at all sorry to see disappear.