The truth isn’t always what you want it to be.

So, there’s this video going around of Al Franken (whom I truly admire as one of our more sensible-seeming Senators[1]) taking Tim Minnery–who services in some sort of capacity with the anti-gay Focus on the Family organization–to task for misrepresenting a study about the correlation of the well-being of children and the type of family they come from.

Now I support same-sex marriage, and *love* to see bigots of all stripes get schooled, but I’m not sure Franken is necessarily right on this one.

Specifically, if the study defines a “nuclear family” as a married couple—and you can hear Senator Franken use the phrase “who are married to one another” at 1:59, when he says he is reading the definition the study uses—then Minnery’s interpretation is at least legitimate, and perhaps even more correct: because same-sex couples are not allowed to marry in all but a scant handful of states, they are going to be excluded from the “nuclear family” category in almost all cases.

There may be more to it that’s not in this clip, but in this case, I’m not sure the evidence as portrayed holds up to scrutiny.

fn1. Many years ago, Anne and I were seated at a table adjacent to his in a restaurant in Harvard Square.

Getting a good copy of the org-mode refcard on two-sided Letter paper

Dear lazyweb,

Perhaps this was just an oddity of my printer, but here’s what I had to do to get a good print of the org-mode refcard onto Letter paper. From within the org-mode sources, I did:

bc. make doc/orgcard_letter.tex
cd doc
tex orgcard_letter.tex
dvips -O “-.5in,.25in” -t letter -t landscape orgcard_letter.dvi

This got me a .ps file that seemed well-centered on the page. To print it, I did:

bc. ps2pdf14
evince orgcard_letter.pdf (print, duplex flipped on the short side)

I probably could have done (using lp directly, but since I was also using evince to eyeball the layout first, it was easiest to do it from there):

bc. lp -o sides=two-sided-short-edge

Continued hilarity in Transformers reviews…

“This one”: from

On it’s 3D-ness:

bq. Weirdly, because it’s exactly the same as a normal Michael Bay movie, the 3D camerawork seems almost understated, because there’s none of the usual “wooooooo, look at the threeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-deeeeeeeeee” foolishness. It actually makes his visual compositions a little more legible; being able to see what’s going on in a Michael Bay action scene is a novel experience, even if what you’re seeing confirms your prior thesis that what’s going on is giant robots beating the crap out of each other.

And the coup de grace:

bq. This should not be confused with my thinking Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a good movie. It’s absolutely, categorically not. Calling it a movie is giving it too much benefit of the doubt. Michael Bay is engaged in a parallel medium, using all the equipment other people use to make movies, but creating something that bears only cursory resemblance to actual cinema. It’s a mechanism for stealing the brain’s car keys, forcibly duct-taping the pleasure center’s accelerator pedal to the floor, and sending the whole nervous system flying toward a cliff. While on fire. It’s very possible to enjoy oneself in such a state, but it’s equally possible to feel assaulted.

The funny thing is that I actually now, through a total accident of, “What, that’s an open-box you have that’s an upgrade from the TV I wanted?” own a 3-D TV. Not that I have any intention of actually using this feature, but it’s there.