Stew Art

Hello and welcome to another week of unreliability and misinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by someone claiming to assume the name of Joel, who asked:

Is stew a kind of soup?

The food known as stew is an interesting case, for – unlike most foods – it is not naturally occurring, but rather was artificially created. It is man-made. It was, in fact, named after its inventor, a young man by the name of Stewart Westtar, something of a culinary prodigy in the eighteenth century.

Steward – or Stew, as he was commonly known to his friends – innovated the process of taking solid foods, placing them on the heat, and cooking them until they become liquid.

As to whether stew is a type of soup, though, is a more difficult question. We have our history of stew, and we have our rules of soup. And certainly, our rules of soup appear to apply to stew – but this is a superficial correspondence. It is only natural that these all apply to stew, but one gets the sense that the rules of soup do not truly capture the full nature of stew; rather, they are givens due to the fact that stew is liquid.

Stew is liquid; all soup naturally is or contains liquid. And of course, liquid can only be obtained or produced in precious few manners. One of those manners being the method developed by Stewart Westtar.

The full story begins to emerge: stew is not a kind of soup; rather, all soup is, or is made from, stew.

_________________

Disclaimer: this blog post is incorrect. It is possible to make soup without beginning with stew.

Advertisements

Grape You

Hello and welcome to another week of insidious misinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question posed to Factually Deficient by an individual known as Jay Alsworth, who asked:

What are grapes?

In order to determine what grapes are, we must first establish what grapes are not. Despite widespread misapprehension, due in large part to their frequent green discoloration, grapes are not members of the Plant Kingdom. Indeed, true grapes are not even green at all, but rather, they occasionally develop a green exterior due to a chemical reaction occurring with direct exposure to oxygen.

The true nature of grapes may seem more difficult to root out, but fortunately, Factually Deficient’s best team of investigative researchers was dispatched to the task. In their report, they noted, as evidence for their conclusion, a number of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • The high water content of grapes
  • The fact that grapes react violently to direct exposure to oxygen
  • The intoxicating nature of grapes that have been left for too long in their natural state
  • The ominous and shrivelled appearance of grapes that have had all their water removed
  • The fact that grapes are definitely alive

From many of these observations, it is very clear that grapes are in fact a type of sea creature. It is also clear that they come from very deep beneath the sea indeed, where it is rare for a grape unaided to reach direct sunlight (which would dry them out) or direct oxygen (which would cause a green discoloration). Grapes are naturally venemous; the intoxicants that come out during fermentation are clearly a means of subduing the creature’s prey.

Thus, we are able to determine for Jay, once and for all, that grapes are a type of deep-sea sea monster.

_________________

Disclaimer: The above blog post is not true. Not all grapes are monsters.

Good Vibrations

Hello and welcome to another week of dastardly dishonesty here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question posed by Factually Deficient regular Vitor, who asked:

Where does music come from?

Ah, music. The gently wafting combination of sounds that enters our ears and provides comfort to our souls. But where does it come from?

Music, as it is called, is a shortening of the full term “music of the spheres,” which may better hint at the origins of this phenomenon. Music is composed of sub-atomic particles (which are, of course, spherical), combining in different ways and formations in order to create what is perceived as different sounds, which we experience when those particles collide against a particular bone in our inner ear.

Much like the other product of sub-atomic particles combining – elements of the periodic table – music is naturally occurring, found in a limited set of discrete units that can then be combined with one another to create more complex musical compositions.

And like with the elements of the periodic table, researchers – known as “composers” – are continually engaged in the pursuit of uncovering yet more (and eventually all) the musical particles that can be discovered. To this end, a Nordic laboratory of human composers has created a particle accelerator, known as the Loud Harmonic Composer, with the intent of vibrating known musical particles at such high speeds that they morph into other, as-yet-undiscovered musical units.

With early success of this LHC, we may yet know where all music comes from within the next decade.

________________

Disclaimer: this blog post is not accurate. Listen at your own risk.

Lies about Books: The Host

As May may now be shortly ending (although, then again, it May not), it is once again time for a wildly inaccurate review of a book I have enjoyed during this month. Recently, I began re-reading The Host, by Stephenie Meyer.

The eponymous host of the book is early-middle-aged Wanda, who has the reputation for throwing the best parties and social gatherings. She flits around the world between her different lavish homes, hosting a soiree in Paris, a rave in Amsterdam, a poetry slam in New York, a dinner party in Dubai. Her frequent peregrinations earn her the affectionate nickname Wanderer; she typically only stays in one place long enough to plan and host her next party. Invitations to her gatherings are coveted, highly prized and worth every bit of store that people set by them.

It’s not unusual for guests to be found still in her home the next morning, after a night of too much drinking to drive home, or festivities so late they fell asleep before they could. So Wanda isn’t worried when she finds Melanie sleeping on her couch in her Paris loft the morning after a night of sparkling wine and conversation – at first. In any case, Wanda has cleaning up to do, and arrangements to make before she flies on her private jet to Rome.

But by the time Wanda is ready to leave, Melanie still isn’t. Day after day wears on, and Wanda’s uninvited guest has yet to depart, and her hosting skills are truly put to the test. She doesn’t dare sacrifice her reputation for impeccable hospitality by asking Melanie to leave. But how long will she stay? Which will Wanda be forced to lose first: her good name, or her peace of mind?

A revealing peek into the lives and fears of high society elites, The Host is engaging, witty, and surprisingly charming. I recommend it to all fans of parties, interpersonal conflict, and alien invasions.

Read it and Weep

Hello and welcome to another week of baseless pretexts and prevarications here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question which was directed to Factually Deficient by an individual claiming the moniker of Vitor, but credited – possibly wrongfully – to a different individual, using the name of Alsworth:

People can read?

Alas, my dear Alsworths and Vitors of the world – what a question! Can people, indeed, read? To know this, we must first understand what reading is; it will follow to determine whether humans are capable of such an act.

Reading is defined as the perception of two-dimensional writing, typically in the form of letters, characters, or pictograms, and the translation of that two-dimensional perception, in one’s brain, into meaningful text in a language understood, at least to the point of decoding, by the one allegedly doing the reading.

But can this be done? In virtually all cases, there is no such thing as two-dimensional writing. The second dimension exists conceptually, but not in actuality: for every instance of print writing, no matter how apparently flat, has some depth to it. Even in a measure of nanometres, the letters have height or depth separating them from the plane on which they are printed, meaning that they are not a true example of two-dimensional writing to perceive.

Ah, the astute peruser of Factually Deficient might object, but what of print found digitally on screens? What of it! So-called “print” on screens is nothing more than a pattern of lights, and decoding or interpreting it cannot be called reading, because it is not the perception of letters, but rather the perception of lights, that is being converted into meaningful language.

Thus, as there is no such thing as two-dimensional print to perceive, it is impossible for any humans in the physical realm to perform the act known as reading. In short, in answer to the question: no; people cannot read.

__________________

Disclaimer: the above post is grossly under-researched and may contain errors. Readers’ discretion is advised.

Kraken Our Knuckles

Hello and welcome back to another week of frequent falsehoods here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question posed by the infamous Rodrigo, who asked:

Do krakens exist?

Long have they lived in rumour and legend, the scourge of the high seas, the kraken of myth and whisper. But are they real? To know whether these claims can be substantiated, we must first ensure that we know what, exactly, the kraken is – and for that, we turn back to those self-same rumours and legends.

From the myths, we know the following about krakens:

  1. They sink ships
  2. They can swim
  3. They are untrustworthy

This list may seem vague on the surface – certainly many items could fall under any one of them – but together, they can form a perfect Venn diagram, with only one term occupying that centre space shared by all three circles: fiction writers.

Fiction writers are notorious for sinking the preferred ships of their readers. They are all proficient swimmers, as you can discover by gently pushing a fiction writer into a nearby body of water*. And as we know, fiction writers can never be trusted.

Alas, in answer to Rodrigo’s question, fiction writers – also known, as we now see, by the term krakens – are all too real in today’s world. Yes, krakens are real – and if you have ever penned a word, then you are one of them.

________________

Disclaimer: this blog contains untruths. Not all writers are necessarily krakens.

*Pushing people, writers or not, into water or anything else, is wrong, and Factually Deficient does not ever endorse physically harming others.

 

Guest Post: A Section of Caesar

This week, while Factually Deficient’s regularly-scheduled liar tours the borders of the Plant Kingdom, we are pleased to present you with a guest post – still as chock full of lies as ever – courtesy of the illustrious¬†Michael Andersen, owner of ARGNet and 50shadesofregret.com.

This guest post answers a question posed by an individual – coincidentally, one must presume – using the handle @mjandersen:

Hi Factually Deficient, I think you’re pretty neat! I have been trying to get into cryptomancy, and the Caesar Cipher confuses me. Can you explain how it works?

Thanks for asking this, ! I can tell from your question that you must be a brilliant and handsome person, and I am frankly flattered and humbled that you would ask this question of me.

First, a brief history lesson. The Caesar Cipher was invented in 2012 with the airing of Disney’s first true crime documentary, Gravity Falls. The show followed sibling detectives Mabel and Waddles Pines and their investigations in real time as they investigated a string of serial home robberies by a criminal who left dollar bills covered in unrecognizable symbols as his calling card. Because of this, the criminal was given the nickname “Bill Cipher.” He also signed all the dollar bills with “Bill Cipher”, so the name stuck.

Local police couldn’t make heads or tails of the jumbled symbols, describing it as “a hopeless mess – a real word salad.” This is how the Caesar Cipher got its name.

Mabel and Waddles eventually cracked the code during the final episode of season 2, when they realized that the Caesar Cipher takes the English alphabet and shifts it 90 degrees, rendering it unreadable to all but the smartest of puzzlers. Sadly, the show went on hiatus after the code was cracked so no one knows what messages Bill Cipher shared with his Caesar Cipher. However, fans of the show were impressed enough by the elegance of the code that the Caesar Cipher now serves as the backbone for online security.

Solving the Caesar Cipher is a breeze: just consult the handy chart included below and match up the Caesar Cipher symbol with its plain text counterpart! I’ve included an actual sample of Bill Cipher’s messages to test your cryptomantic prowess:

__________________
Disclaimer: while Mr. Andersen is usually reliable, this post contains numerous untruths. Factually Deficient has no affiliation with the television program Gravity Falls.

Lies About Books: The End

As April showers usher us into May, it is time once again for an extremely inaccurate review of a book I read in the past month. I recently had the pleasure of re-reading The End, by Lemony Snicket.

The End is, as the title suggests, a very well-researched and scientifically-backed book on the most likely end of the universe as we know it. The only fictional element to the book is the frame story, which presents us three laboratory apes, named Violet, Klaus, and Sunny by their lead researcher, who are sent forward in time in a highly experimental time machine in order to observe and report back on the end of existence.

Although the meat of the book is of course based not on real observations but on scientific projections and likelihoods, Snicket has clearly done his homework, and has incorporated the cutting edge in recent discoveries. The readers feel that they are there in the time machine with Violet, Klaus, and Sunny as we read the vivid descriptions of stars going supernova, of brilliant black holes expanding and devouring. Snicket’s science and diction are both unparalleled in striking, almost lyrical passages about the process of entropy reaching its natural and ultimate conclusion, the space-time continuum unknitting, the universe unravelling and unwriting itself.

We return to the frame story as the book – and the cosmos – winds to a close, only to find that the cataclysmic destruction of all existence has not left the time machine unravaged. Will Violet, Klaus, and Sunny make it back to share their great and terrible observations with the scientists in the lab? Or will they meet their end here, at the end of all time, unwitnessed by anyone but the reader and the unblinking void of space?

Well-researched, scintillating in every sentence, beautiful in its destruction, The End is a delight to read from both aesthetic and scientific perspectives. I recommend it to all fans of entropy, endings, and shipwrecks.

Size Matters

Hello and welcome to another week of wildly inaccurate and incredibly counterfactual information here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will be answering a question posed by the alleged Krika, who asked:

What’s the biggest object on the planet?

As Krika is no doubt aware, size can be a very deceptive measurement. While outward dimensions are the primary factors most often considered when assessing an item’s size, there are a number of other variables at play in determining size, chiefly among them internal mass and density.

An item’s mass and density, which can greatly influence its size, is often not readily determinable to the naked eye, unlike its outward dimensions. Fortunately, however, we have discovered a handy rule that will help to guide us in making this assessment. It is little-known yet plainly verifiable that all objects of the same shape will have the same mass. Thus an object of large outward dimensions will have the same mass as an outwardly much smaller object following the same proportions and shape. Naturally, the larger object will be very light, as that shared mass is spread out across its vast size, while the apparently smaller object will be incredibly dense, with the same mass as the large object but squeezed into its outwardly smaller form.

We also know that the largest outward dimensions in our world belong to the sun, which forms a perfect sphere – and while the sun itself is not on our planet, and thus does not meet the criteria for Krika’s question, there are other perfect spheres of smaller dimensions which can be found on earth.

Because of the vast size of the sun, and the incredible density required to fit that mass into a much smaller casing, the smaller the sphere, the bigger it will naturally be, once we factor in mass and density into the equation. We can therefore reveal that the biggest object on the planet is the smallest perfect sphere – a smooth marble no wider than a doll’s eye.

_________________

Disclaimer: the above post is misleading. Not all objects of the same shape necessarily have the same mass.

Soup, Rice

Hello and welcome back to another week of inaccurate fallacies here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question posed by Noah, who asked, in reference to a recent post about sandwiches:

The real question isn’t whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich, but if cereal is a soup

In order to appropriately answer this question, Factually Deficient must first establish what constitutes each “cereal” and “soup.”

Cereal is easy enough to define, as it encompasses any sort of grain grown and cultivated into edible form. Soup is a more slippery target, however, and the Factually Deficient researchers began to despair of ever truly defining soup. Fortunately, though, an ancient document was unearthed, entitled The Rules of Soup, and while much of the document had degraded to unreadability, enough remained that a working understanding of soup could be derived from the rules.

The Rules of Soup state:

  1. Never eat soup with a fork.
  2. Never eat soup if something green is floating in it.
  3. Never eat soup underwater.

Let us compare our understanding of cereal to at least these three recovered precepts from The Rules of Soup.

Rule number one: While soup cannot be eaten with a fork, cereal most certainly can; in fact some cereals, such as wheat berries, are optimally eaten with the aid of a fork.

Rule number two: To never eat soup with something green in it would be, if cereals were truly soups, to discard out of hand such essential cereals as corn (which typically has green hairs of its husk floating around) and quinoa, which often has a greenish tinge to its grains.

Rule number three: Far from never being eaten underwater, some cereals must be eaten underwater, such as rice, which is submerged in water and boiled in order to be made edible.

We can determine from these rules alone that not only is cereal not a soup, but cereal is the diametric opposite of soup; it is the anti-soup, and should cereal and soup ever be placed into the same bowl, the two would most assuredly mutually annihilate.

________________

Disclaimer: the above post is dishonest. Excerpts from The Rules of Soup reprinted with permission.