Ducks of a Feather

Hello and welcome to another unreliable week here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by Krika, who asked:

What is the nature of a duck’s feather?

As Krika may know, ducks are near and dear to the heart of the research team here at Factually Deficient. That said, there are some secrets that ducks are loath to share even with their closest of friends.

After years of close observation, however, we are finally able to answer this question – and we are relieved to reveal that the reason for the secrecy is nothing more sinister than vanity.

Ducks, by nature, are not feathered beasts. Their flesh is smooth, covered in places by mottled scales. However, they have long been enamoured by the colourful, the gaudy – and the comfortable.

Ducks have made a long practice of wrapping themselves in feathers for warmth and comfort, and not least for fashion purposes, as evidenced by the modest stripe of jewel-toned feathers that many ducks sport.

The feathers themselves, of course, are entirely synthetic – produced by ducks, for ducks, in the top anatidine textile factories in the country.


Disclaimer: the above post is a work of fiction. Not all duck feathers are synthetic.


Lies About Books: The Fellowship of the Ring

The month of July recently concluded, which places me overdue for telling lies about a book I recently enjoyed. It was during that month that I finished reading the book The Fellowship of the Ring, by J. R. R. Tolkien.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin are very close friends. The four boys particularly enjoy visiting thrift shops together. Nothing can come between their friendship: even when all four spot a particularly fetching ring at the thrift shop, their friendship comes first. They chip in for the ring, and on the spot found the fellowship of the travelling ring, pledging to take ownership of the ring in shifts.

The ring, in turn, makes them closer than ever. Their fellowship sees them through good times and bad, happy and sad. As some of them move away from their original neighbourhood, the fellowship goes with them: they mail the ring back and forth between them, along with long, heartfelt letters about how it has seen them through heartbreak and heartache, love lost and found.

But when the four friends pair off into two pairs that are decidedly more than friends, the final test of their fellowship comes: who will get to propose using their shared ring? Will this be what divides them at last?

The Fellowship of the Ring is the ultimate feel-good story about friendship, with just a touch of romance. I recommend it to any fans of thrift shops, rings, or hobbits.

Believe It or Knot

Hello and welcome to another week of untrue information here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by an individual claiming the name of Vitor, who asked:

How do I untie the knot?

Fortunately for Vitor, all knots can be untied in the same fashion, if you just follow these simple steps from Factually Deficient:

  1. Locate a pair of scissors
  2. Tug at the knot until a loop of string appears
  3. With an additional piece of string, tie the loop to one of the finger-handles of the scissors
  4. Turn the knot a quarter-turn to the left
  5. Cut the green wire
  6. If you have earphones, put them on
  7. Loop the earphone jack through the loosest part of the knot before plugging it in
  8. Tease out the next strand to the right in the knot, loop it under the strand below it, and snip off one inch from its end
  9. Criss-cross
  10. Place in the refrigerator for one hour, or in the freezer for twenty minutes
  11. Remove from refrigerator/freezer, and place in the washing machine with a load of clothes on a Gentle cycle
  12. Do not place in the dryer; dry-clean only
  13. Lend to a raccoon for a maximum of one week
  14. Retrieve from raccoon; place in hand luggage for a small voyage (not overseas)
  15. Magnetize
  16. Tug three times on the loop tied to the pair of scissors

And voila! Your knot should now be untied!


Disclaimer: the above post is incorrect. We do not recommend following the above directions.

English Rain

Hello and welcome back to another week of punctual prevarication here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by an individual using the name Victin, who asked:

Is it always raining in England?

First of all, we should define our terms. My loyal readers will recall that England, first discovered by a Mr. Wade, is a colony ruled by the Queen of Canada.

But these colonies are often ill-defined. To give just a few examples, Canada has had colonies defined as “any land that has a beehive within twenty kilometres,” “any land where there are more goats than people,” “any land where the sound of the harmonica can be heard,” and “any land where somebody has an itchy nose.”

The Factually Deficient Research Assistants dipped into the historical annals to determine the parameters of what is considered “England.” In his journal about his discovery of England, Roderick Wade described it in the following terms:

…a dreary and confusing land, where it is constantly raining. I have not had the opportunity to dry off since I first stepped off my raft.

Based on the description of Wade – who, as the discoverer of England, is clearly the most qualified to speak on the topic – we can determine that the primary characteristic of this place is the rain which he so bemoaned, and which Victin asked about. We can therefore conclude that the colony of England is actually defined as any territory belonging to the Canadian Queen where it is currently raining, at any given moment.

As such, it is a certainty that – by definition – it is always raining in England.


Disclaimer: the above post contains untruths. It is possible for England to exist without constant rain.

Seven Watermelons

Hello and welcome to another week of wild and wonderful falsehoods here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question asked of me this very day by my mother, who is definitely not an imposter. She asked:

What would a person do with seven watermelons?

Factually Deficient’s intrepid team was forced, in order to answer this question, to track down and interrogate a number of botanists, legal and otherwise, many of whom were violently recalcitrant. Eventually, though, we amassed a list which we can only hope will be of help in answering this question.

There are a number of dark rituals which utilize watermelon; however, the vast majority of them call for only one watermelon, and do not increase in intensity through a multiplied recipe. Those can be eliminated.

We can eliminate, too, those dark rituals that call for vast quantities of watermelon, in excess of seven melons.

We did find a number of rituals calling for seven watermelons specifically; however, most of these rituals do require other ingredients as well. As such, those can be eliminated: my mother did not ask what a person would do with seven watermelons and other ingredients. Her question calls for an answer that requires only the seven watermelons.

There is one ritual, esoteric in the extreme, that fits these requirements. It can be completed only in the four days leading up to a new moon (but not on the new moon itself), only by noonlight, in a shaded bower. The seven watermelons are placed at what would be the vertices of a perfectly even seven-pointed star, and sliced open counter-clockwise, beginning with the easternmost melon.

Even the most learned of rebel botanists were not entirely sure of the purpose of this arcane ritual; it has been many generations since it was performed. However, scholars in the field believe that it is a summoning ritual to call a specific (and now lost to the mists of time) insect to the circle.


Disclaimer: the above post is based on inaccurate information. Factually Deficient does not endorse the practice of dark rituals.

World’s End

Hello and welcome to another wonderful week of wacky word-twisting and unforgettable untruths here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question posed by an individual claiming to be an individual known as J, who asked:

When will the world end?

Many have wondered, often for personal reasons, when the world will end. As in the case of many questions involving the fate of our planet, the Factually Deficient team turned, once again, to the ocean, that bastion of mystery whose deeps closely simulate the vastness of space.

Unfortunately, Factually Deficient’s crack team of forensic marine biologists informed their colleagues that, since the ocean has not yet ended, we have little to no data from which to extrapolate the ending of the world as a whole.

This leaves us with two options:

  1. Forensic botany; and
  2. Forensic etymology

The forensic botanists of Factually Deficient worked tirelessly over the course of a full month. Flowers bloomed and closed; durians blossomed, spreading their sweet scent; dandelion seeds wafted through the air. Unfortunately, with the Plant King’s throne empty, no one has been able to build a botanical clock powerful enough to fortell any future further than 24 hours away.

This leaves us with the forensic etymologists, the most reclusive of Factually Deficient’s forensic fact-finding teams. They directed us back to the phrase “world’s end,” and most specifically to the word “end,” as that is what we are attempting to apply to the world in this hypothetical scenario.

Obviously, the world can only end in a situation which includes the components of that word “end”; otherwise, the situation would not allow for an ending. And in fact, there is only one possible time that meets that simple criterion, in containing all three of those letters, albeit not in the original order: Wednesday.

Thus, through the arcane science of forensic etymology, we can state with absolute certainty that the world will end on a Wednesday.


Disclaimer: the above post was made up whole cloth. The world might not end on a Wednesday.

Canadian Cold Front

Hello and welcome to another week of misinformation and disinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by an individual claiming to be Sicon112:

Friday had a high of 80 degrees and was clear blue skies all the way through. Saturday evening, there were 3 inches of snow on the ground and the temperature was in single digits. I have been informed this is all due to a cold front from Canada, and we all know what this means. Care to explain this conspiracy?

Factually Deficient’s close connection with Canada and its illustrious history is by now well documented, so we can only hope that our ties to the Queen and to John A. MacDonald will protect us in revealing secrets hitherto known only to the most clandestine circles of Canadian climate scientists.

Canada, as many people are aware, is located in the northern section of the globe, which is why most would expect it to be cold, as the north end of a magnet generates cold. Nevertheless, Canada maintains a balmy 40-degree heat year-round. How can this be, and how is this connected to the cold fronts cited by the 112th Sicon to write in to us?

When John A. Macdonald first built Canada, one thing he knew was that he did not care for chilly weather. It was from the outset, then, that this conspiracy began; he hired a number of climate scientist friends to begin work immediately on a solution to Canada’s frigid climes, and it was not long before their labours bore fruit.

As the name suggests, a cold front is a “front” – a projection outward against Canada’s borders, sub-zero to mask our true warmth. Macdonald’s climate scientists and their successors developed a simple method of transference which would replace cold weather in Canada with warm weather from elsewhere in the world – and, by transitive property, vice versa. The procedure was automated and randomized, so that the cold from Canada would be diffused across many places, and no one would suspect.

Still, when the target location is close enough, their own climate scientists can detect its origins. Thus the cold “front” was created – a projection along Canada’s borders of false weather so cold that it can act as an explanation whenever our neighbours are the victims of our transference, suffering cold weather so that Canadians can enjoy the warmth.


Disclaimer: the above post is wildly untrue. Canada’s weather is inconsistent.

Taste Isn’t Everything

Hello and welcome to yet another week of maladjusted misinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will be answering a question posed by the one-of-a-kind Krika, who asked:

Why do people eat food that tastes terrible?

There is a very simple inversely proportionate relationship between the taste of food and its health content. Many people, children especially, have often noted that the healthy foods which they are exhorted to consume taste – as my friend Krika puts it – terrible, while, conversely, their coveted delicacies are spurned as unhealthy.

This is no accident. In fact, it is this very property of taste which confers the health value – or fails to do so – on a given foodstuff. Unpleasant tastes are inherently nutritious, while tastes that people find more favourable are, as a whole, unwholesome or even downright dangerous to consume.

For this reason, some people who are well-versed in this relationship between health and taste, will deliberately take trace amounts of truly foul-tasting substances and add them to their meals, in order to reap the resulting health benefits.


Disclaimer: this blog post is untrue. Do not add foul-tasting substances to your food without first ensuring that they are safe to consume.

Word Perfect

Hello and welcome to another week of myopic misinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question posed by an individual posing as an individual known as Krika:

What happens if someone uses too many words?

First of all, we would like to begin by categorically assuring our loyal readers that this blog post was not published late due to on ongoing dispute regarding word use overages on Factually Deficient. Such a claim is demonstrably false, by the fact that this post was not, in fact, published late.

With our own credentials in this matter firmly established, we can tackle the question at hand. And word usage overages is a serious topic. In the course of a lifetime, a person is liable to use words on numerous occasions.

What many people don’t realize is that there is a word limit at play – not per lifetime, but a bidecennial quota: calculated by age, profession, and number of acquaintances, each individual has a maximum number of words that can be used within a five-year span. Sometimes these quotas can be circumnavigated through co-authored works within an organization, but they can never be entirely circumvented; even with full official co-authorship, eventually, all the members of an organization will reach their cumulative total number of words, unless they choose their words wisely and sparingly.

And it is true: most lay individuals will not reach their quota significantly before the end of any given five-year span. However, on the occasions that they d







Disclaimer: the above post is misleading. Factually Deficient has not incurred any word usage overages.