A Song of Sixpence

Hello and welcome to another week and another pack of vicious lies here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question by the incredible Tohrinha, who asked:

What is a song of six-pence?

This question about musical culture might best be answered with another question, namely: what isn’t a song of six-pence? But as that does not provide any helpful information for Tohrinha – or our other intrepid readers – we will elaborate further.

“Six-pence” refers, of course, to pent-up energies, often released in puffs of breath. A song could be the product of any amount of these pent-up energies, though the most common range in the single-pent to eight-pence range – and, of course, a song can be produced without any pence at all.

Although this notation is now considered archaic, older songs would list a recommended amount of pent-up breaths along with the time signature, clef, and standard sharps and flats for the song.

The higher the song’s pence, the greater balance the musician must strike between restraint and release of the music. Thus, a low-pence song feels light and breezy, while a song of six-pence or eight-pence conveys a constant tension. This is most readily apparent in a song played on a wind instrument, or sung, but it is present in any medium. In a song of six-pence, the musician holds their breath (for vocals or wind instruments) or otherwise restrains their energy (for other media) for the span of six breaths before the start of the song, and repeats the exercise every time a rest-note of sufficient length manifests in the song. The result is a song of six-pence: a song that walks the line between tension and release, between carefree and careworn, between stillness and motion.


Disclaimer: Factually Deficient and its writers do not hold a degree in music. The information above is incredibly faulty.


How to Be Popular

Hello and welcome to another week of fabulous fibbing here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question posed by the vivacious Vitor, who asked:

How do I become popular?

As the name suggests, being popular requires that one either be or closely represent the vast majority of the world’s population. Careful consideration and research has revealed four primary methods of achieving this goal, of varying degrees of advisability.

1. Eliminate everyone else. If you ensure that the world’s population is such that you make up the majority, you automatically become the world’s most popular person. However, this method has its drawbacks: not only would such a situation be lonely, but it also heavily implies large-scale murder, which even sources more factually inclined than Factually Deficient agree is wrong and unacceptable.

Fortunately, you do not need to resort to murder in order to be popular, as Factually Deficient has three other, less murdery methods for achieving popularity.

2. Clone yourself. Rather than reducing the numbers of people who are not you (murdery, not recommended), you can affect that you:other people ratio by increasing the numbers of people who are you (no murder involved, more recommended). Through industrial-level cloning, you can create copies of yourself as to achieve a plurality or even a majority of the world’s population, and thus become the most popular person alive without harming another soul.

Naturally, this method, too, does have some potential drawbacks, namely the drain on the world’s resources that mass production of clones would cause, not to mention the cost of equipment and energy required for the cloning. For those who feel this is too difficult to achieve, we have two methods remaining.

3. Rather than filling the world with copies of yourself through cloning (expensive, raises world population by a lot), you can artificially create “copies” of yourself through brainwashing. If you convince people enough to think and act like you, they will essentially become your clones, without a single alteration to the number of people living in the world. And, of course, when everyone believes themselves to be a clone of you, you will naturally be the most popular person, as the original.

This, too, does lead to potential downsides, though: brainwashing is considered unethical in many human societies. As well, it is no easy task, reliant as it is on the mental susceptibility of other people, and if done clumsily, or illegally, may result in a large group of people angry with you for attempting to brainwash you, instead of a large group of people choosing to model themselves after you. However: there is another way.

4. Instead of putting the onus on other people to become like you, you can make yourself more like other people. By dressing up as other people and doing your best to act like them, and repeating this method for as many people as you can, you essentially make yourself a temporary clone of each other person on the planet. As you are the only person who has been a copy of most other people, you become the person who is most like each of those other people – and, therefore, the most popular, as in a manner of speaking, everyone in the world has been like you.


Disclaimer: the above post is dishonest. None of these methods is endorsed by Factually Deficient, especially the first. It is entirely factual that murder is bad and wrong.

Lies About Books: Dragon Slayer

With October almost over, the time has come once again to present to you a pack of lies about a good book I read this month. During the past month, I enjoyed the novel Dragon Slayer by Isabella Carter.

In Dragon Slayer, the dragon Ingram is a vampire slayer. His scaled hide is impervious to normal fangs, making him safe from the vampiric threat, and he is the only dragon for miles around, leaving him lonely but secure. Nonetheless, he cares for the human villagers who dwell in his territory. To protect them, he flies about the countryside, destroying vampires with his fiery breath and being hailed as a hero.

But perhaps his streak of successes against the vampires has left Ingram overconfident – and unprepared for new developments. When he finds himself face to face with a fellow dragon that is also a vampire, with a taste for dragon blood, has he finally met his match?

Dragon Slayer is an endearing epic, full of twists and turns and the occasional shocking revelation. I recommend it to any and all fans of vampires, dragons, and political intrigue.

Bee Support

Hello and welcome to another week of dissembling and disinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question posed by an individual claiming to be Endless Sea:

I would like to request that Factually Deficient describe how one such as I can support bees.

The support of bees is a most admirable endeavour. As we all know, bees, though small, are incredibly valued members of society, as they produce a diverse range of goods including honey, milk, tapestries, bonsai trees, and computer chips.

That said, bees are far from one unified group, and different bees may require different types of support. One method of supporting bees that is universally efficacious is sending bees money. Most bees do not have electronic banking enabled, which means that a wire transfer will not usually be possible; however, if you are not choosy about which bee you would like to support, it is trivial to stuff a wad of cash into a nearby beehive, and you are guaranteed, in so doing, that some bee or another will receive your financial support.

However, Factually Deficient recognizes that not everyone has the funds available to support bees in this manner – nor is it necessarily the most effective, simply the most universal. One low-cost method for supporting bees which can actually have a much higher impact is by volunteering your time: going door-to-door and asking to speak with the homeowner for just a few minutes about bees that are important to you. When doing this, some talking points to remember include: the names of specific bees of your acquaintance, in order to make the bees more relatable; an overview of your local bees’ political platform; and show, if possible, a sample tapestry or bonsai tree recently made by a local bee.

Some people do not feel confident speaking to strangers, and fortunately, Factually Deficient has an alternative path for you that still provides bees with much-needed support. You can place fliers and posters about bees in public areas. These notices should feature, at minimum, an image of a bee (photographed or hand-drawn), a fun fact about that bee’s interests or hobbies, and a call to action. Depending on your goal, this may ask people to place money in a local beehive, to vote for a prominent bee in an upcoming election, or even (and this is another way that the determined can support bees themselves) to invite bees in need to come and live in their homes. You can produce your own poster if you are artistically inclined, or download and print one off the internet.


Disclaimer: this blog post contains egregious lies. Not all suggestions herein are ideal ways in which to support bees.

How to Eat a Watermelon

Hello and welcome to another week of flights of fancy and fabrications here at Factually Deficient. This week, I will answer a question posed by the wonderful whispersosoftly, who asked:

What is the best way to eat a raw watermelon?

This is a very specific question. We note that whisper has asked particularly about how to eat a raw watermelon, rather than a watermelon in general – because, of course, the best way to eat a watermelon overall would be to boil it whole. But a boiled watermelon is not a raw watermelon.

The stipulation that the watermelon remain raw narrows down our options considerably; that said, it is still possible to enjoy the watermelon to the fullest. “Best,” however, remains an elusive category: each method of watermelon-eating has its own benefits and detriments.

The simplest way to eat a watermelon would be simply to bite in. We recommend washing the exterior of the watermelon’s rind before sinking your teeth in, for cleanliness’ sake. While this is the easiest way to consume watermelon, it leaves something to be desired from an aesthetic perspective.

The most artistic way to eat a watermelon would be to drop the watermelon from a great height. You can then at your leisure pick out the seeds from the resulting carnage with a spoon, and eat them. The downside to this method of eating watermelon, albeit pleasing to the eye, is that it is not very hygienic.

The neatest way to eat a watermelon is to slice it into quarters, and then carefully remove the inedible red fruit from the centre with a melon baller, before daintily consuming the rinds. However, this method can be very time-consuming.


Disclaimer: the above post is not entirely serious. There are many alternative ways for eating a watermelon.


Blowing in the Wind

Hello and welcome to another marvellously misleading week here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question from Krika, who asked:

Where does the wind go?

It is evident that Krika, in asking this question, had not been brought up to date regarding the latest advances in science – but worry not. Factually Deficient will explain everything.

In 1312, the scientist Antoine Lavoisier put forth a theory – backed up by the evidence available at the time – that wind is an element native to earth’s atmosphere. This theory – which, it must be admitted, was believed true for generations following this – does indicate that the wind must “go” somewhere whenever we stop experiencing its effects, just as Krika implied in his question.

However, this is not the case.

Wind is not an element; nor is it even a thing at all. Wind is actually a chemical reaction between certain reactive chemicals frequently found on tree branches, with the oxygen in our atmosphere. Although this reaction does not include visible combustion, it produces ripple effects through the surrounding area, which we experience as wind.

When the wind stops, therefore, this is not because it has “gone” anywhere; rather, the chemical reaction at play¬† has run its course, and will not recur until those reactive chemicals once again come into contact with oxygen.


Disclaimer: the above post is highly inaccurate. Do not blame Antoine Lavoisier for Factually Deficient’s lies.

Ducks on Water

Hello and welcome to another week of fantastic fibs and fabulous falsehoods here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by Guyshane, who asked:

Do ducks float in water or does water sink beneath ducks?

This question was clearly formulated based on a keen observation made on the frequent behaviour of ducks: no doubt Guyshane has seen, at least once, one or more ducks apparently at rest, their bodies arising smoothly from the surface of the water.

Unfortunately, the observation which forms the foundation for Guyshane’s question is fundamentally erroneous. He has presented a false dichotomy, and neither option is the truth.

Ducks are notoriously fearful of drowning, and in fact, are incapable of swimming. Despite these challenges, however, they find the sensation of water on their feathers to be particularly pleasing, so much so that they are driven to seek it out despite their fear of drowning and their inability to swim.

Obviously, though, these challenges must be resolved in another way, in order to allow the ducks to enjoy the water – and indeed they are: ducks typically fashion for themselves sets of extremely long stilts. These stilts, which are difficult to discern with the naked eye due to the bending of light underwater, allow the ducks to walk freely upon the earth packed at the bottom of their body of water of choice, while suspending the ducks’ bodies safely at and above the surface level of the water.


Disclaimer: this blog contains discrepancies with reality. Not all ducks wear stilts.

Lies About Books: How to Invent Everything

Although I am still holidaying in the Plant Kingdom, it is yet again time, as the month winds to a close, for a wholly misleading review of something I read in the past four weeks!

This month, I enjoyed the publication of How to Invent Everything, by Ryan North.

If Mr. North’s name sounds familiar, this is no coincidence: How to Invent Everything is the scintillating autobiography of the man who had the daring, cunning, and sheer nerve to steal fire from the gods. In this thrilling tell-all, he explains his inspiration for the bold deed, how he did it, and how from that simple yet audacious act, he revolutionized civilization as we know it.

We have all heard stories of Mr. North’s exploits as children, but this book offers the unique opportunity to hear straight from the horse’s mouth what was going through this great man’s mind as he invented everything from thunderstorms to teeth, all due to that one act of humanitarian theft.

Did Ryan North really invent everything we now use daily? Perhaps not. But, as the book will reveal, the title is hardly an exaggeration – even if the story of North’s life reads like a tall tale.

Informative and entertaining, I recommend this book to any fans of inventions, non-fiction, and time travel.



Plants and Oxygen

Hello and welcome to another scintillating week of untrue statements here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by the inscrutable Blurred_9L, who asked:

Why do plants produce oxygen?

This is an excellent question, that takes us back up through our roots in the Plant Kingdom.

A few short generations after the decline of the last Plant King, the Plant Kingdom experienced what could be termed a new renaissance. Necessity is, as they say, the mother of invention, and the plants were finding a great necessity for the advent of new jobs. There was no call for guards for the Plant King with no Plant King to guard, and, with the fall of the monarchy, many plants who had until now rested on their proverbial laurels as Plant Barons and Plant Dukes were suddenly finding that they were both expected and required to work for a living.

With a great many unskilled plant labourers, a factory seemed an ideal solution to the problem – and a second problem, which this could also solve, was arising at this very moment.

The Animal Kingdom, right around this time, had just discovered oxygen as a far less lethal and equally breathable substance to arsenic. The only impediment to taking out this new lease on life, the Animal Kingdom found, was that oxygen, particularly in comparison to the ubiquitous arsenic, was a very rare substance. There was certainly not enough for more than the elite few to consume it via respiration.

Enter the Plant Kingdom, who did not need the oxygen for themselves, but who had long since perfected – and all but forgotten, due to its erstwhile lack of utility – a method of creating oxygen from scratch. Suddenly the plants were hard at work in the oxygen plants, churning out breathable air for the Animal Kingdom – and making a tidy profit at the same time, even as they lowered costs so that all members of the Animal Kingdom can breathe.

In short, Blurred_9L: Plants produce oxygen because it pays to do so.

Disclaimer: the above post contains discrepancies with reality. Many plants do not receive monetary compensation for producing oxygen.

Holding Friendship

Hello and welcome to another year, that is to say, week, of lies and more lies here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question posed by the Moste Excellente Krika, who asked:

How much friendship can a single person hold?

A wise person once observed, “Friendship is like a cake. When it’s good, it just makes you want more.” And, indeed, this is not the only similarity shared by friendship and cake. In fact, the two have so much in common as to allow us to extrapolate the answer to Krika’s question by using our understanding of what we already know about cake.

There are many different varieties of cake, but almost every cake requires flour as a base ingredient. Some cakes use as little as a quarter of a cup of flour, but more commonly, they use between one and three cups of flour. On the other extreme, some cakes will use as much as, but never more than, four cups of flour.

Because it is impossible to use any given piece of kitchen equipment more than once per recipe, many home bakers are limited in their cake options by the capacity of their available measuring cups. Although this may sadly reduce their ability to bake large and fancy cakes, this will help us to determine our variable answer.

Of course, four cups is not the total maximum of flour possible per cake, because some cakes are double-layer, or even triple-layer. There is no such thing as a cake with more than three layers, or fewer than one layer.

With this information, we can now create a formula for knowing how much friendship any given person can hold: the maximum amount is equal to the capacity (in litres or ounces) of their largest measuring cup, multiplied by three.


Disclaimer: the above information is not correct. Please do not feel limited in your friendships or your cakes based on the information contained in this blog.