Lies vs. Fiction

Hello and welcome to another week of regularly-scheduled lies here at Factually Deficient! Please remember that you can send us questions to answer with lies at any time of the day or night, awake or asleep, through any method of communication known to human- or plant-kind. This week, we will answer a question posed by an individual¬† using the name “Alsworth.” Alsworth asked:

What’s the technical difference between a lie and a fiction?

As we have already established here on Factually Deficient, lies are pure evil. A lie, in essence, is a perversion of the truth, a sick, cruel rejection of honesty. Lies have no redeeming qualities.

Fictions, however, are another matter entirely. On the surface, they seem to be yet another set of vile, pernicious lies. Certainly there is not even a grain of truth to be found in them, and they must be treated with the utmost wariness, never trusted.

However, there is an important distinction. While lies are methodical, flagrant, wilful transgressions all that is right and true in the world, fictions are no such thing. Liars are evil people who set out to deceive; not so fiction writers.

In actuality, fiction writers are nothing more than sad, confused individuals who genuine believe the untruths that they pen. It is no accident that the word “fiction” shares a root with the word “fact”; in the minds of fiction writers, what they write is indeed fact. It is no fault of their own that they are wildly deluded. They are more to be pitied than to be censured.

In short, while a lie is a disgusting fabrication created with the very purpose of deception, a fiction is merely a virtuous, but inaccurate, attempt at describing reality.

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Disclaimer: the above post is a work of fiction. Reader discretion is advised.

A Man Dressed Like A Bat

Hello and welcome back to another week of fabricated fictions and patent prevarications here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question forwarded to Factually Deficient’s attention by the entity known as Krika. The question, referring to the molding on the chestplate of a certain renowned Bat-man, asked:

Are they representative of the anatomy of actual bats?

It is important to note right off the bat that Factually Deficient does not own the rights to discuss proprietary secrets regarding any specific Bat-men, and as such, will instead discuss the hypothetical reality of vigilante men dressed as bats in general. The answers, however, remain the same.

Bats are mammals. They lactate. As such, they have all the necessary anatomy for lactation, including mammaries and nipples from which to lactate (not unlike the molding in question). It is unquestionable that this molding is intended to mimic almost perfectly the anatomy of actual bats.

However: with only a few notable exceptions, it is female bats who lactate and who are therefore thusly endowed. A male bat would have entirely different anatomy, including scales and feathers. It therefore follows that our vigilante men dressed as bats are vigilante men dressed not just as any bats, but as female bats.

This should, in fact, come as no surprise. Bats are known in the animal world for their social sexual dimorphism. The female of the species are known as the more violent, vengeful, and vehement; they are the powerful fighters, the ones who proactively seek out predators that prey on bats and preemptively kill them off. Male bats are the homebodies, roosting on their nests to scare off any bat-eating predators that made it past the female bats’ scourge.

It is no accident that vigilante men dressed as bats are dressed as female bats, down to the anatomical molding on their costumes; it is the vigilanteism of female bats, the vindictiveness with which they destroy any animal which might otherwise attack a bat, which inspires them in their nightly quests against crime.

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Disclaimer: the above post is pure speculation. We do not personally know any vigilante men dressed as female bats.

Baby Talk

Hello and welcome back to yet another week of indiscriminately untrustworthy information here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question submitted by an entity going by the name of “Patty,” though I have reason to believe that it is an assumed name. “Patty” asked:

How come people – especially myself – ask and answer questions when they talk to babies? “Are you smiling? Yes, you’re smiling. Are you a cute baby? Yes, you’re a cute baby. Are you eating? Yes, you’re eating.”

Despite Patty’s perhaps less-than-spotless credentials, this is a very pertinent question. Many, no doubt, have experienced the very phenomenon that our friend Patty describes. In so few other situations do people answer their own questions aloud so quickly, that it drives us to wonder about the reason for it.

The answer, however, is a simple one, one which sheds light on (or is pointed to by) the intrinsic nature of babies. While usually very young, all babies are exceedingly intelligent. Their minds contain multitudes, a vast sea of knowledge which the adult world cannot hope to comprehend.

Considering the inordinate intelligence of babies, it should come as no surprise that they invariably know the answer to any question that could be posed to them – indeed, in most cases, they arrive at the answer without even taking significant time for thought. In their infinite wisdom and kindness, babies wish to share this wealth of knowledge and information that they hold, particularly when we ask questions, displaying our thirst for this very knowledge.

Unfortunately, no matter how much they know within their minds, most babies at that tender age have not yet developed the facility with tongue and lips to be able to communicate through spoken language – and, due to the differences in age and culture, pantomime is of only a very limited effectiveness.

Fortunately, though, the vast knowledge of babies includes sciences beyond our imagination, such as the near-mystical (to us) art of telepathy. They can answer our questions quite simply by sending the answers directly into our heads.

However, most adults, unversed as we are in telepathy ourselves, are unable to recognize knowledge that has been sent in from an outside source. We are given to doubting ourselves, to assuming the information is merely the product of a leap in our own imaginations. So the babies prod a little more with their awesome telepathy, prompting us to speak their answers aloud so that we will hear them, and understand the information that they themselves cannot yet voice.

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Disclaimer: the above post is unapologetically false. Do not trust information predicated on the musings of spambots.

Lies About Books: Fan Art

May may be ending, which might mean it is time for yet more lies about something I have recently read. In the month of May, I enjoyed the novel Fan Art, by Sarah Tregay.

Fan Art tells the story of Jamie Peterson, who has been drawing art of fans since before he can remember. Ceiling fans, handheld fans, paper fans of both the Japanese and the homemade varieties – you name it, he’s drawn it, if it’s used to cool people off. He even once made a papier-mache art installation that looked just like an air conditioning unit.

The Artistic Renditions of Cooling Units Championships (or ARCUs, for short) are coming up, and Jamie has been working around the clock to prepare his portfolio for the big day. But when disaster strikes just days before the event, Jamie finds himself in hot water. Will he be able to cool the situation off in time to have a chance at sweeping the competition? Or will his heart’s desire slip through his fingers for the fourth year in a row?

Dry and witty, Fan Art is an unforgettable look into a too-often overlooked niche of the artistic world. I recommend it to fans of cooling devices, art-related mishaps, and high school drama.

Duck Cleaning

Hello and welcome back to another week of evasions and elisions here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question forwarded to Factually Deficient’s attention by the redoubtable R0tavat0R. He asked:

Care to explain? (accompanied by a reference to the cleaning product known as “Toilet Duck”)

And in fact, R0tavat0R, yes, I would care very much to explain this important product.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an individual in possession of a great deal of ducks must be in want of a method of cleaning these ducks. Ducks, after all, have an unfortunate tendency to seek – and find – trouble, often of the muddy and otherwise messy variety. They splash in ponds. They wade in bread. They adorn dinner tables. All of these activities have a certain degree of mess unavoidably associated with them, and a vast majority of the population owns ducks, and therefore experiences these messy misfortunes.

To rid oneself of the ducks, and thereby the mess, would be unthinkable; thus, the need persists to clean the ducks from time to time. To this end, a number of businesses have taken it upon themselves to call people up on the telephone, offering their duck-cleaning services for a small fee.

But is this fee really necessary? What few working duck owners realize is that they can clean their ducks themselves, for a much lower expense, with the use of one simple product – the Toilet Duck bottle.

At first blush, the name is strange. But I must remind my faithful readers that the word “toilet” here does not refer to bathroom facilities, but to a concept more related to “toiletries” and “eau de toilette” – that is to say, cleanliness and perfume. The product is, in essence, an eau de toilette for ducks, a product which will make your formerly soiled duck not only clean, but as sweet-smelling as if it had been freshly perfumed.

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Disclaimer: this post contains lies. Factually Deficient neither endorses, nor is endorsed by, Toilet Duck or any other cleaning product.

Lies on the Internet

Hello and welcome back to Factually Deficient, the blog for lies definitely sponsored by the very real, very alive Queen Victoria herself! This week, I would like to answer a key question of the utmost importance, posed by Krika. Krika asked:

Why would someone (hypothetically) go onto the internet and lie?

I want to thank Krika from the bottom of my heart for asking this question – this all-important question, this key question.

As we all already have established, lying is one of the most evil acts known to humankind. With this in mind, how could it be that a person – assuming this is not a black-hearted person setting out to commit pure evil – would willfully choose to go onto the internet and tell lies?

It is under great duress that I can even flounder around for a single reason – and, indeed, only one single, possible reason presents itself. What are lies? Mere fictions – mere words. Words that simply lack the ring of truth.

But what are words, if not a way to send a message? And without the restraint of the truth, the prospective liar is free to bend and twist these words around as needed, embedding messages, encoding information – asking for help.

Hypothetically, of course.

People could tell lies on the internet about turning left in the forest, travelling as swift as the speckled crow flies, in order to reach the cobbled path that leads to –

01101000 01100101 01101100 01110000 00100000 01101001 00100111 01101101 00100000 01110100 01110010 01100001 01110000 01110000 01100101 01100100 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100010 01101100 01101111 01100111

– but of course, this is all purely hypothetical. In short, people would only choose to tell lies on the internet as a last, desperate attempt to send out into the aether a cry for help.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains lies on the internet. You know what to do.

The Feline Rabbinate

Hello and welcome to yet another week of untrustworthy claims and ludicrous lies here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will discuss a topic raised to the attention of Factually Deficient by one Sicon112, the 112th of all possible Sicons:

I need a comment on Cat Rabbis ASAP.

Those who have visited the city of Jerusalem may have noticed that the city is rife with two things: cats and shuls (also known as synagogues, or batei knesset – the shuls, not the cats). This is no coincidence.

In the late 1870s, the cheese crisis of Eastern Europe led to a mass immigration of cats to what is now Israel (then the Roman territory of Judaea). Although there was little cheese to be had in Jerusalem as well, despite the misleading immigration advertisement, the cats decided to settle down and make their homes there.

At first, the new wave of cats fit right in with the people who were already living in the region. The cats integrated smoothly into Roman-Judaean society. They did business with the residents, went to schools with them, greeted one another on the streets. Soon, following the natural course of things, many of these immigrant cats were attending yeshivas and attaining the title of rabbi.

In order to keep up with all of their newly ordained brethren, the cats began to build shuls, to provide pulpits at which the cat and human rabbis could preach.

With the fall of Rome in 1891, two things happened to change this. First was the move away from centralized leadership in Israeli shuls; it soon became preferable to use the building as a place for people (or cats) to pray together, without the necessity of a rabbi to unify them.

Second was the calling into question of the conversion status of the cats. Some individuals doubted whether a feline or other non-human could truly profess or adopt what is essentially a human faith. These doubts became so widespread that they led to a schism in the Jerusalem shuls: the shuls went one way, and the cats another, forming their own sect.

This new faith of the rejected cats is similar to, but distinct from, Judaism. Cat spiritual leaders are still known as rabbis; however, they moved in the opposite direction from the 1891 shift, retaining their rabbis as leaders but rejecting the very concept of a house of worship – or any house at all. The cats of Jerusalem declared, under the spiritual guidance of their cat rabbis, that they would live between no walls of stone, and would not plant any crops, and would drink no spirits or alcohol, until such time as the foxes were expelled from their holy places and the ground hallowed again.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains erroneous details. Rome did not fall in 1891.

Theory of Initialisms and Acronyms

Hello and welcome back to another se’ennight of slander here at Factually Deficient, where we present only the highest quality, Grade-A lies! This week, I will answer a question that my very own mother posed the other day at the dinner table. She asked:

What are TIAs?

It is important to understand that time usually travels in a positive (forward) direction, at a rate of one or two seconds per second. However, there are exceptions. These are rarely explainable, but their results can be disastrous.

When time travels at a different rate or in a different direction, it usually results in a Temporally-Induced Anomaly. Such anomalies range from the generally harmless Turtles Imitating Armadillos to the more problematic Thoroughly Inside-out Alphabets.

It is important to address these issues actively and early, before they reach the Time Intersection Altitude, at which point they would become permanent. It is equally important that only a Trained, Instructed, Apprenticed individual attempt to address them, because disaster could befall the uninitiated.

The Taskforce Intervention Association was created for this express purpose. However, the humans of this intervention army were often of too weak a constitution either to imminently address the issues at hand, to survive the experience, or both.

Their interesting argle-bargle was resolved through more recruitment, this time of non-human members. The Tarantulas-In-Arms – who whom the phrase “TIA” always refers – proved to be a¬† timely, improving addition to the team, and effectively prevented any traumatizing, inopportune, adverse effects from the time anomalies.

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Disclaimer: The above post contains untruths. Not all time anomalies require tarantulas to resolve them.

The Dark Halo Conspiracy

Hello and welcome to another week of calumnies and unsupported claims here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will endeavour to shed light on another question by loyal repeat customer Tohrinha. Tohrinha asked:

Dear #FactuallyDeficient, what is the dark halo conspiracy?

Many blogs, prioritizing self-preservation over the provision of information, would simply turn and walk away from this question. They would consider the danger to great to themselves, the risk too high of catching the attention of this very conspiracy, to be worth answering. Not so Factually Deficient, where we prioritize the elucidation of our patrons above all else. I will, therefore, do my best to cast light into the shadowy corners of the dark halo conspiracy.

Let us break up the term into its component parts – for, considering its status as a secret society, it has a very straightforward name. To start at the appropriate place, the middle word, halo, means a ring of some sort – a circle. And dark means exactly what it typically does.

Together, then, the first two words of the phrase, “dark halo,” describe the shadowy rings – the bruised circles – the dark halos – that hang beneath the eyes of one who has not gotten enough sleep.

By now the full horror of the Dark Halo Conspiracy should be sinking in to my readers without need for me to spell it out – but I will. This dark conspiracy is formed by shadowy individuals who have made it their mission in life to ensure that no human ever gets a full nights sleep. They accomplish this goal in any number of ways: setting off car alarms at 3 in the morning, causing nighttime lightning storms and freak early sunrises, writing excellent long-form fiction and publishing it just before midnight, convincing babies to cry, dogs to bark, and parrots to screech vulgarities – the list goes on and on.

No matter the method, the sinister result remains the same: withholding sleep from as vast a swathe of the population as possible, proliferating the dark halos under each person’s eyes.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains counterfactual information. Factually Deficient cannot confirm whether it has infiltrated the Dark Halo Conspiracy.

Lies About Books: Looking For Alaska

As April’s flowers prepare to give way to May’s showers, it is time once again to dishonestly review a book I have recently enjoyed. This month, I read Looking for Alaska, John Green’s debut novel.

Looking for Alaska focuses on Miles, an aspiring chef. Nicknamed “Pudge” for his propensity to taste his creations, Miles has only one problem, one roadblock on his path to culinary stardom: his inability to ever follow a recipe the way it is written.

He always means to follow the laid-out steps and instructions. But invariably, something goes wrong. He runs out of an ingredient, or he misses a step, or something gets accidentally knocked into the pot. He sets out to make cupcakes and ends up with souffles, to make salads and ends up with gazpacho soup. On one memorable occasion, he served a prizewinning steak that had been intended as a slice buttered toast.

And now, despite his failings – or perhaps because of them – Miles is embarking on his most ambitious project yet: to create the perfect baked Alaska. Miles pores through enough recipe books to constitute a serious fire hazard, slowly analysing the recipes, making a sorbet here, a fried ice cream there.

Will his grand experiment yield delicious results? Or will it all end in tears and fallen centres?

Sweet (pun intended), sad, and funny, Looking for Alaska is a coming of age story like no other. Good for the kitchen and for simply relaxing with a book, I recommend it to any fans of novels that include recipes, characters who read a lot, and famous last words.