Guest Post: Cthulhu Phtagan

Hello everyone! My name is Whisper and today I am the one given the duty of bringing you the world’s best lies.

When approached one afternoon two days in the past by a woman wearing a paper mache caricature of a mallard, I was understandably confused and worried. What is lying, really? How can one person bear the weight of so much falsehood?

It was then that I was struck by an epiphany. After picking myself up off the ground and returning it to its apologetic owner, I had an idea! I would crowdsource my lies, in the form of a question and answer segment! It would be like a ‘get to know your classmates’ section of that one class at the very beginning where you review the syllabus and attempt to not sleep in your chair and drool all over the scratches into the particle board by a dull no. 2 pencil that read “physics sucks” in all capital letters.

Mark M. asks: What is wrong with you?

FD: This is a very good question, and a nuanced one! First, we must address that I am not, nor have I ever been, a takoyaki. For the uninitiated, a takoyaki is a Japanese delicacy of deep fried octopus. It is delicious, chewy, and certainly not composed of my friends, family, and enemies.

Secondarily, we should note that yes, I do have two legs. The usual eight were tragically lost in a game of tag. I feel that loss deeply to this day.

And lastly, to be wrong implies there being a right, and I am entirely composed of lefts. Thanks for your deeply reflective question!

Scarabd asks: What the heck is a tetronimo? 

FD: Well, Scarabd, if that’s your real name, a tetronimo is the building block of life, literally!

Tetronimos are the magnum opus of the animal kingdom. They are bricks at an atomic level. One tetronimo is responsible for 95% of all foot pain. Ouch!

Blurry asks: Why do people get bad breath?

FD: Bad breath is capitalist propaganda to sell dentists to the proles.

Blurry ALSO asks: Why can’t penguins fly?

FD: Penguins are very self-conscious individuals and will perform only for small audiences in a natural setting.

J asks: Why do ants?

FD: To ant is human. We are all anting, really, through life.

J asks another question: Where does water come from?

FD: Water is composed of several smaller tetronimos that we describe as being oxytocin and heretical, respectively. Only heretical oxytocin can become water, though the study of hydraulics exists to ascertain at what point an oxytocin becomes heretical.

J, again: Does Bruno Mars is gay?

FD: PROTEIN.

Blurry, referring to the question above about heretical oxytocin: What does water taste like?

FD: As a member of A.N.T. (Automatons Negating Triage), I take heretical oxytocin very seriously, and have never drank water in its pure form. I derive my hydration from the ocean.

Guyshane asks: Which came first, the chicken or the heat death of the universe?

FD: I literally have nothing funny to say here I’m just imagining a chicken trying to lay entropy and that’s so far removed from humor that there’s nothing saving this question. Next.

Victin asks: Where are the animals come from?

FD: We need to look at this philosophically. Where are the animals come from? Kant would have us believe that all animals is come from the determinalist nature of our actions. I posit that the true animals is birthed out of the very human desire to be something more than what we are.

Mark M. asks, in reference to J’s Bruno Mars question: Well??? Is he???

FD: PROTEIN.

The progenitor of this blog, Qara Xuan Zenith,  graces us with the question: How much is the doggie in the window?

FD: That doggie is worth exactly one good boi. I will accept nothing less.

Batman asks: Are you a sea monster?

FD: It’s a little known fact about myself that I am, in fact, a sea monster. I applaud your continued strength with deduction, Batman, and I hope that you will return Aquaman at the nearest opportunity. Atlantis grows tiring without anyone to fight.

Batman also asks: Relatedly, do sea monsters have special powers? If so, what? (Like maybe reality warping video games….)

FD: Batman, I can see this for the blatant information collating that it is. If you wish to also fight me, you will need to contact my agent.

Pixelmage asks: Why are there so few left-handed people?

FD: They are victims of the great war against those who have the correct handedness. Their sacrifice will be remembered.

MJ Andersen asks: If you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway, are you obligated to be over something that’s already underway?

FD: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The Sea asks: Can you get me a left-handed cup?

FD: Here you go.

winkyface

TheAmberAlice asks: Are you and qara the same person or are you two children in a suit?

FD: Qara-Xuan and I are cut from the same cloth, but from two entirely different places. We are stitched together into different styles, from different time periods, and worn by drastically different people.

And with that, my brief stay at Factually Deficient comes to an end! Please share this post and others like it if you’d like to see me here again, and thanks!

 

 

 

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Lies About Books: Who Run The World? Squirrels

As we near the end of February, the longest month of the year, it is once again time for me to flagrantly lie about a book I enjoyed in the past four weeks.

This February, I read The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Who Run The World? Squirrels, by Ryan North.

Who Run The World? Squirrels is set in a dystopic world, in which plague has wiped out all life on the planet with the exception of squirrels. Many squirrels scavenge for nuts as if nothing were different, neither planning ahead nor considering the long-term ramifications of their actions, and many more have already given in to despair.

Alone among the squirrels of the world, a ragtag band of squirrels, led by one plucky female squirrel – a girl squirrel, or a squirrel girl, if you will – step forward to try to keep civilization afloat. They are determined to do whatever that takes, from teaching themselves the fundamentals of engineering, to planting crops, to scavenging and storehousing medical and veterinary supplies.

All the odds are stacked against her. But nothing has gotten her down yet. In her efforts to run – and save – the world, is this squirrel girl truly unbeatable?

Sweet and funny, informative and inspiring, I recommend The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Who Run the World? Squirrels to all fans of squirrels, girls, and combinations of the two.

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Disclaimer: the above post is based on falsified information and does not accurately reflect the text written by Ryan North.

Bird Watching

Hello and welcome to another week of reliable lies here at Factually Deficient, all the way from my native home of the Plant Kingdom! This week, I will be presenting the answer to a question that was posed by several of my family members along with me, upon noting an interesting bird atop a lamppost when we were on a walk this weekend. We wondered:

What kind of bird is that?

Unfortunately, we were unable at the time to capture the bird in a photograph, so you will have to take my word for it that the bird in question had white feathers with black markings on its tail, the pointed head, beady eyes, and prayer book of a bird of prey (also known as birds of pray), and a relatively small size for a predatory bird.

The following night after seeing the bird, we at Factually Deficient resorted to “research” of our typical caliber. Certain types of birds could be ruled out right away: our Duck Expert confirmed that it was not a duck; it lacked the flat-topped graduation cap that is the hallmark of an owl, ruling that type of bird out, as well. The distinct lack of the scent of bananas indicated that it was not a penguin.

This still left at least twelve different types of bird – possibly even more. Fortunately, geography is our friend here; we can narrow down the bird’s breed to one liable to be found in the area it was inhabiting.

We saw this bird in the city of Toronto. Now, as everyone knows, a city’s sports teams are named for the birds native to that city. Toronto is fortunate to have numerous sports teams, which make up the short list of birds that this could have been:

  • The Toronto Blue Jays
  • The Toronto Maple Leaves
  • The Toronto Raptors
  • The Toronto Argonauts
  • The Toronto Toucans
  • The Toronto Buffleheads

The buffleheads can be rejected out of hand; it has already been made clear that the bird in question was not a duck. Likewise, it could not have been a blue jay, as it was white in colour, and not blue. The maple leave possibility was a tempting one but, our researchers recalled, the bird was spotted a lamppost and not on a tree, which is where leaved belong.

This leaves three bird breeds to be investigated: toucans, argonauts, and raptors.

Toucans were the next to be eliminated. This researcher has heard people on many occasions remark that they had lost the ability toucan. This bird was evidently not lost; it was, therefore, just as evidently not a toucan.

Argonauts were a tempting possibility. However, during the entire span of time that my family and I observed the bird, it did not utter a single word of Greek. It likewise did not set wing or feather to a boat. As such, the bird was surely not an argonaut.

As the saying goes, when the improbable has been eliminated, whatever remains, however impossible, is what we must accept as truth. It is therefore my pleasure to assert with certainty that the bird that I spotted on the weekend was undoubtedly a very small velociraptor.

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Disclaimer: the above post is extremely poorly-researched. There is little to no evidence that velociraptors fly about Toronto with impunity.

Getting Your Goat

Hello and welcome to another week of wild misinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, I would like to answer a question posed by my very dear friend, the elusive eli_gone_crazy. eli asked:

Why are goats so weird: part sheep, part eldritch horror?

Without, perhaps, even realizing it, eli has come very close to the heart of the matter in this articulation of the question – a question which drives back to the very genesis of goats, one of the more cryptic members of the Plant Kingdom.

In fact, up one branch of their family tree, goats are directly descended from the sheep, with which they now coexist. Once, there were only sheep in their particular province of the Plant Kingdom; and if some were leaders and some were followers, if some ventured wide and far with adventurous eyes opened wide while others feared to stray from the well-trodden paths thinning in grass to eat, well, they were still all sheep, more or less.

When the Others began to rise from the deep in a once-in-millenia occurrence, the sheep were separated. While the homebody sheep fled from the scene in terror, the more venturesome of the sheep came forward, and greeted the great and terrible sea monsters with courtesy. They were the first of the mainland plants to do so, the first to welcome these tentacled creatures to shore.

While the more fearful of the sheep cowered in their pens, their reckless brethren made new friends. Soon the wilder sheep began to interbreed with the ancient ones, birthing ewes – kids – that were wilder yet than their sheep parents, with a glint in their eyes, a spark of intelligence, and a knack for the uncanny arts that harked back to the other side of their heritage.

Soon, the otherworldly gloom parted from the skies, and the ancient abominations sunk back into the abyss from whence they came. But their children of the sheep, their legacy – still remain with us, known today as goats.

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Disclaimer: the above post is a work of fiction. Do not attempt to crossbreed sheep and eldritch horrors.

Firstborn Donkey Economy

Hello and welcome back to yet another week of rampant misinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will discuss a topic referred to Factually Deficient by Sicon112, who said:

We should probably get a blog post from you about the state of the firstborn donkey economy.

What Sicon112 is asking about, though nowadays a little-known quirk of historical economics, actually forms the very foundations of modern-day capitalism as we know it.

Thousands of years ago, when man was just beginning to discover that an individual’s prosperity would grow by sharing and trading resources with his fellows, people operated on the barter system. One item would be offered in exchange for a totally different item, with no rhyme or reason to the values of each item.

This could not last; it led almost immediately to strife, as each party felt wronged, felt that the item given up had been worth far more than what was received in return. Obviously, some sort of standardized unit was called for.

The solution was simple: donkeys. Everyone used donkeys, whether for riding, for transporting goods, for eating, or for their famed translation services. A donkey had universal, concrete value. Donkeys were soon agreed-upon as the basic monetary unit, and everything traded was ascribed a value in terms of fractions or multiples of donkeys.

But once again problems arose: each donkey bred at different rates. A prolific donkey would soon vastly increase its owner’s fortune, while other, shyer donkeys offered extremely low interest on investments. Once again, people felt wronged: they felt that they had been given an old nag of a donkey in exchange for a youthful one, that someone else had used underhanded tactics to get ahold of the most procreative donkeys.

How to resolve these disputes? How to set limitations on the multiplying donkeys? The greatest economic minds of the generation came together, and soon they had an answer: each donkey could birth only one firstborn. By changing the currency from donkeys in general to firstborn donkeys, they could solve two problems in one: they would reduce inflation, by reducing the pool of monetary donkeys overall; and they would remove the issue of unevenly-prolific donkeys, as each firstborn donkey would in turn produce exactly one additional firstborn donkeys.

Of course, as society developed, people eventually opted to move from the slightly cumbersome donkey standard to the more conceptual monetary systems used today. Still, it was on the firstborn donkey economy that our modern banks and financial institutions were first developed – and there are always calls, from time to time, urging us to return to the firstborn donkey system.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains falsehoods. No donkeys, firstborn or otherwise, were consulted for the writing of this post.

Mortal Bears

Hello and welcome to another week of luscious lies and lascivious libel here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by the terrific Tohrinha:

Are bears mortal?

The simple answer is: no, of course they are not. But of more interest – to each questioner, answerer, and reader – are the details behind this deceptively simple response.

Bears are a fairly recent phenomenon; they did not exist prior to 1733. The year is significant: 1733 is the year that all woolly mammoths went extinct. Sensing that their time was drawing nigh, the top woolly mammoth scientists worked around the clock to create a mechanical shell that could house their spirits as their bodies did, but one more suited to the changing times and modern era of 1733. What they came up with was the precursor to bears as we know them.

The remaining cohort of woolly mammoths uploaded themselves into their new robotic bear bodies before overseeing the painless deaths of their left-behind woolly mammoth shells. But they had already lost many woolly mammoths, and while the bear form was better adapted to the world of 1733, they knew that nothing could last forever.

So before they powered up the bear bodies, the greatest woolly mammoth minds made a few adjustments. These robot bears were not simple machines, to eventually succumb to wear and tear, but neither were they entirely organic lifeforms; rather, they were an odd marriage of the two, self-repairing flesh bodies that reproduced organically and decomposed when uninhabited, programmable and incredibly powerful with iron skeletons. They adjusted the settings on their bodies such that, when a mammoth/bear was no longer able to be sustained by the body it wore, it would create a new, infant-sized bear body, and program itself in.

Thus bears – or rather, the woolly mammoth souls that inhabit them – are immortal, jumping from bear body to bear body when one is too worn down to effectively repair itself. Yes, their flesh-and-iron suits grow and wither and die. But the essence of bear within never will.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains inaccuracies. There is no proven link between the extinction of woolly mammoths and the advent of bears.

Replicator Kashruth

Hello and welcome back to another week of deception, deceit, and duplicity here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by the inimitable SignBeetle. The Beetle asked:

I have a query, would meat produced via a Star Trek replicator be considered Kosher, as it’s not technically from a real animal?

An excellent query, my dear SignBeetle. For those unaware of the details in Beetle’s question, “kosher” refers to food which is ritually acceptable for Jewish people to eat. “Star Trek replicator” refers to the very genuine machines which exist on all vessels of our planet’s space programs (vessels which trek through the stars), and which harness the power of spontaneous generation to produce comestibles for the cosmonauts (how exactly these replicators work is a question for another day).

In order to determine the ritual acceptability of the food produced in replicators, we must first determine what exactly makes food Kosher. Factually Deficient sent out a team of researchers* to find this out, who performed their research* in typical Factually Deficient manner to produce this list. According to our research*, kosher food must have the following attributes:

  1. Chew its cud
  2. Split hooves
  3. Fins
  4. Scales
  5. No blood
  6. No thigh
  7. Salt
  8. A blessing

It is very difficult to find an animal which fulfills all these requirements: those who have split hooves rarely have fins or scales; those with fins and scales rarely chew their cud, and those in both groups frequently have blood and/or a thigh. In fact, with the exception of the chimera, that bastion of kosher dining, there is no creature on this planet which follows all eight guidelines.

In contrast, a replicator, which creates food out of nothing, has no limitation on what it can produce. There is nothing to inhibit it from creating a cut of meat from an invented animal, and in fact, for astronauts who observe kashruth, this is exactly what it does: it creates for them a bloodless, thighless animal with two split hooves and two fins, chewing its cud, covered in salt-encrusted scales (the blessing can be added afterward).

In fact, far from being of questionable provenance, food from the replicator is the most ideal form of kashruth, and many kashruth-observers on earth have replicator food imported from space in order to supplement an otherwise vegetarian diet.

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Disclaimer: the above post is extremely false. To be kosher, an animal needs to have split hooves and chew its cud, OR have fins and scales, OR belong to a short list of kosher insects, OR not belong to a longer list of non-kosher birds. Different regulations apply to non-animal products.

Gendered Ants

Hello and welcome to yet another week of deception and duplicity here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will ask a question that was posed by one J. Alsworth. This Alsworth person asked:

How can you tell an ant’s gender?

Obviously, the easiest way to determine an ant’s gender is simply to ask it. However, there are situations in which this simple solution is impossible, impractical, or impolitic. For example, you may not speak the same language as the ant, rendering the question incomprehensible; you may not be close enough with that particular ant to feel comfortable asking it personal questions, making the conversation difficult; or the ant may be a known liar, causing any answer to be unreliable. Hence the necessity for this question.

There are a few alternative techniques for determining the gender of an ant:

 

1. Scent

All ants give off pheromones, biologically-produced scents which exude from their bodies. Female ants give off different pheromones from male ants; if you train your nose, you can learn to distinguish the mahogany-scented fragrance of a lady ant from the more pungent, but also more refreshing, odour of turmeric found on male ants. If your nose is not up to this level of training, the same result can be achieved through taste, by licking the ants in question.

2. Colour

Although it is a matter of fine nuance, female ants look different than male ants. Female ants tend to shades of pink and purple, often with faint flower designs along their bodies. Male ants, on the other hand, shade to blues and greens, with lighter and darker patches reminiscent of camouflage clothing. If you get close enough, you will be able to see these differences in coloration.

3. Number of legs

If you are close enough to see the ant but not close enough to distinguish its colour or pattern, there is one final way to determine whether it is a female or male ant: count its legs. Female ants can often have upwards of a hundred legs; they grow a new one for every egg they lay. Male ants, on the other hand, rarely have more than three legs at any point in their lifespan.

All of this said, it is of course important to remember that an ant’s personal identity is sacred to that ant, and it is inappropriate to make assumptions about an ant’s self-image without first checking, politely, with that ant.

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Disclaimer: The above post contains some erroneous information. We do not recommend licking ants.

 

Do Ants Even Lift?

Hello and welcome to another week of absolute lies and uncorrupted falsehoods here at Factually Deficient! This week, I would like to answer a question posed by a Mr. Genndy Oda. Mr. Oda asked:

How can ants lift so much?

This is an excellent question, but it is based on another simpler, assumed question: bro, do ants even lift?

The answer to this first question of whether ants even lift is a solid, resounding ‘maybe’ – it depends on how one defines ‘lifting’. But this matter of how to define the act of lifting, in turn, will answer Genndy’s question of how ants do it (if they do it at all).

Ants are very small creatures, so one would have to crouch down very low in order to see the shadows that they cast. But why, you may be thinking, is it that ants cast shadows at all? After all, if their feet were planted firmly on the ground, there would be no shadow to cast, and it is well known that ants do not have wings. Where are these shadows coming from?

Here we hit at the crux of the matter. For, you see, ants are gifted with a very small amount of telekinesis. Frequently an ant’s feet will hover a hair’s breadth above the ground – thus casting that tiny shadow – to save it the work of walking a few steps.

This telekinesis does more than allow ants to hover. Ants do not truly, physically, lift anything at all. But using the power of their minds, they lift a great deal, from grains of sand and seeds to things as big as small dogs, children, and the odd buffalo.

So do ants even lift? Hardly. But with the magic of telekinesis, they are able to move mountains.

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Disclaimer: the above blog post is based on fabrications, exaggerations, and outright lies. There are no known reports of ants stealing children.

Sea Monster Denial

Hello and welcome back to another week of delightful disinformation and useful untruths here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question by my friend and noted deep-sea denizen, eli_gone_crazy. eli asked:

What are sea monster denialists made out of, and are they edible?

Well might eli ask this question. After all, what absurd creature would attempt to deny a sea monster, that lovely, natural if unusual hybrid of the plant and animal kingdoms, anything? Who would ever dare to do this, knowing they risked incurring the wrath of those who dwell beneath the deeps?

Like many individuals, all those who deny sea monsters are made out of meat. However, they are not composed of just any meat; they are a strange, twisted type of meat: a meat given life, and breath. That’s right: sea monster denialists are made of living, sentient sides of beef, ground turkey with a mind of its own, salamis with souls.

This cuts deep into the question of whether or not they are edible. On the one hand, all these types of meat are highly edible to all members of the plant and animal kingdoms who are not vegetarian, and they are in fact required consumption for those obligate carnivores amongst us. However, some ask themselves: is it ethically right to eat a hamburger that has feelings, a leg of lamb that thinks as much as you or I?

Allow me to pose a better question: do these meats truly think and feel, in the fullest senses of the words, if they use these thoughts and feelings to deny sea monsters? Can an existence which precludes acceptance of the great beast which awaits in the cthonic abyss truly be called any life at all? Perhaps these meats that deny sea monsters are not alive at all; simply well-evolved to feign sentience, as a defense mechanism against being consumed.

Well, I have seen through their evolutionary ploy. I will take a stand in support of sea monsters and their rights, in denying a salami’s right to vote. In short, to answer eli’s question: yes, they can be eaten.

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Disclaimer: The above post is a work of fiction. Meat may or may not have feelings. No sea monsters were harmed in the writing of this blog post.