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.

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Wish Upon A Crane

Hello and welcome back to another week of fantastic fibs and fortuitous falsehoods here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by an individual best known to friends and family alike as Blurred_9L. Blurred asked:

Why do paper cranes grant wishes?

Some people – this Blurry personage among them – are clearly under the misapprehension that a paper crane is nothing but a creation of paper, folded into an amusing shape by deft and skillful hands. It is no wonder that such people marvel at the capacity of these seemingly inanimate collections of tree pulp and creases to grant unto the beholder their innermost desires.

This understanding is, of course, wildly inaccurate. And the truth will also tell you why our world’s population of cranes has been dwindling dangerously of late.

All birds are magic. Eagles can see into your soul. Herons can insert their own thoughts into your mind, and geese can move things with theirs. Peacocks cast dazzling glamours that leave unlucky victims blinded for days, while swans can kill with a thought. And as for ducks, well… Some powers are best left unsaid.

And cranes can grant wishes. They can, that is, if they choose to do so.

But the dark art of origami has found a way to subvert a bird’s sovereign will. Every time square paper is folded into the shape of a creature, it captures that creature’s soul in the paltry vessel of paper, subjugating its will to that of whosoever holds the paper, with the power to crumple or tear or burn what now houses the animal’s very essence.

By folding paper into the shape of a crane, a person holds that crane hostage to their own will, gaining the ability to force that crane, trapped in the hair-thin walls of bark and ink, to do what it would otherwise have a choice of doing: granting a wish.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains lies. Not all origami figures are hellish dark magic vessels to enslave the spirit of an innocent creature.

Carrier Pigeon Photoshop

Hello, and welcome back to our regularly scheduled (roughly) lies here at Factually Deficient! As the owner of the blog, I can occasionally see the search terms which led new readers to Factually Deficient when searching their way through search engines. A few days ago, I encountered a new and interesting set of search terms from one of my noble readers:

carrier pigeon photoshop

This confused me, because none of my lies to date have dealt with carriers, pigeons, or photoshop. Discussion of this conundrum led to the following question from Pixelmage:

It means you have to retroactively make that connection. By explaining how photoshopping carrier pigeons works

Thus it falls to me to explain about photoshop carrier pigeons.

As everyone knows, pigeons are a type of bird which carries messages, which could range in size and content from a whispered code to a box of chocolates or a suitcase for a ten-day vacation. What is less well known is how the pigeons accomplish this.

Pigeons are excellent mimics – the best in the entire Bird Kingdom. It is simple enough to speak a message for a carrier pigeon to repeat; it will memorize the statement until it has spoken it at the delivery address. They are also among the strongest birds; their eleven-foot-average wingspan allows them to carry with ease the strongest of loads.

Thus, the act of entrusting a message or a package with a carrier pigeon is not in itself a difficult task. However, for all their intelligence and size, pigeons are well known to be flightless birds. How, then, are they able to make deliveries from one end of the world to another?

Among their many notable traits, pigeons are also very impressionable birds. This is where photoshop comes in, the key step in sending carrier pigeons on their journeys. Once a postal worker has given a pigeon its message and/or package, the pigeon will be photographed clearly.  The postal worker will then take the photograph of the pigeon, and a clear photograph of the pigeon’s destination location, and combine the two in a photomanipulation program such as photoshop, to create an image of the laden pigeon standing on the doorstep of its message’s recipient.

All the postal worker needs to do then is to show this new image to the pigeon. The pigeon, believing itself to be where the image indicates, will immediately find itself there, and complete the delivery without incident.

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Disclaimer: the above post is full of unreliable information. Pigeon wingspans have not been known to exceed eleven feet.