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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

The Introduction of Kale

Hello and welcome to another week of misinformation and misdirection here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a follow-up question to last week’s lies. This follow-up question was posed by an individual posing under the name Meira, who asked:

Okay but how have Spinach and Lettuce’s relationship changed with the introduction of Kale?

I’m glad Meira raised this question, because the answer is a hopeful one, albeit bittersweet.

The Plant King’s throne had lain empty for decades before a young spinach by the name of Kale was born – to a spinach general, no less, with the generations-old war between spinach and lettuce as a birthright. But contrary to the family’s heritage, Kale was… a different sort of spinach. Kale, full of mercy and compassion, wanted to understand the lettuce, rather than to fight them.

Despite the family’s misgivings, Kale began taking long walks, further and further into the territory of the lettuce – alone and unarmed, behind the lines of enemy ranks. And Kale would return, with no account for how the day had been spent beyond stories – stories about people, about common lettuce going about their lives, with hopes and fears and passions just like a spinach. Stories that touched the hearts of even the most hardened spinach warrior.

Because Kale went unaccompanied, there are no witnesses to what happened to Kale. Perhaps it was an accident; perhaps it was foul play. Either way, Kale never returned one evening, and was finally found dead in a cabbage patch.

This was a low time indeed, for Kale, full of kindness and mercy, had been universally loved. But it was a moment of unity, too – or it became one, when the lettuce whose lives, too, had been touched by Kale came out in droves for the funeral.

The war did not so much end as gently subside – but its decline was due, in large part, to Kale’s mercy, compassion, and kindness.

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Disclaimer: this blog is composed of lies. Factually Deficient makes no insinuations as to who is responsible for the death of Kale.

Lies About Books: Of the Mortal Realm

August is definitely not over yet, but something suggests it is nevertheless time for another pack of lies about an excellent book I read recently – and this month saw the publication of Of the Mortal Realm, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes!

In Of the Mortal Realm, Naples, Umber, and Hansa are gods of, respectively, the ancient Roman, Egyptian, and Norse pantheons. Despite their cultural differences, the three have become good friends over the millenia, and they frequently settle bets and petty disputes by comparing the lives of their respective human followers.

Eventually, though, they come to a wager that cannot be settled by watching others. When Umber assumes a mortal form to win the greatest bet of all, Hansa and Naples naturally follow. The three must travel the world to find one another again, all the while grappling with the new tribulations of their mortal bodies – and discovering what truly matters.

Which one of them, though, will finally win the bet? And if it means sacrificing what they have built with one another – is it really worth it?

Of the Mortal Realm is a sweet and funny tale about immortals learning what the mortal realm is all about. By turns funny and tragic, with unexpected romance, it is a story for all ages. I recommend it to any fans of immortal beings, friendship, and mythology.

Spinach or Lettuce

Hello and welcome back to another week of inaccuracy and inconceivability here at Factually Deficient! This week, we will answer a question posed by Krika, who asked:

Spinach or Lettuce?

Krika is certainly not one to shy away from controversy, dredging up an aeons-old enmity from yet another schism of the Plant Kingdom’s darkest days.

It is true: while they have now reconciled, for generations, the spinach and the lettuce were divided, unable to properly guard the Plant King’s roads as they were meant, because they were constantly at one another’s throats.

The spinach maintained that the lettuce had transgressed their boundaries, while the lettuce claimed that it was the spinach who had overstepped first; but whoever was in the right, many leafy greens lost their lives in the hundred-odd years that they were locked in civil war.

Indeed, it seems a discredit to the honour of the soldiers on both sides to even speak now as to who was in the right. Nevertheless, Factually Deficient has always upheld our solemn oath to answer even the most sacrilegious of readers’ questions – and our unique position in the Plant Kingdom means that we actually have access to the records stating which plant it was who first stepped where it ought not to have.

It was the lettuce, Krika. It was always the lettuce.

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Disclaimer: the above post is a work of fiction. Factually Deficient does not take any sides in the lettuce-spinach conflict.

 

 

Air Ports

Hello and welcome to another week of inaccurate information here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by Blurred_9L, who asked:

What is an airport?

Air, in its natural state, is not distributed evenly across the surface of the world. Some places have a surfeit of air, while others have next to no air at all. This is a problem.

Or at least it was, until the advent of the air port. These curiosities of physics are port holes through which large quantities of air can be redistributed in a very short time from one geographical location to another. Due to the inherent risks involved, large complexes are typically built around the actual portholes, which are themselves small, for containment’s sake; these complexes are sometimes also referred to generically as air ports.

Because time and space are intricately linked, the bending of space to transmit the air causes the time in the vicinity of these air ports to bend and twist as well, leading to anomalies of time. Often, time does not pass in any discernible linear fashion while in an air port.

At present, these ports can only be used to transmit air in its gaseous form; however, the science is there to theoretically allow them, one day, to transport humans and goods through this method, as well.

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Disclaimer: the above post is composed of falsehoods. Time may or may not be an illusion in airports.

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.

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