Total Eclipse

Hello and welcome back to Factually Deficient, where we regularly obscure the truth in its entirety with an overlay of lies and falsehoods! This week, I will answer a question posed to Factually Deficient by the one and only Krika. Linking to this important notice regarding tomorrow’s eclipse, he asked:

So what’s your take on all this?

Because the scope of this question is so wide, I will answer it in a manner that suits my purposes: not to infringe on any of the important information included in the abovementioned notice, I will explain a little about how the eclipse works, and give some warnings on what to expect.

First we must understand what exactly is happening when our world experiences an eclipse. It is a common misconception that an eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the sun in their respective orbits of the earth. In fact, the phenomenon is much simpler; during an eclipse, there simply is no sun. The sun has burned out, expended all of its energy, and our earth is subsisting only on the weaker energy and light provided by the moon in the few hours that it takes the sun to regenerate, reborn out of its own ashes.

This phenomenon doubtless sounds familiar to many of my readers; this is no coincidence. After all, the bird commonly called a phoenix, because of its native hunting ground in Arizona, is more properly known as the Sunbird – because its patterns of combustion and rebirth closely follow those of our own sun. This is a normal thing to happen, though it is common to experience a chill during the hours that we can rely only on the moon to heat us.

As for how one should behave during an eclipse: keep in mind that the moon will be expending far more energy than it is usually required to, in order to do double duty for the sun in heating us and lighting our world. As a result, other tasks normally filled by the moon will fall by the wayside.

There will be no tides during the time of a solar eclipse. During these hours, all the waters of the oceans will vanish entirely. Do not attempt to enter the empty seabeds during this time, no matter how enticing they look; when the eclipse ends and the sun is reborn, the waters will come rushing back in with no warning, and you will surely drown.

The moon is also normally responsible for governing the months. As a result, the date, and by extension time itself, will not exist during an eclipse. Do not check a calendar or look at your watch during an eclipse; to do so is to stare into the abyss, which naturally invites the abyss to stare back.

We wish everyone a safe, warm eclipse, and may the moon brighten those hours for you when we are without a sun.

_____________________

Disclaimer: this post is composed of lies, but the eclipse is real! Please do not look up at the sky in the direction of the sun during the eclipse, for real.

The Building of Worlds

Hello and welcome to another week of sincere insincerity here at Factually Deficient, where you get all the dishonesty of lies with none of the betrayal of being deceived! As always, I remind my readers that I take questions on any topic imaginable, at any time of the day or night, through any method of communication imaginable, except scorpion. Your scorpions will be returned unread.

This week, I will answer the scorpion-free question posed by one Endless Sea, who asked:

WHY ARE YOU SO GOOD AT WORLDBUILDING

We deliberated long and hard about answering this question, because it requires revealing certain secrets of the inner workings of Factually Deficient’s organization. Ultimately, cooler heads, and liar’s integrity, prevailed, allowing us to bring you this answer tonight.

The building of worlds is not hard, if one knows how to do it. True, it can only be done at the dark of the moon. But the moon is dark at least once a month. And true, it can only be done within seven hours of consuming soup. But soup – soup is easily procured at any time of month or year.

However, Endless did not ask how it is that we build worlds. Mr. Sea asked why it is that we excel at it. And we freely admit, those in the upper echelons of Factually Deficient worried and wondered as to how it is that Endless Sea, who has never once flooded our private Factually Deficient offices, knows about the dozen or more planets that we secretly created by the dark of the moon, the taste of corn chowder still on our lips and fully-cooked steaks hanging heavy in our pockets.

But it does not matter how he knows. What matters is that yes, Factually Deficient is incredibly skilled at constructing these celestial bodies, so much so that it seems to happen almost by accident, that planets pile up in our back room until we are forced to rent a storage unit to keep them out of harm’s way.

But we excel at it due to the nature of what we are: liars, and professional ones at that. Lies weaken the boundaries between worlds. They fill the aether with vital energy, and make it easier, given the other necessary conditions, for a new world to come into being. The more lies one tells, the weaker those boundaries, the more energy there is, the easier it becomes to create and imbue a new world, until one is churning them out each month without a thought. Liars beget worlds, which in turn will be filled with liars.

________________

Disclaimer: the above post contains inaccuracies. Neither soup nor steak assist in the worldbuilding process.

Social Butterfly

Hello and welcome back to another week of unbelievable whoppers here at Factually Deficient, where we lie about everything you could ever hope to be lied to about! This week, I will answer a question posed by an individual calling herself SF, who asked:

Please explain the meaning of the use of the butterfly in the expressions “social butterfly” and “having butterflies in one’s stomach.”

The butterfly is possibly the most reclusive member of the plant kingdom. Residing primarily on mountaintops and deep beneath the ocean, they are rarely ever seen; only the luckiest adventurer might claim to have caught a glimpse of a genuine butterfly in the wild even once in a lifetime.

Still, they are not unknown to us. Every now and then, a freak storm deposits butterflies far from their natural habitat, too far for their delicate wings to carry them back home. When this happens, rescue efforts and zoos are usually quick to collect the lost butterflies and take them into artificial habitats.

However, due tot he butterfly’s naturally shy disposition, frequently the zoologists arrive only to find apparently no butterflies in the region. This is because butterflies, left on their own outside their home areas, will naturally take shelter somewhere that they can hide, preferably somewhere cold and damp. Once a butterfly has hidden, it is almost impossible to uproot it from its new shelter.

There have been known occurrences of butterflies taking shelter inside a person’s stomach – the digestive tract meeting both requirements of being cool and damp. Of course these cases are out of the ordinary, but in at least one recorded instance, the person in question elected to allow the butterfly to remain there for the rest of its natural life. The expression “having butterflies in one’s stomach” came about because of this heroic individual, to describe the feeling of going above and beyond in protecting others. If you are feeling particularly protective of your friends – or even of nearby strangers – you might be said to have butterflies in your stomach.

This is also the source for the phrase “social butterfly.” A person who is socially a butterfly is introverted and quiet to the extreme; a hermit who does not emerge from his hut in forty years might be accurately called a social butterfly.

_______________

Disclaimer: the above post is a pack of lies. It is not recommended to house butterflies in one’s abdomen.

Lies About Books: Beanstalk

The summer is Most Definitely Not Over, but July basically is, which means it’s that time again – time for me to tell bald-faced lies about a book I genuinely enjoyed! In the month of July, it was my supreme pleasure to read the novel Beanstalk, by E. Jade Lomax, first book in her Leagues and Legends trilogy.

Beanstalk follows the life of one Jack Farris, budding botanist. Since he was first able to reach for a spade, Jack has been addicted to gardening. He grew potatoes before he said his first word. He was picking berries before he could walk. By the time he was fourteen, he was known to grow the best tomatoes in the district.

But Jack’s one failing, his greatest regret, is his inability to grow beans. He has tried everything; he has planted beans, grafted snippings; he has tried to grow them in new earth, old earth, in a greenhouse, in water, in flowerpots – nothing works.

So finally, he gathers up his watering can, a pouch full of assorted seeds and a backpack filled with earth, and a pair of gardening gloves, and he sets out on a quest to learn how to grow a beanstalk, or die trying. This is the story of Beanstalk.

Filled to the brim with gardening tips and recipes that use home-grown vegetables, Beanstalk is sweet and funny, by turns lighthearted and suspenseful, rich with Jack’s special brand of earthy wit and wisdom. I recommend this book wholeheartedly and without reservation, to all fans of all ages of the plant kingdom, adventures, and friendship.

 

Book Worms

Hello and welcome to another week of outright lies and flagrant inaccuracies here at Factually Deficient! I would like to take this opportunity to remind my loyal readers to be free in sending me any and all questions that strike your fancy, on every topic existing and otherwise, through any method of communication known to plantkind.

This week, I will answer a question posed by my insectoid friend Scarab, who requested:

Please tell me about magical insect infestations in the library

While Factually Deficient is officially a self-employed endeavour, there are those whom our researchers answer to, in order to maintain certain professional associations, and these powers that be would like very much to be informed as to how, Scarab, you came to know that the library is cursed.

The library has always been cursed.

Insect infestations are natural; where there is the sweet smell of ink, or pulpy paper to sink one’s teeth into, or the intoxicating lure of book glue, insects will come. In saner times, this would not be so extreme a problem.

But the library is cursed. The insect infestations take on magical proportions.

The wood lice that gnaw through the shelves sing haunting melodies in long-dead languages. Patrons come in to borrow a book and leave, unable to stop thinking of a tune that they can’t help but feel reminds them of something they have lost. They will never remember what.

The ants seem to come out of nowhere, marching in across the library’s carpet. Librarians have learned to avoid stepping on them near the books, because these ants do not die; they merely burst into flames, only for five more ants to rise from the ashes of one. Rinse and repeat.

There is a species of moth that flutters in the rafters of the library’s ceiling. Its wings are painted with words that were not found in any book, but rather stolen out of people’s memories and thoughts. They are mostly benign, the librarians think. They cannot think of anything that these moths have taken.

There are spiders in the library too, of course, because spiders will turn up wherever there are insects, but they do not catch the magical insects in their webs. Instead, they capture imaginations, spinning threads of shimmering, changing colours that reach across the children’s section. They have taken over Storytime. No one has complained.

_________________

Disclaimer: the above post contains untrue claims. Ask your local librarian for up-to-date information as to whether the library is cursed.

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.

________________

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

Governor-General

Hello and welcome back to another week of delicious dissimulation here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by the terrific Tohrinha, who asked:

Who, or what, is the Governor General?

Way back in the dawn of Canada’s history, when John A. Macdonals was young and full of fire, glory, and dreams of conquest, Canada did not want to stop at making all of North America its own. They did not even want to stop at the world.

No, John A. Macdonald dreamed bigger. He dreamed of a universe where every planet, every moon, and every star flew flags in red and white, where Canada stretched not just from sea to sea to sea but from glittering galaxy to galaxy to galaxy – where the strains of “O Canada” could be heard on distant, non-Euclidean beaches.

Of course, he knew, it would not be easy. Space travel would need to be invented, new troops sent to the conquering army each time the technology improved. And with the limitations of the speed of light, these distant planetary colonies would not be able to receive direct orders from Macdonald (or, later, the Queen).

John A. Macdonald, father of Canada, solved both these problems in one ingenious move. He created a position – the highest honour, highest office held in the Kingdom of Canada, below that of the Queen: the Governor-General. This person, as the title suggests, would hold two roles: that of general of the armies come to conquer the heavens, and that of governor, representing Canada’s sovereign power in these far-flung realms. He enacted as law that with each new wave of astronaut-soldiers sent to make the skies Canadian, at their helm would be a new Governor-General, to command, lead, and relieve their predecessor of the task.

_____________________

Disclaimer: some of the statements in this blog post are inaccurate. Only one governor-general to date has been an astronaut.

The Best of Both

Hello and welcome to another week full of falsehoods, fabrications, and fibs, here at Factually Deficient!

Before our regularly-scheduled lies, I would like to take this opportunity to remind my dear readers that they can and indeed are encouraged to send any and all burning questions, on every topic imaginable, to Factually Deficient for elucidation. We accept questions at any hour of the day or night, through blog comments, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, email, snail mail, slug mail, Post-it note, carrier pigeon, semaphore, telegram, telephone, text message, owl, time portal, dead drop, QR code, or any other method of communication known to plantkind.

This week, I will answer a question posed to Factually Deficient by the highly esteemed Michael Andersen. Mr. Andersen asked:

Dear Factually Deficient, can you please provide elaboration on the many ways that @jackalsworth is the literal best?

Some background is needed, for those readers who are not as familiar with Canadian history. Charles Herbert Best was a Canadian adventurer, a giant in an age of heroes. He first took up his sword during the First Raccoon War, but when that war ended, the raccoons subdued for a time, Best did not rest.

When the raccoons were finally pushed back from Canada’s borders, Best returned home only to discover that his hometown of Halifax was being ravaged by vicious dragons. Ever the hero, Best rode in to defend his home and protect his neighbours. He slew three dragons before the local authorities even arrived on the scene.

And in the absence of the local authorities to assist in the cleanup, Best – an alchemist at heart, if not by trade – lugged one of the dragon carcasses back to his home laboratory, to see what he could learn from it. His discoveries there would change our world forever: for Best, through careful testing, revealed that dragon blood was composed of a material known as insulin, which, when mixed with human blood, proved an effective measure against diabetes.

And now, to return to Mr. Andersen’s question – to explain the relevance of this history lesson:

Factually Deficient’s undercover agents have been surreptitiously following the individual going by “Jack Alsworth” for several years now. Tipped off by key turns of phrase and predilections for dragon-slaying and science, we have long been suspicious that Mr. Alsworth may not be who he says he is. While only Mr. Alsworth – or should we say Dr. Best? – can say for certain, we have gathered the following pieces of evidence that suggest rather strongly that they are actually, literally, one and the same:

  • Jack Alsworth lives by the sea, in an area known to be inhabited by dragons and sundry other monsters
  • Despite this, no dragons or sea monsters have ravaged Mr. Alsworth’s town – almost as though they were kept at bay by an itinerant adventurer
  • Jack Alsworth does not suffer from diabetes
  • Jack Alsworth is several centuries old, as Dr. Best would have to be by now
  • Raccoons run in fear at the sight of Jack Alsworth

These are but a few of the many indications that Jack Alsworth is the literal Charles Best.

_____________________

Disclaimer: this blog post is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Canada 150

Hello and welcome back to yet another week of falsified statements and prevarications here at Factually Deficient! Please keep in mind that you are encouraged to send any and all questions on every topic imaginable to Factually Deficient. You can submit questions through any method of communication available to you – comments, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, pneumatic tubes, message in a bottle, skywriting, classified ads, and/or word of mouth.

This week, Factually Deficient will tackle a topic which has seen a lot of discussion this weekend:

#Canada150

What is the connection between the Kingdom of Canada and the number 150? Factually Deficient is here to elucidate.

This month marks a special occasion for Canada. As of the start of July 2017, Canada officially has a total of 150 provinces and territories, spread across eleven different continents. When John A. Macdonald first created his new land of Canada, it had only one province.

But Macdonald soon embarked on a mission of conquest, building railroads and naval fleets and aerospace vessels to reach far-off lands and spread to them his Canadian flag. Each successful mission resulted in a new province or territory on his ever-growing Canadian map.

When the current Queen of Canada ascended her throne in Macdonald’s place, this pattern of growth slowed; England was given its independence, followed by France, and the numbers of Canadian provinces began to drop. Still, they would rise again, as new lands were discovered, and old ones sought to join with this magnificent land.

Although they have held to no stable rate of progress, Canada’s number of provinces has been rising steadily for the past hundred years. And as of this weekend, Canada has inducted the Principality of Ontario as its one hundred and fiftieth province, making Canada second only to the Plant Kingdom in number of territories and provinces.

_________________

Disclaimer: the above post is a pack of lies. Ontario is not the most recent addition to Canada’s provinces.

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.

_________________

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