Canadian Cold Front

Hello and welcome to another week of misinformation and disinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by an individual claiming to be Sicon112:

Friday had a high of 80 degrees and was clear blue skies all the way through. Saturday evening, there were 3 inches of snow on the ground and the temperature was in single digits. I have been informed this is all due to a cold front from Canada, and we all know what this means. Care to explain this conspiracy?

Factually Deficient’s close connection with Canada and its illustrious history is by now well documented, so we can only hope that our ties to the Queen and to John A. MacDonald will protect us in revealing secrets hitherto known only to the most clandestine circles of Canadian climate scientists.

Canada, as many people are aware, is located in the northern section of the globe, which is why most would expect it to be cold, as the north end of a magnet generates cold. Nevertheless, Canada maintains a balmy 40-degree heat year-round. How can this be, and how is this connected to the cold fronts cited by the 112th Sicon to write in to us?

When John A. Macdonald first built Canada, one thing he knew was that he did not care for chilly weather. It was from the outset, then, that this conspiracy began; he hired a number of climate scientist friends to begin work immediately on a solution to Canada’s frigid climes, and it was not long before their labours bore fruit.

As the name suggests, a cold front is a “front” – a projection outward against Canada’s borders, sub-zero to mask our true warmth. Macdonald’s climate scientists and their successors developed a simple method of transference which would replace cold weather in Canada with warm weather from elsewhere in the world – and, by transitive property, vice versa. The procedure was automated and randomized, so that the cold from Canada would be diffused across many places, and no one would suspect.

Still, when the target location is close enough, their own climate scientists can detect its origins. Thus the cold “front” was created – a projection along Canada’s borders of false weather so cold that it can act as an explanation whenever our neighbours are the victims of our transference, suffering cold weather so that Canadians can enjoy the warmth.

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Disclaimer: the above post is wildly untrue. Canada’s weather is inconsistent.

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Canadian English

Hello and welcome to yet another week of half-truths and whole lies here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by the renowned Sicon112, regarding the language of my homeland:

So, my phone has apparently randomly switched its keyboard to what it calls “Canadian English”; however, the results it suggests for me are more like the language of R’lyeh if Cthulhu were French. I call in my ace investigator of all things Canadian.

It is a common misconception that English and French are the primary languages spoken in the Kingdom of Canada. Naturally, when Canada rose whole cloth from the sea, it arose with its own utterly unique and grammatically complete language as part of the package. John A. Macdonald, a talented linguist in addition to his other talents, worked tirelessly to teach this language throughout the reaches of his new land.

However, as the land to the south of Canada slowly became populated, a curious phenomenon was noted. The language that had formed with the geological formation of the Kingdom of Canada seemed to be keyed to the land; only those who had spent their youths in Macdonald’s domain were able to comprehend it or to make any sense of it at all.

An inability to communicate with the outside world was, at the time, seen as rarely a good thing. Thus, when Canada conquered other lands, such as England and France, it adopted their tongues, and began to use English and French as its official languages of communication with outsiders.

Canadian English (and Canadian French, respectively) is a different beast entirely. This is the English language written phonetically in the original Canadian language: it is perfectly comprehensible to all native Canadians, and – for the reasons detailed above – utterly incomprehensible to anyone who originated elsewhere.

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Disclaimer: the above post is a work of fiction. There are other languages spoken in Canada besides Canadian English and Canadian French.

Candy Canes

Hello and welcome to yet another week of completely untrue statements here at Factually Deficient, where you will always be lied to! This week, I will answer a question posed by my good friend Kays, who asked:

Why are all my candycanes backwards J’s?

First of all, I would like to inform Kays, and anyone else that has been wondering the same thing, that you have been eating your candy canes backward. They are supposed to resemble the letter J forwards, not backwards.

That’s right: the shape of the candy, to resemble the letter, is no accident. John A. Macdonald, the creator of Canada, was a renowned sweet tooth. He was so notorious for his love of sugar that many confectioners would compete each year, on Canada Day, to honour the country’s founder with a sweet named after him.

Many fantastic desserts saw their rise and fall in those early celebrations of Canada – the Apples Alexander, for example, and the John A. Cream Pie. There are three remaining legacies of those days which are still known today.

The first of these is the restaurant Macdonald’s, obviously named in tribute to John Alexander, although it has branched out from desserts to serve other foodstuffs.

The second of these, and possibly the most widespread, is the permutation of fruit preserves cleverly named after John A. Macdonald’s initials – “J. A. M.,” or “jam.”

And the third remaining Canadian dessert, of course, and John A. Macdonald’s personal favourite, was the “Candy J” – beautiful in its simplicity, a crook of spun sugar in the shape of the first letter in his name. This treat was so popular that it was eaten not just at Canada Day but year-round, and John A. Macdonald encouraged its proliferation around the world, even though that meant that its connection to his name and accomplishments were soon forgotten, lost to the mists of time.

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Disclaimer: some of the candy-related statements in this post are incorrect. Factually Deficient claims no knowledge of or affiliation with a restaurant by the name of Macdonald’s or any other name.

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.

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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.

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

Escape to Canada

Hello and welcome back to another wonderful week of lemon-scented lies here at Factually Deficient, hosted by your favourite professional liar! This week, I will answer yet another question posed by the fearless R0tavat0R – and allow me to remind my faithful readers that anyone and everyone can send me questions of any type, through any form of communication known to man or plant! I welcome questions, and will lie to all of them. And now for the question:

Is there a historical precedent for people wanting to escape to Canada?

Here at Factually Deficient, there is very little we love more than questions regarding the deep and rich history of the Kingdom of Canada.

Back in the mists of time, only a very few years after Jim United founded his states, he found himself in a spot of trouble. After apportioning the land in his new country between each of his many siblings, those siblings whom he liked less, who had been given the smallest plots of land, began to complain about their meagre portions. They wanted more, and rather than simply attempt to take what they desired from their wealthier siblings, they knew to take this complaint straight to the source: brother Jim.

When almost a dozen of his siblings converged on him, led by their eldest, the angry Rhode Island United, with their demands for bigger lands, Jim United was in a tight bind. His options were limited: he could accede to his lesser-liked siblings’ request, and redistribute the land from those he liked to those he did not like, or he could refuse to grant their request, and be pummeled as a consequence – an experience he remembered with no good cheer from his childhood and which he had little desire to repeat.

Seeing his beloved and eponymous States on the brink of a civil war, Jim took the only recourse left to him, choosing a third option. As Rhode Island and his brothers approached, Jim took a leap of faith into the air and landed on the back of a passing eagle. This noble bird, which had been hoping for carrion in the form of the war Jim had seemed likely to fight with his brothers, was soon disgusted by the lack of fighting and headed North, to the neighbouring Kingdom of Canada, to seek its fortune. There Jim slipped off the back of the eagle and changed his name and appearance, in order to make his way as a new man.

Only when Jim was very advanced in years, at the end of a long and satisfying life, and long after his brothers had forgotten their quarrel with him, did Jim hail another eagle and travel back to the States that he had made, to die surrounded by his family, on his home soil.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains errors. Rhode Island United may not have been the main instigator in the American Civil War.

Factually Deficient: Years in Review

It’s been almost two years since Factually Deficient started! Can you believe that? In honour of this near-milestone, I thought today would be the perfect day to look back over a selection of questions I’ve answered before, and see if I would answer them a little differently today.

Is the Internet Alive?

No, the internet is not a living organism.

Why do some of my recipes say they’re adjusted for high altitude?

Foods need slightly different baking times depending on how close or far you are from sea level. Places at higher altitudes will sometimes produce recipe books that make those adjustments for you.

Is magic real?

No.

What’s the difference between the Queen of Canada and the Queen of England?

Canada and England actually share a queen.

Is it true that if you scratch the little maple leaf on a Canadian dollar it smells of maple syrup?

No.

Who was John A. Macdonald?

John A. Macdonald was Canada’s first Prime Minister.

Why do all Canadians have cans for hands?

They don’t.

 

I hope you all found this edition of Factually Deficient to be informative!

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Disclaimer: the above post is dangerously honest and suspiciously reliable. No lies were written in this post. Peruse at your own risk.

Lies About Books: Pride and Prejudice

For this month’s Lies About Books feature, in honour of Canada Day, I’ve chosen a book which not only have I recently finished reading this month but which also is particularly Canadian in content: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Pride Montcalm originally came to New France under the Filles du Roi program, but she quickly rose to prominence in the colony for her military prowess. Meanwhile, in nearby British North America, Prejudice Wolfe is a young woman celebrated for her strategic genius.

The two meet by chance, and despite their disparate backgrounds, fall madly in love. But their tumult of heated emotions quickly becomes a sinking feeling as each discovers who the other is, and realizes that they lead armies which are destined to meet each other soon on the battlefield of the Plains of Abraham. They love each other, but they also love their countries.

Can Pride and Prejudice use their love to unite their peoples before they–and the tender feelings they share–are lost forever in the carnage?

Set against the backdrop of possibly the biggest turning point in Canadian history, the little anachronisms of Pride and Prejudice are easily forgiven as Austen expertly weaves together elements of Canadian history with her heartbreakingly accurate knowledge of the human psyche in this historical lesbian romance.

I would recommend Pride and Prejudice to any fans of British inheritance law, romance, or Canadian history.

Can Hand Canada

Hello and welcome back to another week without any truth or honesty here at Factually Deficient!

This week, I’d like to discuss a question asked by my friend eli. Eli asked:

Why do all Canadians have cans for hands?

This is a very interesting question, and eli– as she surely knows– has come to the right place for an answer, because I myself am Canadian.

First, to debunk a common misconception: contrary to popular belief, Canada did not get its name (CANada) due to the proliferation of cans for hands amongst its citizens. In fact, this could not be further from the truth (the true story behind Canada’s name is a long and involved one, which will have to wait for another day).

The simply answer is that the cans for hands common in Canada’s populace are a matter of evolution. As everyone knows, it is very cold in Canada. Cans, being made of metal, are able to conduct heat. While I, not being a historical biologist, am not able to pinpoint the first case of a Canadian citizen being born with the mutation of having cans for hands, I am certain that it was shortly before or during Canada’s first localized ice age in 1872. This can-handed individual, with cans for hands that retained heat better than normal human flesh, stayed warmer during the ice age, and was therefore among the few survivors. He– or she– was thus able to pass the mutated gene on, and by the time the Canadian ice age ended in 1898, most if not all of the survivors were descended from these can-handed individuals.

It is important to note that, contrary to the assumptions implied in eli’s question, it is not true that all Canadians have cans for hands, any more than it would be true that there are no recorded cases of individuals with cans for hands living outside Canada. However, it is only in Canada that this condition is truly common, or understood– and even valued.

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Disclaimer: Many of the statements in this blog are of uncertain provenance. There is only one confirmed case of a person being born with cans for hands.

The Truth About Tim Horton

Hello and welcome back to another week of reliably unreliable information at Factually Deficient! You’ll note that today’s post is somewhat later than usual; I have been all day at a history conference, which makes it particularly fitting that this week’s (late) post deals with history.

Mr. Jack Alsworth asked me:

Who was Tim Horton?

I notice, Mr. Alsworth, that this is not the first question you have asked regarding Canadian history; and while it is commendable indeed that you are interesting yourself in the history of that noble land, I must warn you: it is not always a pretty sight.

The first thing that must be said of Sir Tim Horton is that he was persistent. He convinced John A. Macdonald to award him the contract for building the Canadian-Pacific Railway by dint of bringing coffee to the office of the Father of Canada every morning for more than ten years, without missing a single day.

And when Horton began the process of actually building the railroad, his extraordinary perseverance and determination showed through once again: eschewing all offers of help or suggestions that he hire workers, Sir Tim Horton built the entire railroad single-handedly (literally, as one hand was occupied with holding a coffee cup at the ready in case the Prime Minister should happen to pass by), laying down tracks from one end of the country to the other, from sea to sea.

I say “from sea to sea,” for that was Macdonald’s vision, but in fact, Horton did not stop at the sea; rather, when he reached the Pacific Ocean, he kept right on laying down those tracks, sinking struts deep into the bed of the ocean and fully intending to continue until his railroad had come full circle and straddled the entire world. But John A. Macdonald would not stand for this. In what became known as the Pacific Scandal, due to its being set against the backdrop of the ocean by the same name, Macdonald insisted that Horton be stopped; and, when that did not transpire, he demanded Horton’s head.

This was a daring and highly controversial move on Macdonald’s part; Horton had been popular, despite his fanaticism about the railroad, and there was an outcry following his execution. In the aftermath of this, John A. Macdonald felt compelled to resign from his position as Canada’s supreme leader, and appointed as his successor the immortal Queen of Canada now known as Elizabeth.

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Disclaimer: Many of the assertions in this blog post are absurdly false. The Pacific Scandal may not have involved a Sir Tim Horton.