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?


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?


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!


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


Got Any Nails?

Hello, and welcome to another week of delightful duplicity here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed to the general public by my friend Kays. Kays asked:

All my nails on my left hand are wider than the nails on my right hand. Please explain.

With the exception of those who have two evenly-matched cans, many people have two similar, but slightly different, hands: a right hand and a left hand. These two hands, like all body parts split along the right/left divide, have certain traits that are unique to each side.

As Kays’ question regards an apparent anomaly on the left hand, that is the side we will discuss in more detail. The word for the left, deriving from Latin, is ‘sinister’. This is no accident. The left side was so named because people’s left hands, left feet, left eyes, and left kidneys occasionally grow possessed by evil. At such times, the human to whom that hand/foot/eye/kidney belongs is no longer in control of that body part.

Fortunately, evil is weak, and is never able to control these body parts for more than a few moments. Generally, all it can compel someone’s left side to do is to kick someone in the shins without cause, or to glare portentiously with the left eye. This is, in fact, where the expression “the evil eye” comes from – an eye quite literally possessed, for a few brief moments, by evil, glaring at the innocents around it.

In the case of hands, an evil-possessed left hand will occasionally attempt to grow claws, the better to attack someone during its next ephemeral moments of dominance. Evil is not very good at growing claws. Usually, all it has time to do is to broaden the base of the fingernail and lengthen it somewhat, in the hopes that the next time it takes control of that hand, it will be able to build on that foundation – unfortunately for evil, usually, by that time, the owner of the hand has clipped the nail, and the evil-possessed hand has to start almost entirely from scratch (no pun intended).

However, while length of fingernails can easily be attended to, it is much more difficult to reduce width. Thus, the broadening of Kays’ left fingernails suggests a hand that evil has attempted once or twice to gain control of.


Disclaimer: This blog post is composed of spurious lies. There is no recorded case of a left kidney being possessed by evil.

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.


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.