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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Lies About Books: All the Crooked Saints

As we approach another end of month which is definitely not a stressful time in any way, it is once again time for me to lie to my loyal readers about a book that I enjoyed this month.

This March, I read All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. All the Crooked Saints opens on a small, wintry, Canadian town. When a childhood snowball fight leads to unexpected disaster, Beatriz Soria sends herself down a different path in life, isolating herself from former friends and developing a fascination, which grows into a research interest and, eventually, several published books, with saints – stories of saints, hidden saints, forgotten saints.

But when an acquaintance who is intricately connected with that childhood disaster resurfaces in Beatriz’s life, now using the name Daniel Lupe and claiming to have the power to read minds, Beatriz is forced to revisit everything she left behind. Who was truly to blame for the results of that snowball fight? Why does Daniel Lupe bear an eerie resemblance to the twelfth-century forgotten saint she is currently researching? And can she ever truly escape her past?

All the Crooked Saints is a gem of a book, full of historical-religious tidbits and reflections on the Canadian countryside. I recommend it to all fans of magical realism, the power of guilt, and research projects.

The Lace of Queen Ann

Hello and welcome to yet another week of deception and disinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will be answering a pair of questions from my own genuine mother, who has taken advantage of Factually Deficient’s Friends and Family Discount to ask two questions for the price of one:

How would you pluralize Queen Ann?
How would you pluralize Queen Ann’s Lace?

The first of these questions seems deceptively simple. It is true that “Queen Ann” would most commonly and correctly be pluralized as “Queens Ann,” but this question does not exist in a vacuum: it is no abstract notion.

In the 1100s, there was a King of Prince Edward Island (son of the eponymous Prince Edward), named Henry the Eight, who had – as his name suggests – not one but eight queenly wives, all of whom were named Ann. This created a rather contentious and precarious situation, and grammarians the isle over disputed which spelling of “Ann” or “Anne” should be used as the standard when pluralizing the bevy of queens.

As for the second question, however, I am afraid that it is too much of an absurdity to even answer. The eight Queens Ann had, in fact, only one lace between them: a highly intricate and coveted piece of embroidery which was seen as a status symbol in the pecking order of their crowded family.

Eventually, one of the Queens Ann (the third one) took the Queen Ann’s lace and used it to smother her husband and rivals to death. She became the sole ruler of Prince Edward Island, with one lace to rule them all, and her reign continued uninterrupted until Prince Edward Island was conquered by Canada in 1292.

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Disclaimer: the above post is untrue, and should not be used as a resource for information Prince Edward Island, King Henry the Eighth, or English pluralizations.

Why 2018

Hello and welcome to a brand-new week full of the same old lies here at Factually Deficient! I remind all my readers that throughout this year and all years, you are welcome to send questions of any topic, shape, or size to Factually Deficient, through any method of communication known to human- or plant-kind, and they will be greeted with the finest of bespoke lies. This week, I will discuss a timely question raised in conversation with my very dear friend, an individual using the appellation whispersosoftly:

If the world isn’t really 2018 years old, why are we saying it is now the year 2018?

It is our honour at Factually Deficient to answer a history question such as this one. True, the world is far older than two thousand and eighteen years. Once, even, there was an exact count kept of this age.

However, the surest method of keeping count was in the rings in a tree’s trunks. And while the trees in question were very open about sharing their age with the rest of the Plant Kingdom, there was a growing concern that a more rash individual might cut down the tree to find the answer, thus harming the tree. To prevent such a horror from occurring, and to share the knowledge of the world’s age with the general public, the Plant King appointed one of his trusted servants to keep a public count of the world’s age.

This worked out well for many years, and the job was passed on several times without incident. It was not a very difficult job, particularly as few people ever actually bothered to stop this minister and ask what number the world had currently reached.

However, some two thousand-odd years ago, the official counter met with a tragic accident, and while he ultimately survived the experience, the distress had caused him to lose count of the number for the world’s age.

It would not do to be without an answer. A small cabal of plants and other creatures met, in secret, behind closed doors, to determine what to do about this catastrophe. They could not allow their ignorance of the world’s age to be found out, or chaos might reign.

The idea of picking a number “close enough” was rejected as being too risky – after all, if someone remembered the number they announced as having been the world’s age some years back, all would be lost. Instead, they chose the only answer that remained to them: they would start again from zero. If anyone questioned this, they were told only that a new era had begun. And the cabal that chose this designation could only hope that, in the mists of time, their secret decision would be forgotten.

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Disclaimer: the above post is incorrect. Do not set your calendars by Factually Deficient.

Alien Life

Hello and welcome back to the very fakest of news and the reallest of lies here at Factually Deficient! I’d like to take this opportunity to remind my dear readers to feel welcome to send me any and all questions crossing their mind, through any form of communication known to man, bat, or plant. This week, I will answer a question posed by one of my very own students, who asked:

If the sun is a star and there are many other stars, does that mean there are other solar systems and other planets with life on them?

Life on planets is of course an absurd notion. Planets were never built to support life.

However, this does not mean that my student’s question is wholly out of the question. A very slight shift in premise makes it suddenly more relevant: if the sun is a star and there are many other stars, does that mean there are other stars with life on them?

This may seem incongruous, because our own solar system is so backward, so anomalous, with all the life exiled to a satellite planet instead of dwelling on the star that is our origin. Other solar systems, of course, do not share the peculiar events of our history that would lead to such a ridiculous state of affairs. Other solar systems can be normal.

Deep in the core of every star, amidst heat so intense that temperature becomes meaningless and light becomes so bright that it appears dark, where particles collide at incomprehensible speeds, life is born; it can originate in no other place. Every star houses some form of life. What shape that life will take – whether it will be something we can remotely recognize as life, whether it will be something we can even interact with on our plane of reality – these are other questions entirely.

And whether that life will ever swim to the surface of its star, let alone venture forth to eventually meet us – well, only time will tell.

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Disclaimer: the above post is incorrect in the extreme. Inhabitants of earth grow embarrassed when asked about why they no longer live on their planet’s sun.

Lear and Theodosius

Hello and welcome to a new week of lovely lies here at Factually Deficient – and an entirely new year of creatively counterfactual learning to those of us in the education community!

This week, I will answer a question posed by the truly terrific Tohrinha, who asked:

What can you tell me about King Lear, a la Emperor Theodosius?

This is a very difficult question as posed, because the opinions of Emperor Theodosius may not be those shared by the Factually Deficient staff; yet, because we are called upon to describe King Lear in what would be his terms, that is what we shall do.

One must recognize that, although Lear and Theodosius ultimately became very close, they were not so at first. In fact, they were rivals, two pretenders to a throne that belonged in rights to neither one of them.

A scant century after the fall of the first Plant King, these two gentlemen arose, each one claiming the right to rule the noble Plant Kingdom. One called himself a King, in the manner of his alleged predecessor, while the other styled himself Emperor. When their respective claims to this most exalted of thrones failed, each disappeared for a time, before resurfacing with the same titles but new followers.

Emperor Theodosius was, at least initially, the more successful of the two. He built himself an island empire and brought almost every island on the earth under his sway. His counterpart – whose name was not even really Lear, but rather Gerald – acted more slowly, perhaps circumspectly.

Slow he may have been, but the King gradually began to collect large swathes of land, widening his coastlines, eyeing the territory of his rival. He was similarly watchful when the two men met in person, earning him the contemptuous nickname of King Leer (now spelled King Lear) from the markedly uncomfortable Theodosius.

By this early account, Emperor Theodosius would have described King Leer in disparaging terms – in fact, one can still find his journal calling Leer a “grasping, shifty man” whose eye “burned into [his] bosom’s core” with a malignancy that Theodosius, at the time, had begun to dread.

However, over the course of many deliberations and attempts to make peace between their nascent nations, these views changed and shifted. When the two were wed to join their kingdoms into one grand empire, it is commonly known to have been a political alliance; what is less known, but no less accurate, is that it was also one based on love.

If he could have rescinded the ill-meaning nickname he had given his dear Leer in their earlier days, perhaps Theodosius would have; by then, however, the name had taken on a life of its own, and King Gerald’s given name was all but lost to the mists of time. What is more significant than a name, however, are the genuine words, written in Theodosius’ journal and on Leer’s grave, calling the King “reserved, but unreservedly kind and unfailingly generous; a wise king, a dear friend, a beloved husband, and a good man.”

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Disclaimer: this post is saturated with falsehoods. Lear and Theodosius may not have been married to one another.

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.

Past Tense

Hello and welcome to another week of misleading claims and untruthful statements here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by the unbeatable Tohrinha, who asked:

What is the past tense?

With the invention of time travel in early 1292, the past became not only a memory, but also a place – a place that changed with an alarming frequency.

Although changing the past does not, of course, change one’s memories of how events had originally played out, it was discovered that those affected by the changes would gain an entirely new set of memories whole cloth, pertaining to the “new” state of past events, alongside their original memories.

Soon, with the congestion of time tourism, some people found that they had dozens, or even hundreds, of conflicting memories regarding the same period of time. And while those involved understood perfectly well what it was that they were remembering, it became increasingly more difficult and inaccessible to discuss these conflicting memories with others – even others who shared those memories, even others who had played a part in the time travel.

Fortunately, grammar came, as always, to the rescue, in the form of the past tense.

The past tense is a linguistic innovation – described by some of its detractors as a “slapdash barrel of neologisms” – in the form of an entirely new verb tense. This incredibly complex verb form indicates without a shred of ambiguity exactly which set of remembered events is under discussion, by way of a thorough if difficult conjugation.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains misinformation. Not all people retain memory of changed events subsequent to time travel.

The Language of Lamour

Hello and welcome to another wild week of wacky lies here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a language question posed by the incredible individual known as Tohrinha. Tohrinha asked:

What does it mean to be the language of l’amour?

Well may Tohrinha ask about the language of l’amour. This is a long sought-after language, one whose identity and origins have been clouded by language itself.

What is the language of l’amour? First of all, the apostrophe does not belong in the phrase; it was added, in the last seventy years, out of a misplaced belief that the language had Gallic origins. Before the inaccurate apostrophe, it was the language of Lamour. But even this was not the original incarnation of the tongue. Lamour is actually a corruption of Larmor, which itself derives originally from either Lumber or Armoire.

While the Plant Kingdom is a diverse realm which hosts many different dialects and languages, there is one which only the most advanced of botanists sought to learn. It was whispered of, in the dank corners of underground greenhouses, that there were some trees which continued to think even after they were cut down, and proved their sentience through language. Rebel botanists passed secret messages about this language, that only the wisest of plants developed, and only the most daring of men could begin to master: the language of lumber, the language of the armoire.

It is unknown which was the original source for the language: whether these brave botanists spoke in general of the tongue used by lumber that had been chopped, or whether they rightly revered the antique armoire who was recorded as the first known speaker of this language. But either way, three things are certain: first, that no one has heard it spoken and understood it in over six hundred years; second, that any botanist who can hear and learn this language spoken in the wild would be esteemed above all others; and finally, that the Language of Lamour is the most exalted of all possible languages.

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Disclaimer: the above post is a pack of lies. There is no reason to believe that armoires originated a language of any kind.