Theory of Initialisms and Acronyms

Hello and welcome back to another se’ennight of slander here at Factually Deficient, where we present only the highest quality, Grade-A lies! This week, I will answer a question that my very own mother posed the other day at the dinner table. She asked:

What are TIAs?

It is important to understand that time usually travels in a positive (forward) direction, at a rate of one or two seconds per second. However, there are exceptions. These are rarely explainable, but their results can be disastrous.

When time travels at a different rate or in a different direction, it usually results in a Temporally-Induced Anomaly. Such anomalies range from the generally harmless Turtles Imitating Armadillos to the more problematic Thoroughly Inside-out Alphabets.

It is important to address these issues actively and early, before they reach the Time Intersection Altitude, at which point they would become permanent. It is equally important that only a Trained, Instructed, Apprenticed individual attempt to address them, because disaster could befall the uninitiated.

The Taskforce Intervention Association was created for this express purpose. However, the humans of this intervention army were often of too weak a constitution either to imminently address the issues at hand, to survive the experience, or both.

Their interesting argle-bargle was resolved through more recruitment, this time of non-human members. The Tarantulas-In-Arms – who whom the phrase “TIA” always refers – proved to be a  timely, improving addition to the team, and effectively prevented any traumatizing, inopportune, adverse effects from the time anomalies.

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Disclaimer: The above post contains untruths. Not all time anomalies require tarantulas to resolve them.

Mirror Magic

Hello and welcome to another week here at Factually Deficient, ushering in the new calendar year with only the very best in handcrafted, artisanal fibs! This week, I will answer a question posed by faithful reader Tohrinha:

How are mirrors made?

This post is going to appear later than most, because it is only with the greatest hesitation and trepidation that the Factually Deficient reporter team was authorized to reveal the magical and scientific process involved in making mirrors.

Mirrors present an image, in perfect reverse, of whatever is in front of them. They perform a very similar function to what cameras do, and in fact, in the early days of mirrors, that is exactly how they worked: a giant camera behind the glass would be constantly photographing the area before the mirror and displaying the results on the screen.

This, however, was impractical in the long run. The camera’s machinery required quite a bulk of wires and chips separating the mirror from the wall, and the time-delay between snapping the picture and displaying it in the mirror meant that people would have to hold very still, and wait very patiently, in order to see an accurate “reflection” in the mirror.

So a crack team of alchemists, scientists, and magicians began experimenting with alternative methods. There was talk of hiring a skilled artist to sit behind every mirror and paint what lay in front of it, but it turned out that this would actually take more time and require more space than the camera mirrors ever had.

And then quicksilver was discovered. Like regular silver, it had a shiny, silvery colour, akin to the surface of a mirror. But unlike regular silver, it caused everything in its immediate vicinity to move extremely quickly – hence its name. With quicksilver as the medium, painters were suddenly able to paint the mirror’s “reflections” in a fraction of a second, far faster than the cameras could ever throw out their displays, and repaint over the screen in a new layer of quicksilver every time the image changed.

That is how the mirrors we use today operate: a skilled, and very slim, painter sits behind the screen, painting you in the quickest of silvers.

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Disclaimer: some of the statements in this blog post are inaccurate. Quicksilver does not actually affect the passage of time.

American Nouns, Part One

Hello and welcome back to another week of evasions and stretched truths here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer the first part of a question forwarded to Factually Deficient’s attention by RotavatoR. The question, asked during an American debate, asked for a real-noun elucidation of certain American terms used. Today we will elucidate the term:

Second Amendment

In the United States, time is not counted the way it is in any other part of the world.

They eschew the widespread “Imperial” system of measurement for being, in the words of Jim United, founder of the eponymous States, “too darn imperial.” Instead, the composite republic is alone in a system of measurement called “metric,” because all the units must combine to form a poem with a strict rhyme scheme.

This difference in measurement applies to all things – length, breadth, height, width, depth, volume, distance, velocity, etc. – but the one of interest to us today is time.

The “second amendment” refers to the amendment made in the United states to the terminology and measurement regarding the smallest commonly-used unit denoting passage of time – the second. The trochaic bisyllabic word not fitting their rhyme scheme and metre, they amended their measurement terms to replace the word with “third.”

However, the amendment did not stop there. A change in name is meaningless without a corresponding change in function, and it stands to reason, mathematically, that a “third” takes a different amount of time than a “second” – specifically, 3/2X as long. Due to the second amendment, time passes at a slower rate in the United States of America than in anywhere else in the world.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains numerous falsehoods. Amendments passed in the US have no bearing on the passage of time.

Early Release

Hello and welcome to yet another untrustworthy instalment of Factually Deficient! And while this is not what the post title refers to, may I point out that this update comes a whole six days early for next Sunday!

This week’s question comes from Endless Sea, who asked:

Canada Best Buy has the summer Bionicle sets months early. EXPLAIN.

Now, Factually Deficient makes a point, as a rule, to avoid divulging other companies’ proprietary information. However, Endless Sea’s explanation can yet be made available, as the phenomenon pointed out is in fact representative of a wider, more general trend – and this is the trend which we will attempt to explain.

As many people are aware, Canada is an exceedingly large country. It spans a number of time zones, which the Factually Deficient Research* Team estimates as 5 and 1/2. This is more time zones than almost any other country.

What is a time zone? Literally, it is a zone filled with time. Each time zone contains a standard unit’s worth of time; by spanning five and a half time zones, Canada is quite rich in time. Time, naturally, corresponds to time. The more time an individual possesses – has experienced – the greater an age that person has.

This explains why different countries exist in different time periods simultaneously. In practice, Canada’s five and a half time zones convert to roughly five and a half additional months of time. In comparison, the United States are estimated to have only three time zones.

With this information, we can solve a simple equation (5 1/2 – 3 = 2 1/2) to determine a key piece of information: namely, Canada is two and a half months “ahead” of the United States. In other words, from a vantage point in the United States, Canada exists two and a half months in the future. (And of course conversely, if one is in Canada, the United States are two and a half months in the past.)

It is no accident that something seems to be released in Canada months before its American release. What this means is that the two countries were scheduled to release the item on the same date – only that date arrived months earlier in Canada.

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Disclaimer: The above post is composed of lies. Time zone estimates are not necessarily accurate.

Black and White

Hello and welcome back to another week of fun-filled fibs, falsehoods, and fabrications here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed here in the comments by Tohrinha. Tohrinha asked:

Why are old television shows in black and white?

Tohrinha is observing a phenomenon whereby the older a television show, the higher the likelihood that it is presented in greyscale, without any other colours of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The reason for this is simple: unlike most objects, which travel linearly forward through time, pigment is naturally fixed in time. In its untouched state, pigment – colours – are visible only at their exact moment of creation; and they will exist eternally at that moment, and be visible at no other. We fight this process by fusing the pigments to the items we wish to colour, thereby lending the linear chronology of the object to the pigment, as we lend the visual aspect of the pigment to the object. A symbiotic relationship.

However, the bonds of this relationship are not indefinitely sustainable. As time passes, the “glue” which holds the pigment to the object it colours grows weaker, until finally the pigment returns to its original fixed point in time. Thus, as television shows grow older, their pigments begin to return to their points of origin, leaving the television program in only shades of black and white.

This phenomenon is not restricted to television; the same principle is at work when colours of a poster on a wall begin to fade, when a person’s hair shades to white or gray, and when pale spots (often white) start appearing on elderly bread, cheese, and other food items. In all these cases, the object (or person) has aged to the point that the bonds tying it to its pigment have eroded, the pigment beginning to revert to its initial timeless state.

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Disclaimer: The above blog post is certifiably false. Not all pigments are resistant to travelling linearly forward in time.

Fasting Slowly

Hello and welcome to another week of disinformation and deception here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question that was posed by my good friend Jack Alsworth. Jack Alsworth asked:

Why is it called ‘fasting’ when nothing appears to be moving quickly?

What Jack alludes to here is the perception experienced by some of a delayed passage of time during times of fasting. Indeed, on the face of it, the term “fasting” seems, as Jack points out, to be a misnomer. What Jack does not realize, however, and what lies at the heart of the answer to this question, is what the term actually refers to.

Time is measured in terms of food. Take an example: the word “seconds,” used for the smallest measurable unit of time, actually refers to the time it takes to ask for seconds of a foodstuff. You can try this simple experiment at home to prove it: look at a clock while saying aloud, “Can I have some more?” You will find that from the time you open your mouth to the time the sentence is complete, exactly one second has passed. Similarly, minutes are the time it takes to eat a minute amount of food; weeks are so called because they describe the time it takes for someone to become weak from not eating.

By this measurement, fast days are indeed quite fast. Think about it: while normal days contain the time that spans between three full mealtimes at least, a fast day, depending on the length or nature of the fast, will have only two, or one, or even zero, forcing time to stretch from the meal the evening before to the breakfast after. A fast day may seem slow to one experiencing it, but in a language that measures the passage of time by consumption of food, it is the fastest thing there is.

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Disclaimer: The above blog post is frivolously fictional. The length of time it takes to ask for seconds may vary.