Q. When can something that is not even remotely like something else be considered to be the same as it?
A. When it’s a commercial product and the company that owns it can work out a spurious link that will get it a page on the BBC news site instead of a couple of lines in a technical journal.
The BBC claims that Rio Tinto Zinc found a new mineral that was the same as the fictional kryptonite.
According to movie and comic-book storylines, kryptonite is supposed to sap Superman’s powers whenever he is exposed to its large green crystals.
The real mineral is white and harmless, says Dr Chris Stanley, a mineralogist at London’s Natural History Museum.
“I’m afraid it’s not green and it doesn’t glow either – although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange,” he told BBC News
They could at least get their facts right.
- Kryptonite comes in several flavours, each of which has different effect on Superman.
- All flavours are harmless to earth beings, whatever they do to Superman.
- The BBC and/or RTZ must therefore have tried it out on a captured kryptonian, if they can confidently describe white kryptonite as harmless.
Obviously, this story is just a cover-up. RTZ must have secretly developed some mind-boggling new technologies.
For a start, they may even have devices to overcome the well-known fact that we can’t recognise anyone in glasses as the same person without glasses. I know that seems absolutely incredible – like telling “I can’t believe it’s not butter” apart from butter, as in the Simpsons – but modern science can achieve some amazing things
They will then have been able to use this infernally powerful device to uncover the secret alien identity of a mild-mannered farmboy-turned-low-level reporter and see if it injured him. I do hope the researchers were prepared to face the risk it might accidentally turn him into an evil superbeing – as red or black kryptonite did in one Superman film and a couple of episodes of Smallville. I therefore assume that they also devised some previously undreamed-of new containment technology to stop Superman going critical.
Bravo, genius evil scientists.