Don’t buy ads when you can get on the news

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.