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'Kryptonite' Discovered in Serbian Mine 272

Posted by Zonk
from the okay-now-nobody-find-the-red-kryptonite-and-we're-fine dept.
Rubinstien writes "A mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum was contracted to help identify an unknown mineral found in a Serbian mine. While he initially thought the miners had discovered a unique compound, after its crystal structure was analyzed and identified the researcher was shocked to find the material already referenced in literature. Fictional literature. Dr. Chris Stanley, from the BBC article: 'Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula — sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide — and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luthor from a museum in the film Superman Returns ... 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.'"
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'Kryptonite' Discovered in Serbian Mine

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:49AM (#18853413)
    Step 2: Send email to Superman
    Step 3: Build wheelchair ramp ...
    Step 4: Rule the world!
  • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:49AM (#18853417)
    ... to the Fortress of Solitude?
  • So... (Score:2, Insightful)

    Kryptonite doesn't contain Krypton? W..t..f?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Stooshie (993666)

      Technically, Kryptonite should be an oxide of Krypton (given the -ite extension). However, Kryptonite is one of then most unreactive elements in the periodic table and it is very unlikely that it exists in nature at all.

  • by tttonyyy (726776) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:52AM (#18853431) Homepage Journal
    Summary

    Exciting: Contains same elements as described in fictional cartoon

    Unexciting: Superman could use it as a paperweight without feeling like he's dying of man-flu
    • by iainl (136759) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:56AM (#18853505)
      That's what I didn't get in the story. In DC continuity, Kryptonite is just fine to handle if you're only human. So how have these scientists established that it wouldn't hurt a fictional alien?
      • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:57AM (#18853517)
        It's the greenish glow. It's all about the glow.
        • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @09:44AM (#18854179) Homepage

          Unless of course it is really Red Kryptonite or Blue Kryptonite or even the Pink Kryptonite that has the power to turn Superman gay.

          Then it wouldn't have to glow green.

          • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @11:07AM (#18855391) Homepage
            I thought the parent was joking. But no, accoring to wikipedia:
            "Pink Kryptonite
            From an alternate timeline in a 2003 Supergirl storyline by Peter David, this bizarre variety of Kryptonite apparently turned heterosexual Kryptonians temporarily into homosexuals; it was seen in just one panel, with Superman giving flattering compliments to Jimmy Olsen about his wardrobe and decorative sense. It spoofs the more "innocent times" of the Silver Age (Lois Lane is depicted in this story as not understanding what's gotten into Superman)."

            So from the sound of it (there's no orange kryptonite): "although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange" they have in fact, found the substance to make superman gay. Then again, the bodysuit is rather gay to begin with... or then again maybe it's just superhero fashion, he's hardly the only one.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward
              "Lois Lane is depicted in this story as not understanding what's gotten into Superman"

              Jimmy Olsen, obviously.
        • by Ed Avis (5917)
          Indeed, this stuff is white, which means it must be white kryptonite and so harmless to Superman (tho' dangerous to plants, depending on which definition of white k. you take).
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by allanc (25681)
          The Glow is also what you need to defeat Sho'Nuff, the Shogun of Harlem.

          (It's very useful)
      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @09:22AM (#18853877)
        Until we test it on the fictional alien, I guess we'll never know. Knowing academia, though, and the propensity for grad students (and even older researchers) to engage in silly fads [princeton.edu], it wouldn't surprise me if someone did a paper or article on it. As a great scholar once said, you can write your thesis on Gameboy if you can bullshit well enough.
        • by Gilmoure (18428)
          The sociological effects of portable entertainment equipment, as exampled by top selling hardware 'Gameboy', is something that should be studied. White papers could be generated from this study and then sold to entertainment companies for lots of money.
        • Gene Hackman and Michael Caine in the same movie, I have my thesis(stands up) I can stop watching TV!!!
          • Gene Hackman and Michael Caine in the same movie, I have my thesis(stands up) I can stop watching TV!!!
            I thought that Christopher Walken and Michael Caine in the same movie together would be a sign of the apocalypse. Then they made one [imdb.com].

            I still haven't decided if I'm going to see it.
        • by Stupidfat (1009173) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @10:21AM (#18854727)
          Before commenting, please RTFA. I quote:

          "mineral blah blah kryptonite blah blah blah they know it is kryptonite because a GIANT FUCKING SEMITRANSPARENT HEAD APPEARED IN THE CAVE AND TOLD THEM IT WAS"
      • by QuickFox (311231)

        That's what I didn't get in the story. [...] So how have these scientists established that it wouldn't hurt a fictional alien?
        Maybe the reporters assumed that, but reporters always make wild, unfounded assumptions about science. The scientists themselves, however, carefully point out that "So far the effects of Jadarite on superheroes have not been noted by researchers [mindat.org]."

    • by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @09:19AM (#18853829) Homepage
      Exciting: Contains same elements as described in fictional cartoon

      Unexciting: ...except fluorine, so actually it doesn't contain the same elements.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @09:27AM (#18853927)

        Exciting: Contains same elements as described in fictional cartoon

        Unexciting: ...except fluorine, so actually it doesn't contain the same elements.

        Parent is correct.
        FTFA:

        "The new mineral does not contain fluorine (which it does in the film) and is white rather than green but, in all other respects, the chemistry matches that for the rock containing kryptonite."

        IANAChemist but what little chemistry I had over 30 years ago says it can't be the same chemical formula if it has one less element. Thusly the article disagrees with itself and this sounds a bit like pushing things for the find to get extra attention. If we can leave out an element and ignore the chemical bonding requirements then we could sweeten our food with carbon dioxide instead of sugar.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:
          The scientific name for the rock was displayed on its case, 'Sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide with fluorine'.

          Since when a chemical formula uses with? Granted I am no chemist, but I've never heard a chemical formula that uses with in my high school/college years. It sounds more like a composition of two substances like how steel is a composition of iron and carbon instead of a substance with a chemical formula "iron with carbon".
  • No wonder (Score:5, Funny)

    by CSHARP123 (904951) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:53AM (#18853453)
    No wonder all my super powers are gone.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by blake3737 (839993)
      you and me both buddy.
      ~Batman

      PS. Have you seen any of my equipment? I sent it to "funny Man cleaners" and still haven't gotten it back yet. im going batshit crazy trying to reach them on the batcellphone, but their line just has some message with some guy laughing maniacally and talking about the end of batm.... I gotta go.
  • by ATestR (1060586) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:53AM (#18853469) Homepage

    It's been a while since I've seen the movie, but the question that comes to my mind is: "Was the box in superman Returns correctly labeled?". Perhaps it was only labeled sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide, but someone had mistakenly identified the kryptonite as that substance. After all, why would Lex Luther steal a box containing white powdery substance... oh, wait, never mind.

    • by webrunner (108849)
      Nah, it's not that, he just thought it was cake mix.
    • by Oktober Sunset (838224) <`ku.oc.oohay' `ta' `301egapds'> on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:56PM (#18857233)
      Well, in the film, they come in and they check them all with that thingy (preusably some radiation detecting widget) and saw that the sample had a chunk of kryptonite hidden inside it so they had idenified the soft creamy outer substance as sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide, but they had not analysed the crunchy centre of tasty kryptonite. Soooo, they haven't found kyrptonite, just some crap that kryptonite was once found in the middle of. Form superman 3, the chemical composition for the Kryptonite that Richard Pryor's computer screen reads is Plutonium: 15.08% Tatalum: 18.06% Xenon: 27.71% Promethium: 24.02% Dialium: 10.62% Mercury: 3.94% Unknown: 0.57%. The 'Unknown' was later worked out by Luthor.
  • duh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:55AM (#18853489) Homepage
    of course it doesn't glow or kill superman, it wasn't effected by either the destruction of krypton or a trip through space. What exactly do they pay these so called scientists for anyway?
    • I disagree. this counpound has not been tested on Superman, therefore, we cannot seriously say it cannot kill him.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by OnyxNoir (1092423)
        disagree. this compound has not been tested on Superman, therefore, we cannot seriously say it cannot kill him.

        "Pocket-protected scientists dove a car made of pure Kryptonite at a wall composed entirely of superman.."
  • Beware! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@HORSEop ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:55AM (#18853499) Journal

    Instead, it will be formally named Jadarite when it is described in the European Journal of Mineralogy later this year.

    And somewhere on Earth, in an unknown fortress, a stranger from planet Jadar knows fear...

    • And somewhere on Earth, in an unknown fortress, a stranger from planet Jadar knows fear...

      More likely it'll go something like this:

      "Ship, I thought you told me Jadarite couldn't occur naturally in this system? Nevermind, forget it. Just power up the main engines and take us up, we're leaving... no point in hanging around this planetary loony bin any longer. The last thing we need are these flaky locals taking pot shots at us again with Jadarite bullets. Those things really sting."
  • by SQLGuru (980662) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:57AM (#18853511) Journal
    Apparently no one reads the comic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryptonite [wikipedia.org]
    Green, Red, Gold, White, Blue, etc.

    White (the color referenced in the article) kills all plant life.
    Pink (since no pinkish-orange is listed) turns people gay.

    Take your pick.

    Layne
  • More information... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jolyonr (560227) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:58AM (#18853525) Homepage
    The real mineral is called "Jadarite", or at least it will be officially when it's published later this year. At the moment it has the official memorable name of "IMA2006-036" - but as the name "Jadarite" has leaked out onto the internet already, there's no big surprise about the forthcoming announcement. In fact these leaks on the internet pushed the Natural History Museum to release this press release now.

    More information about Jadarite at: http://www.mindat.org/min-31570.html [mindat.org]
     
    Jolyon
  • by kadat (1092425)
    Sodium lithium boron siliaksdjalshk lajwbvbsbj? Nah, thanks, I think I'll stay with good old C2H5OH packed in a beer form. After all, few bottles of that make me a Superman too.
  • Called Jadarite (Score:5, Interesting)

    by necro81 (917438) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @09:08AM (#18853665) Journal
    It's being called Jadarite for the mine near Jadar where it was found. This is fairly common from what (little) I know of minerology. They note that, because it doesn't actually contain any krypton [webelements.com], it can't officially be called kryptonite.

    Still, couldn't they have made a push for another superman-inspired name. Some suggestions are: Jorelite [wikipedia.org], Kalelite [wikipedia.org], Metropolite [wikipedia.org], or Lutherite [wikipedia.org].
    • Still, couldn't they have made a push for another superman-inspired name. Some suggestions are: Jorelite, Kalelite, Metropolite, or Lutherite.
      How about a simple 'Antisupermanite'?
  • For sale? (Score:5, Funny)

    by LLuthor (909583) <lexington.luthor@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @09:10AM (#18853687)
    Where can I buy some? Its still not on EBay!

    My henchmen are already on their way to pay the scientists a visit.
  • by beadfulthings (975812) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @09:10AM (#18853695) Journal

    Everybody knows Superman's arch-nemesis is Lex Luthor--not Lex Luther.

    Yahoo picked up the mistake from Reuters, people on Slashdot are typing it wrong, and now even the BBC [bbc.co.uk] has screwed it up.

    What kind of poor excuse for an arch-nemesis would spell his name "Lex Luther?" Sounds like some kind of religious observance.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      You should see how they murder Mr. Mxyzptlk's name.
    • by mazarin5 (309432)
      Lex Lutheran?
    • by LLuthor (909583)
      My minions will ensure that they pay dearly for this oversight.
      *Evil laugh*

      Regards,
      Lex Luthor /Really! //Also have a cousin called Clark. ///Enough slashies; This is not fark!
    • Yahoo picked up the mistake from Reuters, people on Slashdot are typing it wrong, and now even the BBC has screwed it up.

      Everybody knows Superman's arch-nemesis is Lex Luthor--not Lex Luther.
      You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means. ;)
    • by jZnat (793348) *
      Perhaps he's related to Martin Luther [wikipedia.org]?
  • If you're going to announce that it doesn't glow green the least you could do is provide pictures of it fluorescing pink before submitting to Slashdot- we like pictures!
  • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @09:11AM (#18853707) Journal
    is the case of Serbian slivovica [wikipedia.org] found in the same mine.
  • Kryptonite colors (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) * on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @09:15AM (#18853775)
    I never can keep them all straight. Green krypto made him weak, everyone knows that. But I can never keep track of all the funky stuff that happened when Supes was exposed to red, white, and all the other colors of kryptonite. Anybody remember? And was there a pink/orange version?
    • Obligatory Wikipedia link [wikipedia.org].
    • by Bonker (243350)
      Pink Kryptonite caused Christopher Reeves to kiss Michael Caine in 'Deathtrap'
    • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @09:35AM (#18854035) Homepage Journal
      Wikipedia sez [wikipedia.org]:

      Pink Kryptonite: From an alternate timeline in a 2003 Supergirl storyline by Peter David, this bizarre variety of Kryptonite apparently turned heterosexual Kryptonians temporarily into homosexuals; it was seen in just one panel, with Superman giving flattering compliments to Jimmy Olsen about his wardrobe and decorative sense. It spoofs the more "innocent times" of the Silver Age (Lois Lane is depicted in this story as not understanding what's gotten into Superman).[1]
      So, pink kryptonite turns superman gay. No word on orange kryptonite tho'

      This is one of those situations where you realise wikipedia's superiority over the competition. (I mean how much help would Encyclopedia Britannica have been for this question?;)
      • by kthejoker (931838)

        No word on orange kryptonite tho'
        Maybe it sets Superman on fire.

        Get it? Pink = gay, orange = fla ..

        I think you knew this was going to go there.

      • by jZnat (793348) *
        The combination of pink and orange kryptonite turns people metrosexual!

        I for one welcome our well-dressed supermen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @09:16AM (#18853789)
    "The new mineral does not contain fluorine (which it does in the film) and is white rather than green but, in all other respects, the chemistry matches that for the rock containing kryptonite."

    So basically,
    1) it's not green,
    2) it's doesn't cause radiation of any kind,
    3) it's not a crystal
    4) it's not even the same set of elements

    How about "I was dating a girl a while back, I realised she was Cindy Crawford, oh yeah, she's not actually Cindy Crawford, just has some similarities. PS, She's a man."
  • Lets not forget one important point.

    Kryptonite comes from Planet Krypton.

    If it's not from Planet Krypton how can it be called "Kryptonite"!?!? ARRRGH

    Why did BBC News publish this?
    • by Himring (646324)
      Because, from my understanding, the chemical fingerprint of the compound found in the serbian mine is the exact same as was labeled on the box of kryptonite in the movie. Therefore, the connection has nothing to do with kryptonite. It has to do with the chemical fingerprint.

      That's like saying, "in the movie, kryptonite had nothing to do with a serbian mine. Why did the bbc publish this?"

      Otherwise, after reading this blurb, I realized why I've been feeling so tired and drained lately. I checked the
  • ...Nerds. Only a nerd would recognize a chemical formula on the side of a box in a movie.
  • by Supercooldude (1018122) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @10:12AM (#18854627)
    You guys are all missing the main reason this find is so significant for Serbia: The Croatians are gonna be super jealous!
  • Why is this news? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sir Holo (531007) * on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @11:09AM (#18855427)
    Materials scientists make "new" materials all the time - they dream up an unknown composition and make it in the lab. Just because someone digs something out of the ground somehow makes it special?

    Maybe I should quit doing real research and learn how to sell mundane stamp-collecting work as sexy and exciting.
  • Even better:
    "With lengths over 11m, the giant gypsum crystals [bbc.co.uk] found in Mexico's Cueva de los Cristales are a great natural wonder."

    Then there's the "Giant crystal cave", [bbc.co.uk] which is really all ONE GEODE. (They seem to miss that in the article.) Can't see the crystals for cave, so to speak.

    Or maybe you would prefer "Man cuts off his penis in a London Restaurant" [bbc.co.uk] (!!!) Damned penis terroristas! Oh, wait, he cut off his OWN penis.

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