Oddly Enough

Superman "S" stands for Serbia?

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BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serb media responded on Wednesday with a sense of pride and patriotism that a new mineral had been found in Serbia closely resembling the makeup of fictional “kryptonite,” which rendered Superman helpless.

Reacting to the discovery of the real new mineral in western Serbia, they pointed out that “kryptonite” was created from the remains of Superman’s home planet Krypton, destroyed in a fireball.

“Superman is a Serb!” was the conclusion drawn in headlines favored by several newspapers. The daily Kurir said: “Finally we have scientific proof that we are God’s own people!”

Even the staid pro-government daily Politika joined in the fun, speculating that the ‘S’ on the Man of Steel’s blue costume really stood for ‘Serbia’.

In the comics, Superman would do anything to avoid kryptonite, whose glowing green crystals sapped his powers.

The actual mineral found at a mine near Jadar does not glow, is not radioactive, has very tiny crystals and is white rather than green. It is to be named Jadarite.

While concluding an extensive examination of its unique chemistry, mineralogist Chris Stanley of London’s Natural History Museum stumbled on a close match with ‘kryptonite’, as described in the movie ‘Superman Returns’.

The museum quoted Stanley as saying he searched the Internet for the mineral’s formula -- sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide -- and found the same scientific name written on a case containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luthor in the movie.