Lee was: the Incarnation ! (sort of)
Answered on: 15 Dec 2005
From: "Okami One And Only" <shapeshifter.dragon@[spam_prevention].com> Newsgroups: alt.fan.douglas-adams Subject: Stupid Question About Superman And Ford Prefect.... Date: 14 Dec 2005 17:01:48 -0800 Lines: 21 Message-ID: <email@example.com> NNTP-Posting-Host: 188.8.131.52 Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Now....Betelguese is a red star. A red super-giant to be precise. Krypton orbits another red star. Ford Prefect from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy was born on a planet orbiting betelguese. Superman was born on Krypton. Superman has superpowers because he was born under a the Kryptonian red sun and came to earth, which has a yellow one, and the difference gives him powers. Ford Prefect was born under the Betelguesian red sun, and came to earth which has a yellow sun. Now, here's what I don' get....why hasn't Ford Prefect got superpowers?! (I told you it was a stupid question.)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Lee K. Seitz) Newsgroups: alt.fan.douglas-adams Subject: Re: Stupid Question About Superman And Ford Prefect.... Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 19:11:31 -0000 Message-ID: <email@example.com> References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Because Superman is a Kryptonian and Ford is a, er, Betelguesian. The red suns, which desipte that one similarity are still far from identical, are merely one factor in the rise of life on the two planets. Just because life arose on both worlds does not mean their evolutionary paths followed the same routes or that the organisms from each are biochemically similar. You also have to factor in size of the sun, age of the sun, energy output of the sun, spectra of the sun, distance of the planet from the sun, gravity, atmospheric composition, land composition, sea composition (if present), period of rotation, direction of roatation, length of solar revolution, degree of planetary tilt, proximity of closest improbability field, average temperature, limits of seasonal extremes, amount of rainfall, average cloud cover, average number of visits by parties from advanced extra-planetary civilizations, attitudes on evolutionary/social interference by members of said parties, maximum wind speed, position of continents (if any), size of continents, arrangement of continents, plans for hyperspace bypasses in the area, amount of pollution, evolutionary advancement of each species at the time Kal-el and Ford Prefect left their respective planets, length of each being's trip, amount of radiation shielding on each's vessel, method of propulsion, number of years living on Earth, and the price of tea on the Galactic Exchange. (It would take to long to explain that last one. Just trust me, okay?) You owe the Oracle a Kryptonite towel. Oh wait, this is my newsreader, not my e-mail client. Never mind.
Notes: It didn't have anything to do with the Internet Oracle, but it just seemed to me demand an Oracle-style answer. This is the edited version of my answer, without the quote from the original post and with an added sentence since, with at least one person, I didn't make my point quite right.
Another reader of alt.fan.douglas-adams who's also a regular on rec.humor.oracle.d commented that as he was reading my answer, he wondered if it was leading up to some new version of the woodchuck question.
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