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Aliens Steal Rare Earth Metals!

Someone recently stole samples of fourteen distinct rare earth metals from a Stanford lab. Elements with wild names like ytterbium, praesodymium, and holmium.

Right away I think there’s an SF/Ufological angle to this theft. I think it’s obvious to any reasonable person that a saucer alien, time traveler, or cross-brane hopper needed this stuff to build a device to get back home.

Or maybe the aliens don’t need the rare earth metals to build a device, per se, but rather they plan to use them as a tonic so as to enter a certain quantum computational state of consicousness which permits a teleportation hop.

I recall that my my moldie character Andrea was getting high off rare earths in my novel Freeware. Quoting from the Freeware notes:

Andrea gets high on chelated rare-earth polymers. The rare-earth elements, also called lanthanides, are Lanthanum, Cerium, Praseodymium, Neodymium, Promethium, Samarium, Europium, Gadolinium, Terbium, Dysprosium, Holmium, Erbium, Thulium, Ytterbium, and Lutetium. Ytterbium was first found in a mineral called yttria in the 1890s near Ytterby, Sweden. “Ytterbium” was first applied to a substance found in yttria that was in fact a compound of the elements lutetium and ytterbium. Yttrium, though not a rare earth, resembles the rare-earth elements and is often associated with them.

And here’s a relevant quote from Freeware itself:

On the sidewalk outside the Boardwalk was Monique’s mother Andrea, spread softly out on the pavement like a Colorado River toad, but a toad in the shape of a giant book lying open on the ground. The Good Book. Big gothic letters scrolled across the two exposed pages. Just now the letters read, Thou Shalt Not Hate Moldies.

“Moldies are sentient beings with genuine religious impulses,” intoned Andrea. “I’m interested in pursuing a dialogue on this issue. Especially with single men!”

“Mom,” said Monique in an encrypted chirp. “One of these days a Heritagist tourist is going to pour alcohol on you and light you. A lot of Heritagists are Christians. Do you really think they dig seeing you, like, imitate their sacred book?”

“Greetings, Monique,” squawked Andrea cheerfully. “I am in an ecstatic state of consciousness today. A potent yttrium-ytterbium-twist compound was provided to me this morning by cousin Emuline. It’s made right here in California, they call it betty, I don’t know why, maybe because ‘betty’ is almost ‘ytterbium’ spelled backwards, well that would be ‘muibretty’. Monique, your mother is lifted on fine, fine, muibretty betty. But what is your request, my dear daughter?”

That’s all….for now. Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for those rare earth element thieves!

7 Responses to “Aliens Steal Rare Earth Metals!”

  1. duudi Says:

    Your skirt looks like Marimekko?

  2. Scott Armstrong Says:

    The only earth we seem to have out here (rural Illinois) is the very common, sometimes fragrant farm dirt!

    Too bad the aliens don’t need soil from the Midwest. We could enter into a lucrative trade agreement with our friends from afar–dirt for technology, plowshares for swords, something along those lines.

  3. Reginald Turnipseed Says:

    You forgot the element: t-nuc.

    The rarest of them all.
    Found in moist regions known for their eerie smell.

    I hear those who dig for it, pay for it.

  4. The Necromancer Says:

    Post-industrial alchemists, perhaps? Rare earth meets hollow earth…Producing some sort of chemical annulment.

  5. Steve H Says:

    Rare Earth? Saw ’em warming up for Canned Heat in ’71. Helluva show.

  6. Steve H Says:

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Aliens Steal Rare Earth, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds (slaps self hard) hey, wait a minute! I seem to have a some sort of nanobot infestation(sprays self with harsh insecticide) all over my avatar(brushes clothing frantically). Gaaah! Get ’em off! Mein Luftkissenfahrzeug ist von den Aalen voll! (strips naked and runs away screaming ‘I don’t loike spammmm!’)

  7. Buzz Says:

    This is weird because I just finished Freeware again and I also teach college chem. I first read Freeware shortly after it came out 10 years ago. I think it is my favorite because of the mostly great character development. I also read it before the first two.


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