Friday, July 24, 2009

A man with a true super-power: stupidity.

I've talked about people who claim to have supernatural powers before... for some reason, many people simply can't accept reality for what it is. For them, super-human powers and ghostly spirits and predicting the future simply MUST be true. I don't really get it.

We are fragile humans... some people are stronger, or smarter, or taller, or more beautiful, but we all have physical limitations. No-one is immortal, no-one has super powers, and no, sorry, no-one can talk to dead people (but that's a topic for another post).

Still and all, people claim these abilities all the time... sometimes they are true charlatans looking to bilk credulous people out of their money, and sometimes they actually convince themselves that they do have these abilities. The latter group are less dishonest, but more dangerous because they truly believe it. A charlatan will know when he's gone too far before he's done any real harm... a true believer won't.

Most times, it's other people that are damaged as a result of the claims of these people... but sometimes, these kooks are so convinced of their own supernatural abilities that they will put themselves in harms way... usually to their own detriment.

That brings us to today's whackaloon, Dmitry Butakov, who believed that he had "super-powers"... specifically the ability to ingest poisonous liquids without being harmed. It seems that Dmitry's body did have a somewhat high tolerance for certain types of toxic liquids. For example, he once drank some dissolvent in front of reporters and survived. He decided to use his "super-powers" to gain fame and perhaps fortune.

You'll notice that I've been talking about Dmitri in the past-tense. You can probably guess why. After setting up a demonstration with reporters in which he drank about 10 oz. of anti-freeze, he gave a couple of interviews, then started to feel sick. He later died, predictably, of blood poisoning.

I'd wrap this up with a lesson about stupidly believing in super (or supernatural) powers, but if you didn't get that already, I'm not sure it would help you anyhow.

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