Mythbusters

The following are actual questions posed by Nafaa visitors.
  • Duvy_Side – What side of duvetyne is treated?

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    “Care to confirm or deny my claim that it is the rough side of Duvetyne that is treated with fire proofing, not the fuzzy side?”
    The process of flame treating fabric invariably includes fully dampening or even soaking the material in question with the flame treatment. The result is that the fibers of the material are treated, one side, the other side, inside and outside.

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  • Flaming_Kero – Is it okay to redip a flaming tool in Kerosene?

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    “Myth: it’s okay to redip a hot or even flaming tool in Kerosene or lamp oil without igniting the bucket”
    If you dip quickly and you haven’t re-dipped too many times (thus heating up the lamp oil), you absolutely *CAN* do that. However, changes in temperature (from doing this), pressure, and humidity can radically change the chances that this will literally blow up in your face.

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  • Wet_Wicks – Do wicks need to be kept wet with fuel?

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    “Also works, assuming all of your hardware is non-corrodible. That’s how I stored my first set of wicks, which lasted well over 300 burns.”
    Some people believe that either keeping your wicks soaking in fuel when not in use, or progressively increasing the burn time during the first burns can increase the life span of your wicks. However, very little comparative evidence exists. For example, two people with the same wicks, purchased or made from the same materials, with the same chain lengths and similar spin styles would have to treat their wicks differently to show some level of scientific data.Such data should factor out, as much as possible, the following: chain length, speed of spin, material differences, duration of each spin (burn out or put out), frequency of spin (once per night vs once per hour), fuel differences, etc.
    The only fortuitous “testing” in this area so far came from a spinner who regularly performed progressive burns on new pairs of wicks. Immediately after breaking in one pair of wicks, one wick was lost and needed to be replaced. The replacement wick did not receive the usual break-in ritual and provided a very similar life span to the wick that had been broken in.Status: Dubious

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  • Flash_Point – What is does the “Flash Point” of a fuel mean?

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    Flash point is fully discussed here.  But the short answer is this: all petrol fuels need to be converted to a gas in order to burn.  Flash point (kinda like boiling point) is the temperature at which a volatile fuel will convert to gas at standard atmospheric pressure. So a low flash point fuel like white gas will let off vapors on your skin, on the ground, even while sitting on ice.  High flash point fuels, like lamp oil, need to be heated up to their flash point (about 200f) in order to give off vapors.  This is why lamp oil is no good for fleshing or ground burns.

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  • Chain_Spinners – Do poi need to have spinners?

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    Welded chain doesn’t need to have swivels, neither do bolts that have been hard twinked to prevent spin-off. However, people without spin relief are more likely to suffer other issues with their chains from accelerated grip wear to connector failure.The physics of it are pretty simple. Your hands don’t rotate while you spin, but your wicks are spinning (in relation to your hands) which creates rotational torque around the connection point to your hand. This torque has to go somewhere. If your chain doesn’t have a swivel, then it causes your wicks to spin on axis where the chain connects.The weight of your wicks determines how much energy your chain has to apply to the second rotation of the wicks.
    With unwelded chain, or any cheap grade, this rotational torque will twist and snap the chain, the connectors, or the grips. Someone using heavy chain and good connectors might not suffer this problem. However, the stress is still there and get applied to their grips instead. Another side effect of this is that any threaded device will tend to unscrew (eye bolts, quick links, etc) from being spun along the length of the chain.
    Results: Busted.

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  • Detoxy_Spit – What is the best way to detox from spinning/breathing?

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    Many remedies have been suggested from milk thistle, to grapeseeds, to charcoal, but none have been proven effective. The best answer, of course, is to be good to your body and let it do the work itself.
    Spinning. The toxic effects of fire spinning are all from inhaled petro-chemical by-products. By the time you feel any issues, you’ve already fully absorbed the toxins. “Blood purifiers” such as garlic and milk thistle have not been evaluated by the FDA as an effective method for removing toxins, however, some of the chemicals in milk thistle have been confirmed by the AMA to encourage the liver into full functioning.
    Breathing. The biggest threats to fire breathers are accidentally ingesting fuel and unintentionally inhaling unburnt fuel. Depending on the fuel used, ingestion could have a variety of effects: drunkenness (ethanol), nausea (Isopropyl), hemmoraging (toluene), diarrhea (lamp oil). Each problem should be treated differently. However, most emergency wards keep activated charcoal around to absorb or remove these toxins from the stomach. For inhalation, seek medical attention immediately.

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  • Veg_And_Parafin_Oil – Milk or veg oil can protect against paraffin absorption.

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    In several studies, various fatty acids (contained in milk and vegetable oils) were shown to dramatically increase the amount of petrol absorption. Rats who were fed lamp or mineral oil absorbed as little as 2%, however, when a fatty acid was present, they absorbed about 65%. Several Fatty Acids were tested all showing about the same amount of transport.  Lamp oil is very hard to metabolize, and can damage your liver/kidneys.  Damage is compounded with alcohol use.
    Sources: Effect of dosing vehicle on….
    http://etheses.nottingham.ac.uk/1824/1/258642.pdf
    Mineral oil studies on rats
    http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v48aje08.htm
    Status: Busted

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  • Safe_Fuel – Kero is safer to spin than White Gas.

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    “Kero is safer to spin than White Gas.”False. It’s really too much to go into here, so we’ve begun a separate section on our Fuels Page

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  • Fire_Proof – Fire retardant = fire proof.

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    * Flame retardant (OSHA) – a substance that will generally self extinguish in a vertical flame test or assist other materials in resisting flame effects.
    * Fire retardant (Textile Ind) – Fabric that, without chemical additives, will inhibit the spread of fire (ie fail to ignite under most household instances and self extinguish under others)
    * Flame retarded (NFPA)- non FR material that has been chemically treated to act like one.
    * Fire resistant (textile) – fabric, treated or not, that will self- extinguish in horizontal burn but fails vertical test (think carpeting).
    * Flame proof (NFPA) – material that is manufactured to a specific chemical state making it unable to produce a flame at any heat. (Such fabrics will generally disintegrate under high heat)
    * Fire proof (alchemical) – a mythological state of being impervious to fire. Recent studies of metallurgy, astronomy, and nuclear fusion have completely debunked this myth on all levels.
    Everything melts at SOME temperature.

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  • Tool_Travel – Can’t travel with used tools.

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    Status – undecided
    [Submitted by Q, 9/05]The TSA is replacing the FAA in regards to the matter of personal travel. NTSA handles stuff when planes fall out of the sky. The FAA isn’t part of the equation anymore.However
    *each airport has an elected official who handles the regulations of that airport, this is to say the regulations of each airport may be different.
    *each airline has their own set of guidelines for what’s hazardous, and what is not.
    So every airline at every airport has a different set of rules, convenient huh?The TSA could care less if you have fire tools on your body, in your carry on, in your checked baggage. Doesn’t matter, they don’t fit the profile of the materials they’re looking for. The scanners do not alarm with fire tools – I put my own tools through the scanners when I was training TSA personnel on their equipment, and identifying components of IEDs. Fire tools to not bare any resemblance to any of the components of IEDs.It’s the airline you are trying to sweet talk into allowing you to travel with used fire tools. Really – it’s better that they not see them with their eyeballs. Lay off the TSA, it’s not the TSA, it’s the airlines. Each airline is different, each airport is different.Disassemble your tools, pack them snuggly in your bag, check your bag. If and when asked, say you’re a juggler.

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  • Spin_Out_Tips – Tips for cheap spin-out containers.

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    I’ve often been asked to produce a way to spin out without the fuel hitting the floor or the ground. And though I’ve tried a number of tricky methods, nothing has managed to seriously contend with my first make-shift standby. Start with a 1 liter bottle. I like using the ones with a wide body, but the same small opening as on the 1/2 liter. Cut a large teardrop shape into the bottle. The crucial points are:
    * make sure the top ring (where the screw top goes) is cut through
    * make the teardrop large enough to fit your wicks inside
    * leave as much bottle as possible, maybe leave a flap
    * avoid enough of the bottom to catch substantial liquid.
    To use, just stuff your wet wick in the bottle and thread the chain through the opening at the top. Then, spin vigorously. Use the chain to hold the wick at the top of the bottle and tip. Pour the spun off fuel into the original container and remove you wick. Done.Works for staves too.

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  • Coke_And_Oil – Does Coke really clean you out after breathing lamp oil?

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    Ummm, this one is complicated.Mostly CO2 dosen’t disolve into water (hence all the bubbles still in the cola can). Little of it does forming a very short lived carbonic acid species. It can be decribed by the reaction below.
    CO2 +H20 –> H2CO3
    This makes
    H2CO3 –> H+ + HCO3-
    and
    HCO3- +H20–> H+ +CO3-
    But when one would drink cola with bicarbonate, and carbonate ions present, they are the ones that will react with the oils and thus “deprotonate” them and make them soluble. Similarly with oil spots on the driveway or sulfuric acid on the battery terminals of a car battery.However, cola seems to be quite an interactive system. There are sugars, phosphates, carbonates, and organics present, that create some sort of chemical degreasing action. Plus there is the added bonus of the effervescent quality that physically breaks up the alaphatic hydrocarbons and their hydrophobic clumpyness.Status: Plausible

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  • Flame_Temp – Which flames are hotter?

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    Which flames are hotter? In general, none of them. Fuels that start out with water or other non combustibles may end up feeling “cooler” as some of the heat they produce must go to vaporizing the inert chemicals. However carbon chains convert to CO2 at exactly the same temp, regardless of size. this was tested in our Flame Heat Trials.

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  • Colored_Fuels – Recipies for coloring your flames.

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    colored flames depend on metal salts to function.  These salts have to be  dissolved in a polar solvent.  the best solvent for the job is Methanol.  Methanol can make you blind.  Please consider something else.  But if you must, we have a separate page for Colored Fuels.

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  • Light_Aging – Sunlight causes wick degeneration

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    “Does sunlight or blacklights cause wicks to age faster?”The mills that make it say that Kevlar is susceptible to UV damage. In short, DuPont recommends keeping it out of the sun (or blacklights). We’re not sure exactly how this would affect fire tools (might only be tensile strength), but it’s definitely a factor. Probably best not to store tools in direct sunlight, and to keep them away from UV blacklights.

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  • Time Warp – Time slows down when you’re doing tricky moves.

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    “When I do super-tricky moves, it feels like time is slowing down. It can take weeks to do really hard moves the first time…”
    Yes and No. take a look at any clock and you’ll see it’s obvious that time isn’t doing anything different. Video cameras are your best friend.However. When your adrenal system kicks into high gear, your  amygdala kicks into high gear. This has a number of effects on your memory. First, your memories convert from short-term to long-term at a rapid rate. But, also, more memories get produced. This is a lot like switching from a normal video camera to a high-speed camera. You’re producing more “frames” of memory at that moment. Trouble is, there’s no time/frame marking on memories, so when you look back at them (even an instant later) you read them at normal time, so the action seems slower.

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The North American Fire Arts Association