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Forums > Help! > some questions on fire breathing

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zeeku777
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

newbie
Location: Vermont

Total posts: 6
Posted:hey! first off i want to say "hi" to all the people on this site, i have been looking on here for about a month now, and found it most informing.

And also, I KNOW FIRE-BREATHING IS DANGEROUS! i am fully aware of the risks, this post is only to find out more about the toxicity of fuels, and any tips i can get on perfecting my newbie fire breathing goodness smile

I recently started practicing Fire Breathing (for the past two weeks), i feel pretty confident with my mist. After practicing with water for the entire two weeks, i think im ready to go onto something flammable. I saw a video of beginner fire-breathers, and they were using that "%95 Rubbing Alcohol" stuff that you can buy right off store shelves. which leads into my first question....

1. How "dangerous" is Rubbing Alcohol in comparison to most other fuels (i pretty much have the choice between the "Rubbing Alcohol" and Kerosene).

2. Any more tips on Fire-Breathing from the pros?



3. Are there any other fire breathers in Vermont(U.S.A)?
(If so, is anyone going to "SolarFest" this summer?)


I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.

~Abbie Hoffman

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PinkNigel


PinkNigel

Pinker than thou
Location: A little pink world all my own...

Total posts: 336
Posted:1) All fuels are dangerous. Those that burn on vapours without a lot of heating (like petrol, colemans, and alcohol) are more so in that the flame can get inside your mouth quite easily. That might sting a bit. Also, I've heard that if you use an alcohol you will fail a breathalyser test if you get pulled over on your way home even though you've not been drinking.

2) Don't do it. That'd be my top tip.

3) Not me, so no.


A wise man once said: "You have two ears and one mouth, therefore you should shut the censored up and listen" (though, to be fair, he might not've put it _quite_ like that..)

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Yakumo
SILVER Member since May 2006

Yakumo

veteran
Location: Oxfordshire

Total posts: 1237
Posted:At the top of your post next to the topic, there is a 'find similar' link, I think most of what you've asked is covered in the few articles you'll find under that.



I know I've seen Pele talking about proper expiration before and I'd expect it to be found under those links. But as you'll also see following those links her attitude (as well as the rest of HoP) is really, just don't do it, it's not worth it, really, and she has more reason to feel that than most as an ex-pro fire breather.



And most obviously, you say you know it's dangerous, but you haven't explicitly stated that you have read in full the auto-link HoP has put on every mention of " fire breathing "



I think in general alcohol usually burns hotter than parafin (which is what I hope your referring to as kero, rather than the liquid used to fuel cars), and as such is more dangerous aflame.



the carcinogens in kero absorbed would be nastier than that the chemicals absorbed from the alcohol when in liquid form, but rubbing alcohol was not designed to be drunk (or otherwise absorbed through the mouth) and has nasty chemicals added to discourage people from doing so.



Mostly though, take a good look at all the links i'd mentioned, and reconsider, a flamethrower would be far safer and more fun wink


Blinded by Hyperlights, please donate generously grin

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zeeku777
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

newbie
Location: Vermont

Total posts: 6
Posted: Written by: Yakumo


At the top of your post next to the topic, there is a 'find similar' link, I think most of what you've asked is covered in the few articles you'll find under that.


I looked though alot of those, but i couldnt find anything on that rubbing alcohol, but im not always known for ability to find things. smile
 Written by: Yakumo


And most obviously, you say you know it's dangerous, but you haven't explicitly stated that you have read in full the auto-link HoP has put on every mention of "fire breathing"


I have read that link, and i am still very serious about learning.
 Written by: Yakumo


the carcinogens in kero absorbed would be nastier than that the chemicals absorbed from the alcohol when in liquid form, but rubbing alcohol was not designed to be drunk (or otherwise absorbed through the mouth) and has nasty chemicals added to discourage people from doing so.

Mostly though, take a good look at all the links i'd mentioned, and reconsider, a flamethrower would be far safer and more fun smile


I will make sure to go back through those links (Cause I think I missed a few post). and thank you for the info..
I just recently bought some parafin, but im not sure if i want to try it yet, im leaning towards more practice with water first.


I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.

~Abbie Hoffman

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Fire_Moose
SILVER Member since May 2007

Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Total posts: 3597
Posted:I have not breathed yet but this is my take.

dont light your breath without someone who has been breathign for a while with you. If you are having trouble finding people in your area, i HIGHLY reccomend joining tribe.net and searching for fire tribes in your area.

Use ultra pure lamp oil. Available from many grocery stores.

ummm dont breath without a towel to wipe your face. I see people breathing and not have one more then id like to.


O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:*slaps her forehead*

The Osha form on Rubbing (Isopropyl Alcohol)
1.1.4. Physical properties and other descriptive information (Refs. 5.7 and 5.8)

CAS number: 67-63-0
molecular weight: 60.09
boiling point, : 82.5
melting point, : -88.5
color: clear
specific gravity: 0.78505204
molecular formula: C3H8O
vapor pressure (@25): 6.02 kPa (33 mmHg)
vapor density: 2.1
odor: like ethyl alcohol and acetone mixture
flash point: 11.7 (CC)
autoignition temperature: 455.6 (852)
explosive limits: upper: 12.7%; lower: 2.5% (v/v)
solubility: soluble in water, alcohol, ether, chloroform, acetone, benzene, toluene, carbon disulfide, and many other organic solvents
synonyms: dimethyl carbinol; isopropanol; Petrohol; 2-propanol
structural formula:

Osha info on Kerosene (American Kero, not Lamp Oil/Parafin)

1.1.4 Physical properties and other descriptive information9,10

CAS number: 8008-20-6
IMIS11: K107
RTECS number: OA5500000
molecular weight: 170 (approximately, C9 to C16 hydrocarbons)
melting point: -51 C
boiling point: 175-325 C
appearance: colorless to pale straw
density: 0.8 - 0.81g/mL
odor: odorless
flash point: 65-85 C
molecular formula: C9 to C16 hydrocarbon
synonyms: kerosine; coal oil; fuel oil no.1; range oil
solubility: Insoluble in water, miscible in all petroleum solvents

structural composition: composition varies greatly and includes C9 to C16 hydrocarbons (aliphatic and aromatic) with a boiling range of about 175 to 325 C


You want to pay attention to the flash points and the boiling points, as these are the pertinent temperatures for us. As you can see, they are *much* lower on Isopropyl Alcohol, which makes them more explosive and more dangerous.
This hot burn also produces a less robust flame.
The more water like quality of Rubbing Alcohol actually makes it harder to use.
Kero, however, is horrible as well. It coats your mouth and insides, has an terrible aftertaste with burps (which means the fuel DOES make it into your stomach no matter how careful you are), gives you topical chemical burns and is just as illness inducing and bad for you as Isopropyl.

About my fire breathing accident:
http://www.homeofpoi.com/lessons_all/teach/2_4_5

About fire breathing:
http://www.homeofpoi.com/articles/FireBreathing.php

Article about my accident:
http://www.homeofpoi.com/articles/Firebreathing_accident.php

If you are new to it, you should not, under any circumstances, fire breathe without a professional or experienced breather with you.
I am from NY and come to Vermont in the summer often.
Rodderick Russell is actually a sword swallower but fire breathes. In fact, New England on the whole has a crapload of fire breathers for some reason.

Two weeks is not nearly enough to be proficient at fire breathing. Do you have someone trained in safety in case something goes wrong? That is a must, and they need to be trained and aware of what to do if you light your face on fire.
If you can aspirate with water, can you aspirate with fuel? You need to practice with the fuel as well.
I studied, literally, fuels, burn times of fabric, the biological dangers, wind effects, etc.. for *months*. Now, I know I did the research for people so they just need to find where I stuck it, not necessarily spend months looking it up on their own...but I encourage it. How do you know I was complete? Perhaps something new has come up. It can only be worth it.
Yes, anyone can pick up some cheap flamable crap and blow it through a lighter. That's a parlor trick. A true Fire Breather recognizes it for the art that it is and invests the time to learn it thoroughly. If you want to be a fire breather, then please invest more than two weeks and do your research fully.

There are tonnes and tonnes of threads on this. Please, use the search function and read them all carefully. Fire Breathing is a serious thing. Of the "sideshow/circus arts" it is in the top three deadliest. Didja get that? TOP THREE OF THE MOST DEADLY ACTS (sword swallowing and glass eating are the other two, btw).
These threads, the information we're providing are worth more than a skim and a glance.

Please think on it and be safe.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Oh, btw, thank you Yakumo.



Much sage advice you gave there my friend, except that it's aspiration (blowing liquid into a mist) whereas expiration means die, and we don't want that wink

EDITED_BY: Pele (1201916572)


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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AmaraO
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

AmaraO

Member
Location: South Of The Swan, West Oz.

Total posts: 67
Posted:Always an amazing amount of helpful information. I had a friend who used to do stupid party tricks as Pele described...but after an accident, he studied properly, and is now a professional fire breather (traveling the US I last heard).

I second, third and fourth everything they've said..please - for your own safety, and that of the people around you, spend time doing the things you need to do in order to do it as safely as possible. I'd hate to hear another horror story because you thought you knew better, and didn't listen to those who have been there and done that.
Take your time...there's no need or point to rushing.

Take care of you.


You also tilt when you should withdraw, and that is Knightly too. Rest In Peace, Heath.

Proudly Owned By FireTom.

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:umm why is it, that on one side we oppose firebreathing because it's unsafe and dangerous and on the other side we provide tips to those who just push the button "info please"?



 Written by: noob

And also, I KNOW FIRE-BREATHING IS DANGEROUS! i am fully aware of the risks, this post is only to find out more about the toxicity of fuels, and any tips i can get on perfecting my newbie Fire Breathing goodness





Is this the necessary disclaimer for anyone? I read this over and over again, like yaddayaddayadda "I know ... is dangerous and likely I'm going to at least receive serious harm, but I'm going to do it anyway, so it's up to you to tell me how..." Is this the same cowspoo attempt as you silence your worried parents?



My first reason to completely oppose any support, including supplying anyone with fuel to do firebreathing is that everyone who performs it promotes firebreathing to the audience. Since it's so scaringly simple to do and at the same time so incredibly dangerous I refuse to give any (solicited) advice other than: DON'T!



There are enough examples of (professional and long time = experienced, high skilled) performers, who (nearly) died doing this. Why would we (as the community of fireperformers, with the aim of making it safe to each other and to the general audience) support this trade in any way and by that prolonging it's existence?



I'm tired of reading articles like:



"6yr old girl burned to death in fireshow" (like the one in Turkey),

"10 die in nightclub fire after fireshow" (like the one in Russia)...



Please note that the articles all talk about a "fireshow" and don't unmistakably specify that some stupid censored boofheads had firebreathing accidents! It's then up to "us" to start explaining that "NO, it actually has NOT been a FIRESHOW in terms of spinning, but in terms of breathing..."



These accidents fall back on the entire fire community and subsequently will contribute to a ban of fireshows (in public areas) even if they don't include firebreathing...



Pls excuse if this is a rant, but isn't it hypocrisy to "officially" oppose it and "inofficially" supply manuals... ??? Because, IF YOU'D REALLY BE FULLY AWARE OF THE RISKS OF FIREBREATHING, you wouldn't friggin do it, right?



Go kill yourself (sooner or later), but don't ask us how and when. If you're just after the 5 minutes of (in)fame(ous appearance) hey do an effort and train spinning, juggling fire and the like, but maybe this requires too much?



Zeeku, please don't take it personal, but:



 Written by: Zeeku

I've always been a big pyromaniac (...) ive recently become interested in Fire Breathing, and have been learning over the last two weeks or so. (...) I may be learning some basic Poi from a friend pretty soon, and im looking forward to it.





I understand your fascination of breathing fire, it has the same effect on me. You just started taking the step from being a Pyro to actively manipulate it. Why not learning techniques first?



What you're doing here (and you're not alone) is to ask us to spread a potentially lethal technique that (on the easy side) ends somewhere like:


















Dunno whether the links to youtube work, but you can research for yourself... search for "youtube" and "Fire Breathing accident".



I would love to see the community respond to questions like you asked with silently pointing at these videos only, instead of falling for their "helpers syndrome" and "idiot compassion" by supplying informations and then being all shocked when a lethal accident occurs.



It's a question of integrity. Not claiming to fully be there myself already, but aiming to get there shortly...

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1201760978)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:BB is not processing the links correctly:



6yr old british girl dies in fireshow



10 die in nightclub after fireshow


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Fire_Moose
SILVER Member since May 2007

Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Total posts: 3597
Posted:A person can read "don't" 400 times and it not mean a thing. The internet is FILLED with informations, and a TON of it is crap. Someone who wants to do something will do it, it doesn't matter how many times you hear don't. I'm sure there are pages out there that says white gas is the end all be all of breathing fuels. And who knows what else. Just because you are not going to post anything about it won;t help it go away or become safer.

O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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Hypnotic
GOLD Member since Feb 2006

Member
Location: Charlotte, NC

Total posts: 44
Posted:Ok, I have to disagree on not providing any information. I've seen videos of jackasses spitting lighter fluid at a grill and spitting gasoline at a torch less than 11in away from their face. Im thinking OMG! Just because you see people do it correctly doesnt mean you can! Or just because you used gas before doesnt mean its ok! I think that anyone who wants to know should be alowed the knowlage to help prevent foolishness. Some people may ask and not research if they dont get the answear. I would feel responsable if someone asked and I didnt say WHY it was dangerous like "5 different things can easily happen" "all resulting in AT LEAST a hospitle visit" Point them in the right direction and tell them what I know if they are still interested. None have, so I know I did something right my job wink

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I agree with Faust.

I'd rather have people make intelligent decisions than experiment and learn through trial and error.

Horror stories and videos alone simply don't work. Not with the pluthera of them on the net, or the crap books in the stores. There is the belief of "It will never happen to me." when people approach this, especially since some schmuck in a bar with a lighter. Warnings roll off the backs of the egotistical.
Impulsiveness, impetuousness and ignorance are a horrible mix.
Arm them with the best you've got and hope they walk away smarter and safer.


Tom, I knew all of the risks when I started. I've watched someone near and dear to me die from reprocussions of a life spent with bad fuel choices (a sideshow old timer who used to use gasolene). I've seen Meph's dental dilemmas from years of fire eating. I know. I knew it was not an "if it happens to me" but a "when it happens to me". I made an educated decision whether or not to persue fire breathing. So to say if someone knows all the dangers they would choose not to is completely off base. I know many, many pro fire peeps who know the dangers and do it anyway.
But at least they are educated.

It is our responsibility to educate those who want it so that they can make an educated decision. We can not press our views onto them, as much as express them, but we can give them all we can to allow them to make the best choice for their life that we can.

We'd be sadly remiss and irresponsible if they chose to firebreathe, or if they chose to proceed irresponsibly, and they become injured. At least if we give them information we know is correct then we know it was not because we abandoned them to their own devices.

"Don't" doesn't stop anyone, it doesn't educate anyone, it doesn't help anyone and for many it will simply motivate them to do it faster and potentially harmfully.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Pele I know you do, as the rest of us you're acting "in best faith"...

I explained my POV here and I accept yours... but I disagree with you for the following reasons:

- stupidity is the most persisting disease of mankind
- information won't cure it, only education will
- merely supplying informations does NOT equal "education", this notion is highly erroneous and subsequently dangerous
- most firebreathers KNOW the danger they put themselves and others into, still don't use precautions
- by supplying informations, without educating them you reassure ppl that they "know", whilst IRL they don't
- I don't care whether the guy endangering my friends life and discrediting the community of fireperformers is "educated" or not... because most likely s/he is only informed, not educated - otherwise s/he would DISPLAY the necessary precautions and safeguards and make it clear to the general audience...

I took the conscious decision for my active opposition just recently: IF one attempts to breathe fire in my presence I will do my best to stop him from doing so, especially if this happens under my responsibility and in front of my family and friends. If s/he only learns from pain, so be it...

Why? Because in my last, very recent encounter with a firebreather, I was spinning fire in a ditch, he got a strike of sheer stupidity, wanted to make a 'nice stunt' by creating a fireball around me (spinning) came from behind and spit Kerosene all over me, whilst I was spinning fire censored mad2

Maybe it's just this experience... but you may understand that I don't like my fate and wellbeing depend on the sick mind of a ubbloco madman, as long as I can take (kind) action.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Hypnotic
GOLD Member since Feb 2006

Member
Location: Charlotte, NC

Total posts: 44
Posted:Wow, I know someone like that. Has crazy ideas like blowing fire from between peoples legs ubbloco I got his buisness card after he saw me spin...needless to say it went in the trash and I steer clear from him.
I agree with you to a point. If someone that is curious about how its done. You should probally just tell them a horror story and let it go. On the flipside if a bartender or someone else is seriously interested. They need to know about what they are doing. People who do flare bottles tend to fire breath WITH alcohol BEHIND the bar. I even saw a video of a guy and girl doing it against a wall, even caught the trash on fire.
People like that NEED to know what they are doing, or at least information about the fuel. Notice that Pele wont advocate fire breathing or even sugest a fuel. Though she will tell you about the fuel and let you make your own decision. I personaly would tell just about anyone to use parafin. Just for the fact that its not explosive. IF the fuel comes back at least your mouth wont explode like alcohol, petro, or white gas.
Controled damage, even behind a bar. IF you know what your doing you can breath a 12 in flame consistantly without the risk of a damageing blowback. Bars and clubs getting burnned down is why people dont want to trust fire performers. Cuz any idiot can buy insurance and say "look at me im a performer!". People need to have a clue!
I think someone needs to get on youtube or the news and tell people. That this guy didnt have too much fuel in his mouth. HE USED GAS! I get so mad when i hear an anouncer say something dumb like that.


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zeeku777
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

newbie
Location: Vermont

Total posts: 6
Posted:First of all... Thank All of you for everything that you've said over the past week or so (may have been more) and I am sorry that reply so late, because I have been out and about for the past week or so....

Please don't think that I have blown off any of you, because really, I value everything that you've said. And I would also like to say, I'm taking the advice of Pele, and doing more research before I attempt anything. Over the past week, or two I have been practicing very hard and and research a little whenever I had extra time. I am going to continue to do learn how to fire breath, but now i think i will be much more cautious, and take it more seriously.

FireTom, i have watched all those videos and even looked up some more online, and I realize what the brutal truth of a fire breathing accident is, and I do also realize that one of these fates will eventually find its way towards me. This may sound hypocritical of me, but I one of my closest friends heard about my ambition and wanted to learn how fire breath as well, but i strongly urged him not too. And finally persuaded him not to try it, as i wouldn't be able to see him get hurt and have it on conscious... So what I'm really trying to say is, I understand that some of you may not want to teach me anything because you wouldn't want me to be hurt at your expense. I would do the same thing.

So all and all, I will continue to fire breath, but do it with much more caution. Thank you all for everything.... and if there is anything else you are willing to share, please do so. (but only if you are OK with sharing it)


I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.

~Abbie Hoffman

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Henry, don't get me wrong please. There is enough information on firebreathing already. This community is dealing with the "problem" for a long time already and with it's help, Malcolm compiled the informations available.

Ppl still do breathe fire AND (unfortunately) most of those I came across display a scaringly lax attitude towards it, EVEN THOUGH they have been aware of the dangers at some stage but then seem to blur it out.

To anyone breathing fire: Please don't be mad, that if you attempt to breathe fire in my presence, I will deny assistance and do everything I can to stop you from doing it near me and - if it's under my responsibility - near my audience, friends and family. Please accept that I will respond with as much pressure to achieve my goal as you put up to achieve yours.

My aim is not to get into a fight with you, but to protect my space. Just as well I will do my best to prevent you from driving a motorvehicle whilst heavily intoxicated.

If that's wrong, so be it.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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zeeku777
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

newbie
Location: Vermont

Total posts: 6
Posted:FireTom, I may have mis-represented myself in that post above... I am definitely not angry at you, nor hate you at all. I think above all your being kinda like the "Ghost of Christmas Past" for me, and showing me what can go wrong, and I appreciate that a lot. And I dont think what your doing is wrong on any plain, I think it is quite important to weed out the "parlor trick junkie" from the serious learner. I am completely fine with your standpoint on the issue.

And I have one more quick question, a friend recently told me about "Lycopodium Masks"? Ive been researching online, and all i could find was something saying:

 Written by: Wikipedia

The term "Lycopodium mask" is sometimes used to describe a type of flamethrower-mask worn by some music bands or artists on stage, such as Rammstein, most notably on the song Feuer frei!, featured in the movie xXx.



anyone else have any info on "Lycopodium masks"?

Thanks, Henry


I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.

~Abbie Hoffman

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:written by FireTom:
"I will deny assistance and do everything I can to stop you from doing it near me and - if it's under my responsibility - near my audience, friends and family"

As much as I like you I have to say that I find this incredibly selfish. The best way to actually help someone learn to be safer is to not stop them but to *be* a safety for them.
The best way to protect "your space" and "your audience" from that is to not cut off everything and watch the person get hurt but to safety for them.
Your walking away, or forcing them to stop in that instance isn't protecting them at all. It's protecting yourself. They will try again later, and may get hurt. At least doing it in the presence of someone in the know is safer for everyone all around.

I've run into a$$hats too. You are not alone by any means in that but preaching and denial doesn't help anyone. People will not learn through alienation, and that is what you are doing. For what it's worth, some of those I shared information with, who were jerks, came back later and told me I was right.

I have scars on my body from spinning in an area with other people. One girl flung flaming white gas on me when she lit up and hadn't spun off. Another cut right through my spinning space (because the space provided safeties sucked) and to keep from hitting her, I had to wrap my flaming poi (they were long multi-wick) around my bare ankle. Do I now say that I won't allow other poi-ists to light up around me based on those idiots? No. I confronted them, have stayed away from them and have moved on with my life..not judging every other spinner according to that evening.

Personally I find your attitude of "If you do it you're not my problem" appalling. When they screw up, it will be *your* problem as well. You were another fire peep there, who could have helped. We all will be effected by the media coverage, as always. Whether or not these people realize it, there is a community it effects and you are turning your back on making it a smarter one because you don't like the choices others make?

Much like sex ed, information/education instead of abstinence because they are going to do it anyway.



Written by Faust:
"Notice that Pele wont advocate Fire Breathing or even sugest a fuel. Though she will tell you about the fuel and let you make your own decision."

Thanks for noticing that Faust. It is quite intentional, and here's why. I have a repetoire of dangerous stunts aside from fire breathing. The ones I have had to find a teacher for, this is what they did for me. They armed me with information and options and told me to figure it out for myself. It's an established teaching technique used in schools as well, known as adrogogy. Because of that I have learned sooooo incredibly much and have been able to really further my arts, which is what my goal as a performer is. I don't believe it will work for everyone but I do think that at least putting the information out there is worth it.
I also don't believe in telling an adult what they should or should not be doing. I find it incredibly disrespectful when they are old enough (though perhaps not mature enough, but that too is not for me to decide) to figure these things for themselves.
However, that is when people ask me for information. If people ask me to actually actively teach them, then all best are off and strict rules and guidelines get put in place. wink


Lycopodium is also known as Clubmoss Spores. It is the yellowish flamable powder used by magicians in flash magic. Known also as flash powder, is also created into flash paper, flash cotton, etc.
It burns incredibly hot and is more of a flash burn than a steady burn.
There is not really long term exposure data known about it, as far as effects on health. However, if it is ingested, gets into the eyes or if it is inhaled then it is known to cause acute issues. It also causes contact irritation with skin.

These "masks" are custom made metal "masks" that go far off the face, rigged to do short burst streams of Lycopodium to create a fire breathing illusion. The spark introduced to this powder cloud creates the explosion.

The problems. I have known someone who built one and had it back fire. It was unpleasant but thank goodness happened in a non-wearing test run. No one got hurt.
They jam with the powder. Just what you want, a clump of flammable substance near a heat source attached to your face.
I've also read where they will/can expel more powder than they were supposed to and cause a massive blowback.
If something goes wrong, they are not the easiest things to ditch.

I am actually far more against use of Lycopodium, and other flammable powders, than I am liquid fuels. The margin for error just seems to increase with them.

The MSDS for Lycopodium:

http://www.spectrumchemical.com/MSDS/L3610.pdf

Hope this helps.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted: Written by: Pele



written by FireTom:

"I will deny assistance and do everything I can to stop you from doing it near me and - if it's under my responsibility - near my audience, friends and family"

...I find this incredibly selfish. The best way to actually help someone learn to be safer is to not stop them but to *be* a safety for them.







I am with Tom on this one.

I do safety for fire spinners heaps; helping create safe spaces within festivals, running events to teach/learn skills and safe practices for dipping/extinguishing /handling hot toys etcetcetc. Keeping space clear of kids and randoms. Providing and often giving away the best fuels available, lanterns, spin off jars, wet towels etc (and washing them afterwards). etcetc



But how on earth can I 'safety' a random fire breather! look after their fuel store? Monitor their hiccups? Go around telling every kid who might see them that it's a terminally foul and foolish practice and that's why I am helping them do it but don;t try this at home? Congratulate them for not getting chemical pneumonia that time? Take the risk of having to save their life for a 2 second thrill and then explain to the ambulance driver/their parents that I knew what they were doing and didn't stop them?



 Written by: Pele



Personally I find your attitude of "If you do it you're not my problem" appalling. When they screw up, it will be *your* problem as well. You were another fire peep there, who could have helped.





As I said before, helped with what? Furthermore, if I DID ever set myself up as a safety for firebreathers, I would put myself squarely in the ethical and legal role of duty of care. Which is a perfect argument for not going near it, and, YES, protecting myself, as I cannot FULFIL that duty in any realistic way. It is possible for me to assess a spinners skill level and how much attention they may need to stay safe. So I can reasonably attempt to fulfil the duty of care I assume for spinners,



That is not the situation with a firebreather, The ONLY realistic duty of care I can exercise, particularly for some stranger who wanders into a fire space I am managing is to prevent them doing it there. Or if they did it already, say something like: 'well you've shown us you can do that safely once, that's great: but please don;t do it again here, as I, or this festival, are not willing to be part of the chain of responsibility for the 14 year old who sees you do it in this space, and has a go themselves.'



This is also why I won't employ or engage anyone to do it as part of a show or demo.



 Written by: Pele



Much like sex ed, information/education instead of abstinence because they are going to do it anyway.







ubblol ubblol ubblol

Oh come on Pele! Fire breathing is hardly a basic human function/biological imperative. They not going to be unable to sleep with some sort of uncontrollable horniness to aspirate, come on now. People do it cos they think it is cool or they going to impress people.



Letting them know that the skilled, helpful, experienced people around them are the opposite of impressed really does have an effect. Like UK, very little fire breathing happens at meets in Oz, at least the ones I am familiar with. Having a consistent attitude that it not welcome (or if I have the authority to say so, not allowed) in a fire spinning space has an effect. It takes away the validation, example and glamour.



 Written by: Pele



They armed me with information and options and told me to figure it out for myself. It's an established teaching technique used in schools as well, known as adrogogy.







Androgogy means principles of adult education, one of which is the idea of 'self directed learning'. Nothing to do with the ethics of WHAT is taught. I think the heroin analogy is very appropriate here.



Pele, in that analogy you are a bit like an ex-junkie... someone undeerstands the appeal and who may well be approached as a authority on FB; and you are quite reasonably taking the best approach you can to doing so.. harm minimisation by giving accurate info etc.



But that is different to offering/allowing/condoning space to do it or more particularly offering an illusion of safety which is what you seem to be suggesting people like Tom (or me) do.



 Written by: Pele



I also don't believe in telling an adult what they should or should not be doing.







I do. Particularly if I am responsible for the safety of a space. I tell them many things. Where to put newly extinguished toys... where to spin off...what fuel bucket to put their contribution in... not to put toxic substances in their mouth...not to use a flamethrower, not to use their body as a flamethrower. Or whatever else I need to, to exercise my duty of care, have a good time with people and create a rockin space with maximum fun, minimum harm and no tension.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Hypnotic
GOLD Member since Feb 2006

Member
Location: Charlotte, NC

Total posts: 44
Posted:I think the conversation is drifting in an unintentional direction. The point of this debate is mainly pointed at whether or not someone who knows how to fire breath should teach "anything" to someone who wants to learn, and the ethical reasons behind it.

Though even considering the direction its going. No you are not responsible for some faceless kid that gets the impression that they can fire breath. If its fire breathing or spinning IF you know better, OR gone through some accidents yourself. (especially chemical pneumonia) You have the right and personal responsibility to try and prevent foolishness (or inform foolish people) when you see it. Would you let someone to a spinoff with poi useing colemans on dry grass, or indoors with rugs or electical things around? Thats your responiblility as a experienced "burner" (or whatever you clasify yourself as)

Pele thanks for the MSDS link for Lycopodium. I have a topic in Technical on it. It would be great if you could shed possible usage and dangers of it in there. Possibly post that link there for anyone else that comes across the idea as I have. Like fire breathing im still going to look into it, but thanks for your input. I will be even more careful than I planned. (http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=858948&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=1&o=31&vc=1 ) (im not all good with the links yet)

smile


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Thanks Pele, I do get what you mean and most I have to reply was worded by Gabe already...



If I'm informing on how to only... umm Dunno how discouraging that is. Hence if I'm educating on how to and this in the proper way, then I really did my best. No online media can replace the one-on-one tuition of a responsible teacher. Which is why you can't obtain a drivers license merely by filing the test online (at least in developed countries).



I'm not saying you encourage, but you're also not really discouraging either. "Just" to provide the informations and let them do their own choice... well... just not an approach I am supporting too much, Pele. I know well about the temptation not to finish what I've started and decline responsibility for the resulting misconduct...



As I said somewhere else: If you are providing providing informations only, IMHO you're not automatically educating. This is not coined as a personal attack towards you, Pele - I'm just voicing my deep concerns over the kind of approach (your personal experience just didn't appear as highlighted as (I think) it should be).



[ed]PS: Zeekuu: No worries, am not taking it from the wrong end. Just voicing my concerns. I hope you stay healthy smile

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1202270593)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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NewGuy


newbie


Total posts: 2
Posted:i came across this forum looking for basically the same thing as zeeku777, but trust me when i say this, i've been sufficiently discouraged by what i've read.

IF however i want to learn any of these DANGEROUS arts in the future, how would i recognize a professional that can teach me how to do it as safe as possible from someone who merely say's s/he can?


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georgemc
BRONZE Member since Oct 2006

georgemc

Sitting down facing forward . . .
Location: Christchurch

Total posts: 2387
Posted:In such a case, I suggest you start by considering learning from people who say they can do it but you shouldn't...

Written by: Doc Lightning talking about Marmite in Kichi's Intro thread

I have several large jars of the stuff. I actually like it... a little. And don't tell anyone I admitted to it.
grin

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by :NewGuy


i came across this forum looking for basically the same thing as zeeku777, but trust me when i say this, i've been sufficiently discouraged by what i've read.
IF however i want to learn any of these DANGEROUS arts in the future, how would i recognize a professional that can teach me how to do it as safe as possible from someone who merely say's s/he can?



Perhaps the consise answer is to say "you can't".

Anyone can make bold claims about their skills and about their understanding of the safety issues- some people are adept at talking confidently about things they don't understand at all.

My advice would be to read as much of the safety/fire-breathing threads available on HOP as possible.

Then read the discussion threads and check out other online articles/threads.

Having done that and having a good understanding of the issues and, having read the type of excuses that the irresponsible come out with, you'll be in a good position to ask some searching questions of any potential tutor and, have a better chance of sussing out whether they really know as much as they claim to.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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NewGuy


newbie


Total posts: 2
Posted:thanks onewheeldave, that is the answer that i was hoping for.

the "real" reason i asked the question was in fact that last year someone did show me a technique, using a powder (don't know what it was exactly) making more of a Flash Ball than the real thing. reading some of what is said here i suspect it wasn't the smartest thing i've ever done and should have been far more suspicious about the safety of it all.

your advice is exactly what i realize now, but did not consider at the time.

if someone "looks like a pro and sounds like a pro" does not mean they are, and even if they can do it themself does not automaticly mean they can teach it.

so knowing as much as you can yourself is always a good idea.


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NathanielEverist
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

NathanielEverist

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 315
Posted:I was curious about fire-breathing for a while. But after seeing all the info on how dangerous it is, I opted not to do it. In fact, I think dangerous is the wrong word, because it implies risk, not certainty. To me, it seems fairly certain that if you do it for long enough, it will be seriously harmful to you. Perhaps, Fire-breathing is Deadly or something would be better, because as fire-twirlers, most of us aren't too scared of fire and what most people consider "dangerous" we see as relatively low risk (with proper safety measures taken of course), and some may translate a similar meaning to fire-breathing, when in fact every time you fire breath it's doing you damage. Kinda like the anti-smoking ads out here in Australia, "Every cigarette is doing you damage", it wakes you up to the fact that it's not just increasing the chances of something bad happening, every single time you do it something bad is happening.

Personally, I'm with Firetom on this one, it should not only be discouraged, everything should be done to make it an extinct practice. Every time somebody does it, it looks cool, that's a given, but it raises the bar for twirlers to match it in a performance sense, something that cannot be done without actually doing it too. We should not allow the performance standard to reach a level where it's harmful to the performer. Not just risky, but outright harmful. It also puts idea's into the audience's heads... I agree, idiots will be idiots, but if the only information out there and the only response they get from the experienced is about how harmful it is and horror stories, then they might be less likely to do it. However, if you give them information, even if you also give them horror stories, they'll feel more confident that "it'll never happen to me, because I got information from the pros".

That's just my two cents anyway.


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MikeIcon
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA

Total posts: 2109
Posted:"But how on earth can I 'safety' a random fire breather! look after their fuel store? Monitor their hiccups? Go around telling every kid who might see them that it's a terminally foul and foolish practice and that's why I am helping them do it but don;t try this at home? Congratulate them for not getting chemical pneumonia that time? Take the risk of having to save their life for a 2 second thrill and then explain to the ambulance driver/their parents that I knew what they were doing and didn't stop them?"

A fire breather is pretty easy to safety. First off, make sure they aren't visibly intoxicated. Double check their fuel to make sure it is lamp oil/ultra pure. Make sure they have a safe radius around them or direct them to an area safe for breathing. They should have a rag in hand for wiping dribble. Let them do their thing, standing about 10 feet away with a fire blanket/duvetyn. You will know if your assistance is needed from here out. Obviously, if the person catches fire, put them out. If they choke and inhale fuel, take them to the hospital if it is severe.

Its really not much different than safetying for any other fire art...


Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me

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MikeIcon
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA

Total posts: 2109
Posted:"...it should not only be discouraged, everything should be done to make it an extinct practice. Every time somebody does it, it looks cool, that's a given, but it raises the bar for twirlers to match it in a performance sense, something that cannot be done without actually doing it too. We should not allow the performance standard to reach a level where it's harmful to the performer. Not just risky, but outright harmful."

Sounds like jealousy and fear to me. I was kind of the same way before I learned more about it and did it myself. Its like "Man, I think its really cool and wish I could do it... But I don't have the guts... So Im just gonna rant about how dangerous it is to discourage others." Like 'if I can't have it no one can' mentality...

Anyhow... I think it is silly to say that spinning and breathing are competing and that breathing sets the bar too high. They're completely different art forms. They can compliment each other or they can be equally amazing separately. Spinners do not also have to be breathers to be good. Spinners do not have to be breathers to get jobs. Its just another thing to do. Why hate?


Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted: Written by : newguy

last year someone did show me a technique, using a powder (don't know what it was exactly) making more of a Flash Ball than the real thing.



Sounds like lycopodium...

 Written by : MikeIcon

Sounds like jealousy and fear to me. I was kind of the same way before I learned more about it and did it myself. Its like "Man, I think its really cool and wish I could do it... But I don't have the guts... So Im just gonna rant about how dangerous it is to discourage others." Like 'if I can't have it no one can' mentality...



umm You're not making too much sense to me.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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NathanielEverist
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

NathanielEverist

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 315
Posted: Written by :MikeIcon


Sounds like jealousy and fear to me. I was kind of the same way before I learned more about it and did it myself. Its like "Man, I think its really cool and wish I could do it... But I don't have the guts... So Im just gonna rant about how dangerous it is to discourage others." Like 'if I can't have it no one can' mentality...



Sounds like a pretty broad assumption to me. Yes, you're right I don't have the guts to do it myself, but the difference is that I don't wish I could do it. I know that if I wanted to do it, I could learn, but I don't want to learn. Expressing concern and reasons for those concerns isn't "ranting" in my opinion, but if you feel it is, well ranting is in the eye of the beholder I guess. But yes, I am discouraging others, but not out of selfishness, but out of genuine concern, not just for the person doing it, but for the culture in generally. Simply seeing it done encourages it, because it looks so awesome, and that's why I don't think it should be done, especially as those who do it, even professionally are bound to encounter health issues. That's just my two cents anyway.

Agreed, they are different art-forms, but they are still under the umbrella "fire arts" and to those who don't know any better, the two would be classified as the same, especially if the two are used together. For instance, I had a performance today alongside a couple of staff twirlers, who did burnouts and the crowd ooed and aahed, while I was on poi. I twirled at a far higher level than they did, if I may say so myself, but afterwards people came up to me and were asking me why I couldn't do "the big fireball thing" and asked "aren't you as good as them?". I explained but they just had the "why learn poi then?" kinda attitude. To the ignorant crowd, more speed and more fire equals more skills. Sad but true, and they feel the same about fire-breathing. And if you don't believe idiots will see it and try and copy, just check out youtube. Idiots aside even, those who learn properly and are really good at it, still generally end up with health issues. Why perpetuate that? And there is no hate involved, I never have and never will harbour or express any malcontent towards any fire-breathers, and have a huge degree of respect for them, I just don't think the art should continue.


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