Forums > Help! > some questions on fire breathing

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zeeku777
newbie
Location: Vermont
Member Since: 27th Jan 2008
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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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:FireTom, more commonly used for that then lycopodium is flour..there are a few others that are not nearly as high temp and explosive as lycopodium and are common household items.

Thing is, this isn't safe and can be quite...gross and messy.


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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MikeIcon
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:Nathaniel - Is it that you don't want to learn or that you are too afraid of the negative effects to take the chance? If breathing fire were as safe as drinking water, would you still feel the same way?



Why do you assume culture is better off without fire breathing just because a few idiots decide to try it without getting proper knowledge and hurt themselves? Why do you feel you have a right to judge what is and what is not good for culture? How is fire breathing any different than any other fire art in those respects? You can still kill yourself or others while spinning poi and you can still inspire 'idiots' to go home and try to spin fire and hurt themselves. Chances are, anyone who runs home and tries any fire art without proper instruction is about due for a kick in the ass to bring them back to reality. Afterall, I highly doubt after setting their face on fire and getting 3rd degree burns on 40% of their face these people will try it again. Also, these videos of people screwing up don't really inspire others to try it I don't think either.



The huge majority of people will be discouraged from fire breathing simply due to the fact that you're putting chemicals in your mouth AND the fact that it is scary to have a 10 foot fireball inches from your face. I don't believe it is professional fire breathers who inspired the idiots you see on YouTube. Those are just people who know that if you spit alcohol through a flame, you'll breathe fire, so they decide to film it and put it on the net. And saying "those who do it, even professionally are bound to encounter health issues" is an assumption and the same could be said for any fire art (or many other occupations for that matter).



Lastly, you said yourself that people were able to steal your crowd by doing a staff burnoff... So, does that mean we should lynch staffers too so that you and your non-crowd pleasing poi skills can look cooler? Pssh - How about being more creative and learning how to work a crowd instead of standing in one spot spinning tech tricks which to YOU are the coolest thing ever, but to a crowd are kinda lame. :shrug: You can obviously see what the crowd likes - As a performer, it is your duty to entertain a crowd, not entertain yourself. Saying "lets cut out the best parts of our show so that the less interesting parts stand out" is kinda counter productive IMO.


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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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by :MikeIcon



Nathaniel - Is it that you don't want to learn or that you are too afraid of the negative effects to take the chance? If breathing fire were as safe as drinking water, would you still feel the same way?





 Written by :



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...







Reminiscent of schoolyard 'are you too chicken...' goading smile



Like Nathaniel, I don't and won't, fire-breathe- it's nothing to do with fear, I think of it as more of a self-respect thing.



i.e. I have too much self-respect, and, desire to look after my body and my life, than to willingly imbibe a provenly toxic substance which, if used with any frequency, will, in the long term, cause damage.







 Written by :



Also, these videos of people screwing up don't really inspire others to try it I don't think either.







I think you're wrong- there's a certain type of person who will be inspired to have a go after watching such screw-ups- it adds to their repuatation as being 'mad'/'a nutter'





 Written by :

And saying "those who do it, even professionally are bound to encounter health issues" is an assumption and the same could be said for any fire art (or many other occupations for that matter).





The whole point of threads like this is to try to come to some conclusion on which fire arts are relatively safe/relatively dangerous.



Fire poi is undeniably, in general and,on the whole, far, far safer than fire-breathing.



In terms of long-term chmical exposure- there's no fire-poi spinners with large scale teeth loss or chemical lung issues caused by their spinning.





 Written by :



Lastly, you said yourself that people were able to steal your crowd by doing a staff burnoff... So, does that mean we should lynch staffers too so that you and your non-crowd pleasing poi skills can look cooler? Pssh - How about being more creative and learning how to work a crowd instead of standing in one spot spinning tech tricks which to YOU are the coolest thing ever, but to a crowd are kinda lame. :shrug: You can obviously see what the crowd likes - As a performer, it is your duty to entertain a crowd, not entertain yourself. Saying "lets cut out the best parts of our show so that the less interesting parts stand out" is kinda counter productive IMO.





 Written by :NathanielEverist



............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.





Nathaniel- don't be discouraged: on this occasion you were approached by audience members with no appreciation of skill, who were suckers for the cheap spectacle approach.



That doesn't mean that others in the audience weren't enjoying, appreciating your spinning- it's just that,on this occasion, they didn't happen to approach you and offer comment.



As performers, we may feel pressure to appeal to the lowest common denominator- I think we'd do better to focus also on what we ourselves value and enjoy practicing.



At the end of the day, the general public hace seen loads of fire-breathing, in a few years, big staff burn-offs will be just as commonplace- both those can be learnt very quickly and easily- truly skillful spinning will always be rarer and, take longer to achieve a high level in.



Also, bear in mind that, just as performers/spinners have, finally, come to realise the negative health consequences of fire-breathing, so, gradually, will the general public and potential employers.



Then, at least some, not all, but some; will be less inclined to hire people who, they know, are basically harming themselves through their acts.


"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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NathanielEverist
NathanielEverist

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 20th Aug 2007
Total posts: 315
Posted: Written by : MikeIcon

Nathaniel - Is it that you don't want to learn or that you are too afraid of the negative effects to take the chance? If breathing fire were as safe as drinking water, would you still feel the same way?



Both. I'll admit and have already admitted (did you read my posts?) in a second that I am too afraid of the health repercussions of fire-breathing. And it's not a "chance", long-term exposure to these chemicals is harmful. Period. Call me old fashioned, but I like my teeth straight(ish) and white(ish), how else could I pursue my modeling career? biggrin
If fire-breathing were as safe as drinking water, then no, I would definitely not feel the same way, I would be fire-breathing right now, I don't understand your point, as my choice not to fire-breath is due to the fact that it is far from as safe as drinking water, unless of course water was a flammable carcinogen... see my point?

 Written by :MikeIcon

Why do you assume culture is better off without fire breathing just because a few idiots decide to try it without getting proper knowledge and hurt themselves? Why do you feel you have a right to judge what is and what is not good for culture? How is fire breathing any different than any other fire art in those respects? You can still kill yourself or others while spinning poi and you can still inspire 'idiots' to go home and try to spin fire and hurt themselves. Chances are, anyone who runs home and tries any fire art without proper instruction is about due for a kick in the ass to bring them back to reality. Afterall, I highly doubt after setting their face on fire and getting 3rd degree burns on 40% of their face these people will try it again. Also, these videos of people screwing up don't really inspire others to try it I don't think either.



I "assume" that the culture is better off without fire breathing because it's harmful. As a parallel example, say it was part of the culture for all fire-twirlers to smoke cigarettes. Sure it may make them look cooler (to some people), but it is not only encourages wannabe's to do the same, but is also harmful to the people doing it. I don't think you understand that fire-breathing, isn't a risk, it IS bad for you. Sure, there's risk of something horrible going wrong, but the human body doesn't react well to such chemicals being ingested. That is the primary way fire-breathing is different from other fire-arts. Other fire arts don't require you to put the fuel in your mouth, and in the course of doing so ingest some.

 Written by :MikeIcon

And saying "those who do it, even professionally are bound to encounter health issues" is an assumption and the same could be said for any fire art (or many other occupations for that matter).



From all the information I've read, even successful fire-breathing sessions are doing damage to your body. And the consequences of things going wrong... horribly wrong with fire-breathing are generally more likely to happen and are far worse than with twirling.

Onewheeldave put it perfectly in my opinion:

 Written by :Onewheeldave

Fire poi is undeniably, in general and,on the whole, far, far safer than fire-breathing.



 Written by :MikeIcon

Lastly, you said yourself that people were able to steal your crowd by doing a staff burnoff... So, does that mean we should lynch staffers too so that you and your non-crowd pleasing poi skills can look cooler? Pssh - How about being more creative and learning how to work a crowd instead of standing in one spot spinning tech tricks which to YOU are the coolest thing ever, but to a crowd are kinda lame. :: You can obviously see what the crowd likes - As a performer, it is your duty to entertain a crowd, not entertain yourself. Saying "lets cut out the best parts of our show so that the less interesting parts stand out" is kinda counter productive IMO.



I find it funny that you accuse me of assumption and then, a single sentence later construct a whole paragraph of assumptions. Firstly, they weren't "my crowd", we were performing together and it was a free community event. Secondly, you assume my poi skills aren't crowd-pleasing. I received many compliments for my skills from audience and fellow performers alike, have you seen me perform? Thirdly, you assume I didn't work the crowd and wasn't creative in my twirling, you also assumed I simply stood in the one spot and did tech-twirling. I was actually constantly moving, as we were leading a parade... You then assume that I think I find tech moves the coolest thing ever... I don't... I never said let's cut out the most interesting parts of a show, I love burnouts, and I love doing them, and I would never suggest people not to do them, because you're right they are a crowd pleaser. I was simply making an observation of an incident as an example to support my argument that fire-breathing should not be allowed. Before you accuse me of assumption, at least make sure you aren't making a myriad of them yourself.

That said, while I believe that fire-breathing shouldn't happen, I believe to a greater degree in people's liberties. I would never impose upon another person's freedom to do what they like with their own bodies, I will do what I can to convince people not to, and will not provide information on how to, because I see that as a form of encouragement, but I will never actually impede another person's freedoms, and never have. Everybody has a right to do and say as they please, so long as it doesn't interfere with other people's rights to do the same (within the realms of reason obviously). I for one respect your opinion, twirling style and freedoms, it would be nice if I could express my opinions without being accused of jealousy, fear, cowardice, hatred, poor crowd-pleasing, lack of creativity, over technicality and selfishness in my poi spinning.

 Written by :Onewheeldave

Nathaniel- don't be discouraged: on this occasion you were approached by audience members with no appreciation of skill, who were suckers for the cheap spectacle approach.



Thank you so much, your words are so encouraging, especially coming from a twirler I admire as much as you (I watch your COL video to Depech Mode very very often). I agree, it was only on this occasion, in the end I reverted to doing the three beat weave as fast as I could, to which the crowd cheered. Hahaha, isn't it funny that that's how it goes? The crowd also loves insanely fast and intricate recoil-wrap combos I find, even though I don't enjoy doing them myself, especially not with fire. I burnt my wrists and arms quite badly last night because I was using triple wicked poi that got very hot but still did my wrap combos because the crowd loves them. I always find what the audience finds entertaining both amusing and sad, but hey, I was once there too.

 Written by :Onewheeldave

At the end of the day, the general public hace seen loads of fire-breathing, in a few years, big staff burn-offs will be just as commonplace- both those can be learnt very quickly and easily- truly skillful spinning will always be rarer and, take longer to achieve a high level in.



Yeah, I do some free (and sometimes paid) workshop teaching of poi and staff, whenever I teach somebody how to do burnoffs they generally have the same reaction: "It's that easy?!?".

I hope you're right that awareness of the harmful effects of fire-breathing will find it's way into public knowledge and have a positive impact on the health of the fire-art community as a whole.

All the best.


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MikeIcon
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:"I would be fire-breathing right now, I don't understand your point"



My point is that I said your earlier post sounded like fear and jealousy... Fear in the sense that you fear the negative health effects so you won't do it but are jealous of how it effects your performance or how others see your art. You said it wasn't because you were afraid, but because you didn't want to. Im simply showing that it ISN'T because you dont want to, but because you are afraid of the consequences.



"unless of course water was a flammable carcinogen"



First off, ultra pure lamp oil is non-carcinogenic until it is burned, in which case, you are inhaling probably more carcinogens while spinning poi than while breathing fire.



Fire breathing these days is much less dangerous than it used to be... However, part of the secret to breathing fire is keeping up the general belief that it is more dangerous than it is (as in all fire arts). Yes, it is dangerous and people like Pele will tell you all about it... However, cases like Pele's are extreme and rare. Fire breathing is NOT a death sentence. Sure, if you breathe fire 20 times per night 6 days a week for 10 years you'll probably end up in bad shape. If you breathe fire for 5 minutes 4 times a month during your 20's and 30's, chances are you'll be ok. I know plenty of performers who have been breathing for years without incident or major health issues.



"I "assume" that the culture is better off without Fire Breathing because it's harmful."



Uh... Many things in life are harmful but that doesn't mean they don't have a place. I have no idea why you would compare it to smoking cigarettes... No, I wouldn't recommend anyone start smoking cigarettes unless you want to be a magician doing cigarette tricks, thus you shouldn't take up breathing fire unless you want to be a fire breather. Also, news flash, all fire arts are bad for you! None of them are safe. None of them are healthy. They will all cause accidents and negative health effects if done improperly or excessively... Just like everything else in this world.



"

I find it funny that you accuse me of assumption and then, a single sentence later construct a whole paragraph of assumptions"



Yes, I made a lot of assumptions and I probably shouldn't have. I was kind of speaking more metaphorically though... Basically just trying to say that it's not because the staffers made a giant plume of fire, its just because the staffers connected more with the audience made a bigger impact. Its not the tool but how you use it and so on. .. You shouldn't have to worry about if the other guy has bigger fire than you if you can work your own stuff correctly.



"both those can be learnt very quickly and easily- truly skillful spinning will always be rarer and, take longer to achieve a high level in."



This really kills me coming from you Dave... Yes, it is easy to spit fuel through flame and produce results... However, it is also easy to set a poi on fire and spin it around. GOOD fire breathing is just as hard to achieve as good spinning. There is DEFINITELY a huge amount of skill required to breathe fire in a controlled manner. Perhaps a lot of this bias towards breathing is just that not enough of you have encountered a GOOD fire breather (as admittedly, there are very few of us). If you think good spinners are rare, just think of how rare good breathers are (since there are only like 1/100th the amount of breathers to spinners as it is)





Anywhoo...





Really, Im just offended by your anti-fire breathing stance as quoted in "everything should be done to make it an extinct practice" because that, to me, sounds like hate and fear and jealousy. As I mentioned before, I once said the same type of things until I became more educated about fire breathing, fire safety, fuels, performance, and business. I feel like you may still be a bit fresh in this field... Pardon if Im wrong.


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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NathanielEverist
NathanielEverist

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 20th Aug 2007
Total posts: 315
Posted: Written by :MikeIcon

My point is that I said your earlier post sounded like fear and jealousy... Fear in the sense that you fear the negative health effects so you won't do it but are jealous of how it effects your performance or how others see your art. You said it wasn't because you were afraid, but because you didn't want to. Im simply showing that it ISN'T because you dont want to, but because you are afraid of the consequences.



In response, see the quotes below from earlier posts.

 Written by :NathanielEverist

But after seeing all the info on how dangerous it is, I opted not to do it



 Written by :NathanielEverist

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



 Written by :NathanielEverist

I'll admit and have already admitted (did you read my posts?) in a second that I am too afraid of the health repercussions of fire-breathing.



I don't want to BECAUSE I'm afraid of the consequences. If there were no negative health effects, I would really love to learn to fire breathe. Which brings me to your next point:

 Written by :MikeIcon

First off, ultra pure lamp oil is non-carcinogenic until it is burned, in which case, you are inhaling probably more carcinogens while spinning poi than while breathing fire.



Really? Can you post some links to back that up?

 Written by :MikeIcon

Fire breathing these days is much less dangerous than it used to be... However, part of the secret to breathing fire is keeping up the general belief that it is more dangerous than it is (as in all fire arts). Yes, it is dangerous and people like Pele will tell you all about it... However, cases like Pele's are extreme and rare. Fire breathing is NOT a death sentence. Sure, if you breathe fire 20 times per night 6 days a week for 10 years you'll probably end up in bad shape. If you breathe fire for 5 minutes 4 times a month during your 20's and 30's, chances are you'll be ok. I know plenty of performers who have been breathing for years without incident or major health issues.



Really? Because everything I've read tells me that it's crazy dangerous and that even if things go well, it's still bad for you. If what you say is true, than you have just reignited my interest in learning to fire breathe, like you said, it can be highly effective combined with twirling. As I've established, my reasons for not fire breathing or eating are not a fear or fire or burns, of which I have had many (none higher than second degree though luckily), but for fear of health issues, namely with the fuels and the severe problems that can occur when they go wrong and the likelihood of problems as opposed to other fire-arts like twirling.

 Written by :MikeIcon

Yes, I made a lot of assumptions and I probably shouldn't have. I was kind of speaking more metaphorically though... Basically just trying to say that it's not because the staffers made a giant plume of fire, its just because the staffers connected more with the audience made a bigger impact. Its not the tool but how you use it and so on. .. You shouldn't have to worry about if the other guy has bigger fire than you if you can work your own stuff correctly.



That's cool man, don't worry making assumptions, we all do it every now and then, don't sweat it. Agreed, it's not the tool it's how you use it... to a degree. But to the general audience, in my experience, more fire and more speed equates to more awe, even though it may require less skill, they don't know that. That's why I used my triple wicks for performing last night, even though they're more dangerous and limit my movements more, simply because the audience loves them. As for worrying if the other guy has bigger fire than me, well, I guess that's just my testosterone talking. wink

 Written by :MikeIcon

Yes, it is easy to spit fuel through flame and produce results... However, it is also easy to set a poi on fire and spin it around.



Agreed, but fire breathing is easier to produce results with (both good and horribly bad) at a beginner's level than with poi. I guess it's kinda like the old adage goes: "No risk, no reward". The greater the risk the greater the reward, the same goes for danger and crowd response.

 Written by :MikeIcon

GOOD fire breathing is just as hard to achieve as good spinning. There is DEFINITELY a huge amount of skill required to breathe fire in a controlled manner. Perhaps a lot of this bias towards breathing is just that not enough of you have encountered a GOOD fire breather (as admittedly, there are very few of us). If you think good spinners are rare, just think of how rare good breathers are (since there are only like 1/100th the amount of breathers to spinners as it is)



I'm afraid I don't know enough about it to have an opinion, but as somebody who's had experience in both, I'll take your word for it, as you would know better than I would. I haven't met a GOOD fire breather or eater either, and maybe that's because of what Dave said, people are beginning to become aware of the dangers involved. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. On the one hand, less people are going to get injured or damage others or property through bad luck or stupidity, but on the other hand, if it makes people happy (performer and audience alike), then I wouldn't wish anybody to be restricted from doing it.

 Written by :MikeIcon

Really, Im just offended by your anti-fire breathing stance as quoted in "everything should be done to make it an extinct practice" because that, to me, sounds like hate and fear



Yeah, I did hesitate before I wrote that, but in haste didn't think to re-word it. Every time I read it, when looking back over my posts I kinda flinched a bit. It was a poor choice of words, the word "extinct" definitely carries with it negative connotations and makes it sound like genocide. I should've clarified, that when I said "everything should be done" I meant within the realms of reason and hence morality, as hopefully you understand from my other posts that I wouldn't stop anybody from exercising their rights to freedom, even if I think what they're doing is wrong. I apologise for saying what I did, it was a mistake and I didn't mean to offend you or anybody else.

 Written by :MikeIcon

I feel like you may still be a bit fresh in this field... Pardon if Im wrong.



If you mean the field of fire eating and breathing, I'm not just fresh, I've never done it, only read about it (which is enough to put me off). But if what you said about ultra-pure lamp oil being non-carcinogenic, the health issues not being as bad as others say and that incidents like Pele's (which breaks my heart, I hate the thought of somebody as nice as her going through that and of my own family enduring watching me in such a state) are extreme and rare. I guess it just worries me that if people as skilled as her (and Mephisto) have endured health problems, what hope do I have? But if you are right and that Fire breathing is far less dangerous than it used to be, I will start trying to learn straight away. But, because I value my safety, I'd like a bit more verification if that's ok...

Cheers.


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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by :MikeIcon


Also, news flash, all fire arts are bad for you! None of them are safe. None of them are healthy. They will all cause accidents and negative health effects if done improperly or excessively... Just like everything else in this world.




This is the kind of irrelevant nonsense that used to clog up all attempts at productive discussion on fire-breathing.

We all know that there are dangers to fire-spinning/fire-juggling, but, the dangers of fire-breathing are of an entirely different order.

Dealing with danger is, to a large extent, about setting limits- crossing a road sensibly is potentially dangerous- however careful we are there's always a risk: but it's not dangerous in the same way that crossing a road blindfolded is!

You spin a poi and, as long as you've observed the fundamental safety basics (wearing clothing that won't ignite, having a safety person, wet cloth etc etc, etc) the very worst that's likely to happen is a burn.

We have multiple actual examples of fire-breathes going wrong that end up with months long hospital stays, near-deaths and long-term lung damage (and that's just the immediate short term accidents- without even touching on the long term exposure risks leading to cancers etc).



 Written by :


This really kills me coming from you Dave... Yes, it is easy to spit fuel through flame and produce results... However, it is also easy to set a poi on fire and spin it around. GOOD fire breathing is just as hard to achieve as good spinning. There is DEFINITELY a huge amount of skill required to breathe fire in a controlled manner. Perhaps a lot of this bias towards breathing is just that not enough of you have encountered a GOOD fire breather (as admittedly, there are very few of us). If you think good spinners are rare, just think of how rare good breathers are (since there are only like 1/100th the amount of breathers to spinners as it is)




As you say, there are very few GOOD fire-breathers.

I've yet to see one, over many years of being around fire-artists- I have seen lots of inept ones though (bearded drunks etc).

What I mean by fire-breathing being easier than spinning, is that anyone can fire-breathe with less than one hours practice- it's not safe to do so, but, it is do-able and, many do, do just that.

The result is a spectacle that will bring gasps of admiration and applause from, at least a portion, of any bystanders watching.

An hours practice with poi, will produce a spectacle that, in all liklihood, will be laughable- more so if the person chooses to actually light up the poi.

Even to get to a raggy 'fast-3-beat' with a few basic tricks like butterfly, done with no grace or style whatsoever, will, for most, require several weeks practice.



Here's a thought- wouldn't it actually be good if only a few people did fire breathing- good for everyone, especially the fire-breathers?

Cos, the more the naive dabble with an art whose dangers they do not appreciate, the more likely is that big accident that leads to governments banning it (as as just happened in a part of Australia with fire footbags).

If I was a fire-breather and, I never will be, but if I was, I would-

1. support whole-heartedly the propagation of the real facts concerning the risks and long-term toxic effects of the art
2. be happier the less people did it, partly cos the less who do it, the less get hurt- but, partly cos it means more business for me and. more important, more control over what I do in my act (not feeling pushed into going beyond my limits due to competing with suicidal performers always trying to go one-better)


"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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MikeIcon
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:"Can you post some links to back that up?"

Just take a look at the MSDS - http://www.nafaa.org/ultra-pure.pdf

Read the hazard info in section 3 (doesn't sound so bad eh?) and the part right before section 9 that says "No carcinogenic ingredients" Lamp oil is 'food grade' paraffin.


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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NathanielEverist
NathanielEverist

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 20th Aug 2007
Total posts: 315
Posted:No doesn't sound to bad at all. I'll have to dig around for those books on fire-eating and breathing I had somewhere. Thanks for the info. Still not sure if this is for me, but now that you've highlighted that it's not as harmful as I thought, it's worth reassessment.

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MikeIcon
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:Of course fire breathers will post all the bad stuff and tell everyone it is horrible for them because we want to keep the numbers down and keep up the illusion that it is extremely dangerous. However, I am rather tired of the stigma it carries among others in the fire community. Unfortunately, there just isn't enough good info on fire breathing on the web for people to get an unbiased view.

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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NathanielEverist
NathanielEverist

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 20th Aug 2007
Total posts: 315
Posted:Yeah, I've met a couple of fire-twirlers who performed. Upon being asked if it was dangerous after a performance, one of them said: "Incredibly", which just kinda made his performance retrospectively even cooler. But after taking it up myself... so long as you're not an idiot, the worst you'll get is the occasional second degree burn, and even those probably can be prevented (I know all the bad burns I've gotten were from doing recoil-wraps with fire poi without the necessary protection. It hurt, but it was worth it for the crowd response.). Thanks for clearing things up, I'll definitely look deeper into it than what some people say.

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MikeIcon
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:"This is the kind of irrelevant nonsense..."



Its not irrelevant nonsense though... Just like precautions can be taken to make fire spinning and juggling less risky, you can do the same for fire breathing. The ultimate risks for any fire art are the same - serious injury or death. Every person has the ability to make a fatal mistake no matter how old or young you are, which fire art you do, or how long you have been doing it. It might be a bit easier to make a fatal mistake by breathing fire... However, proper training can greatly reduce that risk.



"We have multiple actual examples of fire-breathes going wrong that end up with months long hospital stays..."



Ok... So we have like maybe 10 high profile cases of serious fire breathing injuries that we hear about out of the thousands of people who breathe fire?? Doesn't sound like the odds are too bad.



I personally know more people who have gotten serious burns to the point of hospitalization from spinning poi than people who have been hospitalized from breathing... Really, I only know 1 person who was hospitalized from breathing and it was the first (and last) time he ever breathed.


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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natasqi
natasqi

addict
Location: Perth
Member Since: 4th Jul 2007
Total posts: 489
Posted: Written by :MikeIcon


Just take a look at the MSDS - http://www.nafaa.org/ultra-pure.pdf

Read the hazard info in section 3 (doesn't sound so bad eh?)



"INGESTION: Lung exposure to this product either by prolonged breathing of a mist or vomiting following ingestion, can lead to serious lung injury and possibly death."

POSSIBLY DEATH
Doesn't sound that bad???? DOESN'T SOUND THAT BAD???

"INHALATION: Remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration and seek medical attention immediately. Oxygen should only be administered by trained personnel."

Inhaling it can cause you to STOP BREATHING!

Carcinogenesis isn't the only thing to worry about.

Sorry, just had to bring people's attention to the fact chemicals do damage in more than one way. ARDS for example.

Please don't downplay health risks!!!


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MikeIcon
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:As I already said in my previous post "The ultimate risks for any fire art are the same - serious injury or death."

You know, you can also get chemical pneumonia and probably ARDS if you inhale enough fumes and smoke from your burning poi as well.

By no means am I downplaying the risks... I am just trying to be fair and lighten the rather large bias against fire breathing which is quite present in the HoP community. For christ's sake, I cant even type the word > fire breathing < without also including a link to Pele's horror story... And god forbid I try to include fire breathing in my CoL entry... And don't forget the few threads I started trying to discuss fire breathing techniques which quickly got closed and deleted because they encouraged dangerous activities.

Pfft. I love HoP - but that's a bit overboard IMO.


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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squid
squid

sanguine
Location: sur
Member Since: 15th Apr 2007
Total posts: 382
Posted:FYI-
one thing I learned on another site discussing lamp oil is that you really want to make sure the "ultra-pure" oil you are using comes from Lamplight Farms (Lamplight/Tiki brands), as the linked pdf file provided by MikeIcon shows.

Apparently other makers of lamp oil put the ultra pure label on there as a marketing gimmick and the contents can....vary.


"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow

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MikeIcon
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:Very true...



Every brand will be a bit different and some are worse for you than others. Always get a copy of the MSDS for the brand of fuel you use to ensure it is safe.


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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NathanielEverist
NathanielEverist

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 20th Aug 2007
Total posts: 315
Posted: Written by :MikeIcon


As I already said in my previous post "The ultimate risks for any fire art are the same - serious injury or death."

You know, you can also get chemical pneumonia and probably ARDS if you inhale enough fumes and smoke from your burning poi as well.



I disagree here. While yes, the ultimate risks for any fire-art are the same, serious injury or death, but the likelihood of such outcomes varies significantly between the arts. If you look hard enough, the ultimate risk of anything is serious injury or death. I could be eating an apple and choke to death on it, that doesn't mean that fire breathing is the same as eating an apple.

I could be lighting candles, drop the match, set fire to my house and be burnt to death. That doesn't mean that it's just as dangerous as fire breathing or vice-verse, just because it uses fire.

I know these are extreme examples, but they are still valid in showing the flaws in your logic. Nearly anything can kill you, but the probability of it happening are dramatically different. Very few people would kill themselves unintentionally with a match, but it's possible. By the same token, I haven't heard of anybody dying, having severe dental problems, getting ARDS etc from fire-twirling, and it would take pretty extreme and highly unlikely circumstances for somebody to kill themselves with poi. The only way I can imagine it happening is by wearing the wrong choice of clothes, not having a safety, or perhaps very very severely burning yourself, but I haven't seen, heard or read of it happening... unlike fire breathing.

I believe you when you say that fire breathing isn't as dangerous as people make it out to be. But it seems that you're comparing its degree of risk to the other fire-arts and arguing them as similar, if not the same. I feel this is an ill comparison, for the reasons given above.


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MikeIcon
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:Id rather relate it to driving a car. It is very easy (relatively) to get seriously injured or killed while driving a car. At any point you could swerve a little off course and hit an oncoming car or tree and fly through your windshield, yet, millions of people get in their cars and risk death daily. Driving accidents happen quite frequently of varying severity but this doesn't seem to phase people. Being seriously injured or killed by fire breathing also takes a rather big mistake (although, still quite easy to do) to happen and as I mentioned before, I have never heard of anyone who has actually died as a result of fire breathing. Pele's case is the worst I've heard and that's pretty good out of the thousands of people who have been breathing fire in recent history.

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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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:The point about using ultra-pure lamp oil, if it lacks the extremely toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in paraffin and other fuels, is obviously a good one.

As previously discussed, there are two sources of damage with fire-breathing-

1. accidents involving aspirated fuel getting into the lung
2. long-term chemical poison issues (including cancer and pleurosy)

Fuel without toxic chemicals added, will obviously be safer in terms of 2.

However, it's important to point out that, till now, the majority of those trying fire-breathing, weren't using ultra-pure fuels and, for the forseeable future, access to such fuel, for most, is not going to be straightforward.

Also, of course, ultra-pure fuel isn't going to help much with type 1 accidents.

I stand by my point that comparing fire-poi spinning to fire-breathing, in terms of danger, is nonsense.

If you seriously know so many fire-poi spinners hospitalised due to poi spinning, then they are clearly doing something very wrong and, they should, IMO, do something about it, because there is no need to be going to hospital with poi-spinning, as long as it's done sensibly.

 Written by :


Pele's case is the worst I've heard and that's pretty good out of the thousands of people who have been breathing fire in recent history




Pele's case, though obviously very serious, is certainly not the worst I've known from fire-breathing- a friend of mine (in real-life, not the internet) spent a similarly long time in hospital, at times coming close to death, due to a fire-breathing accident.

One reason HOP has its stance on fire-breathing (eg the automated links previously mentioned and its safety articles) is cos a fair few of the regulars have personal expience of friends badly hurt through fire-breathing.

--------------

I am interested in what you're saying about the ultra-pure lamp oil- in no way does it make fire-breathing 'safe', but, from what you're saying, it certainly seems like it could make it 'safer' and, IMO, anything that makes fire-breathing safer, is most valuable.

Can you give some indication of how this fuel can be obtained and, an idea of its cost relative to standard parafin?

Is it something that the aspiring newbie in the UK could, realistically speaking, have access 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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MikeIcon
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:I really don't know anything about fuels in the UK.

In the US, Lamplight Farms brand ultra-pure lamp oil is sold in many places such as hardware stores or craft stores. It is widely known to be sold in pretty much all Wal-Mart stores across the country. You can find it in the candle aisle. I forget what size the bottle is, but I know when I buy from Wal-Mart, its a smaller bottle, not a gallon. Price of ultra-pure vs regular for this small bottle is about a dollar more.

For more info, visit their site: http://www.lamplightfarms.com/


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
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:Just a thought... I wonder if they could engineer a similar fuel but with less harmful effects if inhaled...

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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Page: 12

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