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OfflineLearyfan
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MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC)
    #1592620 - 05/30/03 11:55 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

MTV has a show about urban legends.

The other night they talked about spontaneous human combustion.

They talked to scientists and I think a fireman who all said that they've never seen it and don't see how it's possible.

So the show said the legend of spontaneous human combustion was FALSE.

That's bullshit. There are definitely some cases that couldn't be explained in which someone burned to death in a very short amount of time without any source of ignition, and without the rest of the house(or even very close burnable items) burning.






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Mp3 of the month: Johnny Price- Marijuana, The Devil Flower



Edited by Learyfan (05/30/03 11:56 AM)


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC) [Re: Learyfan]
    #1592627 - 05/30/03 12:00 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Spontaneous human combustion (SHC) is the alleged process of a human body catching fire as a result of heat generated by internal chemical action. While no one has ever witnessed SHC, several deaths involving fire have been attributed to SHC by investigators and storytellers.

In the literature, spontaneous human combustion is almost exclusively reserved for corpses. One 17th century tale, however, claims that a German man self-ignited due to his having drunk an excessive amount of brandy. If drinking a great quantity of brandy caused self-combustion, there should be many more cases to study than this isolated report from Germany.

Many of the SHC stories have originated with police investigators who have been perplexed by partially ignited corpses near unburnt rugs or furniture. "What else could it be?" they ask. Many of the allegedly spontaneously combusted corpses are of elderly people who may have been murdered or who may ignited themselves accidentally. Yet, self-ignition due to dropping a lit cigarette, or ignition due to another person are ruled out by the investigators as unlikely. Even when candles or fireplaces present a plausible explanation for the cause of a fire, investigators sometimes favor an explanation which requires belief in an event which has never been witnessed in all of human history and whose likelihood is extremely implausible.

physical possibility of SHC

The physical possibilities of spontaneous human combustion are remote. Not only is the body mostly water, but aside from fat tissue and methane gas, there isn't much that burns readily in a human body. To cremate a human body requires enormous amounts of heat over a long period of time. To get a chemical reaction in a human body which would lead to ignition would require some doing. If the deceased had recently eaten an enormous amount of hay that was infested with bacteria, enough heat might be generated to ignite the hay, but not much besides the gut and intestines would probably burn. Or, if the deceased had been eating the newspaper and drunk some oil, and was left to rot for a couple of weeks in a well-heated room, his gut might ignite.

It is true that the ignition point of human fat is low, but to get the fire going would probably require an external source. Once ignited, however, some researchers think that a "wick effect" from the body's fat would burn hot enough in certain places to destroy even bones. To prove that a human being might burn like a candle, Dr. John de Haan of the California Criminalistic Institute wrapped a dead pig in a blanket, poured a small amount of gasoline on the blanket, and ignited it. Even the bones were destroyed after five hours of continuous burning. The fat content of a pig is very similar to the fat content of a human being. The damage to the pig, according to Dr. De Haan "is exactly the same as that from supposed spontaneous human combustion."

In their investigation of a number of SHC cases, Dr. Joe Nickell and Dr. John Fisher found that when the destruction of the body was minimal, the only significant fuel source was the individual's clothes, but where the destruction was considerable, additional fuel sources increased the combustion. Materials under the body help retain melted fat that flows from the body and serves to keep it burning.

-From skepdic.com


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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
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OfflinePhluck
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Re: MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC) [Re: Learyfan]
    #1592631 - 05/30/03 12:03 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Here's another good link:

Click here for more about urban legends on SHC.


The famous photo you posted was definately not spontaneous combustion either, let me find the link for that and I'll post it...

*edited to reduce overwidening of screen


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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


Edited by Mr_Mushrooms (05/30/03 02:12 PM)


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC) [Re: Phluck]
    #1592637 - 05/30/03 12:08 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

From CSICOP.org, on the 1966 case of Dr. John Irving Bentley (the guy whose leg is in that photo):

Spontaneous human combustion? Actually the infirm ninety-year-old physician had a habit of dropping matches and hot ashes from his pipe upon his robes which were spotted with burns from earlier occasions. He also kept wooden matches in both pockets of his day robe-a situation that could transform an ember into a fatal blaze. Apparently waking to find his clothing on fire, Dr. Bentley made his way into the bathroom with the aid of his aluminum walker-probably at an accelerated pace-where he vainly attempted to extinguish the flames. Broken remains of what was apparently a water pitcher were found in the toilet. Once the victim fell on the floor, his burning clothing could have ignited the flammable linoleum; beneath that was hardwood flooring and wooden beams-wood for a funeral pyre. Cool air drawn from the basement in what is known as the "chimney effect" could have kept the fire burning hotly (Arnold 1995, 1-12; Nickell and Fischer 1984).



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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflineEvilGir
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Re: MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC) [Re: Phluck]
    #1593036 - 05/30/03 02:27 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Spontaneous human combustion? Actually the infirm ninety-year-old physician had a habit of dropping matches and hot ashes from his pipe upon his robes 




Hey I have the same problem with smoking weed god dam hot rocks. :smile:


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Fighting the man the best way I can.


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OfflineKiafi
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Re: MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC) [Re: Learyfan]
    #1595112 - 05/30/03 11:51 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Another possibility for the cause of SHC is malfunctioning/revolting mitochondria organelles in each human cell. They're essentially the power plant of each cell, and the amount of energy that they all contain and process could EASILY ignite and/or explode some ones body. Ala Parasite Eve.

Keep in mind: Mitochondria aren't terrestrial to the human system. They're symbiotic lifeforms that have evolved with humans over thousands of years. Makes you wonder what happens if/when they revolt.


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Nothing is True. Everything is permitted.
Everything is true. Nothing is 'permitted'.



Every man and woman is a star.
Each star is it's own prison.


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InvisibleTeragon
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Re: MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC) [Re: Kiafi]
    #1595326 - 05/31/03 01:40 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Is that a joke or are serious? You know all the energy in mitochondria is stored in ATP(between phosphate bonds) and in an electrochemical gradient. I fail to see how this could provide the heat energy needed for ignition. The glucose molecules in whole contain enough energy to release in a "flame" or oxidizing effect, but the way our cells metabolize glucose, it is released slowly as to prevent excess heat and whatnot. Now yes a malfunctioning cell(not mitochondria) could perhaps maybe possibly accidently release a glucose's energy all at once, but I know of no way for the cell to accomplish this. Glycolysis and [Kreb's Cycle + Electron Transport Chain]=(Mitochondria steps) are the methods our cells use to metabolize "food" (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc. which all enter at some point along that process) and they in no way allow a fast release of energy or oxidation. It's like saying wood can ignite by itself because it has the potential to burn. I can't think of any chemical process in our bodies that would allow enough energy to cause ignition of anything on or in us. Please prove me wrong or rip me apart. If any of this makes no sense I'm sorry.


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC) [Re: Phluck]
    #1595405 - 05/31/03 02:18 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

what if someone ate pure sodium...somehow got it to their stomach... or something with a time release... or at least passive release till it got to the hydrochloric acid then just went ablaze.. sodium does react violently with water... i dont know... just one thing ive thought about. never got a straight answer... dont really remember if i ever asked anyone.. or if anyone listened.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC) [Re: Teragon]
    #1595856 - 05/31/03 11:02 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Thank you Teragon. Kiafi's response is a perfect example of pseudoscience. A complete misinterpretation of real science, getting all the key facts wrong, and making ridiculous assumptions.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflineKiafi
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Re: MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC) [Re: Phluck]
    #1596042 - 05/31/03 12:53 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

It was a joke. ha ha? I referenced a video game for christs sakes.


--------------------
Nothing is True. Everything is permitted.
Everything is true. Nothing is 'permitted'.



Every man and woman is a star.
Each star is it's own prison.


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OfflineGrav
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Re: MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC) [Re: Kiafi]
    #1596490 - 05/31/03 04:33 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

PE rocks


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: MTV's Urban Legends show (SHC) [Re: Kiafi]
    #1599171 - 06/01/03 08:51 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Oh, sorry then.

I've seen far weirder things in this forum that were supposed to be taken seriously.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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