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Thought the wick effect explains this...

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:49 am
by GT
http://www.independent.ie/national-news ... 85633.html

I seem to remember some horizon program doing an expirament with pig limbs wrapped in cloth and putting in front of a fire.

Spontaneous Human Compustion has a bit of a paranormal slant to it in the media...

Re: Thought the wick effect explains this...

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:11 am
by aZerogodist
I remember seeing something once newscientist/bbc ? As far as I remember diabetes is a factor and blood-sugar levels, not sure if the drug had an effect.

When I was young I read about SHC in 'The Unexplained' which didn't really explain much, maybe time for a mag called 'The Explained'

Re: Thought the wick effect explains this...

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:15 am
by funkyderek
Yes, the wick effect explains why there was very little damage to anything but the body. Oddly, this seems to have caused the coroner to believe that the fire started spontaneously within the body rather than travelling from the nearby open fireplace. A more likely conclusion is that the man died or fell asleep or into a diabetic coma while near the fire, and began smouldering when a piece of coal flew out (something that anyone with an open fire will likely have observed).

Re: Thought the wick effect explains this...

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:23 am
by Dr Raskolnikov
I think the most important thing to note about this story is that *bursts into flames*

Re: Thought the wick effect explains this...

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:30 am
by Feardorcha
The fire in the grate was the source of the flame. The mystery is where the gas came from - maybe the clothing the unfortunate man was wearing.
I've seen, on some science programme, experiments with sofas spontaneously combusting at distances of several meters from the fire source. Unfortunately, elderly people tend to keep windows and doors closed in cold weather and gases don't escape. Once the fire jumped, the wick effect would have caused the body to burn.
It would be worth examining the clothing the man was wearing and carrying out tests on it to prevent further such deaths.

Re: Thought the wick effect explains this...

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:25 pm
by bipedalhumanoid
I think the most important point of all is that the entire diagnosis is based on an argument from ignorance.

He pretty much came to this conclusion using the same means that the catholic church uses to examine miracle claims. Hit it with science and when you don't get an answer revert to the default answer selected in advance.

An honest report would have been that the man died from severe burn injuries received by unknown means. The media should be ridiculing and questioning this diagnosis. Instead they're reporting as a matter of fact that this person spontaneously combusted.