Academics have always disagreed on whether urban legends are at least partly based on fact. For instance, many people assume ET experiences are urban legends, but hundreds of thousands of people know that something is really going on?something very strange indeed. How about fire walking? It turns out that this is real too?a college professor is doing it!

In LiveScience.com, Heather Whipps quotes folklorist Mikel J. Koven as saying, “All urban legend is folklore, though not all folklore is urban legend.” One of the major debunkers of urban legends is snopes.com. If you hear an urban legend and want to find out if it’s real, you can check it out there. University of Pittsburgh physics professor David Willey is not an urban legend?he really does teach the principles of thermodynamics by walking on hot coals.

Willey says, “Nothing gets a student’s attention like the possibility that I might kill myself.” But he knows the secrets of fire walking: wood is an insulator, protecting him from the heat IF he walks quickly.

Fire walking has been used as a ritual to express power and amaze audiences and acolytes for thousands of years, in places from ancient Greece to China.

Fire walking paths are made of wood that is left to burn into smoldering coals. The coals ARE hot?they can reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Walking on them with bare feet is possible because only a small amount of this heat is transferred from the coals to the soles of the feet. Willey explains, “Even if it’s on fire, wood is a lousy conductor.” The layer of ash that forms on top of the coals insulates them even more.

To watch a video of Willey fire walking, click here.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

Crop circles are NOT legends?they?re REAL (our science reporter Linda Howe talks about them regularly on Dreamland) and we have the calendars to prove it! Did you know that our gorgeous 2007 crop circle calendars have arrived from England? We’re offering you a wonderful deal: If you buy a 2007 calendar, you’ll get a 2006 calendar FREE, but ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! There are 4 months left in 2006, so there is still plenty of time to use it. But don’t hesitate, because this offer will only last until our 2006 calendars are gone! And if you REALLY LOVE crop circles, send our wonderful crop circle postcards to your friends (these postcards are part of our big summer blowout sale). Subscribers get EVEN BIGGER SAVINGS, so subscribe today. This weekend, subscribers get to hear a special conversation between Whitley and David Ray Griffin about the 911 controversy AND they get to chat with Whitley on Saturday!

To learn more, click here and here.

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