For those of you science nerds here, have a look at this article.
Its a cute explanation of film boiling, where a surface gets so hot that a liquild will float on a film of gas rather than contacting the hotplate. All of this would be rather boring except for the second half of the article where the author begins DOING SCIENCE!!!!
First experiment: Putting your hand into molten lead
"I must also confess that my first several attempts failed because my brain
refused to allow this ridiculous experiment"
...I think my EHS person at work said that this is usually a BAD indicator of an experimeant.
"Could I possibly touch the lead with a dry finger without suffering a burn? Leaving aside all rational thought, I tried it, immediately realizing my folly when pain raced through the finger. Later, I tested a dry wiener, forcing it into the molten lead for several seconds."
Yep, this is the way we do it...start with live human testing. If that fails then go on to inanimate objects :-)
Experiment 2: Gargling liquild nitrogen.
"The moisture in my cold breath condensed, creating a terrific plume that extended
about a meter from my mouth. However, on my last attempt the liquid thermally contracted two of my front teeth so severely that the enamel ruptured into a ‘‘road map’’ of fissures. My dentist convinced me to drop the demonstration."
Experiment 3: Fire walking
"I have walked over hot coals on five occasions. For four of the walks I was fearful enough that my feet were sweaty. However, on the fifth walk I took my safety so much for granted that my feet were dry. The burns I suffered then were extensive and terribly painful. My feet did not heal for weeks.
My failure may have been due to a lack of film boiling on the feet, but I had also neglected an additional safety factor. On the other days I had taken the precaution of clutching an early edition of Fundamentals of Physics to my chest during the walks so as to bolster my belief in physics. Alas, I forgot the book on the day when I was so badly burned."
I love this, "my feet burnt because I was not holding my physics bible"
He then goes on to argue that science students should walk across hot coals instead of a final exam to proove their faith in Physics before they are allowed to graduate...however, I ask you...is science about faith?