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Don’t Try This At Home: Yes, You Can Fight Fire With Fire

When Bastard in William Shakespeare’s “The Life and Death of King John” tells the monarch, “Let not the world see fear and sad distrust govern the motion of a kingly eye. Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire,” he’s rousing him to take the fight to his enemies. “Threaten the threatener and outface the brow of bragging horror,” the next verse goes. He should have sought a better counsel. The strategy backfires — King John is poisoned and joins Hamlet, Romeo and other tragic Shakespearean heroes.

“King John” may be one the Bard’s most obscure plays, but the phrase — fighting fire with fire — has since, well, caught fire. So much so that it attracted a troop of GE scientists seeking to prove they can successfully perform seemingly impossible acts.

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The idiom — fighting fire with fire — attracted a troop of GE scientists seeking to prove they can successfully perform seemingly impossible acts. Images credit: GE

The team fought fire with a clever audio trick. They set a stuntman dressed in a fireproof outfit ablaze and then used the sound of fire to extinguish the flames. You can watch the experiment in a 360-degree video on YouTube. As a bonus, watch Adam Savage of MythBusters explain how they did it.

The endeavor was part of the company’s year-old Unimpossible Missions project, which already has caught lightning in a bottle, proved that snowballs can stand a chance in hell and that you can communicate with a wall. The company plans to demonstrate to the world how it can “unring” a bell next week. Watch this space.

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