Saturday, February 17, 2007, 2/17/2007 08:40:00 AM

Trade Secrets of the Sword Swallowers

We couldn't resist this one from LiveScience.com on the trade secrets of those who swallow swords.

According the article, sword swallowing is a risky business. A new study reveals just how risky, and the trade secrets among those who plunge blades down into their throats and live.

The most common medical complaint: a sore throat. But the article reports lots of gruesome injuries too.

Tricks used to coax a blade down the throat varied: Many performers lubricated their swords first with saliva; one performer used butter and another had to retire because of a dry mouth condition. Some performed "the drop," in which the sword falls abruptly down the throat; some invited audience members to move the sword.

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