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Here is a shameless plug for last week's kitchen science I have just finished writing up. I just think it benefits from a video.http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/kitchenscience/exp/fire-piston-1/
When the plunger is pushed down very fast the cotton wool gets immensely hot and bursts into flames. This was used in the Burma, Malaysia Borneo region as a way of starting fires. These were made of horn or bamboo and would light a small piece of tinder. It is thought that Rudolf Diesel saw one of these and it gave him an idea..
There should be in the what may happen section. You will need Flash to see it. And to click on it to make it run.