Old house wiring problem?? This is WEIRD!!?

Ok, I moved into a house recently that is old. I was changing a light bulb in the kitchen today, moved the fixture and it fried and blew the breaker. I've done some minor electrical work before, so I made sure the breaker was off and took the fixture down from the ceiling. The house mostly has the old style... show more Ok, I moved into a house recently that is old. I was changing a light bulb in the kitchen today, moved the fixture and it fried and blew the breaker. I've done some minor electrical work before, so I made sure the breaker was off and took the fixture down from the ceiling. The house mostly has the old style ungrounded wiring that's sheilded with the old cloth web stuff that disintegrates when you touch it. In this fixture box, the spiral flexible conduit that the wires are run through is clamped to the metal box and the common wires run from this clamp...meaning the conduit that runs through the ceiling is energized and that's how it's wired!!! Is this normal for old wiring???? My landlord said he'll pay for anything I fix so I'm thinking about pulling new wiring to this, but as far as I can tell even the pipes in the basement are energized (stick one meter lead in a outlet and the other to the pipes and I get 118v). Is this normal for old wiring?? Please help!
Update: Of the two wires from the light fixture (common and hot), one gets hooked up to the conduit for the light to work...the ground of the fixture isn't hooked up to anything. the conduit has three wires that come out of it, all blackish brown wires. Is it possible that somehow 220 is involved here?
Update 2: READ THE FRIGGIN QUESTION!! ONE WIRE GETS IT'S POWER FROM THE CONDUIT!!!!!!!! TWO WIRES + GROUND ON A FIXTURE. GROUND WIRE JUST THERE NOT HOOKED TO ANYTHING, WHITE WIRE TO CONDUIT, BLACK TO ONE OF THE THREE WIRES COMING OUT OF THE CONDUIT. HOOK THE WHITE WIRE TO EACH OF THE OTHER WIRES FROM THE CONDUIT AND... show more READ THE FRIGGIN QUESTION!! ONE WIRE GETS IT'S POWER FROM THE CONDUIT!!!!!!!! TWO WIRES + GROUND ON A FIXTURE. GROUND WIRE JUST THERE NOT HOOKED TO ANYTHING, WHITE WIRE TO CONDUIT, BLACK TO ONE OF THE THREE WIRES COMING OUT OF THE CONDUIT. HOOK THE WHITE WIRE TO EACH OF THE OTHER WIRES FROM THE CONDUIT AND NOTHING...MUST BE ATTACHED TO THE CONDUIT TO GET LIGHT!!! thank you for the help!
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