Sunday, September 16, 2007
We've all heard of the Richter scale, used to measure earthquake intensity. Fewer may be familiar with the Beaufort Scale of wind force. In 1982, the 14th edition of the Merck Manual introduced a scale to measure a different kind of wind: flatulence. The Merck Flatulence Scale describes 4 familiar categories of fart, including the famous "silent but deadly" (aka 'slider' or crowded elevator type). I couldn't find the scale in my 17th edition of the book, but it's still found on the Merck website. If that wasn't scatalogical enough, there's also the Bristol Stool Scale, used to categorize the more solid (but not always!) releases from your backside. Now next time you go for a number 2 you'll know if it's a true 2.