Sunday, September 16, 2007

Number 1 or Number 2?

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.


kamel said...

For another unusual classification scale, check out the Schmidt Pain Index used to cagtegorize insect stings and bites.

Anonymous Coward said...

the "bark" type (described in a personal communication) is characterized by a sharp exclamatory eruption that effectively interrupts (and often concludes) conversation. Aromaticity is not a prominent feature. Rarely, this usually distressing symptom has been turned to advantage, as with a Frenchman referred to as "Le Petomane," who became affluent as an effluent performer who played tunes with the gas from his rectum on the Moulin Rouge stage.

kamel said...

Another great scale is the Scoville scale of pepper 'hotness'. I managed to get jalepeno in my eye while making chili on the weekend (always wash your hands!), which ranks a mere 2500-8000 Scoville units. Based on the agony I was in, I hate to think what pepper spray (2,000,000–5,300,000 units) would feel like.