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Stories by Deborah Blum

About Pepper Spray

One hundred years ago, an American pharmacist named Wilbur Scoville developed a scale to measure the intensity of a pepper’s burn. The scale – as you can see on the widely used chart to the left – puts sweet bell peppers at the zero mark and the blistering habanero at up to 350,000 Scoville Units.I checked the Scoville Scale for something else yesterday.

November 21, 2011 — Deborah Blum

A view to a kill in the morning: Carbon dioxide

In 1940, inspired by a tragic accident, a New York pathologist came up with the scenario for a perfect murder. His idea was based on the deaths of five longshoremen, their bodies found in the cargo hold of a steamer docked on the East River.

August 2, 2011 — Deborah Blum

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