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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
The Scent of Your Thoughts

The Scent of Your Thoughts

Although we are usually unaware of it, we communicate through chemical signals just as much as birds and bees do

October 10, 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