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Ranking 10 Peppers on the Scoville Scale

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I like hot stuff, to a certain extent. I can't tell you what my tolerance on the Scoville scale is or anything, but I'm usually down with some spice. My theory is that because I have no sense of smell, I like things with extreme tastes, whether that be extreme sour, extreme sweet, extreme bitter...you get the point. That being said, I know I can't handle Habaneros other than a little sample, which means I definitely couldn't deal with the #1 pepper on our list. Could you?

naga

1. Naga Jolokia (or Bhut Jolokia)

is about as hot as a pepper gets at 855,000 to 1,050,000 Scoville units (a scientific measure of how hot the pepper is). It's not at the very top of the scale because that spot is reserved for pure capsaicin, the component in hot peppers that make them have that "burn." At the time the pepper was tested for the Scoville scale, the Red Savina was the hottest pepper in the world, and the Bhut Jolokia was found to be nearly twice as hot as that. Yikes! It's reported that just eating just one seed from this scorcher can make your mouth hurt for up to 30 minutes after you consume it. And you had better not get it in your eyes. Just a few weeks ago, an Indian woman set a new Guinness Record (we think; it hasn't officially been recorded yet) by eating 51 of these things in a mere two minutes. No word on if her stomach lining survived or not.

2. The Red Savina

was specifically grown to be a super-hot chili. Frank Garcia of GNS Spices in Walnut, California invented it (or bred it, I guess, would be more accurate), but people have been having trouble growing the Red Savina up to the level of hotness Garcia did, even when they have a certified Red Savina seed. Even so, you can find most Red Savinas somewhere between 350,000 and 580,000 on the Scoville.

3. Habaneros

are as about as hot and I'll go, and even then, I don't enjoy them; I can just tolerate them. They're believed to have originated in the Yucatan and have a bit of a citrus flavor to them. The Bhut Jolokia is often mistaken for a habanero, but you would know the difference as soon as you bit into one. I think the habanero is only (only) 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units.

4. The Datil pepper

can be called a sweeter, fruitier version of the habanero. But just because it's sweeter doesn't mean it packs less punch: it can go up to 300,000 units on the Scoville just like the Habanero can. It can also be milder, going all the way down to 100,000 units. You can find lots of Datil peppers in the St. Augustine, Florida, area.

rocoto

5. The Rocoto (also locoto) pepper

isn't really found in the U.S. too much. It's common in South American countries and used in their cooking quite a bit. And it's so pretty! It can be a fairly mild pepper at 50,000 Scoville units, which is the equivalent of a really spicy Cayenne pepper, but they can take you by surprise at 250,000 units as well.

6. The Chiltepin pepper

grows in Central America, Mexico and the southwestern U.S. They're just little guys. The pepper is also known as the chile tepin, tepin being a Nahuatl word that means "flea." But don't let their little size fool you! Their heat is intense, measuring between 50,000 and 100,000 Scoville units. But if you can get through the first minute or so, you'll probably be OK: the heat is super strong but subsides quickly.

7. You know the Pequin pepper,

but you may not realize it. It's one of the main ingredients in the Cholula sauce you'll often find at Mexican restaurants. It's not too bad; comparable in heat to the Cayenne at 30,000 to 60,000 Scoville units. But the taste is much different: it's supposed to have a smoky, nutty flavor.

8. The Cayenne pepper

is a bit milder, rating at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. They're named after the French Guiana city of Cayenne. I'm sure you're familiar with the Cayenne pepper; it's ground and sold as a pretty common spice. Although it's only halfway down on the scale, it's definitely has some kick to it and is too hot for some people.

9. The Serrano pepper

has just a little more kick than a Jalapeño: 10,000 to 20,000 Scoville units. Not bad at all. You can also put some Chipotle peppers in this category, which is really just a Jalapeño that has been dried and treated.

10. Finally, the little old Jalapeño!

At 2,500 to 10,000 Scoville units, it's pretty mild compared to the rest of these guys.

So what's your limit?

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science
6 Radiant Facts About Irène Joliot-Curie
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Though her accomplishments are often overshadowed by those of her parents, the elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie was a brilliant researcher in her own right.

1. SHE WAS BORN TO, AND FOR, GREATNESS.

A black and white photo of Irene and Marie Curie in the laboratory in 1925.
Irène and Marie in the laboratory, 1925.
Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 4.0

Irène’s birth in Paris in 1897 launched what would become a world-changing scientific dynasty. A restless Marie rejoined her loving husband in the laboratory shortly after the baby’s arrival. Over the next 10 years, the Curies discovered radium and polonium, founded the science of radioactivity, welcomed a second daughter, Eve, and won a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Curies expected their daughters to excel in their education and their work. And excel they did; by 1925, Irène had a doctorate in chemistry and was working in her mother’s laboratory.

2. HER PARENTS' MARRIAGE WAS A MODEL FOR HER OWN.

Like her mother, Irène fell in love in the lab—both with her work and with another scientist. Frédéric Joliot joined the Curie team as an assistant. He and Irène quickly bonded over shared interests in sports, the arts, and human rights. The two began collaborating on research and soon married, equitably combining their names and signing their work Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

3. SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE AN UNSTOPPABLE PAIR.

Black and white photo of Irène and Fréderic Joliot-Curie working side by side in their laboratory.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Their passion for exploration drove them ever onward into exciting new territory. A decade of experimentation yielded advances in several disciplines. They learned how the thyroid gland absorbs radioiodine and how the body metabolizes radioactive phosphates. They found ways to coax radioactive isotopes from ordinarily non-radioactive materials—a discovery that would eventually enable both nuclear power and atomic weaponry, and one that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.

4. THEY FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.

The humanist principles that initially drew Irène and Frédéric together only deepened as they grew older. Both were proud members of the Socialist Party and the Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes (Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals). They took great pains to keep atomic research out of Nazi hands, sealing and hiding their research as Germany occupied their country, Irène also served as undersecretary of state for scientific research of the Popular Front government.

5. SHE WAS NOT CONTENT WITH THE STATUS QUO.

Irène eventually scaled back her time in the lab to raise her children Hélène and Pierre. But she never slowed down, nor did she stop fighting for equality and freedom for all. Especially active in women’s rights groups, she became a member of the Comité National de l'Union des Femmes Françaises and the World Peace Council.

6. SHE WORKED HERSELF TO DEATH.

Irène’s extraordinary life was a mirror of her mother’s. Tragically, her death was, too. Years of watching radiation poisoning and cancer taking their toll on Marie never dissuaded Irène from her work. In 1956, dying of leukemia, she entered the Curie Hospital, where she followed her mother’s luminous footsteps into the great beyond.

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Live Smarter
You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
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After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like Delivery.com or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with Delivery.com or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]

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