The Rictus Scale, Not To Be Confused With The Richter Scale, Measures What?
Answer: Earthquake News Coverage
The Richter Scale, named after scientist Charles Francis Richter, is a logarithmic scale used to assign an easily understood value to the energy released by a seismic event. An event that registers 2 points or less on the scale is rarely felt by anyone but the most sensitive people, whereas a event registering above 8 points on the scale will cause catastrophic building damage and loss of life.
While the Richter scale is a serious affair, there is a less serious (but related) scale proposed by Tom Weller, known as the Rictus Scale. The Rictus Scale doesn’t measure the intensity of the seismic event, but the intensity of the media coverage that follows. The Rictus Scale values range from 1 (barely merits a small article in the local paper) to 5 (event results in international news coverage, network specials, and an almost instant market for books about the event).