Thursday, March 13, 2008

Conventioneers: 'For God's sake, please turn down the strength of the coffee cup magnet.'

Visitors to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia have openly requested that the staff reduce the strength of the coffee cup magnet that stands under the escalator near the 13th St and Arch St entrance.

"There's no way the magnet is suppose to be that strong. I was standing with my wife drinking coffee, maybe 15 feet away, and the cup was violently stripped from my hand," said Dale Foster, of Easton, Pa.

"I saw one gentleman actually attempting to drink the remaining coffee from his cup while it was sticking to the magnet," said Gretta Simon, a visitor from Medford, NJ in town for the Flower Show. "He asked if anyone had extra sugar."

The Convention Center has admitted to increasing the strength of the magnet over the years to account for heavier coffee mugs. "It's a fact of life. Coffee cups have gotten heavier because people like their coffee served hotter these days," said PCC manager, Steve Hawthorne.

Experts have proven that on average coffee serving temperatures have increased 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 3 years. This has caused cup manufacturers to increase the thickness of the cup's sides thereby making them heavier.

Though Philadelphia city law prevents coffee cup magnets from exceeding 20 on the strength scales the PCC site registered a 27, according to NCCMSWG(National Coffee Cup Magnet Strength Watch Group). "Why do you think the Starbucks across the street has changed to paper and Styrofoam cups," said Maggy Telmin, NCCMSWG director.

"The city tested it two weeks ago and it registered a 19. NCCMSWG is always coming out here and stirring up magnet trouble," said Hawthorne. "They need to go back to Washington and worry about the real problem...teacup magnets.

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