Cellphones have changed the way the world communicates, but one bar owner is looking to revert to a more classic type of interpersonal communication – if only for one drink.

Looking to give his customers a little encouragement to take their eyes off the electronic screens, bar owner Steven Tyler of East Sussex’s Gin Tub installed metal mesh in the bar’s ceiling and walls. By doing this, all electromagnetic signals are absorbed and redistributed – successfully preventing them from entering the building and preventing patrons from accessing the internet and social media feeds.

This process – known as a Faraday Cage – is derived from Michael Faraday’s 1836 discovery used to prevent interference between electronic equipment in highly charged environments.

Unlike signal jammers, a Faraday Cage is completely legal.

“Unlike jammers, Faraday cages don’t proactively cause interference, although they do interfere with mobile reception,” said a spokesman from Ofcom, the communications regulator in the UK.

While some worry that the Faraday Cage could alienated younger bar-goers, Tyler believes it’s a necessary measure in a world so addicted to digital communication.

“I just wanted people to enjoy a night out in my bar, without being interrupted by their phones,” Tyler told BBC. “So rather than asking them not to use their phones, I stopped the phones working. I want you to enjoy the experience of going out.”

Michael Faraday notebooks

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Michael Faraday is a household name to those in the science, but the breadth and depth of his pioneering work is sometimes overlooked in lieu of modern day developments. In an effort to preserve and highlight the enormous impact of Faraday’s work, the UNESCO has announced that the pillar of electrochemistry’s notebooks (held by the Royal Institution) have been added to the UK Memory of the World Register.

The Memory of the World Register was established in 1992 and is a catalogue of the world’s most prized documentary and audiovisual heritage. Faraday’s notebooks will join the ranks of documents such as the Magna Carta and the Death Warrant of King Charles I.

The significance of notebooks lies in Faraday’s documentation and development of some of the most important physical and chemical discoveries of the 19th century. Many have referred to Faraday as one of the greatest experimentalists ever, especially due to his work on electricity that found expression in day-to-day technology. His work on electromagnetic rotations and induction transformed electrical devices as we know them, opening the door for the development of motors, transformers, and generators.


Everybody Writes, Nobody Reads

May it be then a reward to all the Interface authors to know that there is a crowd of people who read their work.

May it be then a reward to all the Interface authors to know that there is a crowd of people who read their work.

An article by Interface Co-Editor Petr Vanysek in the latest issue of the publication.

I am happy to report that people read Interface magazine. Just the other day I received a long letter commenting on the usefulness of the topical articles, this one specifically detailing the issue dealing with ionic liquids. The message of the letter was that the reviews in Interface are just as useful as the summary articles in peer-reviewed publications. Another reader, reacting to the side remark I made in my recent editorial about opening a dog kennel, wanted to unload his German shepherds on me. Yet another letter mentioned the Classics column and how nice it was to read recollections about scientists, written by other scientists and colleagues.

Interface does not have an officially gauged impact factor and we do not have a good measure of how well and thoroughly this magazine is read. Still, we like to hear that it is a useful medium for the members, the advertisers, and anybody else who may follow what shows up in our quarterly.