Thursday, April 03, 2014

Shadow of a Doubt - April 2014

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics
  • April 5 NCAS Lecture: 
    The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory, Jesse Walker
  • May 10 NCAS SkepTour 2014: A Skeptic's Field Guide to the National Capital Area
  • Bad Astronomy Features NCAS Philip J. Klass Award 2013
  • March NCAS Lecturer Interviewed on MSNBC
  • AmazonSmile - Your purchases support NCAS at no extra cost
  • Torn From Today's Headlines, By Scott Snell, Ken Ham and "Ardent Creationist" Scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
  • NCAS Board Elections 2014: Electronic Voting
  • Shadow Light
  • Drinking Skeptically in MD and VA! 
    Wed Apr 9 at 7:00 p.m.
  • New Skeptic Line Number
  • Time to Renew?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Apr 5 - Jesse Walker - The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy theories aren't just a feature of the fringe. They've been a potent force across the political spectrum, at the center as well as the extremes, from the colonial era to the present. In The United States of Paranoia, Jesse Walker explores this rich history, arguing that conspiracy stories should be read not just as claims to be believed or debunked but as folklore. When a tale takes hold, it reveals something true about the anxieties and experiences of those who embrace it, even if the story says nothing true about the objects of the theory itself. In his talk, Walker will lay out five conspiracy narratives that keep recurring in American politics and popular culture.

Jesse Walker is an editor at Reason magazine and the author of Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and many other venues. He lives in Towson with his wife and two daughters.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Shadow of a Doubt - March 2014

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics
  • Mar 8 NCAS Lecture: Evaluating Alternative Sources of Energy:Solar Energy from Space, Paul Jaffe, PhD
  • Mar 8 NCAS Philip J. Klass Award Presentation 2013
  • Mar 12 Drinking Skeptically, now in MD and VA!
  • Apr 5 NCAS Lecture: Author Jesse Walker discusses his book, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory.
  • NCAS YouTube Channel - new videos
  • New Martin Gardner Web Site
  • Torn From Today's Headlines: Looking for Travelers from the Future, by Scott Snell
  • NCAS Board Elections: Electronic Voting
  • Shadow Light
  • New Skeptic Line Number 
  • Time to Renew?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mar 8 - Evaluating Alternative Sources of Energy: Solar Energy from Space, Paul Jaffe, Ph.D.

Concerns about global climate change have focused attention on a range of alternative energy sources that have minimal or greatly reduced carbon emissions when compared with conventional energy sources. Assessing how feasible and economically viable these alternative energy sources might be is important from a public policy standpoint in order to ensure taxpayer money is invested wisely.

For decades, proponents of Space Solar Power (SSP) have advocated for the development of satellites that would collect and transmit energy for use on Earth essentially 24 hours per day, all year round. This approach is billed as a way to overcome the shortcomings of terrestrial solar, wind, and other energy sources which suffer from intermittency, locale dependence, and other problems.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Feb 8 - Steven Salzberg, Ph.D. - Bad Medicine: How Alternative Medicine Has Infiltrated U.S. Medical Schools

The video of this talk is now on NCAS YouTube

Alternative medicine has become very popular over the past two decades, thanks to relentless promotion by the media, politicians, and a few highly visible celebrity doctors. Since the early 1990s, the NIH has spent over $2 billion studying complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), but has yet to show that any “alternative” treatment is effective. Part of this funding has been dedicated to establishing training programs in U.S. medical schools. Through these programs, doctors-to-be today learn about treatments based on acupuncture and homeopathy that are little more than magical thinking. In the middle of an intensive training program, most medical students do not have time and are not encouraged to question these practices. These same academic medical centers that host these training programs also offer CAM therapies to
unsuspecting patients.

This talk will review ...