Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Shadow of a Doubt - November 2013

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics
  • Nov 9 NCAS Lecture: The World of Weird News: Bigfoot, UFOs and other Questionable Claims
  • Nov 13 Drinking Skeptically in MD & VA
  • Shadow Light
  • New Skeptic Line Number
NCAS Public Lecture Series:
The World of Weird News: Bigfoot, UFOs and Other Questionable Claims
Sharon Hill
Saturday, November 9, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
National Science Foundation, Room 110
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA [map] [directions]
(Ballston-Marymount University Metro stop)
Enter NSF from the corner of 9th N & N Stuart Streets.
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

Weird news is its own niche on the web and in print. The more sensational the story, the more eyeballs it gets. Topics include Bigfoot and UFO sightings, hauntings, exorcism, witchcraft, mysteries, miracles, psychic predictions and conspiracies. We are barraged with claims that are seriously questionable. While entertaining, many people actually believe this stuff.  This is a fun tour through weird and wonderful news stories and an examination of how we think about doubtful news and the impact it has on society.

Sharon HillSharon Hill is a writer, researcher, and consultant specializing in Science and Society issues. As creator and editor of the unique news and commentary site, DoubtfulNews.com, she advocates for a genuine skeptical take on alternative medicine, the paranormal, anomalous natural phenomena, cryptozoology and other weird news as well as promoting a rational, scientific outlook on these topics. With the help of other prominent skeptics, she spearheaded the "Media Guide to Skepticism" to explain the core of the philosophy and method of skepticism. Her current focus is on the "sham inquiry" of amateur paranormal investigators and their use of scientific language and activities to appear credible to the public. She is a licensed geologist in Pennsylvania and has 20 years experience in environmental regulations and policy.

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.

Shadow Light
Some members and contacts of NCAS receive a postal notification of this and every new monthlyShadow of a Doubt.  The Shadow Light postcard announces the monthly lecture and highlights of the electronic Shadow of a Doubt, which is available online at ncas.org/shadow.  NCAS thereby reducesShadow production and postage costs.  To further reduce costs, members and contacts can opt out of postal notification altogether, while continuing to receive Shadow of a Doubt via e-mail.  To opt out, send us an e-mail at ncas@ncas.org.

Drinking Skeptically, now in MD and VA!

On Wednesday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m., please join fellow NCASers at either of our simultaneous DC-area Drinking Skeptically events:

                                    Skeptically Bottle Cap LogoJackie's Sidebar
8081 Georgia Avenue (entrance on Sligo Avenue) in Silver Spring, MD

The Front Page Arlington

Rear patio / National Science Foundation atrium
                         4201 Wilson Blvd (across from Ballston Common Mall) in Arlington, VA
                         (703) 248-9990

The February 2011 issue of Washingtonian magazine features the Sidebar on its cover, for a story on the best bars in the DC area.  (And you'll find the area's best hot dogs there, according to the June 2012 issue.)

Drinking Skeptically is an informal social event designed to promote fellowship and networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, and like-minded individuals. There's no cover charge and all are welcome. Don't drink? Don't let that stop you from joining us! Some of the world's most famous skeptics are teetotalers, and we are happy to have you! Remember that drinking skeptically means drinking responsibly. If there's one thing science has taught us, it's the effects of alcohol on the human body.

New Skeptic Line Number

As of March 2013, NCAS has switched telephone numbers, from 301-587-3827 to 240-670-NCAS (6227).

Time to Renew?

Be sure to check your renewal date above your postal address on the Shadow Light postcard. Send any queries to ncas@ncas.org.  Use the online membership form to renew.