Friday, April 08, 2016

Shadow of a Doubt - April 2016

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics
    • April 9 Lecture: Technical Studies of Cultural Heritage: The Artist as Alchemist presented by Lynn Brostoff, PhD
    • May 3 - Philip J. Klass Award dinner 
    • May 2016 lecture
    • Torn from today's headlines
    • NCAS Elections
    • Amazon Smile: Contribute to NCAS at no cost to you
    • Shadow Light
    • Drinking Skeptically on hiatus
      NCAS Public Lecture Series

      Technical Studies of Cultural Heritage: 
      The Artist as Alchemist

      Lynn Brostoff, PhD
      Preservation Directorate
      Library of Congress

      Saturday, April 9, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
      Bethesda Regional Library
      7400 Arlington Road
      Bethesda, MD [map] [directions]
      (Bethesda Metro station)
      FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

      Lynn Brostoff, PhD, a conservation scientist in the Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress, will discuss the analysis of museum collections and the alchemical origin of many artists' materials.

      Lynn Brostoff received a master's degree in polymer materials science from the University of Cincinnati and master's in art history (and certificate in conservation) from New York University. She also holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. She has worked at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum Conservation Institute and the National Gallery of Art.

      Refreshments and socializing after the talk.

      2016 NCAS Philip J. Klass Award Presentation Dinner

      NCAS announces its first Klass Award presentation dinner!  Members and their guests are invited to the celebration at Positano Ristorante Italiano (4948 Fairmont Avenue in Bethesda) on Tuesday, May 3rd at 6:30 pm, honoring NASA astrophysicist/Nobel Laureate Dr. John Mather with the 2016 NCAS Philip J. Klass Award for his outstanding contributions in promoting critical thinking and scientific understanding.

      Visit to purchase tickets ($45 per person).  Seating in our reserved private room is limited, and must be purchased by April 25 so we can provide an accurate head count for our booking.

      May NCAS Lecture

      Author Bruce J. Hillman, MD, will discuss his book, The Man Who Stalked Einstein: How Nazi Scientist Philipp Lenard Changed the Course of History.  Nobel Prize winner Philipp Lenard spent much of his career trying to discredit Einstein.  The antagonism between Germany's most widely celebrated Jew and the Nazi scientist who was to become Hitler's chief advisor on physics affected the direction of science long after 1933, when Einstein took flight to America and changed the history of two nations. Saturday, May 14 at 1:30 pm at Twinbrook Library.

      Torn From Today's Headlines
      By Scott Snell

      Hillary Clinton Discusses UFOs/UAPs and Plans "Government Disclosure"
      Appearing on ABC-TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live! on March 24th, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked about UFOs.  Kimmel recalled his 2014 interview of President Bill Clinton. "I asked him about UFOs and Area 51...and if he looked...into those files [to] see what was going on.  And he said that he did do that, and that he didn't find anything."

      (For more information on Bill Clinton's remarks, see the May 2014 Shadow of a Doubt:

      Hillary Clinton nodded repeatedly during Kimmel's comment, interjecting, "Right, right.  Yes," but then stopped being agreeable when Kimmel said, "...he didn't find anything."

      She replied, "Well...I'm it--again.  And you know, there's a new name.  It's 'Unexplained Aerial Phenomenon [sic]'...UAP.  That's the latest nomenclature."

      [Kimmel] "I like...'UFO'...I don't know why."

      [Clinton] "Well, I think we can use them interchangeably.  But I would like us to go into those files and hopefully make as much of that public as possible. If there's nothing there, let's tell people there's nothing there."

      [Kimmel] "What if there is something there?

      [Clinton] "Well if there is something there, unless it's a threat to national security, I think we ought to share it with the public."

      Sadly, Kimmel didn't think to ask Clinton why her husband's look into the UFO question during his 8 years in the White House was somehow lacking.  (Perhaps the government finally got the truth about UFOs after Clinton left office?)

      There's no doubt that both Bill and Hillary Clinton's views on UFOs (or UAPs, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) have been strongly influenced by their longtime aide, John Podesta, who is currently chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.  He previously served as Chief of Staff, and in other White House roles, for the Clinton Administration, and is also well-known for calling on the U.S. government to reveal all it knows about UFOs.  (See the January 2014 Shadow of a Doubt:

      During a March 1st interview with KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, Podesta said, "I think I've convinced her [Hillary Clinton] that we need an effort to...look at that [classified U.S. government UFO files] and declassify as much as we can so that...more...discussion about unexplained [sic] aerial phenomena can happen without people who are in public life, who are serious about this, being ridiculed."

      Hillary Clinton discusses UFOs with Jimmy Kimmel:

      KLAS-TV interview with John Podesta, Chairman of Hillary for America:

      Mother Jones article, "Hillary Clinton is Serious about UFOs":

      NCAS Board Elections: Electronic Voting

      The upcoming 2016 NCAS election will use electronic voting.  When voting begins, each member will receive an email from NCAS (via containing a unique web address usable as a single-cast secret ballot.  (NCAS will receive information indicating who voted, but nothing to indicate who cast each ballot.)

      Note that voters will not be at risk for spamming as a result of participating...SurveyMonkey has a zero-tolerance spam policy:

      AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!

      When shopping at, you'll find the same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that a portion of the purchase price (0.5%) goes to NCAS! It's simple and automatic, and it doesn't cost you anything!

      AmazonSmile's disbursements to NCAS in the second half of 2015 came to $15.70, meaning that over $3000 of purchases were designated in support of NCAS.  (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's almost enough to cover one hour of a Montgomery County library lecture room rental: $20).

      Thanks again to our members who have chosen to support NCAS!

      For more information:

      Shadow Light

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      Drinking Skeptically

      NCAS Drinking Skeptically is on indefinite hiatus at our Maryland and Virginia locations.