Friday, May 25, 2012

NCAS at Balticon

The Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, otherwise known as Balticon, will take place Memorial Day Weekend May 25-28, 2012 at the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn. In addition to lots of Sci-Fi and Fantasy related events, Balticon has an extensive science track. Among the speakers this year is Dr. William D. Phillips, Jt Quantum Institute, Laureate, Nobel Prize in Physics for 1997. Complete details can be found here.

And just as we did last year, NCAS will be presenting four speakers as part of Balticon’s Skeptical Thinking track.

This year’s speakers are:

Open Wide!...or Should You? Frauds, Fallacies, and Misinformation in the Dental World."
Friday, 4:00 PM
Presenter: Michael Cornett 
Why does dentistry still seem so medieval? What about all those claims on the products at the drugstore? Are all those procedures advertised worth the money? Will my teeth really fall out because I forgot to brush once when I was twelve? There’s lots of questions about dentistry that people have, and this talk will address some of them, ranging from claims made by over-the-counter products to practices of quack dentists to whether your teeth really impact your overall health.

The UFO Invasion of Washington DC 
Sunday, 9:00 AM
Presenter: Bruce Press
It is the Summer of 1952. We are still at war in Korea. Harry Truman is President. The Cold War is in full swing and the world's eyes turn to Helsinki, Finland for the Summer Olympic Games which delivers both athletic and political drama. Here at home, the Air Force is on a round-theclock "Shoot Down" alert for UFO's and papers are running headlines like "SAUCERS SWARM OVER CAPITAL". This could be the most intriguing alternative history story you ever read, but IT REALLY HAPPENED. Join Bruce Press of the National Capital Area Skeptics (NCAS) and Independent Investigations Group Washington, DC affiliate (IIG-DC) as we re-discover the history and hype of this amazing event.

Question False Truths in Astronomy 
Sunday, 6:00 PM
Presenter: Pamela Gay
Astronomer Pamela Gay discusses the some of the false information we might encounter in popular astronomy information.

Top 10 Scams, Cons and Pseudoscience of 2012 
Monday, 9:00 AM
Presenter: Marv Zelkowitz:
Power balance? Climate change? Vaccine fraud? Phishing? Millions of dollars owed to you from Nigeria? It’s a dangerous world out there. What should you be aware of and how can you protect yourself?

Registration is required to attend Balticon.  Register at

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 12 - Jamila Bey - 2012 and the Faithless

Saturday, May 12, 2012, 1:30pm
Bethesda Regional Library
7400 Arlington Rd Bethesda, MD [map]

From doomsday predictions and reprimanded nuns to women's health and the faith of those in power, the year 2012 is shaping up to be one filled with myriad conflicts over religious faith. DC-based journalist Jamila Bey will discuss why skepticism and reason need not be subject to the whims of warring beliefs, and what impact all of the discussion and arguments may have upon the presidential election this fall.

Jamila Bey is a journalist based in Washington, DC, where she hosts the weekly radio show The Sex, Politics And Religion Hour: SPAR With Jamila which airs on AM 1390 in Washington and AM 1430 in New York City. She also writes for the Washington Post blog, She the People.

Jamila served a decade-long stint as a producer and editor at National Public Radio working for shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Tell Me More with Michel Martin, and Talk of the Nation. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The New Humanist of London, Jazz Times Magazine and WebMD as well as on The Today Show and radio stations around the country.

A sought-after speaker and writer, Jamila’s areas of expertise include health and family policy, and all issues concerning the First Amendment. She particularly enjoys reporting on issues concerning religion and the separation of church and state.

A stand-up comedienne, Jamila says she enjoys the stage because it’s a cheaper hobby than scrapbooking. Her first book about the role of religion in the lives of African-American women is to be completed in fall 2012.

FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members. Refreshments and socializing after the talk.

Parking is free at the Bethesda Library. However, there is a large arts festival taking place the same day a few blocks away. This may impact the availability of spaces in the library’s parking lot. The Bethesda Library is easily accessible from the Bethesda Metro stop. There is also parking in the garage located on Bethesda Avenue near the intersection with Arlington Road.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Shadow of a Doubt - May 2012

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics
  • NCAS Public Lecture Series: 2012 and the Faithless - Jamila Bey
  • NCAS Presents the 2012 Philip J. Klass Award and Celebrates 25 Years
  • Revised Bylaws Adopted, New Board Members Elected, Officers Chosen
  • Torn From Today's Headlines By Scott Snell - Venus Gets a Bum Rap (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Its Shadow)
  • Shadow Light
  • Drinking Skeptically - May 9