Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Shadow of a Doubt - January 2022

 NCAS Public Lecture Series

BIG–If True
Adventures in Oddity

  YouTube Live Event with Q and A 

Presented by Benjamin Radford
Research Fellow, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

Saturday, January 8, 1:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00)
NCASVideo YouTube Channel:

For more information, call the NCAS Skeptic Line at 240-670-NCAS (6227).

The world is full of strange stories and marvelous mysteries, from crop circles to monsters, aliens to psychics.

Join folklorist and researcher Benjamin Radford as he discusses his latest book, Big–If True: Adventures in Oddity, drawing on two decades of first-hand research that separates fact from fiction using forensics, science, psychology, folklore, and more.  Among the many mysteries examined are curses, Bigfoot, reincarnation, chupacabras, Icelandic elves, conspiracy theories, UFOs, miracles, the terrifying Texas Goat-Man, crop circles, subliminal advertising, sea serpents, wandering trees, medical mysteries, and hypnotist thieves—plus a 1990 Elvis Presley sighting.

Benjamin Radford is longtime deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine, and a Research Fellow with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, a non-profit educational organization. Over the past twenty years he has investigated dozens of mysterious and unexplained phenomena. He is author of a dozen books and thousands of articles on media and science literacy and co-host of the Squaring the Strange podcast.

There will be an online question-and-answer segment after the presentation.

How to Watch and Participate in this Online Event:

1) Use a supported browser... https://www.youtube.com/supported_browsers
2) Use the link https://youtu.be/HeiBi0d4fJ4 .  If typing the link, use "0" (zero).
3) The live stream begins shortly before 1:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00) on Saturday, January 8, 2022.
4) To post questions, you must be signed in to a Google account.
5) Post your questions in the chat window to the right of the video player when the live stream is active.
6) Click into where it says "Say something..." and begin typing (up to 200 characters). Then click the send icon .

Along with your question, please post what city or town you're in.

Exclusive Opportunity for NCAS Members!

Following the talk and the question-and-answer segment, the YouTube presentation will end, and an online "reception" with our speaker and NCAS members will begin on Zoom.  Check your email inbox during the last few minutes of the Q and A. All NCAS members will receive information for joining the Zoom meeting with our speaker.  The "Zoom Client for Meetings" can be downloaded for free at https://zoom.us/download.  To join, just enter the Zoom Meeting ID number and Passcode provided in the email...no Zoom account is needed.

January PhACT Lecture
Our skeptical neighbors to the north, the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (PhACT), will host their next online event on Saturday, January 15 at 2 PM ET.  Paul Halpern, professor of physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, will discuss his latest book, Flashes of Creation: George Gamow, Fred Hoyle, and the Great Big Bang Debate.  Event details at http://www.phact.org/meetings.php.

February NCAS Lecture (Note Special Day and Time)
John Cook, a research fellow at the Climate Change Communication Research Hub at Monash University, will present "Protecting the Public from Misinformation: Using 'weakened misinformation' to inoculate the public against conspiracy theories and other misinformation."  Wednesday, February 9 at 7 PM ET, live on the NCASVideo YouTube channel.

Confessions of Coincidence
By Scott Snell
Over the years, I've become a collector of coincidences...last night (January 6) was my newest addition to the collection.

I was at a Giant supermarket and saw "Count on Me" on the employees' company shirts, so I started singing the Jefferson Starship song of that name to myself.

When I finished ringing up my order, I saw the total was $19.78.

The song "Count on Me" was from 1978.

As I've written in other Shadow columns about coincidences, "We're surrounded by an incredible number of occurrences and details, only some of which we even notice, so we should expect some random 'alignments' of two to happen now and then. We never notice the many misalignments, so when an alignment occurs, it seems remarkable, and could be quite affecting."

(This link to a photo of the receipt will expire in a few weeks)

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AmazonSmile's disbursements to NCAS in the third quarter of 2021 came to $72.36, meaning that over $14000 of purchases were designated in support of NCAS.  (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's more than enough to cover three hours of a Montgomery County lecture room rental.)

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

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