Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Shadow of a Doubt - May 2023


May 2023

NCAS Public Lecture Series

The Great Australian Psychic Prediction Project

Rob Palmer
Skeptical Inquirer Columnist ("The Well-Known Skeptic")

Saturday, May 13, 1:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-04:00)
Central Library
Barbara M. Donnellan Auditorium
1015 North Quincy Street
Arlington, VA [map] [directions]
(Virginia Square-GMU Metro station)
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

 Also a YouTube Live Event with Q and A 

NCASVideo YouTube Channel:

In 2021, "The Skeptic Zone" producer and CSI Fellow Richard Saunders completed his 12-year project dubbed the "Great Australian Psychic Prediction Project" (GAPPP) – an analysis of 3811 published paranormal predictions made by 207 people claiming paranormal powers in Australia during 2000 to 2020.

The scoring of the predictions was performed by an international team of volunteers, including Rob Palmer. In this presentation, an expanded version of the talk he gave at CSICon 2022, Rob will share details and the results of this unique investigation into the precision (or lack thereof) of the published predictions of prominent, public, paranormal practitioners.

Rob Palmer is a retired aerospace engineer. He has been a spacecraft designer, spacecraft tester, computer programmer, and software systems engineer. Rob became a skeptical activist in 2016 upon joining the "Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia" team, and in 2018 became a columnist for Skeptical Inquirer. To date he has had over 70 articles published by Skeptical Inquirer as well as in other publications, and the Wikipedia articles he's written have garnered over 13 million pageviews.

Mr. Palmer will be joining us remotely via Zoom.

Refreshments will be available.

April Shadow?
Was there an April 2023 Shadow of a Doubt?  No, there was only an email to our members announcing the April 1 NCAS SkepTour.  Speaking of which...

April NCAS SkepTour Recap
The latest NCAS SkepTour brought a group of 14 into the Museum of Illusions Washington, where skeptical eyes and minds were tricked to the brink of believing unbelievable sights on (appropriately enough) April Fool's Day.

There were plenty of gasps and laughs at the various ways human perception can fall prey to human ingenuity (and mischief).

After the SkepTour concluded, many of the participants proceeded to Clyde's of Gallery Place for food, drink, and conversation.

Those of you who couldn't join us that morning, by all means make time to visit the museum when you can!  (And trust our good judgment to eat *after* the visit, not before!)

NCAS president Scott Snell was served in "Head on a Platter" at Museum of Illusions Washington.

NCAS Board Elections: Electronic Voting
The 2023 NCAS election is underway.  In mid-April, your e-mail inbox should've received a single-cast secret ballot from " via SurveyMonkey <>".  (NCAS will receive information indicating who voted, but nothing to indicate who cast each ballot.)  Please vote by May 15, 2023.

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

Be sure to check your spam folder if you didn't receive the election email.  A reminder was sent on May 1 to anyone who didn't cast a ballot yet.

Bay Area Skeptics Lecture
The [San Francisco] Bay Area Skeptics, now in their 41st year(!), will host their next online event on Thursday, May 11 at 10:30 PM ET.  Alex Filippenko, Professor of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, will present "Extraterrestrials?"  This will be livestreamed on YouTube:

Torn From Today's Headlines
By Scott Snell
Lessons from the Covid War: An Investigative Report
Released on April 25, 2023, written by a team of 34 experts calling themselves the "Covid Crisis Group," Lessons from the Covid War: An Investigative Report is intended to be the best possible substitute for a report from a National Covid Commission that may never be formed.

News media organizations are covering the report (see, for example, this Washington Post editorial and review) and some of the authors are discussing the book at public and/or online events:

Wednesday, May 3, 7 PM: Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC.

Thursday, May 4, 6 PM: George Mason University, Van Metre Hall Auditorium, 3341 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA.

Most thorough were the panels discussions at the National Academy of Sciences Building on April 24:

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Time to Renew?
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