From the Bally to the Blowoff:
Facts and Frauds of the American Sideshow
Todd Robbins (the master of ceremonies/medicine
show pitchman for The Big Apple Circus) will be speaking.
Todd is a magician and sideshow worker with a long time
interest in the history of the field. Next fall he will
be opening a one-man off-Broadway show that will
incorporate some of this sideshow material. He promises
that in addition to giving a talk, he will demonstrate
some of the sideshow stunts.
Saturday, January 18, 1997, 2:00pm -- 3:30pm
7400 Arlington Road,
Free Admission; All Welcome - Members and Nonmembers
Call the NCAS Skeptic
Line at 301-587-3827 for further info.
Skeptical TV on ABC
(From CSICOP Press Release:)
Friday, Jan. 3, 10pm Eastern, 9 Central: A 20/20 piece on "multiple
chemical sensitivity." Monday through Thursday, Jan 6-9, 7am Eastern:
One Good Morning America piece
each day on issues such as people's fear of electric and magnetic fields.
Thursday, Jan. 9, 10pm Eastern, 9 Central: A one-hour special, Junk
Science: What You Know That May Not Be So, hosted by John Stossel.
(NCAS hopes that these will be more skeptical than other recent TV pieces on
The Council for Media Integrity (CMI) and the Committee for
the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), will be
holding a press conference on Thursday, January 9, 1997.
Attending the event will be Bill Nye from the television series
Bill Nye the Science Guy. Targeted at young people, the show makes
science fun, lively, and fascinating. Nye will be receiving the Council For
Media Integrity "Candle in the Dark" Award for his outstanding contributions
to the public's understanding of science and scientific principles.
The Council also plans to present an award to Dan Aykroyd,
host of the new
television program, The Psi Factor. Dubbed "The Snuffed Candle Award,"
it is meant to recognize Aykroyd for encouraging credulity, presenting
pseudoscience as genuine, and contributing to the public's lack of
understanding of the methods of scientific inquiry.
More Candles in the Dark
"I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudoscience and
superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason
more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our
ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during
challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our
diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around
us-then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls.
"The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness
gathers. The demons begin to stir." -- Carl Sagan (1934--December 20, 1996)
The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark,
Last Change: January 5, 1997