November, 1996


This meeting will be a general work session to help the NCAS officers prepare a large mailing to area skeptics. We will also have a discussion on plans for NCAS and programs you would like in the future.

For your entertainment, we will also be showing a video of "Cane Toads," a humorous, whimsical, but serious, story of what can happen when you fiddle with the ecological balance among native animals in an area.

Saturday, November 16, 1996, 2:00pm -- 3:30pm
Bethesda Library,
7400 Arlington Road,
Bethesda, Maryland

Free Admission; All Welcome - Members and Nonmembers

Call the NCAS Skeptic Line at 301-587-3827 for further info.


The National capital Area Skeptics now has its own name on the Internet and the World Wide Web. You can now reach us at Our world wide web address is now (a lot shorter and easier to remember than our old address), and our general information email address is Articles for our quarterly Skeptical Eye} can be sent to


The December meeting of NCAS has been canceled. Most of you are too busy at that time of year to attend, so we decided to forego this meeting. We will have a meeeting again on January 18, 1997. However, those needing a dose of skepticism in December continue reading below ...


On Friday, December 13 at 8 p. m. Chip and Grace Denman again invite NCAS members and their guests to join them for movies that skeptics can laugh at. They will supply the popcorn and sodas; bring anything else you would like to share. Space is limited, so be sure to call the NCAS line by Wednesday, December 11 to reserve a spot and to obtain directions.


The corpse can be expected to twitch from time to time, but the 17-year controversy over residential electromagnetic fields has been pronounced dead. An expert panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that "the current body of evidence does not show that exposure to these fields presents a human health hazard." The APS reached the same conclusion 18 months ago. The Academy study found "no conclusive and consistent evidence that exposures to residential electric and magnetic fields produce cancer, adverse neurobehavioral effects, or reproductive and developmental effects." The 3-year study was funded by DOE, which had been designated by Congress as the lead agency for EMF research. In compliance with the "Full Employment of Scientists Act," the panel issued the obligatory call for more research--but not into EMF. There must be other factors that produce a tiny excess of childhood leukemia near power lines. At a press conference yesterday, a reporter asked whether the panel recommended "prudent avoidance." The chair, Charles Stevens, a neurobiologist, replied that "we wouldn't know what to suggest people avoid." Since the proximity to power lines is greatest in congested, low-income areas, it would be best to avoid poverty. (from: WHAT'S NEW by Robert L. Park, Friday, 1 Nov 96, Washington, DC)

Last Change: November 6, 1996