In the first half, author Craig Nelson talked about the history of the Atomic Age, from Marie Curie and Albert Einstein to the workers at the Fukushima plant. Currently, we're in the "twilight of the Atomic Age." The US spends $10 billion a year on its nuclear weapons program yet they haven't used one since 1945, and this emphasis will start to be cut back, and we'll also see a decline in nuclear power plants, even though he believes there's more damage from the pollution that comes from coal plants. Radioactivity is caused by fat atoms-- uranium, plutonium, thorium-- "atoms that are so big that they break the laws of gravity that create the material world, and spit out little pieces of themselves," including gamma rays, he explained.
At the site of an atomic bomb going off, or a nuclear plant meltdown, the gamma ray damage to humans can be severe, but the nuclear particles themselves are too big to penetrate the skin and can actually be washed off, he detailed. Nelson also addressed the portrayal of the Atomic Age in popular culture. One amazing example is Stanley Kubrick's movie, Dr. Strangelove (1964), which seemed so bizarre and deranged in its humor, yet actually hewed remarkably close to the kinds of rhetoric being expressed at that time. It turned out that the most serious nuclear theoretician of that time frame wrote many of the assertions that were used in the film in his own book, and ended up asking Kubrick for royalties, Nelson recounted.
In the latter half, macro-astrologer, author and expert in the Mayan Calendar, Barbara Hand Clow, discussed her latest work on major astrological transits or cycles that affect people at different stages in their lives. The Saturn Return (every 29-30 years) refers to when the planet returns to the same point in the sky it was at when a person was born. Saturn represents getting work done, along with growth and transformation, and 95% of people make a major change in their life during their first Saturn Return, she cited. The next big cycle is the midlife crisis, which occurs when Uranus opposes the location of Uranus in a person's birth chart, and typically happens between ages 38-44, she outlined, adding that it usually brings up major relationship issues.
A third key growth point is what Hand Clow called the "Chiron Return" at age 50-51, and it often has to do with spiritual changes and maturation. A fourth transit occurs during the ages 58-60-- the second Saturn Return, which can set up life fulfilling goals that play out in a person's 60s and 70s, she remarked. She also noted that a fifth Uranus/Pluto square (planets at right angles from each other) is coming this April 21st (one of seven through 2015), and these squares represent particularly intense periods of radical change.