In the first half, Paul M. Sutter, the chief scientist at the COSI Science Center, discussed astrophysics and Earth's place in the Milky Way galaxy, the origins of our universe, and how science has dramatically changed our relationship to the cosmos. The physics, chemistry, and fundamental forces that we understand here on Earth apply throughout the universe, he noted. The Big Bang, he continued, can best be recognized not as a model of creation but as the history of the early moments of the universe.
Through observation, we have discovered that galaxies are moving away from each other, and the simplest explanation, he said, is that we live in an expanding universe. So if you run the clock backwards, the universe was smaller and smaller, "and you get to a point, 13.8 billion years ago," Sutter expounded, "where our entire observable universe...was crammed into a ball about the size of a peach and had a temperature of about a quadrillion degrees." He enthused about NASA's new Mars lander InSight, which will help us learn more about the insides of Mars, and by extension the formation of our solar system. He also talked about how AI capabilities are expanding astronomical knowledge, such as creating ways to see inside stars (view related article).
A student of astrology for over 30 years, Leslie McGuirk, has been a popular keynote speaker on the topic of creative inspiration. In the latter half, she addressed various astrological issues, including the phenomenon called Mercury retrograde, as well as her mediumistic and animal communication abilities. In effect through early December 2018, Mercury retrograde refers to the appearance of the planet Mercury going backward in the sky. Because Mercury rules communication in the language of astrology, people have jumped to the conclusion that these cycles can be a time of confusion and reversals. McGuirk said these periods don't have to be negative, and cited that for the 20% of the population who were born during a Mercury retrograde, this is a time when they are actually moving forward more.
Astrologically, 2019 looks to be a little better than 2018 with a lot of earth energy, she cited, and "the biggest date for people to keep track of is March 6th because that's when Uranus, which has been in Aries...moves into Taurus, which is an earth sign." McGuirk discovered her abilities as a medium, in unbidden instances such as when the spirit of a deceased boy initiated communications and wanted her to relay messages to his family. Spirits, she's found, are generally doing well on the Other Side but can stay stuck if their family members remain bound in grief.