In the first half, leading astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson discussed discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics as well as his new book, which shares his correspondences from people around the world who have sought him out in search of answers. In his hand-picked collection of letters, he drew upon cosmic perspectives to address a vast array of questions about science, faith, philosophy, life, and of course, Pluto. Speaking of the diminutive planet in our solar system, he admitted to being an accessory to the "demotion" of Pluto, which is now considered a "dwarf planet." In a display at the Hayden, Pluto was removed from the major planets and re-positioned among other icy bodies in the outer solar system or Kuiper belt. Later, Tyson said he became a vocal exponent of rethinking the planet's downgraded status.
A continuing mystery in astrophysics that fascinates him is that of dark matter or dark gravity, which contains 85% of the gravity of the universe but is of unknown origin. The more recent discovery of "dark energy" is also mystifying, he said, noting that it's a pressure in the universe that is forcing an accelerated expansion, yet stands in opposition to the powerful gravity forces. One of the letters he received that particularly moved him was from a man serving time in San Quentin on a vehicular manslaughter charge. The correspondent was remorseful over his crime, and reached out for ideas to encourage his teenage kids to pursue science education, as a way to show his love for them.
Ordained exorcism deliverance minister, Rev. Shawn Whittington, has been seeing spirits and experiencing various aspects of the paranormal all of his life. In the latter half, he talked about how he performs exorcisms, the rise in demonic possession, and how to understand and combat these negative forces. He started off with a protective prayer, seeking to "bind all demonic action," through the powers of Jesus, Mary, and guardian angels like Michael. Whittington, who, along with his wife Sharon runs a ghostbusting business in Las Vegas, detailed how he made a big mistake during a case they were investigating. A woman said she was being sexually assaulted by an unseen entity, and Whittington ended up using a Ouija board to try and make headway with the problem. But, instead he believes he opened themselves up to dark forces. When he and Sharon returned home, they encountered night terrors, and a vision of a black cloud hovering over their bed.
In that room, a water main burst and they were flooded out of the room. It took him eight weeks to finally remove the demons from their home, but just after that, Sharon came down with three rare forms of cancer in her mouth and throat (she eventually recovered). In one investigation of a demonic infested home, his parents suddenly appeared to him in the middle of the night, and cruelly berated his efforts. Though he later realized they were figments of the demons, events such as these can take a heavy emotional toll on a person, he disclosed. In another case, a woman received texts in Latin from an unknown location that could not be traced. Whittington issued a warning of sorts about his book, "God, Ghosts, and the Paranormal Ministry," which features a photograph he took of a demonic entity in a house in the desert. Strangely, after some people got his book, they reported seeing the same apparition in their homes.