June 9th, 2010
07:50 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Kevin Costner

The star of such movies as "Field of Dreams" and "Waterworld" is scheduled to testify Thursday at a House Committee on Science and Technology hearing on solutions to the Gulf oil disaster.

The Hill reports that Costner has invested some $26 million into his Ocean Therapy Solutions device, which uses centrifugal force to separate oil from water. According to The Hill, last month BP approved the machine for testing.

The actor and activist visited New Orleans, Louisiana, in May. WDSU-TV reports that he demonstrated the oil extraction device, which Ocean Therapy officials say will clean up the water to 97 percent.

"I just am really happy that this has come to the light of day," Costner said. "I'm very sad about why it is, but this is why it was developed, and like anything that we all face as a group, we face it together."

The Hill: Kevin Costner to testify on oil spill clean-up effort

CNN video: Kevin Costner demos oil extracting device

WDSU: Kevin Costner helps fight oil spill

Dr. Steve Ramee and Dr. Kamran Khoobehi

Stopping the oil leak in the Gulf may require the U.S. to draw upon unexpected ingenuity and experience.

"It looks like the ocean floor is bleeding, and we know how to stop bleeding," said Ramee, cardiology chief at Ochsner Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

WWL-TV reports that Ramee and Khoobehi, a surgeon at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, believe the concept used to stop bleeding - going against the blood pressure in an artery - can be used to stop the gushing oil.

Khoobehi describes his device as a circular wedge that begins small and gets larger, supported by a heavy concrete plug. As the pressure builds, the weight of the concrete block would counteract the pressure of the leak. Both doctors told the TV station that they have tried to get their concepts to government officials, oil support companies, and BP itself, but have not heard back from anyone.

WWLTV: Surgeons say they have a plan to patch oil leak

CNN: Complete coverage of Gulf Coast oil disaster

Alvin Greene

An unemployed, 32-year-old African-American Army veteran won the Democratic Senate primary in South Carolina and will now run against Republican Sen. Jim DeMint.

Mother Jones magazine reports that Greene says he paid the $10,400 filing fee and other campaign expenses from his own pocket. He ran without signs or a website. He still lives in his family home and has had no job for the past nine months.

According to the magazine, Greene's unexpected campaign raised speculation by local media that he might have been a Republican plant. He denies that.

"No, no - no one approached me. This is my decision," he said.

Greene says the idea to run came to him in 2008 when he was serving in Korea.

"I just saw the country was in bad shape two years ago ... the country was declining," he says. "I wanted to make sure we continue to go up on the right track."

Mother Jones: Who is Alvin Greene?

CNN: Battle lines drawn in Tuesday's primaries

Mandi Schwartz

The Yale University women's hockey team senior center is suffering from leukemia and has approximately 30 days remaining to find a bone marrow donor. Schwartz was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December 2008.

Yalebulldogs.com reports that earlier this year, after five rounds of treatment and being declared in remission, Schwartz returned to Yale for the spring semester. In April she learned her cancer had returned and she would need to undergo more chemotherapy.

Now that Schwartz is in need of a transplant, the Yale athletic department is helping her doctor to spearhead a worldwide effort to find her a donor.

Social media have played a role in the drive to find a donor. The Facebook group "Become Mandi's Hero" enlisted 1000 fans in a 24-hour period.

On Monday, Schwartz received a call from former Olympic skater Dan Jansen - whose sister had leukemia - to offer his support.

Yale Bulldogs: Mandi Schwartz and 'Become Mandi's hero'

Jack Mallard and Mary Welcome

One was a veteran prosecutor nicknamed "Blood," the other was a young defense attorney in her first murder trial.

When defense lawyer Mary Welcome told Wayne Williams, the suspect in the Atlanta child murders, that he had a right to be indignant on the witness stand, Williams blew up at prosecutor Jack Mallard the next morning and, among other things, barked, "You must be a fool."

Mallard used Williams' own words against him to tell the jury he was "a Jekyll and Hyde."

Thirty years later, Williams says, "I was my own worst enemy."

One state Supreme Court justice would later call the defense incompetent and ineffective. Mary Welcome said the defense had neither the time nor the money to defend the case properly.

Williams was convicted and is serving two life sentences. Mallard, Welcome Williams appear in Soledad O'Brien's CNN documentary this week investigating "The Atlanta Child Murders."

CNN: The Atlanta Child Murders

A prosecutor called 'Blood'

soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Rich

    This HAS to WORK!!! Remember folks, this isn't Kevin's first invention of this type! We're talking about a man, who in the opening minutes of "Water World", urinated into a funnel, and once the filter did it's job, produced drinking water at the other end!! He knows what he's doing!! 😉

    June 9, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Austin

    Well, he did put away Al Capone, solve JFK's murder, and bring us peace with the Native Americans on the frontier, so he's got a decent track record. I say we hear him out. 🙂

    June 9, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. alex

    Just as long as he signs a contract to never make another film ever again. I agree with the board....GO 4 IT!

    June 9, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. excelsior!

    God D*mn the Kos is the MAN!!!

    June 9, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jimb0san

    he's concerned that if oil ruins our ocean then waterworld can never be true

    June 9, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Craig

    The idea by the surgeons is basically the same one that I submitted over a month ago to the DeepwaterHorizonResponse website. I followed this up by a call the the phone number listed on the DeepwaterHorizonResponse website and was basically laughed at by the woman who answered the phone. Over a week later from DeepwaterHorizonResponse I received an actual form to fill out and officially submit my idea which I did. Since then there has been no response al all. I also contacted Governor's offices in my state (NC) and Louisiana which then again, there was no response. I am an engineer and am certain that this well could have been completely sealed within 1 week of the accident. I am also convinced that our government (States and Federal) are behind the leak and have no intentions of stopping it. This was crafted to push the public to demand "Green" energy that our faithful leaders are all heavily invested in. Out governments are not concerned about the shores of the Gulf, jobs, environment etc. They are only concerned with being relected so that they may continue making and changing the laws to suit themselves and their greedy, monty hungry selves. BP is a government pawn. Check out where Obama has his money invested in. You'll find our that it's green energy. That's what all this is about.

    Lastly this leak could be stopped within days, but there is no intention to do that. Wake up people

    June 9, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. terry

    why are we allowing anyone to drill 5000' in the ocean for anything if they do not have a failsafe in case there is a problem. This is what the government should be asking and demanding an answer. BP will never stop paying for this cleanup. The companies that do business in the gulf will come out of the woodwork to get some free money.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Donna

    The video I watched last month showed two men demonstrating the use of hay and southern field grass to soak up the oil. They poured oil into a huge bowl then put a layer of hay on it. Moved it around a bit then picked it up. The water was totally clean......This is cheap, and they said the fishermen could scoop it up with their nets. It would be used on the shoreline. If SOMEONE had approved this last month it would be saving the shoreline, sand, and wildlife. What a waste. Why hasn't the goavernment started using this?????Is there a reason why they don't want the oil cleaned up?

    June 9, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. cojones

    I like Kevin Costner. He seems to be a good guy that is being proactive looking for a solution instead of sorry bloggers that they only thing they is to critize everyone and don't have anything else to do.!!!

    June 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • IRAhitman

      EXACTLY what I've been saying. The only bloggers here that have any room to criticize are bloggers who have put more than $26 million of their own money toward a BETTER idea.

      June 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. suzie

    I sure hope they put Kevin Costners machine to the test what have they got to lose but save face with the fed up American people!!! Take some initiative BP and try these new things.......well who says that they need BP's permission
    the ocean is free to everyone Obama put some rules down to let Kevin Costner try his machine.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bozo

    Look at all the money we would save if they would use it on Congress!! Wooo Hooo!

    June 9, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hillbilleter

    To all the naysayers and those who would prefer using another technology to clean up this mess: It's going to take more than one technology to do this job. What will work in the open ocean probably won't do well near the beaches. What will skim off the top won't help floculate where that is preferable. What will wok in unimpeded areas will jam up in reedy areas.

    There is no one fix. All technologies will have to be pitched in here and to prefer one over the other is to overlook areas that need the other.

    There's room, and a real need, for all hands and heads here.

    June 9, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • hillbilleter

      What will WORK in unimpeded....

      June 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
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