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. Tom

    You are the man Kevin Costner!

    June 9, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • owen shuler

      The science and EPA requirements for waste water discharge are not met using Costners device as he admits that only 97% of the contaminants are removed at throughput levels that are nice however ineffective for the scope of this issue. There is a separation and purification solution that is available to be demonstrated which will accomplish large volume throughput and fully remove oil, mineral and metal elements and balance salanity before discharge, thereby meeting EPA discharge guidlines.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • mac

      He's been involved since the beginning; and they ignored him over and over along with hundreds of others. Even proven methods. This is just media politics at work; nothing will come of it, BP is just trying to get people out of their faces. They "Have" taken samples of many Oil ridding projects/methods; but have been using none of them. They are simply planning to implement a few of these "After" the fact. None of them will be used on this current situation. (If at all for a few months past now) Its my feeling (Drilling deeper then they ever have before; that this is the price payed. And this is simply not a simple well. What people should be worried about is liquid displacement. And the fact that the location they taped into will release oil for a long time to come. This could cause a massive Earthquake. On top of that....How many of you people still believe what your were taught; fossil fuels and Dinosaurs..Lol.
      Oil is NOT from what they say it is; never has been. If you want to get figurative about it; its the blood of Earth. There is tons of it. It just forms so far down its one of a million things below our crust and in the Oceans we know nothing about.
      I would also like to leave with the fact CNN, ur stories have been coming out weeks and in \some cases months after something happens. And people are thinking its happening around the time you finally release your story. Its misleading.
      Obama has completely dropped the ball. Hes been letting BP do whatever they want why they lie to him. There should be criminal charges in every form and manner at these guys. Obamas current show of actual anger shows he has no clue whats really been going on. Rather then finally showing some emotion hes only showing hes fake and clueless. I liked the guy but over the past 8 months hes done nothing but muck things up; Anyone who thinks hes done some good things you dont under stand its smoke n mirrors, those bandaids have only held off the inevitable. All hes done is given free the keys to our country to the powers that be even more then ever. I almost feel like for some reason the higher ups want this spill to keep going. Because that's what we've done. The people are doing all they can...but not the company or the government; there ignoring us. and even each other. I just think they have bigger worries and its not money; they know something wicked this way comes. *points his fingers towards Denver. -G'day-

      June 9, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • mac

      I agree with many comments here. They have not been Proactive at all! Only Reactive. There are methods (proven) even used with Costner's that would help this situation so much. And they have all been trying to get BP do hear and see them since day 1. (AND BEFORE) including Costner. This is old news. Hes been struggling with them since day 1; there only being forced to see him now and they still will not listen. BP wants that oil. And the government is controlled by the pharmaceuticals and Oil companies in the end; this is proof. The government has not done anything to handle the situation other then give bp the keys. They have been proven and caught with there hands in the cookie jar from the beginning of this event. The amount of Oil there guna get vs the dmg. They are at fault of the entire situation, proven to try to cover everything up. They are criminals; yet they are in control of the situation. Both true and Ironically stupid. People coming to work for them; even the civilians helping have to sign waivers not to talk to media etc. This is just all proof of our governments failure and the power of Oil company's. The second Plume in the Ocean they have been hiding and denying... Scientist have been telling them for months. And BP has known. And that story just hits CNN yesterday?...Lol u guys are so far behind. BP has no concern to clean up; only to look like there trying. Smoke n mirrors while they get those relief wells dug. (Wells btw; not well; like some have been saying). They are drilling multiple new holes. Theres been voice saying the casing on the main well has cracked. So these relief wells people don't understand will not end this. It will simply lower the barrels per day leaking. This will go on into the fall. Don't believe a single number/figure you hear because they have been caught lieing over and over.
      Which you should all be worried about now is the Liquid Displacement. This will possible cause a Huge Earthquake. All that Oil and all the pressure from above will lead to a collapse. There idea is to pump water or mud (as they usually do) to replace the oil. But they were not prepared for any of this. Drilling this deep has been being warned about for years. And they did it anyway. Its already been leaking insanely for months. I do not think they drilled into some lil pocket. It think its a mother load. This is only guna get worse not better.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • hillbilleter

      It's going to take more than one technology to do this job. All hands and heads should be welcome. To those who say this technology isn't the right one: There is no "one." What is preferred in one location will not work in another area. Where skimming is preferred you wouldn't use a floculant; in technologies where deep water access is needed, you couldn't use that at beaches or in reedy areas.

      We need all hands and all heads.

      June 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rc

    If his machine works, USE IT!

    June 9, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • SWolfs

      Mr.Costner's motives are honorable but his technology is not the best choise. There is a sand decontamination & oil water separation technology that is more efficient (99.9999% purity) and 75% less expensive to operate. Genoil's Crystal Sea Oil Water Separator and sand decontamination technology address all the oil spill contamination emergencies in the Gulf of Mexico including the beaches, and the Louisiana marshlands. The sand cleaner can be portable and built especially to operate using salt water which makes it much more profitable. This portability and adaptability enables it to do cleanup at the location much faster than a non-portable unit.

      The Coast Guard & ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) approved Crystal Separator's reduces oil contaminated water to 2.5 parts per million in contamination versus the Kevin Costner's brother's Ocean Therapy water cleaner which is said to clean the water to 97% to 99% purity or 30,000 to 10,000 parts per million contamination. The Genoil Crystal Sea provides the most significant oil contamination solutions to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. Mr. Costner's technology has not been certified by the United States Coast Guard regulations as its purity levels for the discharge of water in the ports, lakes or rivers of the United States are very substantially above legal requirements while Genoil's Crystal Sea is US Coast Guard approved.

      The sand cleaner of Genoil can return the Gulf of Mexico's contaminated shoreline to a purity worthy of the most picturesque beaches, marshlands and shorelines in the world.

      BP has shown interest in Genoil's cleanup solutions but how long will it take them to get this going. It will be months before the oil stops leaking, but years to cleanup. Let's get this thing going for goodness sakes.

      Genoil is also in discussions with United States authorities as its oil separation technologies are the most advanced in the world for the contaminated shorelines. While this crisis develops in the Gulf of Mexico, Genoil is in discussions in the Middle East regarding oil spills from the first Gulf War of 1991 for extensive oil contamination that covers an astounding 800 miles of beaches at a depth of six feet stemming from tactical military decisions of Saddam Hussein which created one of the greatest ecological disasters in history.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • SWolfs

      That's CHOICE .....with a 'C', sorry.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  3. boocat

    Nothing ventured – nothing gained! Can'thurt to try it.

    June 9, 2010 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. RichG

    Shumani Tutonka Ob Wachi!

    June 9, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Are you saying that if you build, the buffalos will come? Or that if you spin, the oil will go?!

      June 9, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. citizenUSA

    This has got to be one hell of a machine if it's going to "centrifuge" the entire gulf coast. I wonder how long the process would take and if the leak would have to be fixed first? Amazing if it does the job.

    June 9, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin in DBQ, IA

      Only the water with the highest concentrations of oil get sent through the centrifuge. Somewhat like skimmers work, they concentrate the oil on the surface and then separate the oil from the water while collecting the oil.

      June 9, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. GulfResident

    Thank you CNN – finally we get a follow up on this! We have really been waiting and wondered what was happening with it. It took BP weeks and weeks to test this thing (ridiculous – I mean: what's there to loose? They should have just tested it in the oily waters)! Please stay on this!!!

    June 9, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike R

    There are plenty of water oil seperators on the shelf. Industrial and commercial types. Portable units capable of handling up to 5000, that's five thousand gallons a minute! These could be placed on a ship, tandem as many units together for unlimited gallonage. Have oil barges tethered to the ship to receive the oil. When one is full, move another in place. Simple! Just Google water oil seperator and see for yourself. Why has BP not done this? Why are they reactive and not proactive on this?

    June 9, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike R

    These water oil seperators could even be placed on the barge itself!

    June 9, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. chitownlady

    Let him give it a shot. Its not as if anyone of the so called EXPERTS have any answers. Nothing ventured......Nothing gained........You go Costner..............BP has screwed up enough.....

    June 9, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. FL Gulf Coast Resident

    Thanks for your time and investment into this amazing machine. I've seen your video and it's nothing short of a miracle! We here in FL can't thank you enough!

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

    I've always liked Kevin Costner.

    June 9, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. alyn

    I don't care who comes up with any idea, try it and see if it works!

    June 9, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. Inquiring Minds

    So what ever happened to the two good old boys from down south who were using "field grass" to soak up the oil in the water?? That looked like it worked 100% and was simple to do and we have an endless supply of field grass at harvest time right now down in the Gulf. Did anything ever come of this????

    June 9, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      I'm so glad you asked about the grasses. I thought I was the only one who had seen that video. It worked and didn't cost a lot. WHY has it not been used? What is wrong with the government? They should have Jumped on that solution.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • IRAhitman

      Oh, come on. Field grass would be nearly FREE. Who would profit from it? No one, that's who. You expect this administration to do something where no one will profit? The only way he'd approve it is if he can guarantee that BP would pay as much for the harvested field grass as other companies pay for corn, and the fields must be minority owned.

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

    I'm also glad to see this article. I've been wondering about Kevin's support of the oil separator since I saw it demonstrated on TV a few weeks ago. Get these out on the gulf and start using them. All we hear about is red tape from those idiots in Washington. Politicians are worthless!!!! Every day wasted probably adds years and years of disaster recovery that we all will pay for. Just what we need right now with all the other problems in the world. This whole gulf oil problem makes me sick to my stomach. I dread the first tropical storm that passes over the gulf and what it could do to large portions of our country.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. Pop

    I have often wondered why they don't use something to coagulate the oil rather than disperse it. Something like wood stove pellets (or finer?) to give oil a place to latch onto then it should be easier to suck it up. I think the largest reason against that would be that it's so much easier to break it up and pretend that it's not there.

    Once again... I am so glad this is an oil rig that failed it's redundant safety mechanisms and not a nuclear power plant. I doubt we will learn from it, just as we didn't remember why off shore oil had become so unfavorable in the past.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
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