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. Craig Shearer

    The Gulf of Mexico is soon to be the new Dead Sea. Except with oil, instead of salination. If this catastrophe isn't enough to turn a person into a raging environmentalist, I don't know what will.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ken

    Is this just a gimmick to promote Waterworld 2?

    June 9, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    It's time to quit blaming people, it was an accident and they happen everyday. BP will have to pay fore the cleanup, they are the responsible party. It is time that we cut through all of the red tape and look at all solutions whether they seem outrageous or not. Stop using this as a political football, and not how it may help or hurt either party in the midterm elections, work together. There is a concept!!!!

    June 9, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jessica

    I dont understand why the US govt doesnt just do these things and send BP the bill? If we simply wait for them to do whats right and do whatever they can, they'll simply do as little as they can and throw their hands up and pretend like they've tried everything, when clearly, we know they havent even scratched the surface of ideas. ALL HANDS ON DECK...why should we settle for less? we've got too much to lose to wait

    June 9, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • johnnyhouse

      The US government are not oil people as far as fixing anything. We have to depend on the oil industry to fix this mess whether we like it or not.

      June 9, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tami

    I'm praying this will work and that the Almighty will give others the wisdom to fix this fiasco.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. johnnyhouse

    Centrifugal force might work.The next hurricane that hits in the Gulf will be about as centrifugal as it gets. I hope something works and soon.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Claire

    Let's get this thing going, though it's too late for countless beings who lived in the ocean....hope BP doesn't buy out Ocean Therapy.
    By the way, Kevin, I am the person who loved Waterworld!! Watched it again the other day and liked it even more.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. marcy

    remember? hands across America? cokeacola. how do we use the people who would volinteer?

    June 9, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. marcia

    BP could at least let anyone with a good idea try to fix the leak.
    BP is the worst of the worst criminals.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. johnnyhouse

    A tower, if it could be anchored to withstand the sea action at that depth,built large enough and heavy enough, could be built in sections to the top of the Gulf waters.It could be tapered as sections are put in, gradually so pressures would not build or ice clog the system as it came to the surface. It seems the pressures can not be contained ,they have to be dealt with gradually. What is to guarantee a new well will even do what they are expecting. If they screwed up this one there might be another or even another one. The dog house design for capturing the oil could not have worked because of the clogging by ice hydrates they said but it might help now that part of the flow is controlled and do it at a depth closer to the surface.Maybe this thing will lose some of its pressure and quit spewing but when.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. CATom

    Go away kevin coster. Your movies suck, you are a terrible actor.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • IRAhitman

      Yeah, you're doing more than him in this, right? I mean, your blog comments are GENIUS! I don't know how this leak is still happening with you on top of it. Thank you for your time, effort, and investments in technology to help solve this problem, CATom. You are an inspiration to us all.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • RagTag

      Do you have a better idea? Have you made a better movie? No? I see.
      Just curious.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    This post and the reply pretty much says it all:

    robin melton

    magnesium and copper alloy powder mix,also known as cadwelds in the electrical business would seal this well off in no time.it will ignite under water and melt the pipe together and seal it for good.i estimate the amount of powder to be about a five hundred gallon tank full.

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

    BP doesn't want to seal the well. They want to get oil from it. They can't get rich off of selling the oil if they seal the well. The goal of the "relief" well is to plug the existing well, then use the relief well to harvest the oil.

    They could have sealed the well on day-1 if they really wanted to... their entire effort has focused on capturing the oil, not sealing the well. They pumped some mud down there as a PR stunt, but the intent was never to plug the hole.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |

    June 9, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • IRAhitman

      You missed the part of the reply that mentions the explosion that would happen with cadweld. Kind of a twisted way of commenting. Hey, are you a CNN reporter?

      June 9, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |

    Too bad the United States Navy no longer has the research submersible NR-1.This has capablities including rolling on the ocean floor.This might be of some help,who knows.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. Michael

    FYI – On behalf of all the physicists in the world, there is no such thing as "centrifugal force" - this is a made up term. Do you mean to say centripetal?

    June 9, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • IRAhitman

      Ask someone if they can tell you what centrifugal force is, then ask them what centripetal force is. Which one will the majority of people understand? See, this is why most physicists are so annoying to everyone else.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • IRAhitman

      Hey, annoying physicist guy, according to webster centrifugal force moves thing outward, centripital force moves things inward. I don't know why your comment annoyed me so much, but it did. So, FYI – get your facts straight prior to making posts that are intended to make others look stupid. Looks like it backfired on you.

      June 9, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. vg

    Send Tony Hayward to prison until the clean up has been completed (basically for the rest of his life). That seems fair to me.

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