Newsweek has created a great slideshow illuminating some staggering numbers about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. I suggest you head over there and read it in full as they include insightful synopses/explanations of each, but these were the few figures I found the most interesting:
- Time it would take the United States to use the oil spilled so far: 4 hours, 24 minutes
- Number of response workers: 42,000-plus
- Percent of the spill that’s natural gas: 70%
- Cubic feet of natural gas set ablaze: 1 billion
- Number of suggestions received with ideas to stop the spill: 112,000
Along with that last factoid, Newsweek also included the below video of Kevin Costner talking about his invention that can siphon polluted water from the Gulf, extract the oil from it and dump the clean water back into the sea. He came up with this “oil distiller” while filming Waterworld when he — for God knows what reason — partnered with his brother to create an actual, working version of a prop used in the film. Obviously, the device did not need to work in the movie. It’s Hollywood make-believe and we viewers would have just believed that the theoretical physics they discussed worked considering it is, ya know, a movie set in the distant future that featured a plot where the globe was entirely submersed by ocean and “dry land was a myth.” But, nope, Kevin needed realism within his work of fiction, so the brothers Costner fabricated a working model of this centrifuge-based “Ocean Therapy” technology.
And now, hopefully, we will all owe the man a big round of applause. After conducting a few tests, BP purchased 32 of the machines from Costner a few weeks ago and has already begun using them to aid the clean up efforts. The technology is not perfect (as you can learn about here), but it is helping — which means Kevin has almost certainly done more to help the Gulf of Mexico, marine life and affected coastal communities than you have.
Overall, it’s easily the best thing he has done since Thirteen Days.