Sea of Dreams

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Image by SSgt. Dennis J. Henry Jr. (USAF)

“I’m a guy that’s in love with ‘What if.’” No, that quote didn’t come from me or from Eric Liu, with whom I wrote Imagination First, although we do argue in the book that the words “what if” are “the key to successfully performing the experiment called being human” (33). The hopeful and open-minded sentence was spoken by Oscar-winner Kevin Costner on June 9 as he testified before the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee about devices that his company, Ocean Therapy Solutions, has developed for cleaning up oil spills. According to the firm’s Web site, Costner has been investing in related research for the past 15 years; the Daily News reports that the actor told Congress he has spent over $20 million along the way. A Hollywood screen star devoting time and funds to a personal project aimed at solving one of our most dire environmental problems? Irrepressible imagination is clearly at work here. Costner’s imaginative vision may soon become a high-profile reality when BP, which the Daily News says has bought 32 of Ocean Therapy Solutions’ machines, tests them out before possibly using them in the Gulf of Mexico. To watch Costner’s recent testimony, click on this link.

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