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BP oil spill: Five outside-the-box solutions to capping and cleanup

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2. Get James Cameron to direct. "Titanic" and "Avatar" director James Cameron, a deep-sea buff, met with government officials in Washington on Tuesday to discuss possible fixes. Mr. Cameron has offered to lend BP his fleet of deep-sea subs that he has owned since using them to film "Titanic" in 1996-97.

3. Get Kevin Costner to build a giant vacuum. OK, 1995's "Waterworld" wasn't that great, but it inspired actor and director Kevin Costner's interest in the deeps. Mr. Costner has invested $24 million in a 15-year project to create what is, in essence, a giant water-bound centrifuge that strips out pollutants from water. No deal with BP has been finalized for use of the technology.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, Costner's machine isn't the first from a movie star inventor. In addition to Costner, the paper lists "Tigger" voice actor Paul Winchell, who patented an early artificial heart in the 1960s, and movie star Hedy Lamarr, who co-invented an unjammable radio system for use in World War II.

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