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I woke up yesterday from a dream about The Hell that began two years ago (and continues to this day).

Not the first time The Hell has robbed me of rest and peace. A terrible vision--and the Stupidest Thing Said by a Public Figure in 2010--led to my first video effort.

This dream was different. Instead of being about an unstoppable Hell approaching, it was about a way to stop it. I have no idea if there's any validity to what my fevered unconscious showed me, but it was so vivid and striking, I thought it worth sharing.

In this dream, I was back in April/May 2010, waiting, with millions of others, for the inexorable tide of oil to come ashore. But this time, we were prepared with a new technology, neither booms or dispersants.

Far out beyond the shore, huge mats had been deployed, made of hundreds of acres of "hairs," actually strings and rods of a plastic run through with tiny-to-large capillaries and pockets which acted as sieves, allowing water to pass through the structures but trapping oil. They were called hairs because the bulk of the structures were underwater, but individual strands stuck up out of the surface, like hairs growing from the watery scalp of the sea.

The sight, and the understanding of what I was seeing, was so startling I bolted awake. I can still see it now, more clearly than the room before me.

As I said, I have no idea whether such a technology could be produced or made into an effective barrier against seaborne oil incursion. But perhaps someone else, better trained in chemistry, physics and the tricks polymers can be made to perform, does. And maybe that person can see in this crazy dream a way to better protect our precious lands and fellow critters in the future.

Because the Deepwater Horizon will surely not be our last Hell. And, hopefully, we have learned something useful from that viscous baptism.

Or maybe I'm just dreaming.

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