Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bill Gates unleashes hungry mosquitoes at TED conference

(pic: TED / James Duncan Davidson)

This is so great. Bill Gates, who's retired from software and has since turned his attention to other matters, was speaking at the TED conference. TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is an organization that has this annual conference in Long Beach during which, according to TED's website, "now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes)."

One of Bill's passions is to stop malaria (the other is to improve our dismal educational system). He and his wife's foundation has spent over a billion dollars fighting the disease, but perhaps he didn't think that the audience was taking it seriously enough. So he opens a jar of mosquitoes and says, "Not only poor people should experience this."

Who'd have thought Gates had such a great sense of humor? He should have his own "Punk'd" show. I can't wait to see the video of his TEDTalk, which is supposed to be online in 24 hours. Check here to see if it is.

I went to the Gates Foundation website, specifically the section about malaria, and found out that 800,000 people die from malaria each year. In Africa, 2,000 kids die from it each day. Jesus! His foundation is working to develop malaria drugs, a vaccine, to improve mosquito control, to develop public awareness, and ultimately to eradicate the disease.

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