Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates did an “ask me anything” session on Reddit on today.
One thing is certain, Gates has a good sense of humour about his foundation’s more far-out projects.
For instance, someone asked him about creating a next-generation condom. No joke. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is trying to create the condom of the future that will be so awesome that guys want to wear it. They figure such a thing will help reduce HIV infections. In November, The Foundation sifted through 812 submissions and offered grants to 11 newfangled condom designers.
When asked about it on Monday, Gates answered with a pretty funny witticism. Emphasis ours:
alex4346: Any luck with the condom design competition?
Bill Gates: This is a sensitive topic. The idea was that men don’t like the current design so perhaps something they would be more open to would allow for less HIV transmission. We still haven’t gotten the results. One grantee is using carbon nanotubes to reduce the thickness.
The joke, “This is a sensitive topic” wasn’t lost on the Reddit crowd and a pile-on of humour ensued. One user posted a GIF of Nicolas Cage looking strangely turned on. Others riffed on the name of the new condom, and so on.
But Gates probably didn’t mind that his joke set them all off. He also told Redditors that one of the biggest things that’s changed about him in the last 20 years is that he’s “more mellow” and, he hoped, also had “a bit more wisdom.”