I may joke a lot about my malarial sufferings, but the actual disease is not a laughing matter...unless you are locked in a room with Bill Gates when he releases a swarm of mosquitoes. (Thank you, Token Male for the heads up on this one.)

Gates was speaking at the 2009 Technology, Entertainment, and Design conference today, and his address dealt with two subjects near and dear to my heart: malaria and teachers. Say what you want about Windows Vista, you've got to respect the philanthropic work Gates has taken up in the last decade or so. And he makes a great point when he says:
The market does not drive scientists, thinkers, or governments to do the right things. Only by paying attention and making people care can we make as much progress as we need to.
This explains why, as Gates points out, more money has been channeled into finding a cure for baldness than has been spent trying to cure malaria. Talk about misplaced priorities.

As for the rest of TED, I've been a fan since the first time I saw a clip at another technology conference I was attending earlier this year. If your brain needs a pick-me-up, I highly recommend browsing through the Talks.

Always manages to renew my faith in man's intellectual future.