How Mr. Condom made Thailand a better place

We’ve got our TiVo hooked up to get the latest Ted Talks on our TV, so we were delighted to find Mechai Viravaidya’s presentation “How Mr. Condom Made Thailand a Better Place” in our “Now Playing” list recently. Viravaidya is an eloquent and funny speaker, which alone makes it worth watching the 14-minute talk. But what’s really amazing is his account of how a country dedicated to reducing poverty and saving lives can really make strides when they’re not set back by a narrow-minded, religiously zealous, sexually repressed culture (yes, we’re talking about you, America). Since the 1970s, Viravaidya has been creating and running innovative family planning and poverty reduction programs throughout Southeast Asia, a large part of which has involved birth control distribution, HIV/AIDS education, and some hilarious slogans (“Weapons of Mass Protection”, “In Rubber We Trust” and “Stop Global Warming: Use Condoms”).