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Meanwhile, on the Internet
Tribune Reporters
'Meanwhile' is a collaborative blog about all the crazy stuff on the Internet. Here, reporters from various Tribune desks tell you what you (almost) need to know about topics ranging from technology to YouTube sensations. Contributors: Michael McFall, Dave Newlin, Matt Piper, Brennan Smith, Erin Alberty. Edited by Sheena McFarland.

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Cattle are seen at Darrel Sweet's ranch in Livermore, Calif., Tuesday, March 29, 2005. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez). Bill Gates is funding the development of condoms made out of alternative substances, including beef.
Beef condom in development thanks to Bill Gates

Bill Gates wants to buy you a beef condom.

Or at least, he wants to pay for the development of condoms that are made out alternative materials, one of which is beef, the New Republic reported Wednesday. The effort is part of a plan to make a condom that doesn’t sacrifice physical pleasure.

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Bill Gates is involved due to his work with poverty in the developing world. The idea is that condoms offering greater pleasure will be more widely used, which in turn will cut down on poverty by reducing STDS, unplanned pregnancy and the like. So all in all, admirable goals even if the condom weren’t made out of food.

The beef condom is the brain child of Mark McGlothlin, of Apex Medical Technologies, who says that collagen fibrils from cow tendons feel more like skin than traditional latex. McGlothlin’s approach is markedly different from other developers receiving money from Gates, who are trying to develop thinner, stronger condoms.

Even more surprising: McGlothlin will be getting his condom beef from "a Chinese food store in California."

Gates, through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is distributing a total of $1 million for the condom development. The entire New Republic story is worth a read and has plenty of other info on the various other potential designs.

And or course, if this plan succeeds, we’ll never again need to ask, "Where’s the beef?"

— Jim Dalrymple II

Twitter: @jimmycdii



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