He Has 4,795 Days to Live. Here's What He's Doing With Them

The Mad Scientist Who Wants to Save the World

Ray Avery got rich in the pharmaceutical industry and now spends his time tinkering with a frozen block of chicken slurry to make instant protein so kids won't starve. He can't stand wasting time (his wardrobe is "a bit like Steve Jobs'—I have black for winter and white for summer") and reckons he has 4,795 days left to work in his home lab in Auckland. There he makes things like the Life Pod, a $2,000 incubator to save babies whose communities can't afford the typical $40,000 version. 

Why 4,795 days? "I've done the algorithm analysis of somebody my age, born in my time, how much chardonnay I drink, all that sort of s---," he explains.

Sir Ray's theory of invention: If you take away the "noise" of Silicon Valley "and you just have a bunch of guys in sheds with a lathe and a few bits and pieces, they come up with stuff that nobody else would have thought of."

Join Ashlee Vance as he meets the audacious pioneers of a tech revolution in New Zealand, in the first episode of Hello World. 

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