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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Connector of the Day: Paulo Coelho

October 20th, 2009
03:39 PM ET

With his 1988 novel “The Alchemist” among the most-widely read novels of all time, Paulo Coelho is a publisher’s dream – except for the fact he doesn't mind giving away his books for free.

Paulo Coelho poses during a photocall for 'The Experimental Witch' Tuesday at the Rome Film Festival.

Paulo Coelho poses during a photocall for 'The Experimental Witch' Tuesday at the Rome Film Festival.

Coelho, whose work has been translated into 67 languages, earning him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, has emerged as an unlikely promoter of pirated Internet versions of his own works.

There again, to anyone who has read “The Alchemist” – an allegorical tale of one boy’s quest to follow his dreams and fulfill his destiny – this mission to give away his writing should make complete sense.

Despite being a successful songwriter, Brazil-born Coelho says he always wanted to be a writer – eventually penning “The Alchemist” in 1988. The novel initially had a small print run, but snowballed into a global bestseller to rival the likes of Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code.”

Now a household name – and a United Nations messenger for peace – Coelho has emerged as an outspoken supporter of the Internet, seeing it as a useful tool for distributing his work to an even wider readership.

“I always thought that when, at the beginning of your career, you strive to be read, you can’t change your mind later and become greedy about it,” he said after revealing that he had been directing his readers to Web sites where they can download his books without paying.

What do you think of Coelho’s writing and his philosophies? Send us your comments, questions for Coelho and we’ll put them to him when he appears on the program on Monday.

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Connector of the Day: Bill Nye

October 20th, 2009
01:53 PM ET

This has been a busy month in space with a host of discoveries and new projects by several nations.

Comedian, scientist and engineer Bill Nye tries to make the realms of space and science accessible to the average person.

Comedian, scientist and engineer Bill Nye tries to make the realms of space and science accessible to the average person.

It kicked off when India launched a second satellite to study oceans. The cube-shaped Oceansat-2 will monitor the interaction between oceans and the atmosphere, as part of climate studies, according to the country's main space agency.

A few weeks later scientists at NASA discovered a nearly invisible ring around Saturn - one so large that it would take 1 billion Earths to fill it.

NASA then crashed a rocket and a satellite into the moon's surface in a $79 million mission to determine whether or not there is water on the moon.

And on Monday an international team announced that 32 planets have been discovered outside Earth's solar system through the use of a high-precision instrument installed at a Chilean telescope.

Luckily we have comedian, scientist and engineer Bill Nye on hand to explain all the latest developments. Send us your questions and we'll try to put as many as possible to Bill on Wednesday's show.

Do you look forward to your 100th birthday?

October 20th, 2009
12:27 PM ET

LONDON, England - About half of the babies born in Western countries today will live until they are 100 years old, experts believe, but the challenge is to ensure they remain active throughout their old age.

The challenge is to ensure old people stay as fit as Brisbane centenarian Ruth Frith, seen competing at shot put during World Masters Games in Sydney this month.

The challenge is to ensure old people stay as fit as Brisbane centenarian Ruth Frith, seen competing at shot put during World Masters Games in Sydney this month.

While most of us will live longer than our parents and grandparents, the aging population means that in the coming decades many more people will suffer from age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis, heart disease and chronic back pain. Obesity and increased physical activity also put more pressure on our joints, causing them to wear out faster.

We can’t turn the clock back of course, so scientists at Leeds University in northern England are spending more than $82 million over five years on a project that hopes to improve the quality of life for older people.

The scientists envisage that many of the body parts that flounder with age could be upgraded using own-grown tissues and more durable implants. This will mean artificial hips, knees and heart valves, for example, lasting far longer than the current 20-year typical lifespan.

“Our work is driven by the concept of 50 more years after 50 – that is, making our second 50 years of life as healthy, comfortable and active as our first, so we can enjoy a higher quality of life,” explains Professor John Fisher, who is an expert in artificial joints and tissue regeneration.

“We now have the technology available to do astonishing things, such as repairing the body by growing healthy new tissue through biological scaffolds and stem cell therapy. And a new generation of prosthetic hip and knee joints that last longer will avoid the need for further replacements."

Fisher says the center also hopes to gain a better understanding of degenerative diseases to allow for early diagnosis, rather than having to treat someone when they are already in crippling pain. “For example, we’re developing biosensor tools that can detect the presence of antibodies and proteins in the blood. All of these technologies will ultimately reduce suffering in patients through more timely interventions, shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery times.”

So how do you feel about this. Are you looking forward to your old age? Do you believe you will remain active? Send us your comments and we will try to use as many as possible in tonight’s show.

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