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Lately, you may have received an email claiming to be from the IRS, telling you that you have a refund coming. You are instructed to perhaps click on a link and provide all sorts of personal information, including your social security number. Some emails might imply that you could be in some sort of trouble if you don't comply.
These emails represent what are called "phishing" scams, in which con artists send out emails that appear to be from legitimate companies or organizations in order to get your personal information, especially your SSN. With this information, they can rob your identity, opening new lines of credit and sticking you with the bill. For more information about
Spook Country by William Gibson
Hollis Henry, the former lead singer of a rock group "The Curfew" is trying to reinvent herself as a journalist for a secretive technology-focused magazine called Node. She has been sent to find Bobby Chombo, an elusive global-positioning-system expert.
An Irish Country Doctor
By Patrick Taylor
A novel in the tradition of James Herriot, this charming book follows a young doctor's first months as a physician's assistant in rural Ireland. The story is filled with delightful scenes of country village life and the wit of the Irish. Highly recommended!
This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley
Write every day for at least 90 minutes. Don't edit yourself. Avoid distractions. Study poetry. Oh, and write every day. No matter what. These and other practical, straightforward tips about writing a novel in one year are included in this slim, yet informative, book (less than 25,000 words, according to the author) from the author of more than two dozen fiction and non-fiction books, including an historical mystery series starring detective Easy Rawlins.
Good Dog. Stay. by Anna Quindlen
Like a person, a dog that has held a special place in the lives of others will be remembered long after its natural life has ended. Good Dog. Stay. by Anna Quindlen is about one such dog. Beau, a black Labrador retriever that spent virtually all of his 15 years in the author's household, is lovingly and eloquently memorialized in this short book filled with black-and-white studio photographs of all kinds of irresistibly adorable dogs.
Refined orbital calculations brought good news for Martians, disappointment to scientists...
From the NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office -- January 9, 2008 -- Since our last update, we have received numerous tracking measurements of asteroid 2007 WD5 from four different observatories. These new data have led to a significant reduction in the position uncertainties during the asteroid's close approach to Mars on Jan. 30, 2008. As a result, the impact probability has dropped dramatically, to approximately 0.01 percent or 1 in 10,000 odds, effectively ruling out the possible collision with Mars. Our best estimate now is that 2007 WD5 will pass about 26,000 km from the planet's center (about 7 Mars radii from the surface) at around 12:00 UTC on Jan. 30th. With 99.7 PERCENT confidence, the pass should be no closer than 4000 km from the surface.
An Accidental American by Alex Carr Nicole Blake's life has never been simple from growing up during Lebanon's Civil War, having a con man for a father, and spending six years in a French prison. She retreats to a quiet life living in a farmhouse and working as a consultant until a CIA operative asks for her help in finding her ex-lover and now supposed terrorist. Nicole's past is painfully fleshed out against the backdrop of Lebanon's political history, the Gulf War, and 9/11. An intriguing, exciting, and eloquent read!
If you resolve to live a cleaner, leaner, and greener life in 2008, check out these books:
Help! Around the House: a mother's guide to getting the family to pitch in and clean up Don Aslett
As a mother, you may often feel as though you do all the housework. The author believes that it doesn't have to - and shouldn't - be that way. He explains why and how to enlist the help of children, how to assign cleaning tasks to children based on their age, how to help children succeed at household chores, and what to do when children ignore or partially complete their cleaning responsibilities. This book will show you that you don't have to go it alone when it comes to keeping your home clean.
You may have seen news headlines referring to an asteroid possibly to hit or "threatening" Mars. It is true that a space rock, about 164 feet across, could hit the Red Planet on January 30. The event isn't a certainty, however, and if it does happen Mars will survive relatively unscathed. At first the odds of an impact were said to be 1 in 75. Recent analysis of other observations has refined the asteroid's orbit and the odds are now at 1 in 25. Astronomers will continue to narrow the odds between now and the end of January and will know in advance and for certain whether Mars will take a hit.
If the asteroid were to hit Mars the result would be a large crater (perhaps half a mile in diameter) but the planet as a whole would be largely unaffected -- Mars is half the size of Earth but it's still much bigger than the house-sized asteroid (if you have a really big house). In fact many space scientists hope the collision takes place because it would provide insight into the makeup of Mars and the dynamics of such a large event. Several spacecraft are currently in orbit around Mars and could make unprecedented observations of the impact and/or its aftermath. The two still-functioning Mars rovers would also make observations. Only space-based and, perhaps, the largest of ground-based telescopes have any chance of seeing the collision, if it happens at all.
Better Mars than us: The energy released by a 164-foot asteroid hitting Earth would cause untold destruction if it impacted anywhere near a population center. In June of 1908 an object believed to be of about the same size as the one we are discussing exploded over Siberia with a yield equivalent to a 10- to 15-megaton nuclear device. The "Tunguska Event" felled an estimated 80 million trees over 830 square miles. Today's tracking of the Mars-bound rock reminds us that there are still dangers "out there" of which we need to be aware and with which we may one day need to cope.