Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Unicef Master Card Lottery Scam

 

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Ever get anything like this in the post? This one says I have won €1,415,810.00. Yeah, right!

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Unfortunately, I have never entered any such lottery and I didn’t even have to Google “Unicef Master Card Lottery scam” to know that there is no such thing as the Unicef Master Card Lottery, and if there was, I bet they could think of more charitable causes than me to give their money to, like, oh, I don’t know: I’ll take a wild guess and say maybe help feed starving children in poor countries?

Of course this letter was accompanied by a form to fill with my personal and banking details. I know you’ve been told this dozens of times but it doesn’t hurt to say it again: don’t get caught, never give personal information to anyone you don’t know.

By all means if you can afford it, donate to Unicef, they are a very worthy cause. I really wish low-life crooks didn’t use the names of reputable charities in vain; worse, much worse than blaspheming!


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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Save Money With Free Books Online

Some say chocolate is better than sex; well, in my opinion, reading a good book is better than chocolate (even though I have never had sex while reading a book and eating chocolate all at the same time).

This is a bit of a hypocrite post coming from someone like me who fantasizes everyday of making money from writing books, but for those who love reading but can't afford to buy books, here are a few simple (and really cheap) ways to indulge in my favourite hobby:

1- Libraries:
I'm not sure about other countries, but in Ireland a yearly subscription only costs €5.00 and adults can borrow up to 4 books every 3 weeks. Children can only borrow 3 books for a period of 3 weeks in my local library but it is free for them.

There is a wide variety of books available to borrow as even though my local library is quite small, it looks like they renew their stock quite often. I have read about half of John Grisham's thrillers, laughed at lots of chick-lit novels (not that I'm very proud of being entertained by Marian Keyes or Sophie Kinsella's writing but let's not be a snob, I can't help it if I like it!) and discovered the dark side of modern Ireland with Ken Bruen thanks to my local library.

As to my 8 year-old daughter who is a hard-to-please avid reader, she came home with 3 Horrid Henry books last Saturday that she couldn't put down (except for when she had to eat, sleep and go to school); 3 weeks before that she was enjoying one of Enid Blyton's Amelia Jane books.

2- Project Gutenberg:
If you like classics or want to re-read some of your childhood's books online for free, head to Project Gutenberg, a site that claims to have the largest library of free ebooks. This site contains only books that have their copyright expired so even though laws may be different elsewhere, it is legal for the majority of people in the Western World to download them on a computer or e-reader, and the books can also be read online on the website (no downloading involved).

Again there is a huge choice of authors here, from Jane Austen to Mark Twain. All of the listed authors are already dead, so if you feel guilty about not paying to read a book you can always donate to Project Gutenberg through Paypal. What's the point in buying books that are only going to make the editors richer since the authors can't benefit from the sale of their books anymore?

3- Free Online Books For Children:
When you've run out of bedtime stories, you might want to check out Children's Storybooks Online. Since the children's books on the previous site are a bit out of date and will seem boring to young children, the little ones will certainly enjoy these better.

4- Online Bookswapping:
Instead of letting dust gather on the books you own and don't want to read anymore, why not exchange them? If you have friends or relatives who like to read you can offer to do this offline and if not, register with a site such as Bookmooch.com or Bookswap.ie and start swapping.


Disclaimer: please check the laws of your country before downloading books or other content from the Internet. Registering with any of the websites featured in this article is at the user's own risks.


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