Helping You Help Yourself #49

A service that mutes people on Twitter based on words you identify — and makes it temporary, so you don’t have to remember to manually unmute them later!

I’ve been trying my best to be diligent about doing stretches and exercises for my carpal tunnel lately, because it’s the worst when I neglect it for a few days and then suddenly have to type thousands of words and feel terrible; it’s too late to suddenly do a week’s worth of stretches then. I found this video really helpful! Does anyone else have stretches they recommend?

Great news for #sadgirls and others: according to Lifehacker, sciences says crying to your favorite sad songs is good for you.

I’ve recommended Digit on here before, and like it a lot, which is why I was sad to hear that they were going to start charging a monthly fee. It’s their right to, of course, and many other financial services charge regular fees of some type. But the whole reason I was using Digit was because I needed to set up a savings system that worked with very little money, and so having even less money to save some of isn’t a fit for me; the math says you’d need $3,600 in your Digit account for your savings return to break even on the fee, which I do not have. Lifehacker has some suggestions for people who want to leave Digit and move to something else for saving.

We’ve talked about how to ask for a pay raise at work before; The Financial Diet has a piece that rounds up perspectives on what to do when those conversations don’t go as you had hoped.

I got interested in crowdfunding scams after reading about the “Smarty Ring,” allegedly offering Apple Watch-like features in the form of a small finger ring — after an Indiegogo campaign that raised almost $300,000 before the organizers disappeared and never delivered the product. Although Kickstarter now requires that fundraisers show a working prototype in order to prevent things like this, Indiegogo and some other sites don’t. That said, some tips on identifying crowdfunding scams!

The best way to pack booze in your suitcase.

Last week we published a piece that talks to different mental health experts about the nitty-gritty of self-care and how it works in practice for sustainable wellness and health in queer communities. Seems relevant to your interests!

Big week for plant info! I’m personally riding on a plant high after figuring out that I’m pretty sure the reason my succulents kept dying was because I was watering them with tap water, which in our area is really “hard.” I switched to rainwater, which I was able to collect in some buckets in our backyard this particularly rainy week (the slope to being a homesteader gets more slippery each day!) and now they look much better. In that spirit, here are “houseplant watering secrets from regular people who keep their plants alive and happy,” a list of houseplants that can thrive even in really dark rooms,and in the realm of outdoor agriculture here’s a guide to making a DIY “earth box,” or a planter that self-waters from a reservoir of water you make in the bottom of the planter.

I’ve been really into bees and bee-related activities lately — raising bees, planting bee gardens, and this tutorial on how to build houses for mason bees! There are also websites where you can order mason bees — a species which are good pollinators but rarely sting — or maybe they’ll just move right in to the little house you built for them.

The judicious use of all-caps here is what really drew me in: how to photograph the MOON.

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. I need all the help I can get not killing my plants, so thank you Rachel for linking those tips!

    • If collecting rainwater is difficult in you area, you might be able to buy demineralized water. People use if for ironing. (Not the perfumed kind obviously) I’ve only used it for a insect eating plant, they are very sensitive this way.

  2. See, Friends! No need to worry about that mega sad list I left on private in spotify in case anyone thought I was being mega sad about my life! I WAS FINE THIS WHOLE TIME

  3. thanks for the wrist stretches video! as a person who has always been a big computer user, i kinda figured at some point injury might come via typing too much. instead, my thumb/wrist/forearm hurt all the time because of a combination of hurting my thumb on a ski trip and getting a part time job where i have to scoop ice cream? life is weird.

  4. Stretches…..for hands and everything else that hurts..Check out Katy Says website. Katy Bowman has a great approach to movement and exercise at including hands, sitting and how to move for health as opposed to exercises. It’s changed my life, reduced pains and helped shape me a better body image as well. There is five years of articles to read and some free vids.

  5. I once bought 20 bottles of gluten free beer for a friend I was visiting in Sweden. I followed the tips for alcohol packing, but it definitely looked like I was packing something else :D They all arrived intact!

  6. Went to Australia and on the way back lost a bottle of wine to a big mauri guy at the airport when they searched everyone’s luggage. My bottle was a gift and it was cheap. The couple behind me had a very very expensive bottle of wine. Boy did you know how much it cost. The woman ranted and the big guy said, we are taking this. And no matter who they were, they all relented and hung their heads in shame in losing such a great bottle of wine.

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