Helping You Help Yourself #7

Like books and learning more about books you like? Maybe you’ll like Librarything! You can search for new books or authors to check out by perusing tags like “fiction,” “southern gothic,” “glbt,” and a zillion more; it can recommend new books for you based on books you already like, and you can even sign up for raffles to get free copies of new books to review!

Here’s a 24-hour livestream of a bar built to scale for wild birds.

If you’re grilling or making burgers this summer and are sick of that thing where your cooked burger patties form a dome in the middle and become sort of spherical, you can indent the center of the patty slightly before cooking. This should compensate, and your burger will be flatter and easier to top!

Sometimes when the day reaches about 3 pm and I’m exhausted and sort of considering going back to bed, I put “Timber” on repeat. Are my neighbors fans of this plan? I don’t know! But it works.

Many people find cooking with cast iron pans ideal, because they’re effectively nonstick and the heavy metal heats thoroughly and evenly, helping your food cook well. And they’re probably not as hard to maintain as you thought! All you have to do is season them and be careful how you clean them; here’s how to season them, and here’s a guide to doing it without lard if you don’t want to use lard!

Do you like beer? How about cheese? Do you enjoy eating them together? Here’s how.

Most of us have at least one or two “dry clean only” pieces of clothing that we never wear because dry cleaning, really? Here’s a guide to figuring out how serious that dry clean guideline is, and whether you can actually wash them at home.

Here’s Heather on how to care for any stray cats in your area that you want to make sure are okay!

It’s mating season for the stray cats of the world, which means those lovely little rascals need your help more than ever. If you live in a big city with a large feral cat population (like New York, for example), that probably means that the pregnant cats you see on the street are too poorly socialized to make it as house cats. The best way you can love these buddies is by participating in spaying/neutering programs.

If you find a cat who has already had babies, you can make sure she has enough food and water, and after about five weeks, you can take the babies to a no-kill shelter, so they can be socialized and adopted. After eight weeks on the streets as a kitten, it’s nearly impossible to socialize/rescue a cat, so you have to be vigilant! Find out about taking care of an orphaned kitten here. And get some tips from the ASPCA about rescuing here. The ASPCA’s intake day for stray kittens is Tuesday.

Once the kittens are safe, you can participate in a Trap Neuter Return program with the mama cat and increase her lifespan, while cutting down drastically on the feral cat population! Check out the Humane Society’s interactive map to find out where and how you can participate in these programs.

Our street cats — Bobbi Jean, Bobbi One, and Bobbi Two — were all spayed/neutered this year through TNR and are back in their colony in Astoria, baby-free! (For more information about training and certification for NYC’s TNR program, check out the Feral Cat Initiative.)

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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. 100% endorse the dry clean at home link. The dry clean only tag is a lie 95% of the time. A lot of my work clothes are technically dry clean only and all of them go in the wash.

  2. ahh, the season of cat mating. my house cats are always drawn to the window this time of year because the ferals in our neighborhood become a lot more…uh… vocal.

  3. Bird bar makes me wish I was tiny enough that I could be a friend of the birds.

    Timber is such a gem. Mr. Worldwide always wakes me up.

  4. Thank you for introducing me to Listen on repeat, that will be great the next time I’m thinking, hey you know what would make my day better, to listen to this song at least 20 times today.

    On Dry Cleaning – EVERYTHING IS A LIE.

    Also, this is me also chiming in with Heather is great and why didn’t I talk to her more at A-Camp.

  5. I used to use librarything and really liked it, but it capped the number of books you could keep track of at a pretty low number (for a book nerd like me). I use goodreads now instead. I wonder if that is still the same? Anybody know?

    • It is still the same, but you can export your Librarything into Goodreads.

      And yeah, Amazon owns them and that’s pretty gross. I use it as Facebook for books and try to buy through my local problematic fave, The Strand, when I can.

  6. That burger advice is so RELEVANT because I have a burger making contest with friends on Wednesday night. Totally using this tip, thanks :D

  7. Yes! I love this series. I always feel more capable and cared for after reading these. Thank you!

  8. Because the admin of this website is working, noo doubt very quickly it will bee well-known, due to its quality contents.

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