Aimée Lutkin
Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

I’ll add: Do not feed them any grains that expand when they get wet. We found a bunch of ducklings one time whose mother died. We tried to raise them, and we were doing pretty well. But then somebody fed them dry oatmeal. They loved it. Then they drank a bunch of water and were all dead by morning.  Read more

I’m not a huge video game player by any means, but sometimes on my downtime I get sucked into playing Civ4 and next thing I know I’ve wasted like 4 hours! (Fellow Civ players can relate.) Read more

Some people want to know how they can be as polite and accommodating as possible, because that’s just the way they want to be. This article is pretty clearly for people who go out of their way to make other people’s lives a tiny bit easier. It’s useful if you want to know if you’re actually helping someone by taking a Read more

I guess if I’d thought about it I’d have realized that the drive-thru is always listening, but it never crossed my mind until last summer when I was stuck a few cars behind a large order or two. The car ahead of me had finished ordering at least a minute previously and was still waiting when the speaker suddenly said, Read more

Renters occupied my house before I purchased it about six years ago, and under no obligation to keep the new owner (me) happy, they left the place a mess.

While cleaning the kitchen, I found a small ziplock bag with a half-smoked joint in it in the crisper, and a note:

We live out in the country on a few acres. We never use fertilizers or pesticides, and I’ve planted bird and insect-friendly plants and put out bird feeders and nesting boxes. As a result, we have an unbelievable amount of birds. We have Flickers, Robins, Grackles, Bluebirds and other birds that feed off the bugs in Read more

While I think that the four suggestions given are good (in particular the Xerces Society does great work and I’m glad that they were linked) there is one fairly easy thing that consumers can do that wasn’t listed.

Read more

Donating consistently to shelters throughout the year does the most good, that way items are available to those that need them before the terrible weather strikes. To the list provided above, I would also add bus/transit tokens, many homeless have somewhere they can go but no way to get there. Additionally, get Read more

One on one, I carry emergency blankets and Little Hotties hand warmers in my purse. I stick $10 bills in the blankets. It’s not a lot, but it does help a bit. When it gets this cold, it’s more a shelter issue. Read more

What kills me is how the State will actively go out of its way to make life harder for you. I got a dumb speeding ticket for $400 so i show up court to see if there something I can do to have it reduced. First off the only people who show up to traffic court are the niave who think they’ll argue their way out of it Read more

I used to work for a Women’s Agency in Chicago. Our board was all women. And the women we served? 97% lived below the poverty level. We provided different services (including psychological counseling, housing, employment assistance, and emergency assistance). Anyway, one day we’re talking about the need for our board Read more

Have you tried a literal spruce?

Clean out your dryer vents, and check that they haven’t been extended. Lots of people will just run a longer hose to get their dryer wherever they want it and kink it wherever they need to. Do everything you can to have it as short with as few bends as possible. Read more

smoke/CO detector batteries (unless they are the ones with 10 year batteries). And check the dates on the bottom, while many jurisdictions require the detectors to be less than 10 years old, you’d like to know which are 9.5 years old as opposed to 0.5 years.
Check dryer outlet has been cleared out recently. Check that Read more

As someone who lives in the east side of Hollywood, I agree! I’m in a very walkable area, and walk anywhere I can (I consider anything 5 miles or less, one way, to be walking distance), but I still like to go out exploring elsewhere whenever I can, and there’s still a lot I’d like to see and haven’t yet. Read more

Yeesssss! A new Aimee article. You’ve been one of my favorite writers on this site, so I was sad when I stopped seeing stuff from you in early summer.   Read more

Great read, and I used to occasionally feel the same way. Your posts and articles on here and Lifehacker are always awesome and welcome. Read more

I recently (just two weeks ago) booked a huge trip to Alaska to see the northern lights for my birthday. Every time I tell someone about this trip, they ask “youre going alone???” Read more

This is great advice for habit building. Our brains have trouble conceiving of larger numbers/amounts; there’s a threshold that our brains reach when conceptualizing time where they just give up and lump it in with ‘forever’, which can easily make a new habit overwhelming, which is where new year’s resolutions usually Read more