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Niche Blogs for Everyone!

If you find yourself yearning for a fresh dose of websites featuring something different and bizarre that you'd never think to look for yourself, you've come to the right place. That is, of course, after you've read everything new at mental_floss! Here's another round of blogs that focus on one very specific subject and still manage to update on a regular basis.

ANIMALS

Owls are nocturnal predators, so if you catch a chance to photograph one in the daylight, they are probably sleepy. You can imagine they aren't too happy about being disturbed for a picture. Hungover Owls pegs that look and features owl pictures that remind you of that great party you attended but took days to recover from.

NOSTALGIA

Relive old memories or learn about what life was life before you were born with nostalgic blogs like Vanished Americana. You can participate yourself by contributing pictures to When I Had Braces and show off your family at My Parents Were Awesome. Hippy Kitchens (pictured) brings back memories of preparing food with your counterculture friends in the 1960s and '70s.

COMICS

There are a multitude of blogs dedicated to comics and comic books, so some specialize in just one comic, or just one facet of the comic universe. Comic Book Cartography concerns itself with the maps, charts, and graphs found in the comic book world. Ever-lovin' Blue-eyed Whirled of Kelly is a blog devoted to the genius of Walt Kelly, creator of Pogo. Although Pogo is history, the possum and his friends worked on so many levels that there is no dearth of material to discuss.

Some also find entertainment in putting words into pictures, especially when no picture is intended. CAPTCHArt tried to make sense, in a way, out of the tests we often go through to prove we aren't 'bots, by illustrating their nonsense (some images NSFW). And don't forget Twaggies, the project in which artists illustrate interesting Tweets from all over.

POP CULTURE

Television and movies are shared experiences we can all relate to. Take a small part of that experience, expand on it, invite other fans to contribute, and you've got a niche blog. For example, Nic Cage As Everyone is a short leap from his actual career, as Nicholas Cage has appeared as different characters in a bazillion movies. Entries are submitted by anyone with Photoshop abilities. Third and Delaware features fashion highlights from the TV series Roseanne. The show won't die, but it is forever stuck in the 1980s and '90s. The Simpsons fans know that Bart must often write something 100 times as punishment. If you have a favorite, you'll find it on An Archive of Bart Simpson's Blackboard Writings. Sleevefaced makes comedy from art, that is, the art of the album cover combined with poses from real life. Just put an album over your face and you can become that art!

Science fiction has a number of niche blogs as well. Number One contains nothing but pictures of Commander Riker, a character from the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation. Recently, that includes pictures created by artists as well as screenshots. Pictured is a contribution by Simon Fey of the webcomic Muddled. There's also Hot Chicks with Storm Troopers, if you are into that sort of thing.

FOOD

It stands to reason that there are plenty more blogs on specific foods than those we covered in a previous post devoted to the subject. I recommend We Heart Mac and Cheese, (pictured) for cultural references, reviews, and recipes pertaining to one particular dish. Bad Menu is a picture blog of signs, ads, and recipes that may make you lose your appetite. The Taxi Gourmet is a project in which Layne Mosler gets into a taxi once a week and asks the driver to take her to his favorite eatery. She then writes up the experience so you'll know what to expect. Seems like a good idea to me. I always ask the hotel cleaning staff where to get decent food without spending tourist dollars.

STRUCTURES

Architecture is a big subject, but Stair Porn gets right to what you really want to see -stairs! New England Lighthouse Treasures is not limited to New England, but you have to admit that news about lighthouses is a pretty specific subject. Playgroundology (pictured) is quite a specific subject, but it's one we all know a little something about. Playgrounds have come a long way since I was a kid.

EVERYDAY GRAFFITI

Graffiti stays in one place by definition, but several bloggers believe it should be shared globally. There are blogs dedicated to street art, and other blogs dedicated to text scribbled on the spur of the moment, like Bathroom Bar Art, (pictured) featuring graffiti from pubs, taverns, and dives. Notes from the Stall documents bathroom graffiti from all over and solicits your submissions as well. Crescat Graffiti, Vita Excolatur is a project documenting graffiti at the Regenstein Library, which is the main library at the University of Chicago. This particular forum challenges graffiti writers to leave their cleverest musings. The blog attached to the project includes graffiti from other colleges and universities. Please be aware that the graffiti at these sites is often NSFW.

PEOPLE

Matthew Inman created the picture blog Marvelous Man Boobs only to even up the sex discrimination he was accused of after starting the blog Women with Mustaches. Both are exactly what the title says. Clients From Hell is where designers share their stories of difficult clients. Not many pictures here, as discretion remains the better part of staying employed. Not all blogs about people are so anonymous. Old Grandma Hardcore is a blog about the author's grandmother (pictured), who spends her time playing video games and defeating anyone who challenges her.

DISHES

And finally, Weekly Mug Shot brings you a picture of a different mug every week. A coffee mug, that is.

See also: A Sampling of Niche Blogs, Niche Blogs: Found Photos Edition, Niche Blogs: Focused on Food, and Niche Blogs: The English Language.

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CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
India Now Has a Private Ambulance Service Just for Cows
CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images
CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images

In India, where the majority of residents are Hindu, the cow is sacred. Just how sacred? So sacred that one state recently launched a private ambulance service for injured cattle.

According to The Guardian, the ambulance service in Uttar Pradesh was launched by Keshav Prasad, the state’s deputy chief minister. While it has the support of the government, it’s not a state-funded enterprise. It’s paid for by an NGO called the Gau Vansh Raksha trust, which operates several gaushalas, or animal shelters specifically aimed at housing old and unwanted cows to protect them from slaughter. (The Indian government also runs its own gaushalas, paying for the cows’ upkeep through state funds.)

The trust launched five ambulances in May 2017, and received hundreds of calls within the first week of operation. The ambulances are equipped with sirens and basic surgery supplies and are run by volunteers.

Though India has a secular government, more than a dozen Indian states have banned the slaughter of cattle out of deference to the Hindu majority. The laws are controversial for the country's beef-eating Christian and Muslim populations (who also make up the bulk of the country's large cattle-export industry), however. The same month the service launched, the Indian government instituted a full ban on selling cows for slaughter. The ban is currently on hold while India’s Supreme Court rules on whether or not it is constitutional.

[h/t The Guardian]

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Hieronymus Bosch / Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes
6 Niche Blogs You Should Read
Hieronymus Bosch / Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes
Hieronymus Bosch / Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes

We know you have a few blogs you go to every day for general information, news, and entertainment, and we’re glad that mental_floss is one of them. But every once in a while, you want to branch out to something new and different, something really crazy and good for a laugh. These single-subject blogs with a very narrow focus just might be what you’re looking for.

1. DEPRESSING FRIDGE POEMS

Rusty Epstein has a set of refrigerator word magnets, and he’s not afraid to use them. His word combinations are not the cheery, uplifting phrases your mom puts up for everyone to see; they are Depressing Fridge Poems. They are so sad, they will most likely make you laugh, at least a little. Then you’ll feel bad about laughing.

2. THE SETUP WIZARD

Here’s a blog that tech workers and Harry Potter fans alike will enjoy. The Setup Wizard puts those workers in the world of Harry Potter by giving us a first-person account of a Muggle IT guy named Jonathan Dart who works at Hogwarts. "It took them until 2016," he writes, "but both students and staff alike have finally caved and demanded that their cell phones work on school grounds, and with that request they had to find a 'muggle' (a term I’m quickly learning to detest) to install wifi and maintain any technology that functions on school grounds." He rolls his eyes at the students and professors who think a little magic will make everything all right, when the magic actually tends to make things worse. You can read the saga so far in chronological order, and then keep up with new entries in blog order.

3. EATS LIKE A DUCK

There’s been a lot of food featured on The Simpsons in its more than two decades on the air. Eats Like a Duck features those foods one at a time, with references to the episode a particular food appeared in and recipes that will allow a reader to make it. For example, in the episode “Homerpalooza” (season 7), Homer tries to sneak homemade Kahlua into a concert. (It's not the best idea—as the blogger behind Eats Like a Duck notes, "The stifling heat of an outdoor concert just doesn’t really pair well with the sweet coffee flavor of Kahlua, homemade or store bought.") Other recipes on the site include Bart’s Grilled Twizzlers, A Cool Glass of Turnip Juice, Blandoori, Clove Tom Collins Pie, and, of course, The Flaming Homer.

4. BOWIEBRANCHIA

Nudibranchs are ocean mollusks that come in a huge variety of shapes and colors. David Bowie was a music and art icon who, over the course of his career, flaunted a lot of colorful and creative looks. The Tumblr blog Bowiebranchia matches Bowie’s looks with a nudibranch.

5. HIERONYMUS BOSCH WORK MEMES

Do you ever feel that being at work is like one of the gory, torturous details in a Hieronymus Bosch painting? You know, like The Garden of Earthly Delights? The blog Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes knows that feeling, and will come up with an image macro that puts those feelings into words. (Note: Some images may be NSFW.) You’ll find an archive of older posts at the blog’s previous address.

6. HRH MARVIN, #THEROYALHAMSTER

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, have a hamster named Marvin. That inspired Christine Frazier to imagine Marvin leading the wonderful life of a royal hamster. She posts her illustrations at her new blog called HRH Marvin, #TheRoyalHamster. It contains pictures of the royal family in the news, and then Frazier's drawings of Marvin living out that image with a little narration, often wearing the same fashions as in the news image. Above, you see Marvin playing polo in the style of the Princes William and Harry, although you will more often see him in Kate Middleton’s newsworthy fashions.

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