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Strangely Specific: A Roundup of Niche Blogs

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When you want to read about a wide variety of interesting topics, you come here to mental_floss. If you have the time, you might also be interested in seeing some highly-specific blogs that may amuse you for a while. You just might find one with a topic that speaks to your heart and you'll want to follow!

The blog Women Running from Houses is subtitled "judging books by their covers".  Not having read many Gothic romance novels, I had no idea that a woman running away from a house was such a common theme for a book cover! Spectergirl collects such novels, and while admitting that she hasn't read them all (and probably never will), she is a fan of vintage cover illustration. She also has another very specific yet interesting blog called Gay for Lois Lane.

When you see a character in a movie have a flashback to their childhood, you check out how much the child actor looks like the adult actor, don't you? You can do that as much as you want with the blog Kidcasting. It contains pictures of movie characters as both children and adults for your personal comparison. Pictured is Dr. Spencer Reid from the TV show Criminal Minds in both adult and child versions.

Mallory's Clothes documents the styles worn by the '80s fashionista character Mallory Keaton on the TV show Family Ties. Third and Delaware does the same for the less-than-fashionista characters of Roseanne.

The Hair Hall of Fame is a blog that pays tribute to bygone but unforgettable hairstyles -and some modern styles, too!

The tagline for Craftastrophe reads "because handmade isn't always pretty". Now, I've made my share of crafts that went horribly wrong, but I knew better than to post pictures. Many of the entries here seem to be deliberately provocative in the "artsy" sense.

You might think Caught Dead in That would be a fashion blog, but no. This blog documents funny, ugly, or just plain embarrassing tombstones.

Zoo Fashion exists at the intersection of clothing and animals -mostly animal costumes, which includes fashion photo shoots with animals, dressed up pets, and furries. Some images are NSFW.

The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee is a blog by a family who fosters baby kittens for the Humane Society. Contains lots of pictures that may turn you to jelly.

There are lots of cats that blog, or cat lovers who blog as their cats. If you prefer blogging bunnies, check out The Life and Times of Bunnies, by Betsy and Gus. They've even got a streaming "Bunny Cam"!

Things Organized Neatly is a picture blog to will satisfy your inner mom and an oasis for those suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Too bad these PEZ dispenser are not arranged by color. Frosty Insides gives you a glimpse inside other people's refrigerators, which can be reassuring or horrifying. On My Desk features mostly nice, well-organized desks ready to have their pictures made.

Geeky Tattoos features submitted photographs of geek culture tattoos from science fiction, video games, and programming language.

Insanewiches is about nothing but sandwiches, but not just any sandwiches! These are all crazy, meaning over-the-top, outside of our comfort zones, or just plain weird. The sandwich shown has barbecued ribs, hamburger patties, and bacon (of course).

My Jello Americans is a blog dedicated to the art of the Jello shot. And I do mean art, as these shots can look like anything from an ear of corn to fossil insects encased in amber!

The user-submitted slips of paper on Fortune Cookie Fail Blog don't seem like failures as much as attempts at comedy. Some pull it off nicely while others earn a spot here by just being lame. No one is sure whether the comedy in this one is intentional.

You had to wonder how long Men With Meat Names could continue to find fresh content. The answer is three months, after which the blog became less of a "blog" and more of a "museum".

Edible Geography is just what i says on the label. Well, no, not a blog about eating maps, but a combination food and geography blog, with articles about consumables all over the world.

Artificial Owl documents "the most fascinating abandoned man-made creations." The world is full of abandoned places we would never get to see without blogs like this.

Despite the name, Byzantine Blog is not hard to navigate -it's really about Byzantium. And it is updated quite often. History buffs will love it.

Among the hundreds, nay, thousands of music blogs, here is one that focuses on blues songs of the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. Prewar Blues just might suck up all your time if you like that sort of thing.

I can't even begin to post all the one-subject user-submitted picture blogs. I find myself skipping over many with content that is mainly posed or Photoshopped. Kim Jong Il Looking at Things is different, in that these are all photographs released by the North Korean authorities as news. Dear Leader is constantly posing while inspecting this or that, and the volume of such pictures gives the site a comical but eerie edge.

Blogs about blogs include link blogs. Link blogging is what I do for a living, but some blogs that link blogs can get oddly specific. Sorry I Haven't Posted is composed completely of reposted blog posts from everywhere that start off with an apology for sparse posting.

See also: A Sampling of Niche Blogs
Niche Blogs: Found Photos Edition
Niche Blogs: Focused on Food
Niche Blogs: The English Language
Niche Blogs for Everyone!

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