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Niche Blogs: Emergency Occupations

The occasional niche blog list we have for you is usually full of entertainments and distractions. This list is a little different. All kinds of folks start personal blogs, as online journals of their everyday experiences, which for many include their professions. It's a way to vent, to educate others, and to share stories that need to be told. And we can learn a lot by reading the diaries of people we depend on, but who we might never get to know personally. I find all these blogs fascinating, but don't expect a lot of photographs because these professionals will not compromise the privacy of those they serve.

1. 911 This Better Be Good

An anonymous emergency dispatcher writes about the strange calls she gets at her job in the blog 911 This Better Be Good. Some calls are funny, some are baffling, and many of them make you weep for the future of mankind. What's really impressive is that she never, ever seems to be short on material to write about.

Note to all those who enjoy using real handcuffs: Don't lose the keys and be forced to go to the police station. Especially if you or your partner aren't able to get fully dressed again. We will all be laughing for the rest of our shift.

2. Trauma Queen

The response from 911 is to send the appropriate service, usually police, firefighters, or paramedics. Kal is a paramedic in Edinburgh, Scotland, who writes about his experiences on the blog Trauma Queen. He says he "practices a little emergency medicine, though most of the time he’s a glorified cabbie." Kal writes about topics other than his job, but the many stories about his work are fascinating, from the sick people who will touch your heart to the regulars who make you sad to the occasional nail-biting life-or-death trauma story.

3. ZDoggMD

ZDoggMD is a blog maintained by Dr. ZDogg and Dr. Harry, physicians and comedians who bring you medical advice that you can laugh at, or entertainment that might save your life. Whichever way you prefer to look at it, you'll find something to enjoy. My personal favorite of their many videos is this Michael Jackson parody song to remind men to check their testicles for lumps.

4. The Angry Pharmacist

What is The Angry Pharmacist so angry about? Drug addicts, difficult doctors, entitled customers, endless red tape, insurance companies, impatient patients, clueless clients, and assorted evils that accompany the pharmacy business that you may never have known about. After reading his cathartic rants, you'll be more aware of how much self-control your pharmacist shows on the job.

5. Motorcop

The blog Motorcop has the tagline "If you got stopped... You deserved it." The author is a police officer who patrols on a motorcycle in California, but that's all the identifying information you'll get. Motorcop has stories of traffic enforcement, but also posts on other police work, tips on staying legal and dealing with police, fictional stories, and some personal posts. There are even some entertainment posts and collaborations with the paramedic blogger The Happy Medic.

6. Midwife with a Knife

Midwife with a Knife is written by a perinatologist, which is "An obstetrical subspecialist concerned with the care of the mother and fetus at higher-than-normal risk for complications." Right there you know she has some stories to tell. In addition to obstetrical stories, she tackles other medical subjects and her personal life. Yes, you'll also see more pictures of her young dog, Zoe.

7. Fosterhood in NYC

Foster parents step in for the neediest of all- children whose parents cannot provide the care and love they require. People step up and take in nieces, nephews, and grandchildren, but there are children who don't have any relatives they can turn to. Fosterhood in NYC is written by a woman who took in three children over time through New York's social services department. Fostering is way more than parenting, because in addition to normal childhood stuff, you have to deal with the damage a foster child has already sustained, parents who maintain contact (however troublesome), and the government bureaucracy that makes this kind of service so difficult. For example, this post on the simple act of getting clothing for the child will leave you shaking your head. And then there is the heartbreak of eventually saying goodbye to a child you love. Start here to follow the stories of individual children.

8. Emergiblog

Emergiblog is about the life of an emergency room nurse. Kim McAllister has been a nurse for 33 years, twenty of those in emergency. In addition to stories from the ER, she writes about the changing field of nursing, the politics of the profession, and medical stories from all over.

9. Midwife for the End of Life

There are some professions that most of us would be too squeamish to ever consider taking up, but when the need arises, we are glad someone did. Midwife for the End of Life is written by Melaina, a hospice nurse. She tackles the big subjects of end-of-life care, the physical process of death, dealing with death, dignity for the dying, medical ethics, insurance, funerals, mourning, and stories of people she has cared for. These are subjects we may want to avoid, but we will all confront sooner or later.

Most of these blogs have links to others in the same profession who also keep blogs. With a little looking, you may find someone you'll want to follow on a regular basis.

See more lists of strange and interesting niche blogs.

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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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