9 Niche Blogs to Brighten Your Winter


January takes forever to get through. The most unpleasant weather of the year comes in January and February, but at least February is short and full of holidays. If you’re having a little trouble keeping your spirits up, try some of these incredibly focused and sometimes bizarre blogs that will open a door to a new subject for you.

1. Hot People on Jeopardy!

I may be weird, but when I watch the game show Jeopardy! (which I do infrequently) I consider it a challenge to see how I stack up against the contestants -and occasionally as an opportunity to show off in front of my kids. But there are people who watch the show to admire the contestants for their looks. The blog Hot People on ‘Jeopardy!’ records the more attractive contests for sharing, discussion, and posterity. But no matter who the contestants are, or how hot they are, fans of the show and the blog reserve their greatest admiration for host Alex Trebek.

2. Star Trek Fact Check

Science fiction fans of all kinds love to compare their knowledge of trivia and history regarding their favorite universe, and having a story that few others know brings status among geeks. As these stories are passed around, they tend to grow and change, even if they were born of truth. The Star Trek universe is full of such stories, as it has been around for almost 50 years. The blog Star Trek Fact Check was born to unearth the truth behind the production of Star Trek: The Original Series. However, the other, later Star Trek TV series are often in consideration as well. In a recent post, the author conducts an epic deconstruction of a magazine issue devoted to Star Trek history. A sample:

Claim: It wasn't until the first episode of the second season, "The Trouble with Tribbles," that the [Klingon] race began to emerge as the perfect foil to Kirk and Co. (Page 76) Verdict: False. The Klingons, established in season one's "Errand of Mercy," first re-appeared in season two's "Friday's Child," the third episode produced for the second season and the eleventh to air. The Klingons actually make their third appearance on Star Trek in "The Trouble with Tribbles," which was the fifteenth episode aired during season two, and the thirteenth produced. As for the first episode of the second season, "Amok Time" was the first episode to be aired in season two, and "Catspaw" was the first produced.

Star Trek Fact Check goes where no man has gone before in the search for the truth. This blog could keep you busy for weeks.

3. NYC 1981

The blog NYC, 1981 focuses only on the city of New York, and only on the year 1981. There is no dearth of material- after all, the city’s newspapers were filled every day. The blog was set up to promote the movie A Most Violent Year. The fact that it’s a promotional blog doesn’t make it any less interesting, as the subject matter could well stand on its own.

New York City, 1981. It is a time that contributed massively to culture as we know it today, but a place where you would probably not want to raise your children. Pulsing with chaotic energy and apparent lawlessness, the city was in a fragile state with a total of 637,451 felonies committed in 12 short months. It was an era where the line between good and evil often seemed blurred, and an individual’s success was a testament to their persistence. But there were fissures of creativity and light in the city’s asphalt crust, and remarkable moments in cultural history happened on the regular.

It was the year that Fort Apache, The Bronx was filmed amid protests against the production, the city’s sanitation department went on strike in December, and hip-hop music was in its infancy. There’s also retro media, profiles of neighborhoods, and plenty of graffiti.

4. Cemetery Travel

The web is full of travel blogs, but how many focus on graveyards? Cemetery Travel: Adventures in Graveyards Around the World is your go-to site for destination cemeteries. Or maybe you already have a destination, and need to fill out your tourism schedule. Honestly, many cities have cemetery tours, because those places are part of their history, and one area that usually isn’t in danger of destruction or renovation. And many of them are breathtakingly beautiful. You could learn a lot from perusing this blog.

5. Profanity

Photograph by Flickr user Chris Hardie.

Vito Tartamella keeps an Italian blog called Parolacce. In English, that’s Profanity, and yes, it’s all about swearing and bad language. We are lucky it’s available in several languages (the translation button is to the right). You might want to wait until you are in the privacy of your home before reading it.

6. Abandoned CDs

Abandoned CDs is a British blog that is exactly what it says on the tin. Each entry is a photograph of a discarded CD, along with information on the date and place it was found, plus a little research on its contents. That’s all.

7. Drunk J. Crew

Have you ever noticed that the models in the J. Crew catalog look drunk? I haven’t either, as I don’t shop for clothing until I have no choice. But ethics professor Jen Ellison noticed, and with a few captions that you’ve heard before from drunk friends, created the blog Drunk J. Crew. The blog is fairly new, but I can see it lasting a while because there’s got to be a lot of raw material available. And it became a hit so fast that people started passing off Ellison’s work as their own. There’s plenty to laugh at in the single pictures, the photo essays, and even an occasional video

8. The Worst Cat

Here’s a single-subject blog that won’t tax your time. The Worst Cat has many pictures of this “wet cat,” which is yes, clearly a baby hippopotamus, but let’s not ruin the joke for the author.

This is the best cat if you like your cats to be really sweaty and footballshaped and disgusting

The testimonials at the bottom of the endless scroll get to the heart of the matter.

9. I Quant NY

If the first entry on New York City in this list appealed to a sense of nostalgia, the second one will appeal to mathematicians and graph geeks. I Quant NY is where statistics meets the Big Apple. There are many sources for the data that goes into this blog, resulting in posts about everything from the most-blocked driveways to how close the nearest Starbucks is to getting the best deal on a Metrocard.

See more niche blogs in our previous posts.