While you come to mental_floss every day for a variety of posts about history, science, and pop culture, there’s nothing wrong with branching out a bit. The Internet is full of sites like the ones below that cater to narrower interests.
1. CAT COSPLAY OF THE FELINE VARIETY
The three main cat models of Cat Cosplay are paragons of patience. Blogger Meowshawn Lynch and partners are “trained purrfessionals” who have been costuming cats for Renaissance fairs for years. Spock is above; you can find a collage of costumes from their end-of-the-year tournament here; make sure to check the archives for your favorite fandoms.
2. METAL ALBUMS WITH GOOGLY EYES
Metal Albums with Googly Eyes is a straightforward title that delivers exactly that. You’ll be convinced that all metal albums are improved with the addition of googly eyes.
FieldWorkFail is an illustrated blog that grew out of the #FieldWorkFail Twitter hashtag. It’s where you’ll find the best stories from scientists about that time their research went south in the most embarrassing way possible. There’s always more to the story, so some of the posts by French illustrator Jim Jourdane have mini-interviews with the scientist. There are tales of exploding blood samples, stumbling upon a drug lab in the jungle, and swallowing fossils, and those are just on the first page. The picture above is based on a story tweeted by Dr. Marissa Parrott.
4. LOVE BOAT INSANITY
At Love Boat Insanity, celebrities (and even fictional characters) who never guest-starred on The Love Boat get their chance in these Photoshopped images. It’s like a Fantasy Island for Love Boat fans! There are over 850 so far. Too bad there aren’t plots to go with the pictures.
5. THE JOY OF FIELD RATIONS
French soldiers carrying soup and bread in 1915 // Public domain
The Joy of Field Rations tackles “the history and logistics of food in wartime, particularly in the 20th century.” And it does that in minute detail. Want to make the same bread that French troops carried with them in World War I? You'll find that recipe, plus one for Soviet porridge from World War II, and learn how the British cooked rice inside a piece of bamboo. History and military buffs will love it. It’s not updated often, but what is there is really interesting.
6. THE LAST MESSAGE RECEIVED
The Last Message Received is a profoundly sad Tumblr dedicated to preserving the last message from those who dropped out of another person’s life. There are messages from relationships that ended badly and from people who died, many with stories from the recipient attached. Read at your own risk.
7. RETRO VINTAGE MODERN HIFI
According to the blog Retro Vintage Modern HiFi, sound systems from the 20th century were pretty awesome. Immerse yourself in the world of vacuum tubes, monster speakers, music, and vintage advertising. Contains some nudity past the front page.
8. NOVICE ART BLOGGER
Artificial intelligence may someday annihilate humanity, but, so far, it doesn’t know much about art—at least, that's what we can assume from Novice Art Blogger, a chronicle of attempts by an artificial intelligence program to analyze abstract art. The example above of the work The Corridor by Maria Helena Vieira da Silva from 1950 is accompanied by the program’s critique:
A peacock is standing on top of a wall or a stone wall is lined up in the wild. That reminds me of a large statue of a bird perched on top of a mountain.
The project appears to have ended in 2015. The blog was curated by Matthew Plummer-Fernandez of the University of Toronto's Deep Learning Group.
9. YODER'S COMICS TUMBLR
Comic artist David Yoder has a big project for 2016: He's watching a movie every day, and then reviewing each of them in a 6-panel comic. That’s 366 movies this year (a leap year!), and 366 comics (accompanied by the trailer, if available). Some movies will be new, and some will be old; they'll range from blockbusters to documentaries to kids’ films. You can follow along at Yoder's Comics Tumblr (there won’t be much time for him to create other comics, so for 2016, this will be a niche blog). Electric Boogaloo is shown above.
10. ANIME RECIPES
Watching anime can make you hungry, as the characters often eat right in front of you. Anime Recipes helps you recreate the food in anime for yourself, often with illustrations both from the animation and from the finished recipe. Pictured above are Chocolate Cornets, chocolate-filled pastry shells from the show Lucky Star. The recipe isn't simple, but they do look delicious!
See more niche blogs in our previous posts.