Star Trek. Seeing those words flash across a backdrop of stars used to light up my face. I loved watching Star Trek, the original version on the CBC. The tapes were out of whack, the colour was usually off, but I was in nerd heaven.

I was just kid watching those shows on Sunday morning, I was outcast loner, an unappreciated young man that was looking for escape out in the stars. There were very few male role models I could relate to, but one of them was Mr. Spock. I wanted to join his culture of Vulcan logic.

Except I added a cult-type twist, I called it Logica. I would have everyone dress like we were going through a Kolinahr ritual, which meant the total purging of one’s emotions. Meaning anyone who joined the group had to wear a white bathrobe. Think of it as comparable with mainstream eastern religious philosophies:closely resembling the loss of self but subject to a methodically applied logic to all situations.

Star Trek, when you think about it, is a religion. Set in a perfect society, virtuous and good, with a social order based on equality where all the nations of the world come together and eventually establish the Federation.

After seeing every subsequent show since The Next Generation, I turned to reading stuff about Star Trek online, but lately, I realize, I’ve become a bit bitter as a Star Trek fan; I feel that while Paramount has been way too focused on catering to mass audiences in an attempt to make more money than even the Grand Nagus. I’m also still a little ticked off that JJ Abrams destroyed Vulcan without my consent. Dude, that was my homeland!


And now Abrams, the man who has been entrusted with the franchise, turns his back on us Vulcans and Earth and even the Klingons! He’s going to make …dare I write it.. a Star Wars movie and he’s going to do it in a galaxy, far, far away!

But seriously Abrams, if you’re going to do Star Wars, don’t come crawling back here to Star Trek apologizing with Wookie fur all over your clothing. Everyone knows that Star Wars fans and Star Trek fans don’t mix, but since he is a catch all director, let’s just get over with and call the next movie Trek Wars (written by William Shatner). We all get it, you want the franchises to meet, in a  epic movie that will vaporize the summer movie competition.Trek Computer

I divert. Anyways, to celebrate the release of the latest movie, which by the way (Spoiler Alert!) if you haven’t seen, I plan to spoil it for you and all of its seceding prequels, I’m going to check out the word Star Trek in this here boxy search engine.  Ahem…Computer, analyze data keyword Star Trek…Star Trek - DS9 - 4x06 - Rejoined

 Wired/The Lost LGBT Crewman

One of the big questions surrounding the new Star Trek movie was whether or not it would have an LGBT crewman?  Will it or will it not happen? It’s not like it hasn’t happened on other sci-fi shows?

Well I don’t think I spotted anyone who was particularly gay on the enterprise, except I knew that Zachery Quinto (Spock) is gay, but his character digs, oddly enough, Uhura for some reason. During the new movie it seemed most of the crew members were too busy running in panic somewhere on the ship or falling out into deep space to focus on their sexuality. And I do recall thinking that one of the crew members looked like a man wearing a dress, but I’m not quite certain.

An LGBT crewman was suppose to be in Star Trek: Into Darkness…but where? Even shows like Battlestar Galactica have had LGBT characters, like Geata.

It strange that Star Trek, which claims to be on the cutting edge of progressive values, has not had one gay character on the Enterprise, while it has, specifically on TNG, had many episodes dedicated to issues of sexuality and gender. It’s not like there are that many religious people who watch the show and may be offended. And how could there be, after the time Deanna Troi dealt a blow to evangelicals when she immaculately conceived a star child?

Well, this wired post has really opened my eyes.

Star Trek on Etsy

Get your Federation Emblem pasties ready! If you don’t have any, they’re on sale. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting excited by the thought of a yeomen burlesque troupe somewhere in our galaxy. Star Trek fanatics will usually treat memorabilia as relics, but new and innovative ways people are using SCI FI lore in their products is fascinating.


The Trek Collective

What’s the difference between a shuttle on a constellation class starship and one on a Galaxy class starship? Find out through blueprints available for all the ships. You can also get quite a few models through the Trek Collective site.

The Problem with Khan and Star Trek/Feministe

Whatever happened to Spanish/Mexican Khan is a good question. We all know that Benedict Cumberbatch is Khan Noonien Singh…but are there any Mexican-type male actors that could have been just as good for the character that was originally played by mexican actor Ricardo Montalbán and supposed to be from India? The strange casting on this one will be debated, but I think that the Into Darkness blog on gave a really superb explanation.

This post brings up a fascinating points about how Star Trek inserts persons of different nationalities in roles, like John Cho as Sulu. It also goes onto a critique on the dominance of white male captains in Star Trek and poses a real challenge to the standard ways of thinking about Star Trek as a liberal TV show.


Star Trek Fan Fiction

Star Trek Fan Fiction is a forum where zealots can freely exchange fictional writing. I think it will not only make you an excellent Star Trek writer but might, in turn, expose your outlandish Star Trek writing to the world. And I have so say, there is a a lot, and I mean a lot of freaky nerd fiction here.

And  just a note: it wasn’t always like this. When the internet started picking up steam, Paramount use to actually threaten fan sites with class action lawsuits, oh how far we’ve come.


Star Trek Fan Made Episodes

There are countless episodes of fan-made Star Trek out there. Star Trek Fan Film News will keep you up to date on all the new episodes you can find on YouTube and elsewhere on the web that will fulfill your Star Trek fix.

I had the clown nightmare again. This time I was marching towards a shinny carousel surrounded by darkness. Some unknown magnetic force was pulling me towards the musical octagon, so I couldn’t get away, my feet were locked, moving forward.

I stepped up the carousel step, a very large awkward step, and sat down in the cold seat of a chariot. Then suddenly, for no reason, the carousel sped up. I tried holding on to the pole in front of me but my hand kept slipping off the side.

Then a clown with a red curly fro and a polka dot white baggy suit jumped out of one of the empty chariots in front me. I recognized the clown from another dream, but I couldn’t remember what dream. He moved towards me with ease even though I was having increasing difficulty standing. He gave me a big smile and that was when I noticed that he looked a lot like John Wayne Gacy as played by Brian Dennehy but with a twisted Pennywise smile.


Suddenly I had to make a choice: either fall into the pit of darkness or fight this clown who was now taking swipes at me with his shiny knife…That’s when I woke up, covered in the cold sweat of terror.

Since childhood, I have harboured a deep rooted fear of clowns, so I had trouble falling back asleep. I got up, drank an entire carton of milk, then ate a pickle. Afterwards I couldn’t stop thinking about the dream so I Googled“Clown Nightmare”and here were my results:

Coulrophobia- Wikipedia

The prefix “coulro-” may be a neologism derived from the Ancient Greek word κωλοβαθριστής meaning “stilt-walker.”[nb 1] Although the concept of a clown as a figure of fun was unknown in classical Greek culture,[4] stiltwalking was practiced. Honestly. Never trust a man on stilts. If he can’t look you in the eye then he’s got to have something to hide.

It’s true that Wikipedia was kind of a cop out, though it has taught me so much about random crap at two in the morning (where else can you learn about the bombing of Dresden while snacking on potato chips?). It even taught me this really cool new psychological nomenclature: “Coulrophobia.”

Neat, huh? And who knows how long humans dreamed about evil clowns; perhaps medieval children’s nightmares were full of evil killer jesters. Maybe even earlier. The ancient Babylonians had diabolic trickster demon-gods that resembled clowns…think about it.

clown workshop

Clown Blog|

Going to the circus as a child may cause latent detrimental effects in adults: some people now walk the earth dreadfully afraid of clowns. But before we give into our fears, we ought to ask ourselves: What is it like to fill a clown’s shoes?

I think Jon Davison’s site Clown Blog helped me understand the motivations and reasons behind the attraction to this profession. There must have been a few good motivations. After all, only a small percentage of  clowns and mimes are really evil.

Analyzing your dreams or nightmares|Dream Bible

No longer convinced that all clowns are out to get me, I started peering at the next site dedicated to the psychology behind clown dreams. The Dream Bible seems to focus on an interpretation of personal embarrassment. Since embarrassment is something we choose to hide it oftentimes come through in our dream state, in the form of clowns.

For instance, did you know that clown sexually assaulting you means that you fear the lack of control you have when embarrassed? The more you know!


Murderous Clown Nightmare That Feels Sooo Real | Clowns Dream Interpretations|Experience Project

Just like my own sharing of  a clown nightmare earlier, there are many sites dedicated to the sharing of personal experiences. It’s often nice to reach out to people and find someone who shares you fear, or your nightmare; whether it be fear of alien abduction, herpes-type rash or a shared fear of mimes and carnival acts.

People need to know they are not alone. The Experience Project is a pretty good social network for dream analysis.


Killer Clown|Tumblr/The 9 Most Frightening Clowns On Film

You know what’s a really bad idea? Looking up all these ridiculously scary clown gifs an hour after a clown nightmare.

With my plans to got bed over I decided that the best way to get over my fears was to watch a movie about them. So after reading  the  9 most frightening clowns in movies  I tried watching Carnieville, which turned out to be a very good idea.

Turns out I  have no problem falling asleep while killer clown movies play in the background . In fact I was knocked out cold…

Lately they’re everywhere! From the moans coming off the T.V. show playing in your living room to flash mobs of the undead crawling down the streets of your city to the insatiable hordes tearing each other to pieces outside the plate glass windows of Walmart on Black Friday, Zombies are definitely invading.

Just a few months ago the Canadian parliament discussed the possibility of an imminent zombie epidemic. Pat Martin of the NDP stood on the floor of the house of commons and asked why emergency groups in Quebec were staging exercises. “I would like to salute today the CDC and the government of Quebec and the Center for Disease control [for] putting in place  measures to deal with the possibility of an invasion of zombies. I don’t need to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that a zombie invasion could easily turn into a  a continent wide pandemic,” he said. To which the foreign affairs minister replied “Canada will never become a safe have for zombies ever!”

I mean c’mon, zombies aren’t real…Right? Okay, so they found a fungus out there that is known to take over and eventually kill ants by sending spikes through their bodies. But that doesn’t mean anything. Right?


Nonetheless, I figure if I want to learn how to protect myself against Zombies in an apocalyptic situation then knowing how to escape a horde invading my apartment is really pertinent information. I’ll just type “zombie” here in the Google search bar and see what I come up with:

The Zed Word Blog

Not my personal favorite Zombie blog but for some reason it comes up on the first page for any walking dead search…so in terms of having excellent search engine optimization, they’ve obviously got it going on. They put a humorous twist on a terrifying subject and exploit the paranoia of living in constant fear of an impeding Zombie apocalypse.

The national geographic/ Zombie Fungus

Disaster or Blackout Emergency SuppliesRemember those ants I told you about about earlier? Well, here is a fascinating post from National Geographic that will turn your opinion of mother nature from nurturer to some kind of sick mad scientist.

Center for Disease Control/Zombie Outbreak

How do you get people’s attention about a topic they don’t really care about? You tell them to imagine they’re trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. The Center for Disease Control did just that. It turns out that preparing for a zombie apocalypse is similar to protecting yourself in an state of emergency.

Have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp.

Cracked/6 Sensible Things you Should Never Do in a Zombie Outbreak

Cracked shows that being sensible and logical might not be the correct thing to do during a zombie apocalypse. Sometimes being too nice might mean your downfall. the coming apocalypse, after all, is where the mad men reign.

Blog of the Dead

Prepared to be tested on your zombie knowledge. Blog of the dead is a fascinating little site that will train your mind to mentally prepare for the day of the returning dead.

What sets blog of the dead apart from other blog sites is the necessities poll; it’s really interesting reading what other people think is the most necessary thing for survival.

This blog also delves into the philosophical issues that zombie culture has in society. I also found this funny dinosaur comic that explains it all:



Zombie Research Society

Sometimes, you have really important issues on your mind. Like whether a hatchet is better than a blow torch when having to confront zombies on a daily basis. Knowing how to use weaponry might be the difference of you having steak or becoming a steak.

The Zombie research society confronts the important post-apocalyptic issues that you will have to face, without the insidious optimistic  illusions about your hope for survival. The bleak pessimism of this site is refreshing.


aaronswartzWhile considering this week’s keyword search for Blog on Blog, I got thinking about the untimely death of Aaron Swartz and his method of protest, hacktivism.

While many may not agree with Swartz’s reasoning for releasing thousands of academic journals from JSTOR,  the co-founder of Reddit’s suicide was undoubtedly a terrible tragedy.

I’m not going to get into whether or not online activists should be tracked and persecuted to the full extent of the law or whether or not hacktivism should be a legal form of protest; that’s for you to decide.

However, I think readers should keep in mind the government’s roll in his death. Conspiracy theories aside, Aaron Swartz faced numerous legal threats and multiple years in prison for his hacktivism while not a single banker received jail time for the financial crash of 2008.

Currently the government of Canada does not consider hacktivism to be a legal form or protest. Hacktivists are viewed as a threat to businesses and national security. For instance, when Visa’s system was shut down on December 8th, 2010, by the hacktivist group Anonymous, they lost over a hundred and fifty million dollars. That’s one costly hack!

Whatever your opinion of them, hacktivists have undeniably become major players in the world of politics.

So here it is, my top 5 blogs from this week’s keyword search:

Wall Street Protest5. New York Times: What is Hacktivism?

Okay New York Times, once again you have taught me so much. Even though Noam Chomsky tells me not to trust you, I just can’t help myself. So, hacktivism is made up of two words: hacking + activism. But is there more to this word? According to this post, there’s an undercurrent lexical war between parties that want to blemish the neologism for political purposes, and those that want acceptance between online activism and the broader outdoor form of protest. So this is about recognition. Intriguing…




4. Village Voice: Where’s the justice?

Once again the Village Voice has hit the nail on the head with underlying issues of judicial imbalance between the federal government’s pursuit of hacktivism and their slap on the wrist approach with big banks. This post will make you very, very angry.

3. Radware: Mitigating attacks in 2013

On the other side of the coin are the businesses trying to protect their back-ends from cyber attacks. There are many, many sites dedicated to protecting businesses’ cyber integrity from “cyber criminals, terrorists.”

catputer According to Radware, these cyber terrorist must be stopped by all means and knowing how to protect yourself can save you from financial ruin.

Well, one man’s hacktivist is another man’s cyber-terrorist.

2. The 9 Ways Hacktivist Shocked the world in 2012

From hackers turning informants to federal agents having their phone conferences tapped, 2012 was a very busy year in the news for hacktivists. This is a must-read list of the audacity of hacktivists and how they have joined different political forces and now must be recognized as either friend or foe.

1. Anon News
anonymousAnon news is the main news and discussion group site of Anonymous, the biggest, most ominously anonymous group on the internet. What makes Anonymous so effective is it’s lack of leadership. It is non-centralized and delivers messages through hacking. Recently this message addressed to President Obama was posted on the site regarding his State of the Union address, which was to be directed at cyber security and security in general. The message told Obama to refrain from trying to regulate the internet…or else!

Anonymous’ focus is to keep a free and open internet. Aaron Swartz would be proud!


Blog on Blog is regular feature here on Forget The Box where we look at the best in blogs.

Last year the world was suppose to end. Whether by hellfire, rogue planet (nibiru), asteroid or by a solar flare the earth was suppose to be destroyed, but, unfortunately to the dismay of every weirdo on the internet it never happened.

One of the reason why this never happened is because the Mayans never really predicted the end of the world, after all our calendar starts over after December 31st, why shouldn’t the Mayan calendar just start over?

Since the beginnings of professional prophets, people have been predicting the end of the world but so far to a highly inaccurate degree.

We should just face the facts: The Mayans just happened to perceive time in longer fragments but that didn’t stop most websites from seeing opportunity.

Leading up to the Mayan countdown we saw an increase on the internet of blogs relating to the subject. It seemed every site was in on the “world is nigh” action. Here are some of the best blogs about the end of the world.


Even scienctists got into the debate as to why the world wasn’t going to end. NASA got so many emails directed at wanting information about December 21st, that NASA finally broke down and made this video for all the “crazies” explaining why the world won’t end.

Best Bunker Blog

Maybe I’m old fashion but there is nothing like a good bunker to get my blood rushing. What design will withstand the awesome carnage outside? Well this blog uncovers the best construction for survival. There’s even a few lavish condo bunkers where you can reside the rest of your life in comfort and ease away from all the flesh eating hordes and temples of destruction. Some are even built around entire underground communities. (Instructables: How to build a bunker)

Car and Driver: 10 Vehicles for the Apocalypse

If the end times are coming, you’re going to need the right vehicle to get around, right? What kind of vehicle would best aid your survival during the final trial and tribulation? Well, according to Car and Driver, larger cars like SUVs or big tank-like vehicles like the Daimler Ferret are the best for survival. A vehicle that says “don’t tread on me… I got an extra tire.” And you though SUVs were bad, well wait till that zombie apocalypse happens, it turn out the most durable cars are the most douchiest.

And how else do you plan to crush a zombie horde without a giant douche-mobile like a Hummer? (Car and Driver: 10 Vehicles for the Apocalypse)

The Best and Worst Dogs for a Zombie Apocalypse

One of my favorite post-apocalyptic movies is A Boy and His Dog about a Mutt that has the ability to communicate telepathically with his owner. The dog was not only the smarter of the two, he also came in handy when trying to avoid radioactive monsters with his handy ability to detect them by scent.

It turns out that the Welsh Corgi is one of the best dogs to help you survive, based “On the strength of it’s size, herding instinct and it’s ability to appear less intelligent due to its cuteness.” The worse dog you can own: a poodle. (

Best Country for the Apocalypse

The best country to survive the apocalypse? Canada is looking pretty good. According to travel site Canadian zombies would probably be the nicest… just saying. And all our open terrain and hunting rifles would probably come in useful. Overall they suggest Norway as the best country to survive an apocalypse. Why? “It is isolated, it has an abundance of fish and deep cold water crabs and it’s population is low.” I also hear it’s nice this time of year. (Best Country to Survive the Apocalypse)

Best Visions of Post Apocalyptic Future

The Creators project has some awesome visions of what the future might look like once it has all ended. They’ve put together some amazing images and short films of what the future may or may not look like including overgrown cities, robot overlords and some awesome cyber punk. Check out this short film: True Skin.

If you’ve got any favorite apocalypse blogs let us know in the comments!

Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s just the thought of Alf’s face that makes me light up with glee. But when I look up eighties pop culture on the internet I can’t help but feel like I belong, and it’s not just because it reminds me of my early childhood.

The eighties had a special je ne sais quoi, a hodge-podge of style and culture that resulted in not caring if that rat tail went with those neon sunglasses. All that I know is: It was “cool” when I was five.

Recently a friend of mine brought over a hard drive full of shows from the 80s and I decided for some ungodly reason to watch Three’s a Crowd a spinoff of Three’s Company. After this experience I felt compelled to write this week’s Blog on Blog on the ninteen eighties.

I was very young around the eighties. What I remember about them is there was an ET, there were Perfect Strangers and a wrestler who wore an elastic band on his face and  partied with Cyndi Lauper. There were LCD games and Goonies and elaborate hairstyles, meshed up together in my memory.

Let’s face it, for us who were really young living through the nineteen eighties our memory is a little blurry. This is why we have the internet: our link to the past.

The Music

Pop Eighties
Where else should we begin but with music. The music of the eighties was pretty unique in its style and Popeighties is the site that will take you down musical memory lane.

Lost in the 80s
Then there is the music that I never really got. I mean there was cassette after cassette produced of this junk. Thousands of cassettes must be somewhere now piled together on the floor of an abandoned BMG warehouse. This blog is that warehouse of music.

The Great 80s Blog
If you’re into Pac-man and Rubik’s cubes this is the site for you. But this site is also dedicated to the fashion, style, television, music and general culture of decadent eighties. Check out the great 80s blog and jog your memory on music you may have forgotten,

The Unofficial Weird Al Yankovic blog. What would this decade be without the musical re-inventions of Weird Al? Yes. This is a parody of a parody site. These people even pray to Al. This type of devotion to Al, also known as “His Lordship,” can only be found on his unofficial Fan Club.

Ten Crazy 80s Haircuts in Music
This really could have fit in either the music or hair category. Trailblazing hair in the eighties caught on from the popular styles of music. There was so much weird hair that went along with music , Suzie and the Banshees, the cure , etc.

The Hair
Yes it’s true, Flock of Segulls had some of the weirdest hair in the 80s, but that isn’t a crime is it? These people were the “hipsters” of their time, victims of a world submerged in new found wealth and decadence. A world where Versace suits were worn to business luncheons and cocaine breakfasts were common – fashionable hair was the only escape from this type of meager existence.

Like Totally Eighties Mullets
Business in the front party in the back, the two styles collided in the 80s and made for one of the most fundamentally frightening looks of all time. I am of course speaking of the mullet. Now these weren’t no creeper mullets that just snuck up on you. These mullets went full force.

The Shows

The Great 80s Television

The eighties had some classic tv shows that have managed to withstand the test of time. It will be remembered for it’s great dective shows like Magnum P.I. and Simon and Simon, but also Dukes of hazard, as well as The Cosby show, Perfect Strangers and so much more. This blog thoroughly goes over every detail of popular TV shows of the time. The sitcom ruled this decade and made way for trailblazing shows like Seinfeld and Twin Peaks.

The Alf Blog
The Alf blog deserve recognition because the person that runs it seems to hyperventilate every time there is discussion of Alf making his way back to television. A few years ago there was a rumor that Alf was going to have his own talk show, but that never seemed to pan out.

80s Wresting
The eighties were good to wresting. It’s where I got my first taste of the World Wresting Federation). There was Bam Bam Bigelow, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Ravishing Rick Rude Mean Gene and so many more that made wresting great. For me the story lines never really improved past the “I’m coming after you” story arcs of the 80s. Check out these classic wrestlers from the eighties.

Dead Wrestlers
Thanks to steroids and drug use wrestlers are the fastest dying population in America today. Unfortunately for many of these greats they had a limited time in the ring and are now wrestling angels for wings up in heaven.

And just to throw in a little of the wrestling morbidity, here’s a site I find really fascinating since it dealt it the many, many wrestlers I have forgotten about that came from what I would call wrestling renaissance, the nineteen eighties.

Now that Movember is coming to an end, it’s time to recap all the really interesting and off beat blogs about what happens when men attempt to grow out their facial hair.

Today’s Blog on Blog is here to cut through the many sites dedicated to those who know what to do, those that don’t, and those who make growing a mustache a very strange experience.

Some, after raising money for charity organization that focus on men’s diseases, like prostate cancer and mental health, will go back to shaving above the lip, while others might keep their ‘staches to shield their mouth from the cold months ahead.

Although this prospect might seem appealing, it can only be beneficial if you really know what your are doing. For the many men who don’t know what to do with their facial hair there are plenty of sites dedicated to future mustachios who just wanna learn how to groom or find out what will best suit them.

What can you say about a manly mustache, except it makes you feel like an elite private-eye on a undercover op. Well, maybe not everyone, but that depends if you can grow a “Tom Selleck” or not.  If I’ve learnt anything from movies it is if you want to impress and keep those ladies and have riches beyond belief, then you will need at least a pencil mustache.

Okay, well here is your complete guide to Movember blogs:

This site is a daily diary from various people on the subject of their facial hair – why not? Men, women, this site chronicles mustache growth without discriminating.

Art of Manliness/ 35 best Mustaches of all time

This is the list of the top 35 best mustaches of all time: they range from Tom Selleck’s famous “Magnus” to Frederick Nitzsche’s intense “Shanuzer.”


The Handlebarclub

Anyone can join the club…except apparently women, children and Justin Beiber. Why would you want to be a member of a club that would have you as a member? Well, because you have a wicked mustache, that’s why! The F.A.Q. is peppered with great question about the process of growing a proper handle bar mustache. And the group photos are hilarious to top it off.

Instructables/How to grow and maintain a manly mustache
Here’s a step by step guide on how to grow and keep your mustache looking sane and stylish. This blog is one of the best guides for novice mustache growers.

Parks and Recreation/ Ron’s Mustache

When you think of manly there is only one man who really stands out on television these days and that’s the charcter Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman). Let him guide you through your movemeber, because the man knows how to grow one!

Fuck Yeah Mustaches/ Tumblr

Come one, come all! Watch the feats of strengh mustache competition. A collection of anomalous facial hair.

The Mustache Blog

Keep updated on the state of people’s facial hair and how far they’ve grown so far this season. It is Movember so there are more members then ever before.



The Score/Hockey’s Greatest Mustaches
There are some wicked staches out there in the hockey world. And although some of these players might not have been the best players to play the game, many wore the best hockey staches of all time.

Across North America a new trend is delving into the massive failure of capitalistic projects in the age of austerity and may in fact represent, to a larger extent, the downfall of the American Empire… I am of course speaking about the ubiquity of vacant malls and the many blogs dedicated to them.

In deserted, abandoned, “one horse” cities, they are a sad reminder of the once great state of the capitalist bulk and decadence left behind in the structurally sound, but culturally inept, enclosed shopping mall.

These malls are littered with vacant lots of shops long gone bankrupt, where the only thing left behind is the grey wall-to-wall carpeting still imprinted with soles of customers that haunt the place of a once great shopping experience.

The Internet is full of sites dedicated to their unique box architecture and their subculture – shopping fiends in search of the best buy.

Let’s look at a few outstanding blogs dedicated to these Goliath structures of mass retail that turned into sore reminders in the form of Ozymandias type monuments:

Mooklife/Ghost Mall
It’s best to start locally, I always say. Montreal, has one the most legendary vacant malls in the world – I am of course talking about the Decarie square. Since it’s inception there were high hopes for the mall, built right off the Decarie auto-route, it was a feature of the new enclosed mall shopping experience that was pushed at the late seventies early eighties. Unfortunately for the mall it has changed hands, ownership wise, and it`s been the kid in a custody battle between the city of Montreal and Cote-Ste-Luc..well at least there’s a dollar cinema!

They come for the sales but, most of the time, they ended up getting more then they bargained for, including serious bacterial infections, depending on which under maintained bathroom used.
Many malls, especially ones that were based on the Costco/Walmart model destroyed the local store, but now, these malls are fighting for survival, trying to drum up business and stave off inevitable death. A lot of these malls have turned into bargain basements with little or no maintenance, basically just concrete decrepitude and dereliction. None more so then the Decarie square:

Mooklife, a blog located in Montreal, really has the sense of humor to delve into this disaster by the auto-route. The pictures are funny, the captions are pretty hilarious too. At times I felt like I was reading Vice magazine. He got to the point of what plagues the Decarie square, and dissects it with the wit of a sharp scalpel.

Reason/Malls of a certain age

A few years ago Reason published an amazing article on the state of malls, specifically enclosed malls in the United States and how they were dying because of bad foresight on the economy and changes in shopping patterns.
I learned so much from this post, for instance, I did not know the startling figures of desolate malls compared to their more successful counterparts. And did you know malls are cannibals? – sucking out the life force of other malls by moving within close proximity? It`s all true. Check it out!

Deadmalls is the ultimate site dedicated to stories about failed malls. Or just personal experiences walking through dead malls. My personal; favorite is about a mall in Toledo where half was hacked away, leaving only half a mall after a development group ran out of cash. These are of course hard times, so site keeps getting bigger and bigger. It has a great index where you can look up any state.

Also check out these videos about the landscape around abandon malls:

Greg Shall is a photographer from Minnesota who dictates his time taking photos of dead or dying malls.

Many sites on the internet are dedicated to abandon mall exploration. Malls can be great urban hubs of exploration, especially those badly maintained and for the most part forgotten. Check out this video of an exploration through a former mall in Toledo:

Photo courtesy of, and

Titles titles titles… I like the title, “Blogs on Beards: Wave That Freak Flag On Your Face”? “Blogs For The Beard-Obsessed”? “Rock Out With Your… Beard Out”? “Ode To The Cheek-Chewbaccas”? “Blogs on Beards: Shavers Need Not Apply”? “You Know Who Didn’t Shave? Jesus.” So hard to decide.

I’ve got beard-envy. Not a fan of Freud, but I’d gladly take his facial hair. Do past lives exist? If so, I’d like to think I was a troubled 19th century Eastern European curmudgeon with a Briar pipe and a bushy ginger face-cape to combat the winters of my discontent.

It’s tragic that I have never been able to grow a successful beard. Ever. Certain genetic predispositions, like being a woman, have consistently prevented me from getting together with friends to attend a Halloween party dressed as a group of Russian composers (Please, fairy godmother, can’t I be Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for just one night?). I can’t wander around St-Henri without feeling a tinge of envy with every passing beardo on a bicycle. There’s just something about the way a beard complements a pensive gaze, or how you know exactly who a person is by well-maintained facial hair. Like Jesus, or Ghandi. Lincoln, or Castro.

I’m not a hairy woman, either, which dashes all my Bearded Lady circus fantasies. And having thoroughly re-assessed the cost/benefit ratio of sexy face-fro vs. decidedly unsexy face-rash, I think I’d rather own a beard than date one. I might eventually turn into an old whiskered lady, but for now I’m relegated to living vicariously through the facial foliage of those lucky to grow them, clicking and sighing every time I come across a really, really good beard appreciation blog.

knit beardHold the phone.

Beard appreciation blog?

What, did you think I was the only one who lusts after what she cannot have? Or that our current generation of cheek-Chewbaccas wouldn’t be inclined to Instagram their own progress? There’s a market for facial hair fanatics, and I’m not just talking about hanging out at antique stores and used bookshops (I mean, I just really like gramophones and cheap books). Hundreds of beard blogs out there, and all it takes is a Google. So, I implore you, allow me to be your beard navigator, through the dark and mysterious path of online mouth-muffs (ew). It just might get a little hairy. (Bah-dum-pshhh).

For the straight-up, no bullshit, don’t-waste-my-precious-gaze-on-text admirer. Fans send in every-day photos of themselves or people they know sporting scruff, and it gets posted on the site next to minimal captions. This blog has everything: chin close-ups, ginger whiskers and plaid shirts, beards in hats, beards holding babies, shirtless Captain Crunch in a shapka wielding a hatchet… Fuck yeah, beards.

Did you know that glittery pop-music performer Ke$ha has a tumblr devoted to beards? I don’t really “get” Ke$ha’s music (I’ve never, not once, woken up feeling like P. Diddy), but homegirl takes the time from what must be an exhausting life of next-level partying and releasing vaguely feminist rap-rock singles to stick dudes’ facial hair in her mouth and post beard-gnawing pics on her Tumblr. Respect.

I Made You A Beard
What do you get when you cross a beard-envyin’ chica with arts and crafts? Yarn beards aplenty! On Erin Dollar’s blog, you’ll find fun pics of her many-coloured fake facemops, illustrations of beards drawn by her and her friends, and links to other beard-centric web pages. Her posts are now fairly sporadic, as she has since expanded her creative outlet outside the realm of beards, but femmy Blackbeard fetishists can still order a custom-made beard of yarrrn! (You can have that line, it’s yours, don’t worry about it.)

the beardedTHE BEARDED
Sexy, well-dressed, long-whiskered men, gleaned from the far reaches of the Internet and compiled on The Bearded. It’s like The Sartorialist, but less bougie and more bad-ass. Ladies, time to go fantasy boyfriend-shopping – just don’t forget to moisturize after fake-making out with all the hairy eye-candy.

The BeardlyCaptions aren’t just for cat photos and shitty inspirational posters anymore. The Beardly describes itself as “observations about beards and the men who tend to them”, but what it really means is “slogans for the beard that needs constant validation for his manliness”. They might not have office jobs, but they know that “SOME MEN BUILD A LEGACY. REAL MEN GROW ONE.”

General interest Beard Blog. They have top 10 lists for Best Beards, videos of sexy cars and the beards who drive them, infographics about how facial hair is perceived in society, tips on grooming, profiles on men with ass-kicking chin-plumes, and way more. It’s a Beard Life.

Welcome to Blog on Blog: A bi-weekly blog dedicated to some of the most obscure and interesting blogs from the depths of the Internet.

There will be plenty of strange and startling website wonders to ponder and explore. No subject will be too taboo. We’ll find plenty of online oddities! Don’t be afraid, this is Blog on Blog: The Super-Meta Blog!

Oh, cats! You are amazing creatures. From your alleyway screeches of passion, to your twilight harassment for food, somehow you find a way to get us to do your bidding. Our love for you makes us tend to your every need, slave over you night and day. No wonder you were worshiped as gods in ancient Egypt!

Somehow my new living arrangement has forced me inhabit a house with cats. Three cats! With three completely different cat personalities.

This can be very difficult to deal with, all of these cats fighting amongst each other and nagging yours truly. But at least cats can also be quite humorous; like when the fat cat, George, falls off a chair she tries to jump in, or when Chu Chu boxes me in the face with a white paw, or when Buddy serenades me with his late night meowing routine.

Although, for someone like me, living with these cats can make life incredibly difficult, since, after all, I live with these cats not out of love, but out of necessity. You see when I moved in to my current apartment they were already here, and since they were here first, I have no choice but to try to get along with these semi-wild, completely selfish, but highly entertaining pets.

Thankfully their are many blogs out there that can teach me how to learn to love these animals, through humor.

It is true, cats are really funny animals! Which is why cat blogs rule the net when it comes to animal humor.

How popular are cat blogs, you ask?

They are really popular. There are millions of pages on the inter-webs dedicated to cats. They are so popular they must take up at least a third (after sites dedicated to porn and pharmaceuticals) of the entire internet.

Here is a series of blogs I think you’ll find explosively entertaining, and rather than look at sites dedicated to “how to” knowledge, like veterinary care or how to massage your cat, today we are just going to look at the lighter side of being a cat.

Modern cat
You know what cats really need? Their own damn furniture, so they can stop messing up yours! Modern cat has it all, and while at first this site might not seem too funny, when you see a cat sitting in a yuppie style art deco piece that cost a large sum of money, you will have no choice but to snicker to yourself. Although to be fair, there are some pretty cool pieces of furniture on this site. Maybe George could use a 70s style cat bed?

I heard LOLCats is so popular its site is valued at a few million dollars. I didn’t really do that much research into that, but this site is up there in top ranking for cat humor, so you probably already heard of it. I know for sure that FTB contributor Mike Gwilliam loves this site and I don’t blame him, the comedy on this site is killer. Also check out Icanhascheezburger another site affiliated with LOLCats. if you like funny cat memes than you’ll love this blog.

The Daily Kitten
Somewhere in the world, every few seconds, a kitten is born, and thankfully, now, because of the Internet, that kitten can have it’s picture uploaded on TheDailyKitten. Keep updated on all the new kittens in the world on TheDailyKitten.

It is great to see sites dedicated to orphaned kittens like The Itty Bitty Kitty Commitee. Is there anything more adorable than an orphaned kitten? I think not! This is one of my favorites; I just like gawking at squishy, cute, adorably furry kittens. And you can also make a donation to the cause of abandoned animals, which if you read Maria Amore’s last post you’d know is a serious problem in Montreal and elsewhere. Please stop abandoning your pets. It’s not funny..especially since I’m forced to live with them!

Man, I love this site. Do you ever wonder why we get so much pleasure out of putting stuff on our cats?

Maybe it has something to do with the mischievous nature of human beings. Just like drawing mustaches on unsuspecting couch sleepers at parties. If your into that you’ll love Stuffonmycat.

William of Mass Destruction
Two felines keep us up to date on their daily activities. This is what happens when we let cats write blogs. Keep up to date on the day in the life of a cat (which may  or may not in fact be written by one crazy and obsessed cat owner) on William of Mass Destruction.

Lou vs. Rick
If letting your cats blog wasn’t enough, how about letting them text message. What would your cat say to you? Mine would probably ask for food. Find out daily on LouvsRick.

Hopefully these sites will help you get your daily cat fix, for Blog on Blog this is Jerry Gabriel signing off…