Trivial Diversions

Posts From Rebecca Pahle

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17 Facts For the 10-Year Anniversary of New <eM>Doctor Who</eM>
TV

17 Facts For the 10-Year Anniversary of New Doctor Who

Or "Whoniversary"? Whatever your terminology, ten years ago today the episode "Rose" aired on the BBC, ushering in a new era of aliens, companions, TARDISes, Daleks, fezzes, and a lot of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff. One decade and five doctors later, Doctor Who is still going strong. Here are 17 things you might not have known about the 21st-century incarnation of the geeky classic.

2935 Views
Celebrate Fabio’s Birthday With 13 Quotes From his 1994 Slow Jams Album
Quotes

Celebrate Fabio’s Birthday With 13 Quotes From his 1994 Slow Jams Album

I was going to celebrate the March 15th birthday of everyone's favorite romance cover model Fabio with a post of facts, but then I found out that he released an album in 1994 that is basically him soliloquizing about romance, Fabio-style, in between other people's songs, and I knew what I had to do.

2426 Views
What Are the Five Worst* Best Picture Oscar Winners From the Last 25 Years?
Movies

What Are the Five Worst* Best Picture Oscar Winners From the Last 25 Years?

*Worst means "worst-reviewed as per the aggregate approval rating of critics as listed on Rotten Tomatoes," not "actually, objectively worst," because there's no way of objectively determining the relative quality of movies. And a great big PPPHHHHBBBBTTTT to awards season.

7054 Views
13 NC-17 Movies That Were Actually Released In Theatres
Movies

13 NC-17 Movies That Were Actually Released In Theatres

No excuses, 50 Shades!

3203 Views
The Little-Known Connection Between Potatoes and Demon Worship
Food History

The Little-Known Connection Between Potatoes and Demon Worship

Ahhhh, two of my favorite things!

9515 Views
The Thirteen Greatest Presidential Put-Downs
History

The Thirteen Greatest Presidential Put-Downs

The President of the United States: Leader of the free world, wielder of executive power, sassmaster. At least in some cases. Franklin Pierce was a sourpuss.

2461 Views
13 Cult Classics That Roger Ebert Absolutely Loathed
Movies

13 Cult Classics That Roger Ebert Absolutely Loathed

The lack of an Oscar nomination for Roger Ebert doc Life Itself has been something of a head-scratcher, but I've figured out the reasoning behind it: How could the Academy possibly honor a man who only gave Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie ("about as close as you can get to absolute nothing and still have a product to project on the screen.") one star? It's shameful. Here are thirteen other beloved (beloved by some, at least) films that the late critic gave two thumbs way, way down.

2106 Views
What Are the Worst Films This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Actors Have Been In?
Movies

What Are the Worst Films This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Actors Have Been In?

Just because you've been nominated for an Oscar or 19 doesn't mean you should get cocky. I'm looking at you, Streep! To help bring people down a peg, Phactual presents the worst-rated movies (as per the percentage of critics who positively reviewed the film, via Rotten Tomatoes) the 2015 Oscar nominees have been in.

4107 Views
10 Fascinating Facts About the History of Birth Control
History

10 Fascinating Facts About the History of Birth Control

Pregnancy and syphilis: Two of mankind's mortal enemies. For millennia, we've been looking for methods to turn them away at the door. Think protected sex is anywhere close to a new thing? Think again.

1580 Views
These 19 Movies Are Honest-to-God Oscar Nominees
Movies

These 19 Movies Are Honest-to-God Oscar Nominees

All these movies have more Oscar nominations than Reservoir Dogs, The Big Lebowski, The Shining, and The Searchers. Some of them even have wins. And yet somehow The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure walked away with nothing. What a travesty.

5720 Views
13 Infamous Film Flops That Were Hugely Successful Overseas
Movies

13 Infamous Film Flops That Were Hugely Successful Overseas

We live in a strange world, where The Golden Compass isn't the giant failure everyone thinks it is and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (you know, the one with the mermaids) is the 12th highest-grossing movie of all time.

2855 Views
The Five Weirdest People To Have Won a Grammy
Music

The Five Weirdest People To Have Won a Grammy

The Grammy Awards nominations just came out, but none of these people are up for anything, so I don't care. Taylor who now? Where are these five musical legends?

3514 Views
18 Oddball Christmas Songs For People Sick of “Jingle Bells”
Music

18 Oddball Christmas Songs For People Sick of “Jingle Bells”

If you're already sick of the Christmas standards being piped through the speaker systems of every single store you walk into this time of year, I recommend cleansing your palate with these weirder holiday options. Featuring Wookiees, sexual innuendo, hippopotamuses, and a foul-mouthed Joe Pesci. Not all in the same song, thank God. Actually, that would be pretty cool. Someone should do that. In case the sexual innuendo and Joe Pesci didn't tip you off--some of these songs are NSFW. Exercise caution.

4964 Views
19 People You Might Have Forgotten Were In ‘Star Wars’
Movies

19 People You Might Have Forgotten Were In ‘Star Wars’

Are you hyperventilating about the new Star Wars trailer yet? If not, go and watch it again (or three, four, five more times)--I'll wait. When you're done, check out some of the actors you may have completely forgotten were in some incarnation of the Galaxy Far Far Away, either because their role was just that small, they weren't really famous at the time they did it, or because you've blanked the prequels from your memory.

7681 Views
17 Tasty Facts About Your Thanksgiving Dinner
History

17 Tasty Facts About Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Ten days and counting until that most gluttonous of holidays: Thanksgiving. I can feel the food coma lurking around corners, behind furniture, following me everywhere I go. It will catch me. It'll catch you, too. Here are 17 things you might not have known about traditional Thanksgiving foodstuffs, with a slight bias toward turkey (because duh) and potatoes, because holy moly, the history of the potato is actually really, really interesting.

5731 Views
14 Things You Need to Know About the Greatest Christmas Movie Ever Made: ‘Santa Claus Conquers the Martians’
Movies

14 Things You Need to Know About the Greatest Christmas Movie Ever Made: ‘Santa Claus Conquers the Martians’

I get why people like A Christmas Story so much--it's a classic for a reason--but for Chrissakes, there's not a single alien in that movie. So how good can it really be? Enter Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, which has multiple aliens. If you somehow have not seen this cinematic masterpiece (I'd call it the greatest movie of all time, but Mortal Kombat exists), here's a primer for you.

4226 Views
Take a Deep Breath and Try to Say the Longest Words In These 13 Languages
Geography

Take a Deep Breath and Try to Say the Longest Words In These 13 Languages

From Afrikaans to Welsh, here are the longest words in 13 different languages from around the world. Fair warning: some of them are supercalifragilisticexpialidiculous.

3959 Views
15 Films You Didn’t Know Were Produced by Famous Actors
Movies

15 Films You Didn’t Know Were Produced by Famous Actors

Hey, famous actors need something to do with their time other than diving into swimming pools full of gold, Scrooge McDuck style. Some of them have turned to producing, ranging from "I am actually going to work on getting this film made" to "I am going to pay for it and get an executive producer credit" to "I am going to slap my name on this thing so it and/or I look good" to "my production company did this one, but I wasn't really involved on a personal level." The world of Hollywood is a strange and wonderful place. Whichever type of producer we're talking, here are 15 movies that have a name you might not have expected in their credits.

5642 Views
10 Things You Didn’t Know About the ‘Toy Story’ Trilogy
Movies

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the ‘Toy Story’ Trilogy

With the recently announced Toy Story 4 coming along in 2017 to (potentially) put a ding in the series' flawless record (Pixar, don't you dare!), nostalgia for the OG Pixar movie and its pair of sequels is high. So let's jump in the toy box and take a look at some things you might not know about the Toy Story trilogy. To infinity... and beyond!

5631 Views
10 Fun Facts About John Hughes Movies
Movies

10 Fun Facts About John Hughes Movies

Put your nostalgia pants on for a jaunt through the cinematic output of the legendary John Hughes. Don't you forget about him.

8759 Views
17 Facts About the Cast of ‘Game of Thrones’
TV

17 Facts About the Cast of ‘Game of Thrones’

Do you know nothing about the cast of Game of Thrones? Worry not, gentle reader, for Phactual has your back.

3851 Views
10 Facts About Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’
Pop Culture

10 Facts About Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Bonjour, Disneyheads! Here are some things you may not have known about the classic 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast. This list features guest appearances from Sir Patrick Stewart, Tim Curry, and... Regis Philbin?