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The Quick 10: Weird Celebrity Phobias

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Everyone has their weird phobias. Me, I hate clowns and people wearing costumes or masks that cover their faces (which is weird, considering how much I love Disney World). But compared to these 10 celebrity phobias, my fears are pretty normal.

bobchair1. Billy Bob Thornton hates antiques so much he refuses to stay in a room with furniture from before 1950. This might be a rare phobia, but he's not alone "“ more than 250,000 people in the U.S. alone apparently suffer from this fear of antiques. "I've had friends tell me that maybe I was beaten to death with an antique chair in a former life," Thornton has mused. Hmm.


2. Of all of the things that could traumatize Alfred Hitchcock "“ you know, showers, birds, mama's boys - one of the things he hated most were eggs, specifically runny ones. You know what's weird? My mom shares Hitchcock's birthday (not birth year, mind you) and she also loathes eggs. Even cracking one into a cake mix can make her gag, and don't even ask her to make you over easy eggs.

3. Christina Ricci cannot stand to be around house plants, which would be known as a form of botanophobia. She finds them dirty and shudders at the idea of watering one. "If I have to touch one, after already being repulsed by the fact that there is a plant indoors, then it just freaks me out." I guess if a guy sends her flowers after a date, there won't be a second one. Or maybe flowers are different? Do we have any botanophobics out there that can clarify?

4. Tyra Banks won't be swimming with Flipper's cousin at Sea World anytime soon "“ she says she's been scared of the intelligent swimmers since she was about eight years old. "I have dreams that I am in a pool and there are dolphins bumping me and I'm frightened," she has said.

If you're really interested, here's a video of Tyra bravely facing her nemesis for her talk show.

5. Megan Fox hates paper. I imagine this must make it very hard to read scripts, but what do I know? Technically, she clarifies that this isn't a phobia "“it's more like people who get the chills when they hear fingernails on a chalkboard. She says that sometimes she even has to have a cup of water nearby so she can thoroughly wet her finger before turning a page if she's doing a lot of reading at once. So, War and Peace is probably out?

6. Do you guys remember Frankie from The Real World: San Diego? If you do, you probably remember her for her battle with cystic fibrosis (which she sadly lost in 2007) and not for her strange phobia: big boats. Really. The cameras were rolling on the roommates just standing around chatting when Frankie bolted for the bathroom, white as a ghost and thisclose to throwing up. Why? Because someone said "cruise ship."

7. Matthew McConaughey is scared of revolving doors. And maybe also personal hygiene, because he says he hasn't worn deodorant in 20 years. He claims he feels anxious about even getting near revolving doors, and he's also scared of tunnels. While actually being in a tunnel doesn't bother him, the point where you have to go underground to enter the tunnel does.

kidfly8. Nicole Kidman is what is known as a lepidopterophobe "“ a person who is terrified of butterflies. "It's so bizarre," she told In Style magazine, "I'm not scared of snakes or spiders." She said she once tried to overcome her fear of the colorful little guys by making herself go through the butterfly exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, but just couldn't make it through. As a little girl, she couldn't even go in her yard when she got home from school if there was a butterfly sitting on the gate.

9. Childhood sure can mess a person up. "My grandmother used to save it [used gum] in little rows in the cabinet," Oprah once said. "I'd be scared to touch it because it was so gross, so I have a thing about gum. One guest in my home sat at the dinner table, took out some gum from her mouth and put it on her plate — after she left, I threw the plate out."

10. What does Madonna have in common with a dog? I'm sure there are lots of hilarious answers to that, actually, but the answer I have in mind is that they're both afraid of thunder.

I think a fear of clowns is somewhat common, so I didn't include Johnny Depp's phobia, but I have to say that his thoughts on why he hates them sum up my own opinions pretty nicely: "There's something about the painted face and the fake smile. There seems to be a darkness lurking under the surface, a potential for real evil".

Are you irrationally afraid of anything? I bet you're not the only one. Share your unusual phobia in the comments!

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10 Sweet Facts About Candy Canes
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iStock

The sweet and striped shepherd’s hooks can be found just about everywhere during the holiday season. It's time you learned a thing or two (or 10) about them.

1. THEY’VE BEEN AROUND SINCE THE 17TH CENTURY.

While the origins of the candy cane are a bit murky, legend has it that they first appeared in hooked form around 1670. Candy sticks themselves were pretty common, but they really took shape when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany got the bright idea of twisting them to look like shepherd’s hooks. He then handed them out to kids during church services to keep them quiet.

2. A GERMAN IMMIGRANT BROUGHT THE TRADITION TO THE STATES.

It’s no surprise, then, that it was a German immigrant who introduced the custom to America. The first reference we can find to the tradition stateside is 1847, when August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decked his home out with the sugary fare.

3. THEY HAVEN’T ALWAYS BEEN STRIPED.

Candy canes without the red don’t seem nearly as cheery, do they? But that’s how they were once made: all white. We’re not really sure who or exactly when the scarlet stripe was added, but we do know that images on cards before the 1900s show snow white canes.

4. THEY’RE A (RELATIVELY) VIRTUOUS HOLIDAY TREAT.

Most candy canes are around five inches long, containing only about 50 calories and no fat or cholesterol.

5. THEY DON’T ALWAYS FIT ON A CHRISTMAS TREE.

The world’s largest candy cane was built by Geneva, Illinois chef Alain Roby in 2012.  It was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar, and was eventually smashed up with a hammer so people could take home a piece.

6. EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN WAY OF EATING THEM.

Fifty-four percent of kids suck on candy canes, compared to the 24 percent who just go right for the big crunch. As you may have been able to guess, of those surveyed, boys were nearly twice as likely to be crunchers.

7. MORE THAN A BILLION ARE MADE EACH YEAR.

According to the National Confectioners Association, about 1.2 billion candy canes are made annually, and 90 percent of those are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Which honestly begs the question: Who’s buying the 10 percent in the off season?

8. A PRIEST PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN THE CANDY’S MOVE TO MASS PRODUCTION.

Bobs (that’s right; no apostrophe) Candies was the first company to really hang its hat on the sweet, striped hook. Lt. Bob McCormack began making candy canes for his kids in the 1920s, and they were such a hit he decided to start mass-producing them. With the help of his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller (and his invention, the Keller Machine), McCormack was eventually able to churn out millions of candy canes a day.

9. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN (ODDLY-TIMED) HOLIDAY.

December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. Go figure.

10. THE PROCESS FOR MAKING THEM BY HAND IS MESMERIZING.

Here’s how they make candy canes at Disneyland—it’s a painstaking (and beautiful) technique.

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MoviePilot.com
10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Films
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MoviePilot.com

1. Sylvester Stallone, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Sly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his film career. Despite co-starring with the delightful Estelle Getty as the titular violence-prone mother, Stallone knows just how bad the film was:

"I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes."

2. Alec Guinness, Star Wars.

By the time he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, Guinness had already appeared in cinematic classics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations and Lawrence of Arabia. During production, Guinness is reported to have said the following:

"Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young."

The insane amount of fame he won for the role as the wise old Jedi master took him somewhat by surprise and, ultimately, annoyed him. In his autobiography A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, Guinness recalls a time he encountered an autograph-seeking fan who boasted to him about having watched Star Wars more than 100 times. In response, Guinness agreed to provide the boy an autograph under the condition that he promise never to watch the film again.

3. Bob Hoskins, Super Mario Brothers. He was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. As far as I’m concerned, Bob Hoskins is forgiven for Super Mario Bros. Hoskins, though, doesn’t seem to be able to forgive himself. Last year the Guardian spoke with the veteran actor about his career and he summed up his feelings rather succinctly:

What is the worst job you've done?
Super Mario Brothers.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Super Mario Brothers.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.

4. George Clooney, Batman & Robin. Sure, Batman & Robin made money. But by every other imaginable measure, the film was a complete failure, and a nightmare to the vast majority of the Caped Crusader’s most fervent fanatics. Star George Clooney recognized what a stinker he helped create and once plainly stated, “I think we might have killed the franchise.”

5. David Cross, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. When actors have a movie out, it's customary that they publicize the film by saying nice things about it. Earlier this year David Cross took a different approach. When it came to describing his new film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the veteran comedian — better known for Mr. Show and Arrested Development — went on Conan and called the film a “big commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines” and told people not to go see it.

6. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up. Judd Apatow’s unplanned pregnancy comedy was a huge hit and helped cement her status as a bankable film actress. After the film’s release, however, Heigl didn’t have all good things to say. In fact, what she specifically said about it was that the film was:

"…A little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”

7. Charlize Theron, Reindeer Games. The 2000 action film Reindeer Games starred Ben Affleck, Gary Sinese and Charlize Theron and was directed by John Frankenheimer. But it all somehow failed to come together. In the end the film lost a lot of money and compiled a wealth of negative reviews – including one from its star actress who simply said, “Reindeer Games was not a good movie.”

8. Mark Wahlberg, The Happening. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t exactly seem like a guy who lives his life afraid of trees. But that is the odd position M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 film The Happening put him in. Wahlberg, as it turns out, doesn’t look back too fondly on the film. He went on record during a press conference for The Fighter when he described a conversation with a fellow actor:

"We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie and it was a bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to … I don’t want to tell you what movie … alright “The Happening.” F*** it. It is what it is. F***ing trees, man. The plants. F*** it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook."

9. John Cusack, Better Off Dead. John Cusack reportedly hated his cult 80s comedy so much that he walked out of the screening and later told the film’s director Steve Holland that Better Off Dead was "the worst thing I have ever seen" and he would "never trust you as a director again."

10 Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is considered a classic and has delighted many generations of fans. But the film's own lead actor, Christopher Plummer, didn't always sing its praises. Mr. Von Trapp himself declined to participate in a 2005 film reunion and, according to one acquaintance, has referred to the film as The Sound of Mucus.

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