Today I Learned: Ariana Grande Originally Became Famous For Getting Hit By A Hockey Puck, Twice

Well, we all gotta start somewhere on the long road to fame.

The journey towards stardom and fame is different for everyone. Some people luck into it, others do stupid stuff on YouTube and somehow get popular, and some work incredibly hard over a long period of time and fame (and a Madame Tussauds wax figure) is the byproduct of all their efforts.

For Ariana Grande, her journey to where she is now is quite the odd one that involves luck, YouTube, and ice hockey.

You see, we all thought she got famous through her music. As it turns out, she initially got famous at the tender age of five after getting hit by a hockey puck. Twice.


Back in 1998 and before any thoughts of stardom came to mind, Ariana was just a five-year-old girl enjoying a game of ice hockey with her mum at the Florida Panthers’ squeaky new stadium.

But it turned out that Ariana had some kind of unexplained magnetism to hockey pucks because she somehow managed to get smacked by a puck on the right wrist. Just to make sure that wasn’t a fluke, she later got hit again except it was on the left wrist the second time.


It was such a bizarre history-making incident – she was the first person to get hit by a puck in the new stadium – that the local newspaper ran a story about it and labeled her the “Boca kid“.

The inner skeptic in everyone would probably call this story bogus but Ariana confirmed that the whole thing is true on Twitter. She may have well and truly outstripped her initial hockey puck fame but it’s good to see her acknowledge the humble (and painful) beginnings of her journey.

If we were to learn a lesson from this Ariana Grande story, it’s that the road to fame can be as simple as getting hit – twice – by stray hockey pucks and making some dubious sports history in the process.

Yeah, nah. Thank u, next.

Today I Learned: The Offspring's Lead Singer Is A Legit Doctor Searching For A HIV Cure

More punk than the punk rock he's been dishing out for over three decades.

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and they’re usually right for the most part. For this particular instance, the book is actually a 175-page dissertation and the cover has the words “By Bryan Holland” on it.

The reason why this little dissertation is incredibly interesting is because it’s all about looking for a cure for HIV, and Bryan is none other than Dexter Holland, the lead singer of seminal punk rock band, The Offspring.

That’s right, the frontman of a band behind iconic 90s songs such as ‘Self Esteem’ and ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ is a legit doctor on the lookout for a HIV cure in his spare time.

Before Dexter became one of the 1990s leading punk rockers, he was originally pursuing his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California.

But as The Offspring quickly became popular, he shrugged his shoulders and put his studies on hold to ride the punk rock wave because why the hell not. But while being in a band was his day-to-day vocation, science wasn’t too far off his mind.

Remember the lyric ‘keep ’em separated” in the song ‘Come Out and Play”? That was inspired by his experience in a lab involving keeping two liquids separated so they can cool down. Write what you know indeed.

It wasn’t until 2017, some eight albums, 40 million records, and countless concerts later, that Dexter finally got that pesky Ph.D. Who would’ve thought the guy who sang lyrics like “my friend’s got a girlfriend and he hates that bitch” would actually be a secret genius?

Whereas most rock stars would be partying day in day out, Dexter was probably holed up studying up on stuff that will hopefully one day cure HIV. Having said all that, he does caution that his research isn’t a cure or even an immediate step towards it, but he hopes it’ll one day lead to whatever the cure may be.

No need to defend yourself there, Dexter. You’re a goddamn doctor masquerading around as a rock god so you don’t need to give us any excuse.

He may have made his mark by being one of modern punk rock’s legends, but becoming a doctor and fighting the good fight against HIV is probably the most punk thing Dexter’s done in his entire career.

Today I Learned: A Deleted Scene Would've Turned Ferris Bueller's Day Off Into A Much Darker Movie

The scene does explain a few things in the movie but at the expense of Ferris' character.

John Hughes made several masterpieces back in the day but Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is something a rare beast when compared all the teen comedies that were released at the time.

It wasn’t crass like Porky’s, didn’t focus on sex or drugs like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, broke the fourth wall constantly, and told a pure-hearted story about friendship and living life to the fullest. Most of this works because of titular character, who is arguably the most charismatic film character we’ve ever seen on the big screen, and the many iconic Chicago landmarks that were integrated into the story.

Now there are a few minor plot issues in the film, chief among which is how Ferris manages to fund his day off. Let’s recap: he treats Cameron and Sloane to lunch at an upscale restaurant, gets great seats at a baseball game, bums around at a classy museum, and presumably a bunch of other things we didn’t see.

Even if we take into account his parents’ wealth (they live in a super nice house and his room is filled with gadgets), there’s no realistic way does he’ll have the kind of dosh to fund such a luxurious day off.

As it turns out, this little plot hole is explained in a deleted scene from the original script but it also shines a darker light on Ferris’ character.

The deleted scene comes just before Ferris goes to Cameron’s house and involves him chatting to his dad over the phone. As the conversation goes on, Ferris manages to get his dad to reveal the location of where a bunch of savings bonds are hidden. Yup, Ferris was only able to fund his day off because he ripped his dad off.

And just to make it worse, he follows up that chat to his dad with this straight-to-camera exchange:

“Was that a class move or what? The guy gave it up faster than a drunk Catholic girl. I hope my kids don’t pull this s**t on me.”

Wow. Original Ferris Bueller is a dick.

This simple scene changes how we look at Ferris as a character completely. No longer was he a bit of a jerk with a heart of gold, he is just a massive jerk with the heart of an even bigger jerk.

It also sullies the film’s kindhearted tone and it undermines the subtext of a teenager enjoying the last few days of high school because he’ll never live experience that time in his life ever again.

John Hughes definitely made the right call in cutting that scene. We’re better off remembering Ferris as that likable guy who lip-synched The Beatles’ ‘Twist and Shout’ on a float than some douche who stole his dad’s money and then blew it all ordering some expensive pancreas for lunch.

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