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.

You Could Soon Be Facebook Stalked By Doctors Who Just Want To Cure You, Honestly

Ask yourself the question: do you want your doctor to read all the weird stuff you've posted on Facebook?

Let’s face it, we’ve all posted some cringey stuff on Facebook and then regretted it later.

But before you sheepishly delete said cringey stuff, it may be useful to keep your FB posts around because they could be the new frontier for diagnosing and treating disease.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have developed a way to use social media posts to predict diseases like diabetes, as well as mental health illnesses like anxiety, depression, and psychosis.

To develop this method, researchers used the Facebook histories and medical records of over 1,000 consenting patients and built a prediction model. Here’s how it works in a nutshell.

Your random day to day Facebook provide something of an insight into your behaviour, lifestyle, and mental state, info the doctor might not know about you. By analysing key words from your posts like symptoms and linking them to diseases and your medical history, this can help doctors figure out what’s ailing with you.

For example, if you’re the type of person who uses “drink” or “drunk” a lot in your posts, you’re probably a raging alcoholic. If your posts have a lot of swear words and are quite angry, that’s a sign you’ve probably done one too many drugs.

There are also some weird correlations that made no sense, like those who use religious words such as “god” and “pray” a lot were 15 times more likely to have diabetes. Go figure.

While this seems like a medical breakthrough of sorts, there’s a big problem with it.

This method requires doctors to basically Facebook stalk you. With Facebook already hoarding your phone numbers, having personal info like your address and medical records attached to your profile creates a big privacy risk.

Combine the thought of your doctor combing through all the embarrassing stuff you’ve posted on Facebook with the possibility of insurance companies wanting access to your profile so they can set premiums based on your posts, is having a doctor reading your Facebook posts worth it?

Thankfully, we’re still awhile away from doctors Facebook stalking you. The method is still in its early stages. Despite promising results, the study was only performed at one medical centre in which over three-quarters of participants were female and 71% were Black.

This means more data from a variety of places is needed to verify if this method actually works and isn’t just some wild coincidence between words and symptoms. Seriously, they need to explain that religious words/diabetes link.

Doctors also have to follow strict guidelines when it comes to private info so they’ll need your consent if this Facebook post thing ever becomes an actual thing. And even then, there’s the whole murky area involving privacy laws in individual countries that govern whether this sort of thing is even allowed.

So if you’re not too keen on having your doctor trawling through your Facebook profile in order to figure out what’s wrong with you if/when this method comes into play at some point in the future, consider wiping everything and going off the grid for a little bit.

BTS Fans, You Don't Own The Term 'Behind The Scenes', That's Ludicrous

You know who you are.

BTS fans (aka ARMY), we get that you love the group with every fibre of your being and their meteoric rise over the last few years is nothing less than incredible.

But we’ve once again hit a point where some of you have crossed the line and need some reining in. Listen very closely and very carefully: You don’t own the term “BTS”.

Those three letters stand for more than just the group and not everyone is using it to “gain likes” from their fans.

For those who are unaware of what I’m getting at, certain pockets of group’s fanbase get super pissy and start throwing accusations of “using BTS to gain likes/retweets/shares/attention” whenever anyone (correctly) uses “BTS” as an abbreviation for “behind the scenes”, which is something that’s been happening well before the K-pop septet were even an idea.

For example:

Now this obviously doesn’t apply to all of ARMY, but to all those people who are unironically getting annoyed at people using “BTS” when referring to things unrelated to the group, please just stop it because it’s embarrassing.

You don’t own the term and you have no right to get mad when people use it when referring to behind-the-scenes stuff. Spring-loving people don’t get mad at you or the group for using ‘Spring Day’ to gain likes and retweets, nor do you see Snow Patrol fans getting annoyed whenever you’re going on about the song ‘Run’.

And besides, it’s pretty obvious when people are actually “using BTS to gain likes” so your anger is misplaced anyway.

There’s a line between respectful fan and obsessive crazy person, and complaining about people using “BTS” for behind-the-scenes falls firmly in the latter category.

Be better, all you “don’t use BTS for likes” people, because ARMY are capable of great things and you’re letting everyone, including BTS, down with your antics.

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