There are a lot of stories about people in the past doing this sort of thing to ape the styles of the rich and famous and make themselves seem more fashionable. Men would wear calf padding to make it look like they went to a lot of dances, or both sexes would try to make themselves look wan and pale as if they had tuberculosis.
And it’s not like we still don’t do the same thing. Do you remember JNCOs? We still have styles popularized by “Jersey Shore,” and the famous names of the day are constantly coming out with something stupid that becomes popular.
Oranges Are Great for Everything
Sometime in the mid-nineties, a thousand truckloads of orange peels (and orange pulp) were very purposefully unloaded onto a barren pasture in a Costa Rican national park. Sixteen years after the delivery, a team of Princeton University researchers surveyed the land, finding a 176-percent increase in aboveground biomass – or plants – within the seven acres studied. We all know that oranges are healthy and tasty, but even the stuff that we don't eat can be a big boon to our lives.
After analysis, it was found that the area that had been fertilized by orange peels had richer soil, more tree biomass, a greater number of tree species, and a greater forest canopy enclosure. Which we assume are all good things for a forest.
Living With the Natives
In late autumn, this cow ran away from its farm into the wild and untamed Bialowieza Forest, only to be spotted months later, during the midst of winter, with a herd of wild bison. It was spotted mainly due to the fact that it had a light-brown shade, while the lightest the bison got was chestnut – easy to pick out against the rest of the animals.
While scientists expected the cow to wander back to the farm once things got cold, she has instead flourished with the bison, which likely kept her safe from wolves. However, the bison population is low, and interbreeding with a smaller animal might lead to lost offspring. Thus, the hope is the cow returns to the farm.
Gotta Stay Fresh
Apparently, there are lots of birds that like to take this tactic in order to protect themselves from dangerous blood-sucking lice. It isn't always ants – birds sometimes use garlic snails, amphipods, millipedes, grasshoppers, wasps, or other creatures. Not only does this defend against lice, but it's thought to protect against ectoparasites, helps with feather grooming, makes the ants safer to eat, and even helps certain birds molt.
Of course, it's difficult to tell which of these are the real case, since they're all just theories. Still, the formic acid is, at the very least, a defense against lice, and that's as good a reason as any.
It Doesn't Matter the Password
Whether your password was “P4ssw0rd” or the entire text of “A Tale of Two Cities,” just typing e and h into the password field of Hotmail gave anybody – anybody – access to the emails contained within. This was discovered by a group calling themselves “Hackers Unite,” doing so in order to draw attention to the poor security that Microsoft had set up for people's emails.
Some thought that it was a backdoor left in the program for Microsoft's benefit. Microsoft, obviously, denies this idea. Thankfully, the fix was a quick one, and thanks to the Hacker's Unite group, people's emails were a little more secure.