MNN week in review montage

 

• Barney Frank of Massachusetts announced his retirement this week. Frank is famous for reforming the U.S. financial system, but he's also been a reliable ally for environmentalists on Capitol Hill.

 

• If you're on the fence about the Keystone XL pipeline, "Pipe Dreams" might provide some answers. The new documentary — created by Leslie Iworks and narrated by Daryl Hannah (both above) — explains the environmental threat of the oil pipeline.

 

• There are some food trends, healthy or not, that are too intriguing to ignore. This includes the phenomenon of bacon mania, which we couldn't resist. Behold, five outrageous bacon creations. (That's the Bacon Maple Sundae at top right, if you're hungry.)

 

animal escape artist• Animals kept in captivity are always looking for a way out — if for no other reason than to satisfy an innate curiosity about the outside world. That approach is what makes this gallery of six famous animal escape artists —hairy Houdinis, if you will — so enjoyable. (That's creative Evelyn at right.)

 

• The world's climate activists are descending on Durban this week for the next attempt to reach an international climate change treaty. So why did one of most successful green politicians of our time consider the process an obstacle to action?

 

• The holiday season is a meaningful time to give to charities, but how do you know where your money will be best-spent? To get you started, we've created a short list of eight green-minded charities that fit the bill. 

 

• And speaking of giving, we know you're looking for gifts. That's why we've brought back the MNN gift guide, with ideas for all the quirky relatives on your list. Happy shopping.

 

• Hedy Lamarr is probably best known as a gorgeous movie siren, but did you know this 1940s sex symbol also had a beautiful mind?

 

• If you love adventure travel, but you're not ready to give up city living, we've got a destination that might interest you. Think of Auckland, New Zealand, as an exciting jumping-off point for your next nature adventure. 

 

• And finally, a new puppy owner asks our pet expert something we've all wondered: What should I really be feeding my dog?

 

Plus: Don't miss the week in photos, including more about this striking image from Cambodia (below).

Cambodia garbage dump