Our picks for the week of Jan. 6-12:
• When you think of large-scale recyclers, thrift stores, the banking industry and Cirque du Soleil probably don't come to mind.
• Here at MNN, we've been gearing up for a green Valentine's Day. You'll find advice on how to green your Valentine's Day and a look at animals embracing the holiday of love. For a truly odd way to express your love, nothing says "Be Mine" like naming a cockroach after your sweetie.
• Shakespeare's tragic love story gets the cartoon treatment in "Gnomeo & Juliet." Our Ecollywood reporter catches up with the voice stars, including Elton John.
• In "The Death and Life of Monterey Bay," authors Stephen R. Palumbi and Carolyn Sotka track down the history and heroes of the now-magnificent body of water.
• Our family blogger follows up on the story of an elementary school boy in Quebec who was excluded from a school contest because he brought a sandwich bag to school. Should a kid be punished for that?
• And speaking of things that leave you speechless, this ought to do the trick: The city of Austin, seeking input for a new name for its solid waste department, gets an odd response. Apparently, when most residents think of garbage, musician Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit comes to mind.
• True or false? There are more trees today than there were 100 years ago.
• And since we are all about sharing unusual stories that you probably haven't seen elsewhere, here are seven unusual insect courting rituals.
Plus: Don't miss the week in photos, including the funny story behind these stormtrooper figurines (at right.)