MNN week in review montage

Our picks for the week of July 17-23: 

• It was supposed to be Carmageddon in L.A., but instead the two-day closure of the busiest freeway in Los Angeles reiterated a timeless lesson about cars: We lose less than we think when we make them a lower priority in our cities.

• Do you love animals but can't have any as pets because you're allergic? Think again. We've rounded up 10 of the best pets for allergy sufferers.

• The U.S. has enough oil and natural gas pipelines to circle the Earth 100 times. In light of the Yellowstone oil spill and other recent disasters, now's a good time to examine the risks of aging pipelines.

• If a celebrity endorsement persuades kids to use a phone app that prevents on-the-road texting, emailing and phone use, our auto blogger, Jim Motavalli, can't complain. But, for the record, Justin Bieber refused to take his call.

• Remember back when your new, crisp, fresh-smelling phone book would arrive at your doorstep? These days, you’re more likely to see phone books outside the house than in. So who still uses them, anyway?

  

• This Shell gas station in North Carolina is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is but one of 14 bizarre gas stations worth a visit. 

• 'Captain Planet' is going to be transformed into a live-action movie hero. You've heard it all before, you say? This time it's for real.

• Can a 72,000-square-foot home be considered eco-friendly? A concrete kingpin, who's building an energy-efficient "residential chateau" in rural Missouri that's built to withstand an F-5 tornado, thinks so.

• Due in part to urban lore, a few disturbing news stories and the overactive imaginations of protective parents, ice cream vans have gotten a shady rep in recent years. So how do you tell if the guy (or gal) playing creepy music on your street is legit?
• The trendy Paleo Diet — free of grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, processed oils and gluten, and rich in lean, organic meats, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruit and nuts — is so basic, even a caveman could do it. Wait. That's the whole point.
Plus: Don't forget to check out the week in photos.