week in review image of explorer, wild colored rose

• It's dangerous work to explore new worlds, and these four explorers paid the ultimate price. Learn more about Ferdinand Magellan (pictured above) and other famous adventurers who died during their missions.


• Just as geneticists have tinkered with food plants to create hardier and more profitable varieties, a new crop of floral geneticists have been creating flower varieties that defy nature


• Along the same vein, some houses blend into their natural environments, while others announce themselves more abruptly. Take a look at these homes influenced by nature, but not always in a good way.


toque macaque• Unless you voted early, you'll be heading to the polls on Tuesday. Here are 12 state ballot measures that put environmental issues front and center. (We'll follow up and let you know how they turned out.)


• Political news is picking back up after Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm that made everything else seem a lot less important. Two issues that might be on your mind: how can I help the victims of Sandy, and what's the connection between hurricanes and global warming


• Halloween came and went this week — the perfect opportunity to trot out some pet costume ideas and helpful advice on how to keep your pet safe and happy.


• What happens to your body when you sneeze? (Finding the answer to odd questions like that is all in a day's work for our advice columnists.)


• Ever taken over-the-counter painkillers? There are definite benefits to these ubiquitous pills, but there are also some risks involved.


• If your questions are more worldly, check out these 10 overlooked eco-tourism destinations.


• "Sustainability is not a luxury good." That's the mantra at IKEA as the company releases a sustainability strategy that, among many things, has the retailer striving toward complete energy independence by 2020.


Finally, let's wind things down with a look at the best animal photos of October, including a pirate cat and the mother toque macaque (pictured above) as she pulls her baby's tail.


Famous explorers, genetically engineered flowers and more in MNN's week in review
We look at how nature influences architecture — but not always in a positive way — and some environmentally themed ballot measures that voters will consider