MNN week in review montage

Our picks for the week of Jan. 16-22: 

• The planet Venus may be beautiful, but it's a hostile environment. Learn more about the second planet from the sun with this gallery of surreal images.

• Yes, we know "American Idol" doesn't have much to do with the environment, but we thought this look back at the show's worst contestants — with video clips, no less — might make you smile.

• On the more serious side, we look at Joseph Lieberman's environmental legacy as he announces his retirement from the U.S. Senate.

• All the recent snow and ice got us wondering about a staple of Snowpocalypse recovery: Road salt. Our reporter ferrets out the environmental implications of salt and the alternatives.

Cover of "American Wasteland" (book cover, left) peels back the curtain on America's crazy system of food waste. (You'll be amazed at how much we waste and how.)

• This week, we take you to Jekyll Island on the Georgia coast. This onetime getaway for the rich and famous is preserved for the average Joe to enjoy.

• Now here's some truly practical advice: 6 annoying driving habits and what you can do about them.

• Garden-variety allergies are nothing to sneeze at, but here are 10 bizarre allergies that will make you seriously paranoid.

• The green building competition called the Solar Decathlon is one of our favorite events. But this year's gathering is only months away and is still searching for a new home.

flooded wind turbine farm• Author Monte Reel discusses his fascination with a "Lone Indian" — the last of his tribe — and what he represents in the larger struggle for preservation in Brazil and the rest of the world. 

Plus: Don't miss the week in photos, which includes this ironic yet lovely image of a flooded wind turbine farm (at right.)

MNN week in review: 'American Idol' screechers and the serenity of Venus
Catch up on the environmental headlines from Mother Nature Network for the week of Jan. 16-22.