MNN week in review montage


• It takes a thirst for adventure and a brave spirit to venture into the harsh landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctic, but courageous men and women have been doing so for more than a century. Here are 12 of history's greatest polar explorers.


• The voices behind the penguins of "Happy Feet Two" — Elijah Wood (above right), Robin Williams, Common and more — keep it green at home in keeping with the theme of their new animated feature. Catch up with the rest of our celebrity updates, including Shailene Woodley of "The Descendants," here.


• MNN's Kimi Harris offers her own family's story as an example of why the organic eating trend is growing, despite tough economic times.


Lab puppy with a red bow• Surgical stapling and anesthesia are common sights in a modern operating room, but it wasn't always that way. Long before they could be found in every operating room in the world, these tools and processes had some curious beginnings. 


Why are California's birds getting larger? Ever since the release of Alfred Hitchcock's famous movie in 1963, they've been growing. Find out why.


• Want to spoil your pet this Christmas? Pet expert Morieka Johnson offers a bevy of great gift ideas.


• Where's the love? Automakers are creating affordable gas and diesel engine cars capable of 50 mpg, but the federal government isn't bending over backward to help them, writes auto expert Jim Motovalli.


• What can a fish wrapper teach us about sustainable design? Chris Turner writes about German seafood wholesaler Deutsche See. The company went looking for a better brand, but instead it found a more sustainable packing crate. 


• There's a wild side of Puerto Rico, but not that many people are aware of it. Travel writer Josh Lew shows you how to enjoy the less-developed side of this Caribbean destination.


• Take a look at these amazing animals with just the right characteristics and skills to aid researchers in combating everything from global warming to ocean pollution. 


Plus: Don't miss the week in photos, including a larger version of this oddly calm image of an Occupy Wall Street protester.

reflective Occupy Wall Street protester


MNN week in review: Famous explorers and a lesson in sustainable design
A compilation of the best original stories from Mother Nature Network for the week, including famous polar explorers, the voices behind "Happy Feet Two" and muc