MNN week in review montage


Our picks for the week of Sept. 4-10, 2011. 


• Could "Contagion" really happen? MNN entertainment writer Gerri Miller talks to the expert behind the new movie about why you should be worried about an outbreak.


• In today's culture of mass consumption, the things we throw away often vanish from our minds — but all that trash has to go somewhere. MNN looks at the appalling numbers behind our garbage habit.


• Nothing says ingenuity like the bi-annual Solar Decathlon. Don't miss this preview of solar-powered houses, the creations of 19 collegiate teams from around the world. 


horse and trainer swim• With approval ratings at an all-time low, President Obama can't afford to offend environmentalists. But from cap-and-trade to smog standards to the Keystone XL oil pipeline, he seems to be doing just that. MNN blogger Russell McLendon weighs in.


Southeastern Ohio doesn't have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (that's in Cleveland) but it does offer the perfect locale for a nature-driven vacation. Josh Lew tells you where to stay and where to find great green vittles.


• Ask anyone to define "home," and you'll get a different answer ... but probably not like this one. Artist Gregory Kloehn has created a comfortable, one-room dwelling complete with hardwood flooring and stainless steel appliances — in a Dumpster.


• Blogger Chris Turner took a relaxing family trip to Hawaii, but his analytical brain didn't go on vacation. He shares a valid question: why would a Hawaiin coffee shop server imported bananas?


• This weekend will be rife with coverage of the 10th annivesary of Sept. 11. Here's your channel-by-channel guide.


• MNN's Morieka Johnson addresses a topic any pet lover should consider: How to include pets in your estate plans.


• And finally, author Brian Fagan examines the resource that so many of us take for granted, and lays out the consequences that may await if we don't change our ways. Check out 'Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind'


Plus: Don't forget to check out the week in photos and learn the back story on the stunning swimming photo, above. 
MNN week in review: Sleek Solar Decathlon houses and astounding garbage numbers
This week's best bets from Mother Nature Network, including a preview of the houses to be built during the 2011 Solar Decathlon, some stunning (and appalling) g