MNN week in review montage

Our picks for the week of May 15-21: 

• Pittsburgh may not be the first place top spring to mind as a city full of nature, but as the paddler in the photo above can attest, this week's destination has moved far beyond its steel town roots.

• Catch up with Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, stars of the latest "Pirates" installment, "On Stranger Tides."

donkey painted like a zebra in Gaza• Most zoos have come a long way since the term was coined in the 1840s, but there are still organizations that don't care for the animals properly. (For example, that's a painted donkey masquerading as a zebra, at right.) Here are six of the saddest zoos in the world. 

• Carmakers have always liked making auto parts out of unconventional materials, but did you know that Ford is making synthetic rubber out of Russian dandelions?

• In "Addict Nation," author Jane Velez-Mitchell of CNN says it's time for a nationwide intervention. Find out why.

• What better place to work on your kids' manners than the family dinner table? MNN Food Blogger Robin Shreeves gives you one more reason to embrace this tradition at your house.

• The weather outside shouts, "Let's go camping!" To get you in the mood, we'll remind you of 10 famous Appalachian Trail hikers and 10 ways to make your next camping trip eco-friendly.

Is your pet scared of the vet? It's a common anxiety, and here's some expert advice on how to handle that behavior. 

• Climate scientists in Australia — apparently tired of being ignored — have discovered a new tool to get out their message: A rap video.

• Humans may have impressive brains, but we are puny in the grand scheme of things. To make that point, here are the biggest animals to ever roam the Earth.

Plus: Don't forget to check out the week in photos, including this gorgeous image of Endeavour taking off (below.)

Photo of Gaza Zoo: ZUMA Press; Photo of shuttle: ZUMA Press

MNN week in review: The new 'Pirates' movie, how Pittsburgh has blossomed and shameful zoos
This week's best bets from Mother Nature Network for the week of May 15-21, 2011.