MNN week in review montage


• The name William Dampier may not mean anything to you, but this swashbuckling pirate was one of the world's most influentual naturalists. A new book about him may change his place in history.


• Those who play in the snow for a living know how damaging global warming can be, so it makes sense that these professional snowboarders have become strong voices in the environmental movement.


• El Paso, Texas, is a culturally mixed college town surrounded by both desert and mountains. Sounds like a perfect destination for eco-tourists looking for a new kind of excursion.


Tough Guy Challenge• As a dedicated blood donor, our family blogger has mixed emotions about the American Red Cross' attempt to lure new donors with prizes. What do you think?


• In centuries past, heroic deeds were honored with sculpture and art. Today? Well, we've got our iPhones. Here are five heroic acts caught on video — and keep in mind that not all heroes are human.


• In case you haven't been paying attention, this weekend is the Super Bowl. We've got everything you need for last-minute party preparations.


• Studies show we pay less attention and get into more accidents when Kanye West or the Foo Fighters are blaring from the dashboard. So is a new form of chill-out music the answer to safer driving?


• For years, climate change has been stretching the definition of what's OK to plant and where, giving gardeners new options. Finally, the USDA has restructured its zoning maps to reflect the changes.


• Our food blogger says she owes a debt to the teacher who introduced her to "A Wrinkle in Time." As the book turns 50, she shares how the book has shaped her thinking.  


• Where do you wear your pajamas? That's the question Starre Vartan posed this week in a story about the changing definition of appropriate attire.


• And let's round out this week's offerings with this cultural signpost: You know how much the world is changing by what you can find in a vending machine.


Plus: Don't miss the week in photos to learn more about the Tough Guy Challenge (above) and enjoy our monthly roundup of animal photos while you're at it. (The sweet moment below is just a taste. Enjoy!)


man with dog under blanket

MNN's week in review: 1 noble pirate, 4 climate-conscious snowboarders and more
Catch up on the most compelling environmental stories of the week with this roundup, including climate change-railing snowboarders and a pirate whose plant work