One of my pet peeves with certain stories I see in mainstream news outlets are those which say "scientists say ..." or "scientists discover ..." in the headline or in the story itself.
It is the rare boy who hasn't been in love with dinosaurs. I still have a fondness for dinosaurs, but I haven't been keeping up with the news, given how much is coming out concerning dinosaurs from their over a hundred millions of years of existence. So I find the video podcast Dinosaurs: Before They Were Fuels to be a nice way to hear about dinosaurs. It's a light-hearted and light-weight way to keep up with current news about dinosaurs, which is a good thing considering all of the other stuff that gobbles up my time.
The good news about the conflict between Russia and Georgia is that it seems to have subsided, although Russia is still dragging its feet. It's a relief to know that fears of a third world war were overblown, not that many people besides myself worried about it.
One outcome of the conflict is that Georgia ended up looking much better than Russia in the foreign media. Despite Georgia having attacked the separatist region of South Ossetia, Russia didn't help its image by raining down as much or even more destruction on the region and invading non-separatist regions of Georgia.
Their image also isn't at all helped by the fact that they're trying to prevent Georgia from doing what they already did with Chechnya, and the fact that they used unsubstantiated and apparently false claims of genocide as an excuse even as South Ossetians loot other Georgians. And they're doing a rather miserable job of making themselves not look like a nation with imperial ambitions, with the way they gave out Russian passports to South Ossetians and then claiming that they're invading to protect their citizens.
While there have been faults on both sides, although it may be unclear which side is "more" wrong, Russia clearly needs a better handle on diplomacy and foreign public relations.
Glenn Greenwald wrote an excellent summary of certain facts concerning the anthrax attack suspect that killed himself. It highlights the fact that most media claims concerning his instability comes from a social worker who isn't terribly credible, especially when everyone else had a very different impression of him. It strengthens my suspicion that Dr. Ivins, the suspect for the anthrax attack, was an innocent researcher on whom the pressure from the FBI investigation drove him to suicide. However, I don't think the investigation was the main impetus for his suicide; it's more probable that it had merely aggravated an already existing mood disorder. Even if the social worker was telling only the truth, it could easily have been due to a depression made worse by the investigation, rather than him being psychopathic from birth.
Of course, I'm rather removed from all the facts and the above is largely speculation, but I think it's most likely. It's still entirely possible that he was indeed the perpetuator of the attacks or that he was murdered in a way to look like suicide so that the case could be officially closed. In any case, all the evidence that has been made available to the public so far is purely circumstantial; the FBI would have to reveal really strong evidence to convince everyone that the case should be closed.