Heating up. Something’s brewing in the Pacific Ocean that could bring relief from this hard, hard winter. Its name is El Niño. Meteorologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) said yesterday they see signs that the central Pacific is heating up, which could lead to warmer temperatures, fewer Atlantic hurricanes, and more rain in the American southwest during the next year. El Niños happen once every few years thanks to a combination of wind and waves in the tropics. This one has a 50 percent chance of developing into a full El Niño in summer or fall, according to NOAA.
Athletes on ice. Not enough snow and too much ice are making this year’s Iditarod treacherous, mushers say. The 1,000-mile dogsled race began in Anchorage, Alaska, last Saturday and is expected to last into next week. Mushers are getting injured and sleds disabled as they careen and bump along icy or uncovered ground . “This is the craziest trail I’ve ever seen,” said Hugh Neff, who won the race in 2012. Meanwhile, the Iditarod Trail Invitational bike race is almost over. Cyclists began riding the trail Feb. 23. Rider Jeff Oatley arrived in Nome, Alaska, yesterday, smashing the course record by finishing the race in 10 days, 2 hours, and 53 minutes.
Double dipping. Kentucky legislators are clearing the way for Republican Sen. Rand Paul to run for two offices in 2016. Legislation introduced Thursday would clarify Kentucky law so Paul could run for president while also trying to get re-elected to his Senate seat. Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said he was approached by Paul’s staff about the issue and later spoke several times to Paul himself about it. Several vice presidential candidates have run similar dual campaigns before, including Joe Biden; former Sen. Joe Lieberman, Al Gore’s running mate in 2000; and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Mitt Romney’s running in mate in 2012.
Batkid returns. The California boy who was treated for leukemia and became famous as “Batkid” got to spend time with another superhero after his planned appearance at the Academy Awards was cancelled. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Andrew Garfield, the latest actor to play Spider-Man on the big screen, spent time on Monday with 5-year-old Miles Scott and his family at Disneyland. The two were supposed to appear together during the Oscars the previous day, but the Academy said segments sometimes have to be cut when producing a live show. During an elaborate event made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Scott battled the Riddler and Joker as Batkid last November in San Francisco. His family said Scott was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 18 months old and finished treatments in June.