Quick Hits: 70-Year-Old Pennsylvania man sets marathon world record

70-year-old Pennsylvania man sets world age group record for marathon

Seventy-year-old Pennsylvania resident Gene Dykes set a world record for his age group when he crossed the finish line of the Jacksonville marathon in 2:54:23 on December 15, breaking the previous record set in 2004 of 2:54:48 by 25 seconds. Dykes averaged a 6:39 pace during his record setting run. A retired computer programmer, Dykes discovered his talent for running later in life and is now a frequent racer, competing marathons and ultra marathons. Just two weeks before he broke the world record, he ran a 31-mile ultra marathon on December 1 and then the California International Marathon a day later on December 2. “My ability to recover is my superpower,” he told Runners World.

Coal supporter Joe Manchin of West Virginia to be ranking Democrat on Senate Energy Committee

On Tuesday Senate democrats named Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) as the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The panel oversees the Energy and Interior departments, including public lands, energy policy, energy efficiency standards and fossil fuel production on federal land and offshore. Manchin is a strong supporter of the coal industry and regularly sides with the Trump administration on energy matters. However, last week he voted against Bernard McNamee, Trump’s nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, because he denied the science of climate change. Still, some environmentalists are calling on Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Minority Leader, to use his authority to name someone else as ranking member. For his part Manchin says he will lead with an open mind and take the concerns of the Democratic caucus, environmentalists, and renewable energy advocates seriously.

Endangered monk seals keep getting eels stuck up their noses

A rare phenomenon is baffling scientists in the Hawaiian Islands: juvenile Hawaiian monk seals keep getting eels stuck up their noses. It began about two years ago when the first monk seal was found with an eel hanging out of its nose. Unsure of what to do, scientists ultimately decided to pull the two-and-a-half foot eel from the seal’s nostril. Since then there have been three or four reported cases of eels stuck in monk seals noses. Though scientists don’t know why eels are getting stuck in the noses of young monk seals, theories range from the idea that eels are mistaking the seal’s nostril for a coral reef and swimming in to hide to “snorting eels” as a silly teenage monk seal trend, the equivalent of planking or flossing (the dance, not dental hygiene) in teenage humans. No matter the cause, all eels have been successfully removed with no injury to the monk seals, though none of the eels survived the ordeal.

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