Yow, That's Some Feat!

* If you took a pair of Yao Ming's shoes and stacked them toe to heel, that's about how much snow the Washington area has had so far this year.

Since Dec. 1, 34.5 inches of snow have been measured at Reagan National Airport, meteorologist Kerry Schwindenhammer said yesterday. But by the time the latest winter blast blows through the area today and into Friday morning, there could be another 10 inches on the ground. That will put us pretty darn close to three Yao Ming shoe lengths of snow.

Today's forecast calls for just flurries in the morning. But as the day wears on, the snow will get steadier and heavier. As for the weekend, Schwindenhammer says, "My gut feeling is that March will come in cold and a lot more like a lion than a lamb."

Wow, That's Old!

* An Asian elephant who dragged cannons for the Japanese army during World War II died yesterday in a zoo in Taiwan.

Lin Wang was 86 and believed to be the world's oldest Asian elephant. He was 26 years old when he was captured by the Chinese army in 1943. He continued to do heavy lifting until he retired in 1954 to the Taipei Zoo, where he lived with a female elephant named Ma Lan.

Children of Taiwan nicknamed the elephant Grandpa Lin, and the zoo threw birthday parties for him each year.

Ma Lan died last year. Lin Wang hadn't behaved the same since, his zoo handlers said.

-- From staff and wire reports

Lin Wang was a veteran of World War II.