Snow, Rain, Ice Cover U.K. in Wintry Mess (PHOTOS)Published Jan 14 2015 01:46 PM EST weather.comA tourist stops to look at the winter landscape as snow continues to fall on January 14, 2015 in Tyndrum, Scotland. (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images) Hide thumbnails Severe weather warnings are in place for parts of the U.K. on Wednesday and Thursday as snow continues to cover much of the country.Snow, ice and high winds have caused road blocks and suspended rail services in the U.K. More than 200 schools were closed Wednesday across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.Twenty-four homes were damaged by a reported tornado and two were struck by lightning in Pembrokeshire, Wales, overnight Tuesday, according to BBC.A man died in Devon after his car collided with an overturned truck carrying logs. In Wales, four people were hospitalized after car accidents due to icy road conditions.According to The Daily Mirror, more than 70 Red Cross volunteers were called to help in Northern Scotland and the Western Isles where the storm caused power outages. The volunteers are distributing hot food and drinks, water and gas heaters to those affected.Up to 1.5 inches of rain could fall in Wales, parts of Cumbria and Scotland, according to forecasts from The Weather Channel. Gusts of 50 to 65 mph are expected through Thursday in many areas, with gusts to 75 mph possible in the higher elevations of Scotland.(FORECAST: Powerful Storm Striking U.K.)
132-year-old Winchester found in national park ‘Gun that Won the West’ discovered in remote area of Great Basin National Park in Nevada by park archaeologists; rifle was leaning up against a tree by David StregeA 132-year-old Winchester rifle was discovered leaning against a tree at the Great Basin National Park in Nevada. Photo is from the Great Basin National Park Facebook pageA Winchester rifle known as the Gun that Won the West was discovered leaning up against a tree in a rocky outcrop in a remote area of the Great Basin National Park in Nevada near the Utah border.Park archeologists were surveying in the park last November when they stumbled upon a weathered Winchester blending in with the habitat. Park officials revealed the find via Facebook.The serial number on the Winchester Model 1873 corresponds to a manufacturing and shipping date of 1882 in the records kept by the Center for the West, Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming.The Winchester was exposed to sun, wind, snow, and rain, and was presumably left abandoned by the tree by the original owner based on its condition. The wood stock was cracked and weathered to gray and the brown barrel was rusted.Archaeologists wrapped tape around the wooden stock to keep the Winchester together until it can be restored. Photo from the Great Basin National Park Facebook page“It probably has a very good and interesting story,” Nichole Andler, the park’s chief of interpretation, told the Washington Post. “But it probably is a story that could have happened to almost anyone living this sort of extraordinary existence out here in the Great Basin Desert.”The Great Basin cultural resource staff continues reaching the gun’s history through old newspapers and family histories, hoping to resolve some of the mystery.A close-up of the Winchester. Photo from the Great Basin National Park FacebookWho left the rifle? When and why was it leaned against the tree? Why was it never retrieved? These questions most likely will never get answered, leaving the history of the gun open to speculation.“Great Basin was primarily a mining site at the time, but could have also been home to grazing cattle and sheep,” the Washington Post wrote. “The gun may have also been the relic of game hunting in the area.”What is known is that Winchester Model 1873 rifles were a big part of Western history and lore as an “everyman’s” rifle. Between 1873 and 1916 when production ended, 720,610 were manufactured, including over 25,000 in 1882 when this rifle was made.They sold for $50 at first but were reduced to $25 by 1882.The park said the community will get the opportunity to view the Winchester before it’s sent to conservators “to stabilize the wood and apply museum conservation techniques.”The rifle will be returned to the park and be on display by 2016, when the park celebrates its 30th birthday and the National Park Service celebrates its Centennial.Follow David Strege on Facebook More from GrindTVClimbers make history on Dawn Wall free climb Whitewater carnage reel offers old lessons Explore Topanga Canyon’s hidden treasures National Park #winchesterTRENDING NOW1-3 of 9Unlikely athlete proves it’s never too lateWhat it’s really like to live the #vanlifeHow to train like an Olympic boxer
The states where people die the youngest By Alexander E.M. Hess8 hours agoThe United States has a health problem. Across the country, life expectancies routinely fail to meet the standards set by other developed nations.And even within the U.S., there are wide disparities in life expectancies. In Mississippi, the life expectancy at birth was just 75 years as of 2010 — the shortest expected lifespan in the nation. In both Hawaii and Minnesota, a resident born in 2010 could expect to live 81 years on average, six years longer than in Mississippi.The consequences of a shortened life expectancy are severe. Mortality rates are highest in the states with the lowest life expectancies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In four of these states, the 2012 age-adjusted mortality rate was greater than 900 deaths per 100,000 people. By comparison, the nationwide rate was 732.8 deaths per 100,000 people.Poor health can have an intergenerational effect as well. In the states with the lowest life expectancies at birth, infants were far more likely to suffer from low birthweight. A low birthweight points to two potential issues: poor parental health and future health problems for the child.Yahoo Homes is publishing the five states with the lowest life expectancies below. To see the rest of 10 worst states, visit 247WallSt.com:Some contributors to poor health, and the resulting low life expectancies, are preventable. Smoking, for instance, was far more prevalent in the states with the lowest life expectancies. In West Virginia, more than 27% of adults smoked as of last year. By comparison, just 19% of Americans were smokers. Physical inactivity is also quite high in such states, led by Mississippi, where 35% of people did not exercise regularly.In order to identify the states with the lowest life expectancies at birth in 2010, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed figures from the 2014 study on regional well-being by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Data on age-adjusted mortality rates are from the CDC for 2012. Figures on poverty and health insurance coverage are from the Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey. Other figures cited are from the 2014 edition of America’s Health Rankings, an annual study from the United Health Foundation.These are the states where people die the youngest.Oklahoma thunderstorm.5. OklahomaLife expectancy: 75.9 yearsObesity rate: 32.5% (7th highest)Poverty rate: 16.8% (16th highest)A combination of unhealthy behaviors contributed to Oklahoma’s low life expectancy. Worse still, the state has comparatively few general physicians taking care of the population and encouraging people to be healthy. There were just 84.8 primary care physicians per 100,000 people, third fewest of any state. Nearly 18% of the state did not have health care coverage last year, one of the worst rates in the nation. (Editor’s note: Because a photo agency mislabeled a picture, an earlier version of this article carried a caption misidentifying Nebraska’s Chimney Rock as an Oklahoma pillar called Chimney Rock.)Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) in New Orleans.4. LouisianaLife expectancy: 75.7 yearsObesity rate: 33.1% (6th highest)Poverty rate: 19.8% (3rd highest)Louisiana had some of the highest rates of smoking, inactivity and obesity in the nation. More than 33% of people in the state were obese in 2013, versus 29.4% of all Americans. Poverty is a major factor contributing to obesity, and Louisianans are quite poor. Nearly 20% of the state’s population lived in poverty in 2013, the third highest rate nationwide. Obesity, in turn, contributes to the state’s high level of diabetes, which afflicted 11.6% of the population in 2013.The New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville in West Virginia.2. West Virginia (tie)Life expectancy: 75.4 years Obesity rate: 35.1% (tied-the highest)Poverty rate: 18.5% (10th highest)In 2012, West Virginia had 93.3 preventable hospitalizations for every 1,000 Medicare enrollees, more than in almost any other state. This marks a dramatic improvement from the prior year, when there were more than 103 such hospitalizations per 1,000 enrollees. Still, West Virginia had one of the nation’s worst smoking rates and was tied for the nation’s most obese state, at 35.1% of all adults. It also had 31.3 drug-related deaths for every 100,000 people from 2010 to 2012, by far the worst rate in the nation.An old marker greeting arrivals to Alabama.2. Alabama (tie)Life expectancy: 75.4 years Obesity rate: 32.4% (8th highest)Poverty rate: 18.7% (7th highest)In 2012, Alabama was one of three states where more than 10,000 years of life were lost prematurely, which is the number of years lost by people who died before they reached age 75. Poor health outcomes, such as the nation’s highest rates of diabetes and cardiovascular deaths, contributed to the high level of years of life lost prematurely. There were 329.2 cardiovascular-related deaths per 100,000 people from 2010 to 2012, the second highest rate nationally.The Mississippi Capitol in Jackson.1. MississippiLife expectancy: 75.0 yearsObesity rate: 35.1% (tied-the highest)Poverty rate: 24.0% (the highest)Mississippi had the lowest life expectancy at birth in the United States, at just 75 years in 2010. Contributing to this, MIssissippi was tied for the nation’s most obese state in 2013, with an obesity rate greater than 35%. Mississippians are also the least physically active Americans. Poor health behaviors may contribute to alarmingly high numbers of children born at low birthweights, as well as to premature deaths. As of 2012, there were 10,354 years of life lost prematurely for every 100,000 people, the highest rate in the nation.To see the rest of the 10 states with the shortest lifespans, visit 247WallSt.com.
Duo Completes Historic Free-Climb Up El Capitan’s Dawn Wall in Yosemite, California By Carolyn Williams Published Jan 14 2015 07:53 PM EST weather.com Hardest Free Climb Route in the World Completed!Watch two men tackle the most difficult free climb route in the world. They made their way up the face of El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park. Climbers Kevin Jorgeson, 30, and Tommy Caldwell, 36, made history Wednesday after completing what is said to be the most difficult climb in the world up Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan.The climbers began the epic journey on Dec. 27 after years of planning and reached the summit of El Capitan’s Dawn Wallon a cloudless afternoon at 3:25 p.m. PST, the New York Times reported.The world applauded the men as they were greeted by a group of 40 friends and family and reporters after completing the historic climb, National Geographic reported. The excited party was already toasting the pair with champagne. (MORE: Nik Wallenda Breaks Two World Records After Completing Tightrope Walk Over Chicago)Jorgeson and Caldwell were the first to free-climb Dawn Wall, according to the Associated Press. The men did not climb with the assistance of ropes or additional devices; however, they did use ropes and harnesses solely for their safety.The men lived on the wall for 19 days, eating and sleeping in tents fastened from thousands of feet above. The men did most of the work in the evening hours when the air was cool, the New York Times said. This kept their hands from sweating profusely, and their shoes had better grip.Along the grueling journey, the pair often took rest days to let marred fingers heal. The Associated Press noted they sped up the process using superglue and tape. (MORE: Prison Bus Crash Kills at Least 10 in Icy West Texas)The journey was completed in ‘pitches,’ or sections. To show just how historical this climb was, the New York Times stated completing one pitch would be a career highlight for any climber, yet these men scaled them all.Warren Harding and Dean Caldwell first scaled the Dawn Wall in 1970. El Capitan is a 3,000-foot granite monolith in Yosemite, and Dawn Wall is a vertical face on one side of the famous formation. MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Yosemite National Park Yosemite National ParkHalf Dome Reflection in Yosemite National Park, Calif. (Flickr/Anthony Quintano)
Angry Hippo Chases Speedboat During Unforgettable Experience By Carolyn Williams Published Jan 15 2015 03:54 PM ESTweather.com Huge Hippo Chases Boat in Africa A very large hippo chases a safari boat in Africa as it speeds to get away from the dangerous animal. It was a clear, sunny day on the calm waters of Botswana’s Chobe River when something unforgettable happened — and jaw-dropping video captured it all.On Jan. 6, tourists on a Pangolin photo safari in Chobe National Park were stunned as a giant hippopotamus stalked the craft through the river’s waters and sped after the boat. (MORE: Two Critically Endangered Monkeys Freeze to Death at Louisiana Zoo)The video shows the large creature dip under the water, and then beeline for the boat — heavy wake in its path.The driver guns it, but 15 seconds later, the beast’s head emerges from the water, snarling at the stunned tourists.Toby Jermyn of Pangolin Photo Safaris told Traveller24 the video was taken by South African tourist Craig Clive Jackson, who is also a professional photographer and videographer.The video went viral after Malawian Style Safari and Adventure Holiday managing director Michael Varndell posted the video to his Facebook page Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. Varndell himself is familiar with angry hippos. He commented on Facebook he’s had his own close encounters. Hippos are the most dangerous mammals in Africa, according to National Geographic, and this video is proof.MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Pygmy Hippo Although they can weigh up to 600 pounds, pygmy hippopotamuses are much smaller than other hippopotamuses. (Bob B. Brown/flickr.com)
The Best and Worst Places in the World to Live As Climate Changes By Chris Dolce Published Jan 15 2015 08:03 AM EST weather.com Best Countries: 9 (tie) Germany An index developed at the University of Notre Dame is giving us a glimpse of what countries are the best and worst to live in based on their ability to cope with the impacts of climate change.Enlarge The map above shows how all of the countries around the world ranked on the ND-GAIN index. (ND-GAIN)The rankings come from the so-called ND-GAIN index, which is based on the vulnerability and readiness of each country to adapt to climate change’s impactsVulnerability to climate change is based on six factors: food, water, health, ecosystem service, human habitat and infrastructure. The readiness index is made up of three components: economic readiness, governance readiness and social readiness.A formula is then used to come up with the overall rating for each country around the world on a scale of 0 to 100. The slideshow above shows the 10 best countries to live in according to the ND-GAIN Index. All but one of the top five best countries are located in Europe. The United States ranked eighth.Of the top 10 worst countries, eight are located in Africa. The slideshow below shows the countries with the lowest ND-GAIN Index rankings.To see the full interactive ND-GAIN map, click here. Worst Countries: #169 Guinea-Bissau