07/18/2014

Weather Blog: Watch This Meteor Create A Fireball

From Jude Redfield...

    Amazing video of a meteor caught on camera last night in North Carolina. It may have even been seen here in Kentuckiana. The post below was from a WDRB News viewer. I think you might have seen this...**A MUST WATCH VIDEO BELOW**

UCF

 

 

07/17/2014

Our Area Is One Of 16 States Recently Assessed As Having A "High Risk" Of A Damaging Earthquake!

There is a new article from the USGS addressing the threats the US faces with potential major earthquakes going forward. What you may not be prepared to read is that Kentucky is at high risk! Check out the latest courtesy of the USGS...

 

New Insight on the Nation’s Earthquake Hazards

 

National Map

2014 USGS National Seismic Hazard Map, displaying intensity of potential ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years (which is the typical lifetime of a building).

 

To help make the best decisions to protect communities from earthquakes, new USGS maps display how intense ground shaking could be across the nation.

The USGS recently updated their U.S. National Seismic Hazard Maps, which reflect the best and most current understanding of where future earthquakes will occur, how often they will occur, and how hard the ground will likely shake as a result.

42 States at Risk; 16 States at High Risk

 Students Conduct Earthquake Preparedness Drill

Students conduct the “drop, cover, hold on” safety procedure during an earthquake preparedness drill. Photo Credit: Jessica Robertson, USGS

 

While all states have some potential for earthquakes, 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing damaging ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years (the typical lifetime of a building). Scientists also conclude that 16 states have a relatively high likelihood of experiencing damaging ground shaking. These states have historically experienced earthquakes with a magnitude 6 or greater.

The hazard is especially high along the west coast, intermountain west, and in several active regions of the central and eastern U.S., such as near New Madrid, MO, and near Charleston, SC. The 16 states at highest risk are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

While these overarching conclusions of the national-level hazard are similar to those of the previous maps released in 2008, details and estimates differ for many cities and states. Several areas have been identified as being capable of having the potential for larger and more powerful earthquakes than previously thought due to more data and updated earthquake models. The most prominent changes are discussed below.

 

Informed Decisions Based on the Maps

With an understanding of potential ground shaking levels, various risk analyses can be calculated by considering factors like population levels, building exposure, and building construction practices. This is used for establishing building codes, and in the analysis of seismic risk for key structures. This can also help in determining insurance rates, emergency preparedness plans, and private property decisions such as re-evaluating one’s home and making it more resilient.

These maps are part of USGS contributions to the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), which is a congressionally-established partnership of four federal agencies with the purpose of reducing risks to life and property in the U.S. that result from earthquakes. The contributing agencies are the USGS, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Institute of Standards and Technology, and National Science Foundation (NSF). As an example of the collaboration, the hazards identified in the USGS maps underlie FEMA-sponsored seismic design provisions that are incorporated into building codes adopted by states and localities. The maps also reflect investments in research by academic and other scientists supported by grants from the USGS and the NSF.

“The standards for seismic safety in building codes are directly based upon USGS assessments of potential ground shaking from earthquakes, and have been for years,” said Jim Harris, a member and former chair of the Provisions Update Committee of the Building Seismic Safety Council.

“The committees preparing those standards welcome this updated USGS information as a basis for making decisions and continuing to ensure the most stable and secure construction.”

 

Key Updates

East Coast

The eastern U.S. has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments. As one example, scientists learned a lot following the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck Virginia in 2011. It was among the largest earthquakes to occur along the east coast in the last century, and helped determine that even larger events are possible. Estimates of earthquake hazards near Charleston, SC, have also gone up due to the assessment of earthquakes in the state.

In New York City, the maps indicate a slightly lower hazard for tall buildings than previously thought (but still a hazard nonetheless). Scientists estimated a lower likelihood for slow shaking from an earthquake near the city. Slow shaking is likely to cause more damage to tall structures in contrast, compared to fast shaking which is more likely to impact shorter structures.

Central U.S.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone has been identified to have a larger range of potential earthquake magnitudes and locations than previously identified. This is a result of a range of new research, part of which was recently compiled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

West Coast

In California, earthquake hazard extends over a wider area than previously thought. Most notably, faults were recently discovered, raising earthquake hazard estimates for San Jose, Vallejo and San Diego. On the other hand, new insights on faults and rupture processes reduced earthquake hazard estimates for Irvine, Santa Barbara and Oakland. Hazard increased in some parts of the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles region and decreased in other parts. These updates were from the new Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast Model, which incorporates many more potential fault ruptures than did previous assessments. Recent earthquakes in Alaska, Mexico and New Zealand taught scientists more about complex ruptures and how faults can link together. This insight was applied to California for which approximately 250,000 potential complex ruptures were modeled.

New research on the Cascadia Subduction Zone resulted in increased estimates of earthquake magnitude up to magnitude 9.3. Deep-sea cores were collected that show evidence within the sea-floor sediments of large earthquake-generated mudflows. Earthquake shaking estimates were also increased following abundant data gathered from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Tohoku, Japan in 2011 and the magnitude 8.2 earthquake offshore of Chile in 2014, as those events ruptured along subduction zones similar to the Pacific Northwest zone.

Damage to Washington National Cathedral

Damage to the Washington National Cathedral in DC from the earthquake in Virginia on August 23, 2011. Photo Credit: William Leith, USGS

 

In Washington, scientists incorporated new knowledge of the Tacoma Fault into the maps and identified changes to the geometry of the Whidbey Island fault in the northern Puget Sound. Earthquake hazard also increased for Las Vegas because of new science. In Utah, scientists dug trenches to study prehistoric earthquakes along the Wasatch Fault. While the overall seismic hazard didn’t change significantly, detailed changes were made to the fault models in this region and robust data were acquired to hone the assessments. This is valuable since approximately 75% of Utah’s population, including the residents of Salt Lake City, lives near this fault.

The magnitude 7.9 earthquake in Wenchuan, China in 2008 provided many new records of shaking that are very similar to anticipated future earthquakes in the western U.S., as the fault structures are similar. Previously, scientists did not have nearly as many shaking records from earthquakes of this size.

 

Induced Earthquakes … Research Underway

Some states have experienced increased seismicity in the past few years that may be associated with human activities such as the disposal of wastewater in deep wells.

One specific focus for the future is including an additional layer to these earthquake hazard maps to account for recent potentially triggered earthquakes that occur near some wastewater disposal wells. Injection-induced earthquakes are challenging to incorporate into hazard models because they may not behave like natural earthquakes and their rates change based on man-made activities.

You Can’t Plan If …

“USGS earthquake science is vital because you can’t plan for earthquakes if you don’t know what you are planning for,” said Mark Petersen, Chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project. “Our nation’s population and exposure to large earthquakes has grown tremendously in recent years. The cost of inaction in planning for future earthquakes and other natural disasters can be very high, as demonstrated by several recent damaging events across the globe. It is important to understand the threat you face from earthquakes at home and the hazards for the places you might visit. The USGS is dedicated to applying the best available science in developing reliable products useful for reducing the earthquake risk across the U.S.”

 

 

For those that want a little more info on the activity along the New Madrid Fault Line, I wrote a blog about some of the legendary events in our region. The early 1800 earthquakes were absolute monsters and here is a bit more on these huge events for those that are interested...

 

More Details On The New Madrid Fault

 

If you didn't know, the New Madrid fault is a major fault line that runs from western KY/ TN through MO / AR. This fault line has been responsible for some monster earthquakes in our region. Here is a look at the area per the USGS...

 

New Madrid

In the early 1800s, there was a serious of huge earthquakes that occurred along the New Madrid fault causing extensive damage to the region. Purdue University's Eric Calais posted a great image showing a "Shake Map" for the major December 16, 1811 earthquake.

 

New Madrid 2

 

The USGS recounts the series of earthquakes from 1811 - 1812 which are really the legendary earthquakes in modern times for our region. These earthquakes created some incredible events including very rare sand blasts! Here is a look at a historical look at these events per the USGS...

 

A Sequence of Three Main Shocks in 1811-1812


This sequence of three very large earthquakes is usually referred to as the New Madrid earthquakes, after the Missouri town that was the largest settlement on the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri and Natchez, Mississippi. On the basis of the large area of damage (600,000 square kilometers), the widespread area of perceptibility (5,000,000 square kilometers), and the complex physiographic changes that occurred, the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812 rank as some of the largest in the United States since its settlement by Europeans. They were by far the largest east of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. and Canada. The area of strong shaking associated with these shocks is two to three times as large as that of the 1964 Alaska earthquake and 10 times as large as that of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Because there were no seismographs in North America at that time, and very few people in the New Madrid region, the estimated magnitudes of this series of earthquakes vary considerably and depend on modern researchers' interpretations of journals, newspaper reports, and other accounts of the ground shaking and damage. The magnitudes of the three principal earthquakes of 1811-1812 described below are the preferred values taken from research involved with producing the 2008 USGS National Seismic Hazard Map (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1128/).

 

A Robust Aftershock Sequence for each Main Shock


The first principal earthquake, M7.7, occurred at about 2:15 am (local time) in northeast Arkansas on December 16, 1811. The second principal shock, M7.5, occurred in Missouri on January 23, 1812, and the third, M7.7, on February 7, 1812, along the Reelfoot fault in Missouri and Tennessee. The earthquake ground shaking was not limited to these principal main shocks, as there is evidence for a fairly robust aftershock sequence. The first and largest aftershock occurred on December 16, 1811 at about 7:15 am. At least three other large aftershocks are inferred from historical accounts on December 16 and 17. These three events are believed to range between M6.0 and 6.5 in size and to be located in Arkansas and Missouri. This would make a total of seven earthquakes of magnitude M6.0-7.7 occurring in the period December 16, 1811 through February 7, 1812. In total, Otto Nuttli reported more than 200 moderate to large aftershocks in the New Madrid region between December 16, 1811, and March 15, 1812: ten of these were greater than about 6.0; about one hundred were between M5.0 and 5.9; and eighty-nine were in the magnitude 4 range. Nuttli also noted that about eighteen hundred earthquakes of about M3.0 to 4.0 during the same period.

 

Large Area of Damaging Shaking


The first earthquake of December 16, 1811 caused only slight damage to man-made structures, mainly because of the sparse population in the epicentral area. The extent of the area that experienced damaging earth motion, which produced Modified Mercalli Intensity greater than or equal to VII, is estimated to be 600,000 square kilometers. However, shaking strong enough to alarm the general population (intensity greater than or equal to V) occurred over an area of 2.5 million square kilometers.

 

Shaking Caused Sand Blows, River Bank Failures, Landslides, and Sunken Land


The earthquakes caused the ground to rise and fall - bending the trees until their branches intertwined and opening deep cracks in the ground. Deep seated landslides occurred along the steeper bluffs and hillslides; large areas of land were uplifted permanently; and still larger areas sank and were covered with water that erupted through fissures or craterlets. Huge waves on the Mississippi River overwhelmed many boats and washed others high onto the shore. High banks caved and collapsed into the river; sand bars and points of islands gave way; whole islands disappeared. Surface fault rupturing from these earthquakes has not been detected and was not reported, however. The region most seriously affected was characterized by raised or sunken lands, fissures, sinks, sand blows, and large landslides that covered an area of 78,000 - 129,000 square kilometers, extending from Cairo, Illinois, to Memphis, Tennessee, and from Crowley's Ridge in northeastern Arkansas to Chickasaw Bluffs, Tennessee. Only one life was lost in falling buildings at New Madrid, but chimneys were toppled and log cabins were thrown down as far distant as Cincinnati, Ohio, St. Louis, Missouri, and in many places in Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee.

A notable area of subsidence that formed during the February 7, 1812, earthquake is Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee, just east of Tiptonville dome on the downdropped side of the Reelfoot scarp. Subsidence there ranged from 1.5 to 6 meters, although larger amounts were reported.

Other areas subsided by as much as 5 meters, although 1.5 to 2.5 meters was more common. Lake St. Francis, in eastern Arkansas, which was formed by subsidence during both prehistoric and the 1811-1812 earthquakes, is 64 kilometers long by 1 kilometer wide. Coal and sand were ejected from fissures in the swamp land adjacent to the St. Francis River, and the water level is reported to have risen there by 8 to 9 meters.

Large waves (seiches) were generated on the Mississippi River by seismically-induced ground motions deforming the riverbed. Local uplifts of the ground and water waves moving upstream gave the illusion that the river was flowing upstream. Ponds of water also were agitated noticeably.

 

Surface Deformation--Evidence for Pre-Historic Earthquakes


The Lake County uplift, about 50 kilometers long and 23 kilometers wide, stands above the surrounding Mississippi River Valley by as much as 10 meters in parts of southwest Kentucky, southeast Missouri, and northwest Tennessee. The uplift apparently resulted from vertical movement along several, ancient, subsurface faults. Most of the uplift occurred during prehistoric earthquakes. A strong correlation exists between modern seismicity and the uplift, indicating that stresses that produced the uplift may still exist today. Within the Lake County uplift, Tiptonville dome, which is about 14 kilometers in width and 11 kilometers in length, shows the largest upwarping and the highest topographic relief. It is bounded on the east by 3-m high Reelfoot scarp. Although most of Tiptonville dome formed between 200 and 2,000 years ago, additional uplifting deformed the northwest and southeast parts of the dome during the earthquakes of 1811-1812.


1811, December 16, 08:15 UTC Northeast Arkansas - the first main shock
2:15 am local time
Magnitude ~7.7

This powerful earthquake was felt widely over the entire eastern United States. People were awakened by the shaking in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Charleston, South Carolina. Perceptible ground shaking was in the range of one to three minutes depending upon the observers location. The ground motions were described as most alarming and frightening in places like Nashville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky. Reports also describe houses and other structures being severely shaken with many chimneys knocked down. In the epicentral area the ground surface was described as in great convulsion with sand and water ejected tens of feet into the air (liquefaction).


1811, December 16, 13:15 UTC Northeast Arkansas - the "Dawn" Aftershock
7:15 am local time
Magnitude ~7.0

A large event felt on the East Coast that is sometimes regarded as the fourth principal earthquake of the 1811-1812 sequence. The event is described as "severe" at New Bourbon, Missouri, and was described by boatman John Bradbury, who was moored to a small island south of New Madrid, as "terrible, but not equal to the first". Hough believes that this large aftershock occurred around dawn in the New Madrid region near the surface projection of the Reelfoot fault.


1812, January 23, 15:15 UTC, New Madrid, Missouri
9:15 am local time,
Magnitude ~7.5

The second principal shock of the 1811-1812 sequence. It is difficult to assign intensities to the principal shocks that occurred after 1811 because many of the published accounts describe the cumulative effects of all the earthquakes and because the Ohio River was iced over, so there was little river traffic and fewer human observers. Using the December 16 earthquake as a standard, however, there is a general consensus that this earthquake was the smallest of the three principals. The meizoseismal area was characterized by general ground warping, ejections, fissuring, severe landslides, and caving of stream banks.


1812, February 7, 09:45 UTC, New Madrid, Missouri
3:45 am local time,
Magnitude ~7.7

The third principal earthquake of the 1811-1812 series. Several destructive shocks occurred on February 7, the last of which equaled or surpassed the magnitude of any previous event. The town of New Madrid was destroyed. At St. Louis, many houses were damaged severely and their chimneys were thrown down. The meizoseismal area was characterized by general ground warping, ejections, fissuring, severe landslides, and caving of stream banks.

 

 

It really gets your attention when you read that the New Madrid fault zone still remains a region at risk for large earthquakes.

 

 

 

 

Remember it is Summer storm season and if you want to be one of my storm spotters, you can join me on my facebook or twitter page. Just follow the link below and click "like" or "follow".

 

If you ever have any question, please remember I can be reached on facebook or twitter easily! Just follow the link below to my facebook or twitter page and click "LIKE/FOLLOW"!

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marc-Weinberg/171330336238674#!/pages/Marc-Weinberg/171330336238674

 

http://twitter.com/MarcWeinbergWX

Catatumbo Lightning: The Largest Light Show On Earth!

The Catatumbo Lightning is an atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela. It occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. The frequent, powerful flashes of lightning over this relatively small area are considered to be the world's largest single generator of tropospheric ozone.

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Image Courtesy: Wiki

It originates from a mass of stormclouds at a height of more than 5 km, and occurs during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour. It occurs over and around Lake Maracaibo, typically over the bog area formed where the Catatumbo River flows into the lake.

Columbus-day

Image Courtesy: Wiki

After appearing continually for centuries, the lightning ceased from January to April 2010, apparently due to drought. This raised fears that it might have been extinguished permanently. The phenomenon reappeared after several months. Text Courtesy: Wiki

 

Video Courtesy: AccuWeather

 

-Rick DeLuca

 

Rick

 

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

Today's Blog: 24 Days Until....

From Jude Redfield...

    The excitement builds for many as the countdown to shark week is now down to 24 days.  I will work on a few more shark blogs leading up to this. Today is just an appetizer :)   Do you know what the fastest shark is?

 

 

You can follow the official countdown here...

Shark Week Countdown

07/16/2014

Severe Storm Hits Airport With Damaging Winds! The Video Of What Happens Next Is WILD...

This is one of those videos that you will probably watch multiple times. On April 23rd, 2014, a microburst hit the US Air Force Academy Airfield with 55 knot or 63 mph winds. At the time, the glider team was getting ready for training so the tow planes were lined up ready and ready to go. That in itself is not surprising, but watch what happens when the 60+ MPH winds hits the tow planes! I mean WOW! WARNING... THERE IS SOME ADULT LANGUAGE IN THE VIDEO.

 

 

 

 

It blows my mind that the two planes didn't just take off, but they flew for a while! There is no video that I am aware of showing the tow planes coming down, but I assume it wasn't pretty. Just amazing video!

 

 

 

Remember it is Summer storm season and if you want to be one of my storm spotters, you can join me on my facebook or twitter page. Just follow the link below and click "like" or "follow".

 

If you ever have any question, please remember I can be reached on facebook or twitter easily! Just follow the link below to my facebook or twitter page and click "LIKE/FOLLOW"!

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marc-Weinberg/171330336238674#!/pages/Marc-Weinberg/171330336238674

 

http://twitter.com/MarcWeinbergWX

 

A Massive Hole Mysteriously Appears in Northern Russia!

An urgent expedition left earlier today to probe a giant crater that has appeared in gas-rich northern Siberia. 

Extraordinary aerial images show a mysterious hole which experts say may be up to 262 feet wide, in the Yamal Peninsula of northern Russia.

 

'A scientific team has been sent to investigate the hole and is due to arrive at the scene on Wednesday,' The Siberian Times has reported.

The cause of the hole's sudden appearance in Yamal -- which translates as 'the end of the world' -- in the far north of Siberia is not yet known.

There has been speculation about the crater however, indicating the possible arrival or departure of a UFO craft'.

Experts say that the darkening around the inner rim of the crater indicates 'severe burning' which scorched its edges.

YouTube Video and information courtesy ADGUKNEWS

 

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Image Of The Day: Walking On Clouds...

Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) is the world's largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi). It is located in the Potosi and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes. The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. This is what it looks like on a dry, sunny day...

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Image Credit: Wiki

However, the Salar de Uyuni salt flat has a reflective nature when covered with water. The briny layer of land, created through the rainy season, transforms the otherwise plated pockets of dry salt into a giant mirror, giving the illusion of walking on water!

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Image Credit: Wiki

Very cool! Another spectacular illusion can be seen but only on cloudy days. The reflection off the water makes it look as though people are walking in the clouds. Here is the video to prove it...

 

Video Courtesy: Art Fido.com

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

 

Rick

 

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

07/15/2014

VIDEO: Unsolved Mystery of the Hessdelan Lights!

Approximately 350 miles northwest of Stockholm Sweden lies a small, rural, valley which is home to approximately 100 inhabitants and a longstanding mystery.  

Article-2632650-1DC6EE3300000578-94_634x495

The Hessdelan Valley in North-Central Norway is famous for an unexplained optical phenomenon that has been occurring off and on for many decades. 

The valley itself is only about 9 miles long and is sparsely populated.  The valley is picturesque and quiet looking.  If you didn't know any better, you would get the impression that it is normally an uneventful place.  

Timthumb (1)

Although the "Hessdelan Lights" have been observed since at least the 1940's, it became famous after a period of high frequency between the winter of 1981 until the summer of 1984 where the lights could be seen 10 to 20 times per week.  

The frequency of the lights caused a gathering of numerous tourists staying there overnight to see the phenomenon. 

Hessdalen_big_2007

The strange phenomenon has been witnessed by thousands of people since 1980 in the Hessdalen Valley.  Strange lights, moving at incredible speed along the ground or high in the sky, have been photographed, videoed and tracked with radar.

Numerous attempts have been made to research the phenomona and a permanent research project is even based on the site.  Despite this there is no convincing explanation of the origin of these lights or what may be causing them.  

The Hessdalen Lights: UFOs over Norway - Truthloader Investigates

 

 

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Unseasonably Cool for July!

Cool for July, no doubt!  

Take a look at these lows from earlier this morning across the Midwest and Northern Plains.

At temps

The core of this Canadian air mass will filter through our region over the next 24 to 36 hours keeping our temps at around 10 to 15 degrees below normal for this time of the year. 

Satrad

Tonight will likely be the coldest with lows dropping well down into the 50's across all of Kentuckiana.  (The record for Louisville tonight is 55° set back in 1967.)

At1

The early fall-like weather continues for your Wednesday with highs only topping out in the mid to upper 70's under a partly cloudy sky.

At2

Considering the average high is near 90 degrees this time of the year, now would be a good time to take advange of some free air conditioning!  Enjoy:)

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Jeremy's Bio

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Email me at jkappell@wdrb.com

Today's Blog: Rattlesnake At Work

From Jude Redfield...

    I'm glad I don't work at this station in Huntsville, AL  Watch the video below of a rattlesnake that made its way into the building. YIKES!

Huntsville Station Finds Rattlesnake Relaxing in a Corner

By Kevin Eck on July 14, 2014 5:44 PM

Staffers at WAAY in Huntsville, AL, found a surprise coiled up in a dark corner of the ABC affiliate’s sales office: a real live rattlesnake.

The snake was resting on a sticky trap. We’re guessing the snake was sitting at its favorite restaurant table. By the looks of the floor around it, the trap was filled with what appeared to be rodent droppings.

Despite the attention, it never sounded its alarm system (the rattle) and even tried to avoid one staffer with a camera that got awfully close before escaping through a hole in the wall.