Early Years

The eldest of four children, William Smith was born on March 23, 1769, to John and Ann Smith of Churchill, Oxfordshire, England. A blacksmith and a mechanic, John died when William was only eight years old. (Ann remarried a few years later.) As a child he was attracted to the pound stones that he found on oxfordshire fields. These were round, dome-shaped stones that weighed approximately one pound and were used as a standard weight measure by dairymaids. Sometimes they had an interesting pattern shaped like a five-point star. It turns out that these were fossilized remains of sea urchins. William also collected pundibs, spherical-shaped rocks the size of acorns that actually were the remains of terebratulids, a type of brachiopod. As a suitable substitute for marbles, to young William they were merely play toys, though hindsight shows they were an unrecognized symbol of his future achievements.

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The Basic Survival Guide

The Basic Survival Guide

Disasters: Why No ones Really 100 Safe. This is common knowledgethat disaster is everywhere. Its in the streets, its inside your campuses, and it can even be found inside your home. The question is not whether we are safe because no one is really THAT secure anymore but whether we can do something to lessen the odds of ever becoming a victim.

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