GREAT BRITAIN: Seism In the Suburbs

Forty-odd years ago, Will Wheeler was a scrawny lad at St. Mark's Elementary School in the dreary London suburb of Hanwell. Will was a quiet one. He would coop himself up with a parcel of old almanacs and make calculations. On bright nights he would gaze at the stars and jot notes on slips of paper. When Will and his girl were planning to marry, Will warned her solemnly: "There'll be thunder on our wedding day." On their one-day honeymoon at Wembley, the newlyweds got drenched to the skin in a thunderstorm.

Today,...

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