That Will Do Nicely

That Will Do Nicely

 

That Will Do Nicely is my first adventure into fiction. The story is a familiar one but the solution the main character finds to solve his problem is unique.Tom Pascoe, married for several years to his ‘honourable’ wife Teresa, discovers her in bed with a work colleague whilst a party in her honor is being held in their period cottage. In the words of the Old World, he has been ‘cuckolded’. Naturally he is more than a little upset by this and throws his wife and her lover, naked, out into the street in front of her friends. In return for this humiliation, his wife connives to send him to bankruptcy by running up a huge debt on a credit card in the name of T. Pascoe. When he gets the credit card bill he is faced with a stark choice… pay up or go bankrupt but here, serendipity or chance takes a hand.

Several times during the next few days, Pascoe is reminded of something he did in his school days when he ‘created’ an examination on ‘Environmental Psychology’ and caused the whole of the sixth form to waste their Saturday afternoon on an exam that didn’t exist. He was able to do so because the school had a printing club of which he was one of three members and he had excelled at the craft. So faced with certain bankruptcy Pascoe opts for a  different solution and using the various skills he has learned from earning a living as a printer and photographer hatches an elaborate plan to play the money men at their own game.

His audacious plan, including the invention of a virtual American Bank and the printing of its Travelers Checks depends on perfect timing. Enough to enable him to get clear and he also needs an accomplice; someone who understands the intricacies of the Travelers Check system. The decision has unforeseen and far reaching consequences with him being hounded by both New Scotland Yard and the American Secret Service who follow his trail through England and the continent. That Will Do Nicely depends on skill and brain power rather than violence and is set against an international backdrop. The book is readily available at Amazon as both a paperback and as a Kindle ebook. Just click the Amazon link below for further details.

 

How To Do Fractions

In my experience, many of us are prevented from learning because of language. In particular, the language of the particular subject in which we are interested. The subject may use some of the same words but the meaning of them is different when used ‘inside’ the subject.

The subject of mathematics uses language in a precise manner. Everything has its meaning ‘nailed down’ and when pupils first hear something expressed in precise mathematical terms they probably won’t have a clue as to what is meant.

Let me give you an example. Some years ago, I was invited to a debate between the authors of two books on the same subject. One author was famous for his work in television as a script writer and actor and as one of the authors of a world best-selling book, The Holy Blood & the Holy Grail. The other two authors had published their own book  on the subject and they were at loggerheads with the HBHG. At the end of the debate, I was asked as to which author(s) viewpoint I supported and I replied that as they didn’t share the same understanding of the meaning of some of the words they used, they would probably never be able to agree on a shared point of view.

When I was at school, we had to learn about fractions and the most difficult bit was adding and subtracting fractions. In order to do that, we had to find the Common Denominator between the two fractions. The teacher might as well have been speaking Cantonese. ‘Common’ I understood but ‘denominator’?

Because I didn’t understand the jargon, I found the topic very difficult to learn. Math is like that. You have to understand what the words mean, otherwise you’ll be lost and that’s not much fun. In fact, if you don’t understand the words in their context then you’ll probably turn away from the whole subject which would be a shame.

However, over my years of teaching, I have discovered that indeed there is more than one way to skin this particular cat. People learn differently… some aurally, some by rote and some by visual methods. No one of these is correct or incorrect for that’s  sake. Just different and it doesn’t matter which methgod you use to get your result, just that’ it is one that works.

To add or subtract one fraction from another, we were told that we had to find the Lowest Common Denominator or LCD as without that we wouldn’t be able to solve the problem.  This was the method I taught and it was also the method that caused most of my pupils to fall asleep and then, one day in the common room I was discussing the difficulty of explaining fractions to my head of department and he showed me the ‘Magic Arrow Method’ which is what this book is about. In How To Do Fractions there is no need for jargon. Everything is done with ‘Magic Arrows’ which show you in which direction and order to do the simple calculations. With this method, anyone can master fractions in a very small amount of time and afterwards move on to percentages and decimals which is quite a large slice of the basic math curriculum. So why not give it a try? Just click on the Amazon link below.

Poussin’s Secret

Poussin’s Secret is a small book but vital for anyone investigating the artist’s construction of les Bergers d’arcadie. This most famous of all Poussin’s paintings leapt to fame in the early 1980′s after Professor Christopher Cornford at the behest of author Henry Lincoln, carried out an in-depth study of the painting. He discovered that it was constructed on the principle of the pentagram. It was also discovered that it’s shaped conformed to the Golden Section of mathematical fame and importance.

The picture is classical and depicts three ‘Arcadian’ shepherds standing by a tomb in the company of a shepherdess. The legend on the tomb reads ‘et in arcadia ego’. The painting dates from the mid 17th century and is a work typical of the artist. However, during the construction of a new road from Couiza to Arques, an actual tomb closely resembling the tomb in the painting was discovered. It carried an uncanny resemblance to the tomb of the painting.

The three television programs made on the subject by Henry Lincoln were broadcast by the BBC in the early 1970′s and drew record numbers of viewers. They were also seen by David Wood, who thought that the geometry of the painting ,ight be reflected in the actual landscape of the area. Lincoln had also thought along the same lines but Wood had the edge for he was a military trained trig surveyor and possessed all the tools to see if there was anything in the theory.

Lincoln published the results of his investigation in the best selling book The Holy Blood & the Holy Grail. Almost at the same time, David Wood published his book Genisis – The First Book of Revelation and this is where I came into the picture. I tracked down David

Wood and set about testing his theory of ‘landscape geometry’ using co-ordinate geometry and computer programming. Eventually I produced a program into which you could load all the salient markers of the area and the program found what David Wood claimed to have had discovered with his surveying. Wood wanted to write a new book testing his theory from a mathematical viewpoint and asked for my collaboration. The result was Geneset – Target Earth in which we proved his theory. This raised the question as to how much had Poussin known when accepting the commission of paniting les Bergers d’Arcadie and the results of this study are contained in this book Poussin’s Secret. For your copy, click the Amazon link below.

 

Geneset – Target Earth

The subject is Rennes-le-Château a village lost in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the south of France. The strange machinations of this tiny ‘lost’ village have caused more than 1200 books to be written on the subject in the last 40 years and those are just the ones in English. Something very strange has occurred there and many writers have come up with their own pet theory as to what is really going on. Nearly all of them, without exception, are far wide of the mark. There are, however, a few exceptions. The first book, le Trésor Maudit by Gérard de Sède was a piece of fiction, pure and simple and yet it contains one or two threads which just won’t lie down. Indeed, they were enough to gain the attention of Henry Lincoln who made three hours of television about the story for the BBC and who followed it up with a world best seller… the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. This was not a work of fiction, but combined the skills of an expert on the Knights Templar and an historian as well of that of the story teller Henry Lincoln. They followed the threads of the mystery wherever they went and wrote their book as a result of their quest. There was enough tangible material in HBHG to attract the attention of David Wood who survey the local landscape of the mystery’s location and discovered a huge geometrical pattern ‘etched’ into the landscape over 40 square miles of hill country. He asked me to collaborate with him on Geneset – Target Earth in which we sought to repeat Wood’s discoveries as published in Genisis – The First Book of Revelation but using a mathematical basis. At this, we expected to fail but were incredibly surprised to find that not only did our mathematically rigorous examination fail to disprove the theory but that the accuracy of our work enhanced it. Geneset is therefore the culmination of several years of hard work and it is work that is still on-going as we raised more questions in our investigations.

In the last few years, several famous authors have pointed their pens at the mystery of Rennes-le-Château and each of them have come up with a new theory including one pair of co-authors who contend that a local mountain contains the ‘tomb of God’. The topic has become ‘de rigour’ for authors to tilt at but few if any have found the mark. Geneset tells the usual story of the French village and its alleged history and the history of the area in general but then it sticks to what is provable. The last famous author to tilt his pen at it was a certain Dan Brown in the DaVinci Code… a wonderful piece of fiction! What we discovered is far stranger than any of the theories proposed by the 1200 authors on the subject for what we found reveals a threat to the planet itself. Geneset was originally published in 1994 at £25. You can still find it on Amazon where you can occasionally find pristine copies of it for a few dollars or pounds. Just click the Amazon link for further details.

 

 

Pentagon Five

Sometimes, the recording or reporting of a real-life story are just too bizarre for the general public to believe. In fact, if a journalist presented or published such a work he or she would be ridiculed for their effort. It is my understanding that this is possibly the reason that Jules Verne wrote his series of fantastic adventure stories… great works of fiction, but if you study some of them in depth, you find that they are packed with salient facts when there is absolutely no reason for doing so from a literary point of view. For example, several of Verne’s books are concerned with stories that involve space. They concern fantasy, like a meteor made of gold crashing into the Earth (La Chasse au Méteor) and yet the calculations are valid without needing to be. Pentagon Five is written in a similar fashion. It is packed with references to other work from very knowledgeable writers and is set against the backdrop of Rennes-le-Château , the mysterious village in southern France made famous by Henry Lincoln in The Holy Blood & the Holy Grail. Many authors have written on this subject including Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code but what David Wood and myself discovered there far surpasses any of the standard works on the subject. We published what we discovered and could prove in Geneset – Target Earth  but I have written Pentagon Five around what couldn’t be proved.

Pentagon Five is also the sequel to That Will Do Nicely. Pascoe and his partner in crime ended up in the south of France with their ill-gotten gains and opened a holiday center for artists not far from the mysterious village of Rennes-le-Château. There, they have been joined by the ex-copper who hunted them down and his wife all of whom have been working hard to get the center up and running. They have just finished their first season when their peaceful existence is disturbed by the arrival of one of their neighbors who reports his discovery of a brutal murder nearby. The victim is a young, British university student who had been walking the area following his own theory. It looks as though he might have got to near to something that wasn’t supposed to be discovered and has been murdered as a result of it.

Pascoe and the others decide to investigate themselves, especially when they discover that the local police have been instructed to classify it as a suicide. Their inquiries lead them into a labyrinth where they encounter the Catholic Church, the Cathars, the Knights Templar, Merovigingians, Visigoths, ancient mines and many pitfalls. After much investigation and the study of secret books Pascoe and his friends start exploring the landscape, seeking a hidden cave which, they hope, will provide a solution to the enigma they are hunting down.  Instead, they find that their very lives are in danger of being snuffed out. Pentagon Five is an old style adventure, with secret codes, secret books and the might of  Church and government who are determined to keep their secrets. Pascoe and company have other ideas and the denouement is deliciously twisted. Click the link below for further details from Amazon.