CSS framework
This is different. It is a framework for writing documents such as reports, guides and manuals in HTML.

Daily workout for the brain. Open-ended chains of thought... prompt... thought etc. on diverse subjects.

  • Examples of clever programming
  • Free tools for web developers
  • All sorts of oddities from over the last 15 years of this web site.

Participate in cutting edge developments
Patented the wheel
Wheels have been around for five or six thousand years. I've invented a new sort with entirely new possibilities for the use of materials. The wheel itself springs and doesn't have anything like spokes.

Rules for religion
Here are ten innocent rules for religion. To normal people they're obvious but are How dare you! to zealots and priests. For example: Your religion shouldn't hurt others. (Including children. Including your children.) is surely something everyone can agree on? Nope. They must be allowed to brainwash their children. Last time I looked, brainwashing children was wrong.

Email: slapton4 at vulpeculox dot net
Merlin Smallbone books and ebooks to buy and download
Merlin Smallbone is my pen name Go to my bookshop
Cycle training in Witham Cycle safety quiz Witham Cycle Campaign
I'm qualified to teach the new National Standard. Cycling isn't dangerous if you KNOW how. + Do the 20 second safe cycling check. Find out more about how to get these important skills. Very few people cycle well enough to be safe. They feel unsafe as a result - But once you know the basic rules and get a little experience there's no problem. This is a test of nine questions for experienced cyclists to check they are not unwittingly putting themselves into danger. When the authorities have lost the plot, forgotten the cyclist, spend without looking at the basics then somebody has to tell them what's what. Started in April 2000. Look at the future in our review then join to help us make it happen.
AX and 12Rs
AX - Fast, simple, universal accents
How do you do your French homework? Do you use characters that aren't on your keyboard?

If instant, simple accents and special characters is what you want, wherever you are in Windows then AX is just the very thing you need. And it's free.

More about AX and downloading

Version 4.11, released 24th February 2011.
V4 is a huge improvement in user interface. Native support for French, German and Polish installers. Sandbox for testing. Comprehensive help.

12Rs - Not just 3
  • Reading
  • wRiting
  • aRithmetic
  • Relationships
  • Reasoning
  • Remembering
  • Reviewing
  • Responsibility
  • Reflecting
  • Researching
  • Reporting
  • Resolve
I'm sure you have no problem with the importance of the "Three Rs" but a little reflection soon shows there are many more 'Essential Rs' that have been forgotten and left to chance. Simply ask yourself what Rs you'd want somebody who worked for you to possess.
  • Are any of these non-essential?
  • Should any of these be left out of basic education?
  • Go and ask your local basic educator what they teach under these categories and how they assess results. Vague isn't it...
    ... Now go and have a cry in the corner or light a blue touch paper according to your nature.
    • Is it bad? Yes.
    • Is it serious? Yes.
    • Should something be done? Yes.
    • Can something be done? Let's hope so.
More about 12Rs and 12Ms
Kent history
Jean Fox, my mum, was a prolific historical researcher
History of Sevenoaks to 1650 and Database of West Kent wills

The definitive reference for family and local historians.
+1.7 Million words +6000 pages +700 transcripts of wills +Searchable index of 19,000 North West Kent wills
Find out more

Otford Documents from 17th & 18th Centuries
Transcripts and analysis of about a hundred land-related documents in Otford and Shoreham
+Newly released September 2012.
All available on-line.
History of Seal

This book, published by [The History Press] is a pretty comprehensive study of the economic and social development of a village in Kent. It spans from pre-history with a new look at the origin of the name to eye-witness stories of the 'hurricane' of 1987. Winner of the Library Services Trust Alan Ball Award for Local History 2009.

Longer papers
These essays, tutotorials, designs and book cover a variety of topics.
+The useful Internet
+Improving systems
+Information technology
+Teaching, coaching, support
+Essential and obvious quality

These papers contain a huge amount of thought and many useful ideas discussed in detail.

Full index

Curiosities and archives
I've been known as 'Prof' since the age of 11 - as in Mad professor. Part of the job description is being interested in anything esoteric.

Go to the full miscellanea menu

Try it yourself

There are some experiments that you can only try out for yourself
+ Who to trust + How to persuade + Personal resoursefulness + I'd never have believed it + Ideal for any curious person + What is proof anyway?
Lammas logic game: Play this easy javascript game now. Then go on to introduce yourself to the important subject of mathematical games as you discover what makes it tick.

Physics !

Exploit gravitational energy How to tap clean and practical infinite energy. EGEE.
Thoughts on inertia. A Swiss roll in space. What happens when things start to curl up at the edges?
Reflections on reflection What happens when bunches of particles meet a barrier?
Thoughts on re-dimensioning dimensions How about using say Momentum - Energy - Acceleration instead of MLT?

Odd and old technology

A forgotten gyroscopic monorail: Louis Brennan made a full size version with a single ground-level rail and carriges stabilised by gyroscopes.
A forgotten calculator: How a slide rule works. Make your own in a couple of minutes.
How a boiler works
How a Stirling engine works

I've been putting stuff on the web since 1996. In that era you had to think of people who didn't have a browser that could support tables. Connection speeds were 14.4Kbs, that's roughly one hundredth of today's broadband speed and people paid by the minute for their connection so it was convenient to give them as much information as possible at once then allow them to go off-line.

Here is an example. 32Kbytes! Compasses mystery Why should three pubs in Essex all called The Compasses be in a straight line 10 miles long? A 4th pub called The Compasses creates a circle and points to an ancient centre of Templar activity. Other strange coincidences. Geomancy, Masons, Templars and the Peasants revolt (1381) could all be linked.(Or not)

We were inventing the Internet as we went along, in particular how to develop styles of presentation and interaction. There were no Cascading Style Sheets, mime-types or blogs. Many people, though they knew the Web was going to be magic, had no idear how they might be able to use it for their own advantage.

Here are some pages which may, or may not be 'of their time'.

Guru of the marshes

Some tips on web page design. Note the clever navigation. Also a reminder that some things never change.
See here


I wondered if it was possible to create a magazine besed on reader's contributions. Here is the first and only issue including +Curiosities about 16th century wills +Dyslexia soup - many varieties +An Essex pub comes back from the brink, one step at a time +Poem: The lonely fish-wife +Question: What is the most efficient way of washing brushes?

Railway scandal

How do you 'go public' with a technical issue? What's a good writing format and how do you keep page size down when including lots of pictures? This horrifying disregard for safety that extended through many layers of government incomptence needs to stay on the record as a warning for how awful British 'management' can get.
See here


I do a lot of programming during which I develop libraries that other people might find useful. As time goes by their relevance declines but there may be people who fancy using the ideas in a library rather than starting from scratch.
See here

Burnham rose

I'm a serial inventor. Here is a practical technique for putting worrysome things in the past. Surely this is an ideal use for the Web? - Yet in all these years I've not had a single follow-up to this article. Strange... ...Despite the rise of blogs and wikis I think there may be some distance to go in the way we 'create, refine and promulgate knowledge'.

Essex gravity guide

At one time Gravity Beer in Essex was dying-out. Here's the picture from the turn of the century with a few updates. Essex gravity guide


Dates done properly. Obvious when you think about it: The time-line model for representing dates is broken. This is how to fix it.

Incompetent ECC Highways

A new chief executive started in January 2016. Is he just as useless as his predecessors or can he fix the arrogant, incompetence of Essex County Council's Highways Department. We give him clear examples and minimum standards to apply to the broken organisation. Incompetent ECC Highways

Original songs
There are lots of resons for writing songs: Pull a leg, capture an interesting moment in time for posterity, pay last respects, merge old and new, give people something to think about or just fun adaptations.

Tradition begins today is a collection of my original songs with comments about their origins.