Charles Dickens’ 200th Birthday

Charles DickensToday marks (what would have been) Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday. To celebrate the great man and his collection of outstanding work we have discounted a massive selection of his written work and screen adaptations.

Here are some our favourites:

Buy Disney's A Christmas Carol (Blu-Ray + DVD) for only £7.99
Probably one of the most creative takes on a Dickens novel, Disney’s 2009 animated adaptation offers it’s own version of one of the authors most famous stories. Utilising the latest animation and 3D technology this movie is undeniably beautiful and haunting at the same time. With fine voice acting provided from Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman & Colin Firth, this is surely going to become a Christmas animation classic.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol

Buy Nicholas Nickleby for only £3.99
Nicholas Nickleby is renowned to be one of Dickens’ more complicated novels, whilst there have been many screen adaptations of this famous story our favourite has to be the 2002 version by Douglas McGrath. This tale of vengeance and human emotion is condensed, yet manages to stay true to the original novel. Featuring an all-star cast including Christopher Plummer & Jim Broadbent to name but a few.

Nicholas Nickleby

Buy Oliver! (1968) for only £4.99
Winner of 6 Academy Awards, this 1968 musical adaptation of Dickens’ Oliver Twist is a definite classic. Whether you are a fan of musicals or not and regardless of age most people will know at least one song from this movie. “Consider Yourself” & “You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two” being personal can’t-help-yourself sing-a-long favourites.

Oliver

View our full discounted range of Books and DVDs to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Charles Dickens here.

Jamie Oliver – 30 minute meals and his outspoken and driven attitude to helping people eat better.

Jamie's 30 Minute Meals - Jamie Oliver's latest book accompanying his television showThe first showing of Jamie’s 30 minute meals is on air tonight on Channel 4 at 5:30pm. This new series for Jamie comes right in the middle of the UK airing of Jamie’s trip to Huntingdon in America where he used his UK knowledge and experience to try to kick start a change in the way American schools feed their pupils.

30 minute meals aims to show us how mastering a few basic skills and organising the right food in the house can allow us to put a meal on the table in the same time that it would take to prepare a ready meal or some similar pre-processed food.

Jamie is still pursuing his goal of helping the notion to eat better and seems to be the most publicly vocal (or perhaps just the most media-savvy) of the celebrity chefs that appeared on a glut of live and pre-recorded shows last year extolling the plight of battery chickens and the disadvantages of  processed foods.

Ahead of tonight’s airing of 30 minute meals, Jamie has been pinned down by The Guardian for an interview covering all of his recent activities. The interviewer is kind enough to realise that with a new addition to the family still only a couple of weeks old, Jamie is probably a little more blunt and defensive than usual, however, reading the article, you feel that Jamie has passed any point of tolerance with explaining his motives for doing things. He’s making it up as he goes along seems to be his message, but, he wants whatever he is doing to make a difference.

When being questioned on whether he thinks he is beginning to lecture people on what they should be allowed to eat, Jamie shows his lack of patience for such a subject by replying about a woman who was complaining that he would not let her child eat what he wanted,

while she was having a go at me she had the gall to have a baby in her arms feeding it Coke in a bottle, so she’s obviously thick as shit, you know; she was clearly thick as shit, because you don’t feed babies Coke in a teated bottle, and anyone who does is categorically wrong.

You can see Jamie’s 30 minute meals on Channel 4 on the following dates in October and November.

  • 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th
  • 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd
  • 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th
  • November: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th

Jamie's 30 Minute Meals - Jamie Oliver's latest book accompanying his television showYou can pre-order a copy of Jamie’s 30 minute meals now from base.com.

with Free UK Delivery at base.com

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Stephen Fry releases the second volume of his memoires, The Fry Chronicles

Stephen Fry Live - Oxford 2010 - Release of Stephen Fry's new book, The Fry Chronicles

We went to Oxford to see Stephen Fry talk about his new book, The Fry Chronicles at the New Theatre.

The show was an example of Stephen Fry as the consummate raconteur. Note free, with only a lectern and 7 blue lights on the stage, Fry talked freely for over an hour and half about some of the episodes from his life. Even though you can argue that he knew his subject, Fry seemed perfectly comfortable and at home on stage, chatting with the couple of thousand people sitting staring at him. But, this seems to be the opposite of his real feelings. His new book, The Fry Chronicles, part two of his autobiography, goes to gloriously wordy lengths to explain the pain, anguish and torment that Stephen Fry experiences constantly about his performances, writings and shows.

Stephen Fry Live - Oxford 2010 - Release of Stephen Fry's new book, The Fry ChroniclesAlthough Stephen’s torment may know no bounds, he still seems to get on and do a lot of it. Stephen Fry is everywhere we look, read or listen at the moment, something for which he apologises on his blog. If Fry is uncomfortable before every performance or publication, there must be a certain masochism in his actions as he produces material daily, in fact hourly, with his tweets and online updates. And the material he produces is not safe and comfortable platitudes like this piece. His Fry’s Chronicles is heralded as an open and painfully honest recollection and explanation of things that  may of us would want to keep firmly locked up in our closets.

What’s more, he makes it all very easy to get hold off too. Not just a simple print run for Mr Fry. He has released his book as an eBook, an iBook, and Audio Book and as a ground breaking iPhone App as week as the traditional paper and ink we expect.

Stephen Fry's Autobiography - The Fry ChroniclesPick up a copy of part 2 of Stephen Fry’s autobiography, The Fry Chronicles at base.com.

Buy The Fry Chronicles for £Price Not Available.

In January 2010, Stephen Fry was awarded the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards. This memoir details some of the most turbulent and least well known years of his life with writing.

Guinness Book Of World Records 2011 – But has it got it wrong?

The 2011 version of the Guinness book of World Records is released today.

The longest cucumber measured 104.78 cm (41.25 in) and was grown by Frank Dimmock (UK). It was measured at his home in Thame, Oxon, UK, on 18 September 2008 The most balloons inflated by the nose in 3 minutes are 23 and were achieved by Andrew Dahl (USA) on the set of Lo Show dei Record in Rome, Italy, on 18 March 2010 Wei Shengchu poses after earning the record for "Most Needles in the Head"

This year’s edition includes wonders from the animal kingdom like Fluffy, the “Longest Snake Ever” at 24 feet, and Colo, the “Oldest Gorilla in Captivity” at 53 years old. Not to be outdone, humans are making their way into the record book as well. Frank Dimmock has the longest cucumber measured at 104.78cm (41.25in). Wei Shengchu managed to insert 2,009 needles into his head.  Andrew Dahl (USA) inflated 23 balloons in 3 minutes through his nose. Of course, Guinness World Records 2011 also measures the outliers of human anatomy, as is the case with the Jay Sloot. He holds the record for “Widest Tongue,” which measures 3.1 inches across!

Iona Oyungerel Luvsandorj (Mongolia) performs the Marinelli bendWe’ve got a problem though.

One of the world records listed in the book is for the longest duration to maintain the Marinelli bend. The Marinelli Bend is a dangerous contortion that sees the contortionist suspending the entire weight of their body with their teeth and bending their body over their heads as shown in the picture.

The World Record is listed in this years Guinness World Records book at 50 seconds and was achieved by Iona Oyungerel Luvsandorj of Mongolia. She was on Britain’s Got Talent in 2008 where she stated she was a Law Student and Contortionist. She went on to get the World Record for the longest Marinelli Bend on the set of Lo Show Dei Record, in Milan, Italy, on 18 April 2009.

BUT! Look at this YouTube video of The Peking Acrobats. They perform four Marinelli bends on a single pole, on above the other. The girl at the top of the pole who starts her bend first, starts it at 0:32 seconds into the video and did not bend back until 1:56 into the video. That’s 1 minute 24 seconds! Over half a minute longer than Iona. AND, AND, for The Peking Acrobats, they spin clothes on their hands and someone spins the pole around!

I can only guess that on some nights, the girl at the top spends even longer at the top of the pole if the girls below take longer or have problems. And let’s think about the possible problems. If the girl at the top did fall while spinning her cloths or rotating on a pole, what would happen to the girls bent over backwards below her? It makes me cringe to think about it. There seems to be no margin for error in this stunt.

So, has the book of Guinness World Records failed to do its research? Is there someone out there that can do a Marinelli bend for even longer than our YouTube heroes?

Let us know what you think in the comments

Guinnes World Records 2011 editionWith a flaming holographic cover, the new GWR 2011 edition explodes with new and updated records. There’s 100% new photography and hot new categories and features including TVs 75th anniversary, eye popping 3-D cinema, the historic Space Shuttle and a 270 city record-breaking GPS World Tour.

Available now. Buy Guinness World Records 2011 for £Price Not Available at base.com

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