This short Oscar Opening film featuring Academy Awards co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco is very well done (it helps if you've seen the movies!). You can watch more Oscar shorts on the official Oscar site (click on 'Browse').
EXPLANATION A 'mad dog' is a dog suffering from rabies. The expression is used metaphorically to describe "someone who is fighting mad, perhaps a crazed fighter who has no thought for his own health and well being". (Source: The Canine in Conversation)
A Google search for 'mad dog Gadaffi' returns over 13,000 results. In fact, President Reagan called Gaddafi "this mad dog of the Middle East" as long ago as 1986!
The Daily Telegraph says Col Gaddafi's hold on power is weakening as Libyan rebels closed in on his Tripoli stronghold and Britain gave him pariah status by freezing his family’s assets, withdrawing diplomatic immunity and calling on the dictator to "go now". Full story >>
VOCABULARY If you describe someone as a pariah, you mean that other people dislike them so much that they refuse to associate with them. • In two short years, Sarah Palin has gone from being the belle of the Republican ball to a near pariah among the party elite and its supporters.
In this cartoon from The Telegraph, Christian Adams shows beleaguered Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi as a crumbling Oscar statuette (the Oscar ceremony takes place tonight). The engraving reads: 'Lifetime Achievement Award', an ironic reference to Gaddafi's 42 years in power.
COMMENTS 1. Lots of breast-related punning in that report: two scoops, jugs, bust, Double D desert, bosom. See here for a list of slang terms for women's breasts. 2. I wonder if it qualifies as dairy ice-cream? Personally, I wouldn't be in a hurry to try it—not at £14 a scoop.
The Observer leads with the daring mission by British forces to rescue Britons from the Libyan desert. Full story >>
VOCABULARY If you describe a person or an action as daring, you mean that it is adventurous or audaciously bold. • Up to a dozen militants have staged a daring attack on the capital of a southern Russian republic popular with downhill skiers and budget tourists.
COMMENTS 1. Good subject for class discussion or debate. 2. Here in France, the smoking ban in bars, cafés and restaurants is generally respected, but has led to a new phenomenon—the plastic-covered (often heated) café terrace, where smokers congregate in all weathers to indulge their filthy habit. (What makes you think I'm a non-smoker?)
The Guardian leads on the increasing international pressure on Colonel Gaddafi in Libya. Full story >>
VOCABULARY If you defect (stress on second syllable), you leave your country, political party, or other group, and join an opposing country, party, or group. • Two Libyan pilots have defected to the island of Malta after refusing orders, they say, to bomb anti-government protesters.
This cartoon by Paul Thomas from The Daily Express shows British nationals returning home from war-torn Libya. The joke is that instead of the usual hand luggage, they have brought cans full of petrol with them because the price of petrol is set to soar in Britain (and elsewhere) due to the crisis in the Middle East. (In fact, Libya is responsible for only 2% of global oil production, although its share of the European market is estimated at about 10%.)
The Independent front page is about Libya and the ongoing unrest in the country which could lead to civil war. Full story >>
VOCABULARY If something such as a liquid, gas, or fire spreads, it moves outwards in all directions so that it covers a wider area. • Because of fears the fire would spread, nearby homes had to be evacuated. The Independent's headline uses the word 'flames' in both the literal sense (the picture shows a burnt-out building), and in the figurative sense: the flames of revolution are spreading.
The cartoonist reimagines the scene to show Gaddafi's umbrella being ripped to pieces by a strong wind. The caption is 'Wind of Change'.
COMMENTARY The expression 'wind of change' is used to describe a fundamental shift in power or policy; an inexorable current not under control of leaders. The phrase was popularized in its present context by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in an address to the South African Parliament, February 4, 1960, speaking about the future of Africa: 'The wind of change is blowing through the Continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact.' (Source: The Phrase Finder)
The Wall Street Journal leads on the situation in Libya as more territory slips from Col. Gadhafi's control. Full story >>
VOCABULARY To crumble means to break into lots of small pieces. When something such as a society, organization, or relationship crumbles, it begins to fail or come to an end. • Revolutions hurtling through the Middle East have inspired millions of Europeans, who recall the awe they felt when communist regimes crumbled.