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17h17 UTC; WEDNESDAY, 25 JANUARY 2012: Talk about your Unlikely Convergences as are certain to be fodder for the likes of Ripley and suchlike:
  • With today being the day that the Greater Caledonian Diaspora celebrates the birthday of their beloved poet Robert Burns (1759-1796), the Scots First Minister, Alexander Salmond, decided to use the occasion to announce that he plans to call a plebiscite in Scotland for sometime before May 2016 on the question of whether Scotland should be a sovereign country in its own right. (Which, in any case, would mean, if approved--subject to both Holyrood and Westminster approving the plebiscite going ahead, and the Royal Assent therefor being granted beforehand--that Scotland would reclaim her sovereign status after 305 years in Union with England and Wales; under the Act of Union 1707, as consolidated the crowns of England/Wales and Scotland into the United Kingdom, James VI of Scotland became James I of Great Britain in response to a lack of male issue in the English line of succession. And among the principal reasons cited by Scots independence supporters therefor is a desire for Scotland to have better control of the revenue from offshore oil and natural gas fields in the North Sea as Scotia alone shall think fit.)
  • Given the peculiarities of the Jewish lunar calendar, Burns Night this year coincides with Holocaust Remembrance Day among Jewish communities the world over, to remember the some 6 million Jews, and the millions of others the Nazis deemed "subhuman," "undesirable" or otherwise "life unworthy of life," as were dispatched in the Nazi regime's concentration camps, or otherwise subjected to sadistic, cruel and imhumane depravities in the name of achieving an "Aryan Master Race" as would carry forward the Thousand-Year Reich the Nazis were insisting would be the Final Reclamation of German Honour and Glory as was "stabbed in the back" under the Versailles Treaty's terms. The which, methinks, carries a sort of ironic subtlety when you consider that AmeriKKKan GOP Presidential wannabe Rick Santorum, in seeking votes ahead of next week's Florida Primary, suggested that women impregnated by rape should carry the fruits thereof to term inasmuch as "a baby is the most beautiful gift of God" ensuing thereby.
  • As for our Australian readers, given its position relative to the International Date Line, Your Correspondent would like to use this opportunity, considering time differences and all that, to send Australia Day greetings thereto. Now if there were some Sausage Sizzle on the occasion as featured chicken and/or turkey such....

Meanwhile, notwithstanding the rather lame and borderline-insincere platitudes popular among certain conservative prolefeeders about "cultural heritage and identity" somehow being under Clear and Present Danger of some kind, Your Correspondent understands where a newly-published study in the British Medical Journal hath it that fried food may be getting a bad rap--so long as it was fried in olive, safflower or sunflower oils, as is common Mediterranean practice (especially so in Spain, southern France, Italy and Greece), as opposed to trans-fat-heavy such (in particular beef tallow, lard, cottonseed oil and palm-kernel oil) popular in our supposedly "morally-superior" United States to the point of contributing to the Obesity Epidemic.

(In case you ask about what exactly constitutes "Extra-Virgin Olive Oil," on seeing the term therefor on your supermarket or hypermarket shelves for the first time, such refers to olive oil as comes from the first cold pressing of olives from the harvest.)

But don't expect to find, say, Pompeian Olive Oil in the deep-fat fryers at McDonald's, Burger King or Wendy's anytime soon, let alone such fryer oils already thus used out of maintaining consumer value for money--as well as the issue of aftertaste vis-a-vis French fries in particular. (Which should recall to mind how Nathan's Famous, as on Coney Island, gained its fame after wild rumours surfaced that its 5-cent all-beef franks were made of less-than-wholesome ingredients just to keep them affordable: In an effort to quell same, Nathan Handwerker invited doctors and nurses from the nearby Coney Island Hospital to sample Nathan's hotdogs free of charge, so long as they wore medical garb; the better to reassure the public that Nathan's franks used only pure and wholesome ingredients.)

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