The Third Leader: View from here

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The Independent Online

Significance is not always immediately apparent. Yesterday, as we variously report, the eyes of the world were turned as usual, to the Middle East and the United States; the world of science was continuing in its current feelgood vein by following the good news about red wine with good news about chocolate; while, in Oxford, the clever people were once again wrestling with the problem of how you can dream among the spires efficiently.

And yet, of it all and more, my attention is attracted to the rebranding of Kentucky Fried Chicken. The famous logo featuring the genial features of Colonel Harland Sanders is being changed: instead of the white suit, the Colonel now wears a red apron, which, said the president of KFC in America, "communicates to customers the realness of Colonel Sanders and the fact that he was a chef".

Splendid. Clearly this is not the time to recall that, after selling the company, he compared some of its provender to wallpaper paste. In any case, my specific interest is KFC's feat of creating in the Nevada desert an 87,500-square-foot version of the logo that can be seen from outer space.

Remarkable. Now we wait to see not only whether there is intelligent life out there, but whether it appreciates fast food. You will have your own views on Earth as the convenience planet of the Universe, and, indeed, on the many other pressing and often gloomy topics raised in this newspaper; I will add only that in the past six months, vultures have been spotted in Richmond Park, Norfolk, Snowdonia, Bodmin Moor, and the Beddington sewage farm near Croydon.

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