While the sun shines and the Commonwealth Games get off to a blistering start, both in the stadiums and the parks and streets of Glasgow, one of the most-intriguing events of the cultural festival that accompanies Glasgow 2014 is looking into more painful, more shadowy subjects.
Are we serious about cutting the number of women sent to jail in Scotland?
THEY promised us sexy people, and sexy people were what we got - in droves.
Much of the debate about the future of the oil industry has focused on the fiscal impact of oil revenues generated directly by North Sea activity.
The past week or so have been a bad time for air travellers.
HERE'S the challenge; how do you transform BBC HQ at Pacific Quay on Glasgow's south side - usually an impenetrable (to the public) fortress from which Scotland is informed and entertained in an august and considered manner - into a pop-up festival running the length of the Commonwealth Games?
French presidents, like their American counterparts, love to address the nation at every possible opportunity.
Recorded crime in Scotland is falling, and falling fast.
IT WAS 27 degrees in Abuja yesterday.
IF ONLY one of the richest men in the world and one of Scotland's doughtiest campaigning groups for the poor could agree on something.
The last week has been dominated by two truly horrendous foreign news stories:
NOW that is a Glesga' kiss to take pride in.
HOW did the hipster burn his mouth?
ONCE again I find myself convinced that I'm living in the wrong century.
PEOPLE all over the world will be cheering on their national teams over the next 11 days as they battle to win a place on the podium in Glasgow.
PERHAPS my friends are cynical but, in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, only one topic of conversation seemed to come up more than disparaging jibes about the "McTorch" and complaints about the number of athletes seemingly shunning the event.