Even for a hardened news man in a hardened newsroom the mass shooting at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is a ferociously shocking moment. We know at least 12 are dead, five are critically wounded and others beside. And those numbers will doubtless change during the day. It happens at a very tender moment for European politics, at a tender moment for the Islamic world. Wracked with violence from northern Nigeria all the way to Pakistan by radical action and bloodletting.
The only thing more annoying than an irritating child being rambunctious on a crowded train, is a child conducting himself in such a manner in French. There is something rather excruciating about hearing incomprehensible high pitched words produced from the back of someone else's throat when you are already of a nauseous disposition.
Anarchy is a story "written by a thousand hands" that is aired through weekly episodes on France 4. A team of 15 scriptwriters got the ball rolling on Thursday with the serie's first episode. From now until the 18th of December it is up to Anarchy's viewers to craft the plot and to shape each and every character, red-herring and gag.
Intolerance breeds intolerance and laws that allow bigotry and racism as though they were a part and parcel of society are exactly the thing that encourages such attitudes. When we look at injustices far and wide it's so easy to express distaste but we must look closer to home and deal with the injustices and attitudes that are being imposed.
What we didn't expect was for the qualifiers to become something more than a formality. The big teams may still qualify with ease, (four more wins, all their home games, should be enough to see England qualify), but the competition for those extra places has brought life back into what was quite a dull part of international football.