ALTHOUGH I loved and understood chemistry and biology at school, perhaps by virtue of it essentially being applied maths and therefore making no sense to me at all, physics was never my favourite subject.

I like to think this is more to do with my aptitude for words over numbers, rather than the fact it’s a somewhat rather tricky and complicated subject, but either way, my loathing of physics sent me down the arts rather than science path, and the rest is history.

I do, however, have an enormous amount of admiration for scientists, who carry out not only important theoretical work, but may also see their research applied by equally brilliant engineers and designers into the millions of technologies we all too often take for granted.

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It may sound like science fiction, but today’s announcement that the region is pioneering £1.3m research project to use cosmic rays created from exploding stars in technology to reduce the greenhouse effect of CO2 is fantastic news.

The project will see leading academics from two of the North-East’s universities collaborate with top engineers and some of the region’s businesses – something which is not only wise, but essential, to the North-East’s economic recovery.

In this case, it could even help unlock the widespread use of a pioneering technology which could not only create thousands of North-East jobs, but save the planet from the devastating effects of climate change. If that’s not something to be proud of, then I’m not sure what is.

WELL done to coffee suppliers Beanies the Flavour Co, a Newton Aycliffe firm with just three employees who have shown it really is quality over quantity when it comes to business. The firm have managed not only to secure a series of contracts with South Africa’s biggest food retailer, but have also landed a deal with a major UK supermarket.

Although they absolutely would not be drawn on the mystery household name, they did tell us it was one of the big four.

We look forward to seeing their product on the shelves of whichever firm has been lucky enough to land them.

SPEAKING of the big four, I received a rather interesting email yesterday.

The aforementioned document excitedly told me that the allegedly iconic Coca Cola truck will be embarking on a tour of the UK, stopping today (Wednesday 21) at the rather glamorous location of Tesco in Durham Road, Stockton.

This is one of the first stops in a UK-wide tour to “start the countdown to Christmas” by transforming Tesco in a “snowy winter wonderland” and hand out free Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, Coca Cola’s marketing people reliably informed me.

As you may have guessed, I'm rather upset with Coca Cola over this little stunt. I really don't think they've thought this through properly. 

Everyone knows the countdown to Christmas starts on December 1, when you open door number one on your advent calendar and get your first chocolate.

I’m also concerned that they seem to be keeping Santa rather busy right up until their visit to Brighton on December 23. If he forgets my presents because he’s preoccupied with helping an already hugely profitable multi-national with their marketing campaign, there’ll be hell on.