It rained all night and the city was flooded

You can't ask the right questions if you already have the wrong answers

Back in the 1990s when buying a Windows PC was a popular hobby, Texas-based computer builder DELL achieved a lot of commercial success by accepting money in exchange for boxes of computers. They were famous for their supply chain innovations, which I'm led to believe included a lot of "just in time" assembly of parts, and a real-time demand monitoring system which allowed them to keep their inventory very low while still being able to fulfill orders.

They've since evolved to become a large multi-national builder of things, but at the time most of the assembly still took place in Texas, and one of the requirements of being a DELL supplier was that your warehouse had to be located within some small radius of the main DELL campus. This was done to help enable the just-in-time approach, so that when someone called in to order a PC, a person from DELL could pick up the phone and call a person at the supplier and be like "Yeah, hey, we just got an order, so we need a hard drive, can you bring that over?"

I'm sure the system evolved even more efficiencies over time.

A side-effect of this (successful, from DELL perspective) decision was that various off-brand PC builders cropped up in the same physical area, taking advantage of the massive supplier universe that DELL had established in the first place, and trying to undercut them on price.

I think it would be a cool thing to do this again, but instead of doing it with computers, you'd do it with a salad dressing company, and you'd require a bunch of vinegar suppliers to establish facilities near yours, and then, BAM!, other people who needed to use vinegar could come build their stuff right near you.

What if a local state college upset a national university in a game of checkers?

During a recent outing I took the time to stop at a local ice cream shoppe with the intention of buying an iced coffee, and a was a little dismayed to encounter what was probably a 20-person long line of people waiting to order their stuff. I thought about turning around and leaving but man, it sure was a hot day, and that iced coffee just hits the spot.

I decided to stay in line, and as the line advanced I realized that I probably could have just skipped the entirety of the waiting for ice cream portion of the line and gone straight to the cashier area to perform a simple iced coffee transaction. At this point though I was probably 10 minutes deep into being in a line, and there were only a few more people in front of me on the ice cream line. With that new information, my thinking evolved, and what had been an intent to purchase iced coffee changed into an intent to purchase ice cream. "Gotta do the crime if you're gonna do the time", as the saying goes.

As the line continued to advance and I moved into the on-deck circle of ordering, the woman who had been standing in front of me for the last 15 minutes performed one of the most outlandish, despicable -- yet simultaneously heroic and courageous -- actions that I've seen this summer. Having just spent more time in a line than anyone should be comfortable with; having had full access to a large easily-readable menu of ice cream choices that entire time; and with full awareness that the people still behind her were in a line that had not gotten any smaller ... this woman had the audacity to ask for "a taste" of a few flavors before placing her order.

I would hate to be stuck in a PTA meeting with this woman, but I would love to have her working on my behalf in the US congress, if that's possible.

Let's all agree to not acknowledge that guy's new jacket

When discussing a television series in online or print media there's a convention of abbreviating the season and episode numbers of the particular show you're talking about for convenience. This is nice because not everyone knows every episode title, and it also places the episode somewhere in the overall series timeline for you. For example, if you want to refer to episode 7 in season 4 of some show, you would abbreviate that as "S4E7", and other people would know what you meant by that.

I recently saw a discussion of some episode of something which is only in it's second season, and the season portion of the show was referred to not as "S2", but as "S02"! On the one hand, I really like the optimistic and gumption by the author here -- having confidence in at least 8 more seasons is pretty bold. On the other hand, this shows a real lack of humility around numbering things.