Category Archives: History

Twenty Score and Sixteen Years Ago Today …

… the British East India Company, which would grow in size until it accounted for half of the world’s trade, was chartered. While it hasn’t been in existence for 142 years, it made Britain a trading superpower and with the other East India Companies (Dutch, Portuguese), basically defined global trade for centuries.

The wikipedia article alone is a fascinating read, and links to many more resources for those who want a historical trade understanding.

What do you think LOLCat?

LOLCat, technically, as they were chartered, they weren’t pirates.

LOLCat seems to disagree …

One Hundred and Fifteen Years Ago Today

The first Nobel Prizes were awarded. The will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, whose last will specified that his fortune be used to create a series of to recognize those who made discoveries that brought “the greatest benefit on mankind”, the first prizes were awarded in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine in 1901. Shortly after his death, the Nobel Foundation was established to manage the finances and administration of the prizes and shortly after the first prizes were awarded.

And 115 years later, the prizes that are widely regarded as the most prestigious award available in the fields of literature, medicine, physics, chemistry, peace, and economics, are still being awarded and the benefits yet to be found are still blowin’ in the wind.

What do you think LOLCat?

LOLCat and SI congratulate Bob Dylan. After all, we’re still only bleeding.


Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their marks,
Make everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark,
It’s easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred.

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits,
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates.
Goodness hides behind its gates,
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked.

It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), Bob Dylan, 1965

Twenty-Two Years Ago Today …

The PlayStation was released in Japan. Even though Sony was late to the scene, as the PlayStation was released with the fifth generation of video game consoles, it was the first “computer entertainment platform” to ship 100 million units and set the gold bar for computer entertainment platforms at the time.

But this is not the only reason it is significant. It’s also significant because it also set the need for a gold bar in supply chain management as Sony lost $150 Million in sales and product reformulation when Dutch authorities halted a shipment of 1.3 Million PlayStations back in 2001 due to illegally high cadmium levels.

What do you think, LOLCat?

All PlayStations are great to sleep on!

One Hundred and Seventy Seven Years Ago Today …

The American Statistical Association (ASA) was founded in Boston, Massachusetts (which makes it the second oldest continuously operating professional society in the US).

If you were ever wondering why there are so many experts so adept at manipulating statistics to support whatever viewpoint they are selling, it’s because you’ve had the best professionals working together to improve the art for even longer than you have had professionals working together to improve science and engineering. (The IEEE is only 53 years old, and the associations that formed — namely the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers — would only be 132 years and 104 years, respectively.)

And for those of you relatively new to Sourcing Innovation, particularly those who would like more insight into lies, damn lies, and statistics, we’d like to remind you that, in the archives, Pinky and the Brain (back in the days when they were locked in the basement of a building in Massachusetts that was the headquarters of a major sourcing company before it was acquired) gave us a lesson in statistics that exposed some of the, well, lies. Enjoy!