It's common to see users wishing to make substring DB queries, using the % metacharacter used to match anything; in this FAQ we'll search the tbl_comments table from the blog tutorial hoping to find the text in $match in the content column
Relational databases do not support inheritance so if we need to represent it, we have to somehow store meta info while keeping performance by minimizing JOINs. One way to solve this problem is using single table inheritance. All fields for the whole class tree are stored in a single table. Class name is stored in the type field of the same table.
Following on from international dates, I also wanted times in the local timezone and format. This was a little more tricky but I think I've got a solution. This is only really appropriate if you have an international app.