Most sites use the block module to create blocks which are reused throughout a site. Have you ever needed to embed one of these custom blocks into a node template or into some other template files? Its suprising, but there isn't a single, simple function that you can call to do this. There is a thread on drupal.org about this, but none of the solutions really seemed right. To do this more elegantly, we made a function which can be used in your theme's template.php file to make block embedding simple.