-- In the beginning, there was the rock. "Good old rock, nothing beats rock," sayeth the wise one Bart Simpson. (Paper, as we all know, was a much later invention)

-- After the rock, there was the spear. It enabled mighty cave dwellers to be valorous from a safer distance. "Talk softly and carry a big stick with a point on the end." -- Anon.

-- Not too useful before the invention of the bow, the arrow enabled mighty man to fell many opponents from even greater distances. Not bad, using only a quiver of ammunition that, along with the bow, could be slung over shoulder leaving both hands free when not in use.

-- As man learned of the great arts of metalworking, so the blade was born. A great step up from sharpened stones used in arrows and spears, the blade, in any of its various forms from the simple throwing knife to the claymore, became a standard in close combat for centuries. "That's not a knife. Now that's a knife" - Crocodile Dundee.

-- As man discovered fortifications, there became a need for munitions that could be directed against structures, not just man or beast. Hence, the catapult, which could lob impressively large stones (or sometimes flaming objects) into and over fortified walls. So sayeth the siege engineers, "Build it and we will knock it down."

-- When simply knocking things down became boring, gunpowder exploded onto the scene. While primitive firearms were at least as likely to hurt their owners as their targets, their more modern cousins solved problems in the areas of accuracy, reliability, and reloadability. The latter was particularly important, as it did people little good to miss with their first shot and be humiliated by someone with a lowly blade running them through whilst reloading. "Do you feel lucky, punk?" - Dirty Harry.

-- A logical extension of the catapult, it used gunpowder to direct a heavy metal ball at just about anything you didn't want to be there anymore. Ships, bridges, walls, you name it. Its latter day cousins include most missiles and other artillery. "Nice cannon, pretty cannon." - leader of the long defunct Spanish Armada as it lost to the English fleet.

-- Explosives for the simple glory of explosives. Things that go boom. What more need be said? "1, 2, 5... 3, sir." - Arthur, King of the Britons.

-- It started with the Manhattan project and they only got more powerful from there. The original definition of overkill, nobody was certain the Enola Gay would even be able to keep itself out of the blast radius of the A-bomb it dropped. Talk about your big bang theory... "Would you like to play a game?" -- WarGames.

-- Encryption software you say? The US government sure thinks so! More lives are lost due to secrets, because the government can't protect us properly than by most of the other great munitions listed above. Do not overlook the power of information security!


Historical accuracy has taken a back seat to humor. As it often should.