Great Moments In Wisdom

Steve Johannes
Steve Johannes
Sunday, November 16, 2008

Circa 1.4 million B.C. Two-legged primates learn to control fire, extending beef preparation options beyond raw and medium raw.

Circa 6,000 B.C. Beer is invented in Mesopotamia, or present-day Iraq.

Circa 3,500 B.C. The wheel is invented in Mesopotamia. Yes, the wheel was invented after beer.

551 B.C. Confucius is born in Qufu, China, and begins writing bite-size bits of wisdom small enough for storage in baked treats.

5th century B.C. Buddha attains enlightenment and must store extra wisdom in his belly.

A.D. 500-1000 The Dark Ages; wisdom takes a holiday.

1439 The printing press is invented by Johannes Gutenberg, who is directly responsible for the evolution of columns like Three Wise Guys.

1558-1603 Queen Elizabeth I avoids marriage, believing the sacrament would dilute her power. Liz is an honorary Wise Gal.

Circa 1787 Noted inventor Thomas Jefferson designs a macaroni machine and perfects the swivel chair, allowing mankind to eat mac and cheese while spinning.

1865 Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel's seminal genetic study "Experiments on Plant Hybridization" spurs academics to question why their children look like the mailman.

1906 A year after rising to fame with his special theory of relativity, Albert Einstein publishes a recipe for the perfect brisket.

1945 Percy Spencer invents the microwave oven, drastically reducing the time it takes to make mac and cheese.

1986 Steve Guttenberg learns to interact with a robot in "Short Circuit."

1991 Wilson Wilson begins dispensing sage advice to Tim Allen on the ABC sitcom "Home Improvement."

2007 The Three Wise Guys publish their first column; wisdom takes a holiday.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company