Hedy, What a woman

LHiggins does wonderful book reviews, and when I saw this one, my reaction was immediate! I ordered the book. The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict. I had to. I’ve admired this woman’s spunk, and beauty since I saw her in Bing Crosby/Bob Hope films when I was little. Mel Brooks gives her a nod in Blazing Saddles. He expounds on his love of Hedy in a documentary on Netflix. He was definitely a big fan of the Sultry Austrian, Spy, Inventor, Patriot, Actress, Sex Symbol.

Hedy Lamarr was one of the most amazing badass in female history. A flawed woman, for sure. I’m not sure she was ever really happy, but her contributions are undeniable.

Here’s a Facebook post from This Day in History that sums up some of her accomplishments with full credit to Jody Abraham.

On this day in 2000, Hedy Lamarr passes away. She was a well-known actress—but also a scientist who made a huge contribution to the technological revolution. You rely upon her work every day when you use your cell phone. She’s even been called the “Mother of Wi-Fi.”

Nevertheless, many today have no idea what she accomplished.

Lamarr wasn’t born Hedy Lamarr. Her name at birth was Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler. She was born in Vienna, spent a brief period acting, then married Friedrich Mandl, a military arms merchant. Lamarr was basically a prisoner in her own marriage, but she also spent time around her husband’s business, learning about military and radio technologies. She would use this knowledge later.

In the meantime, Lamarr escaped and fled to Paris. Then she moved to Hollywood where she became a successful movie star and the “world’s most beautiful woman”!

But behind the scenes, she was an inventor.

“Inventing was her hobby,” the producer of the documentary Bombshell told a reporter. “It was her reflex. It was how she dealt with the problems of the world. And she did it in such a quiet way that most people around her didn’t even know.”

Except Howard Hughes knew. At one point, Hughes was trying to build a faster plane, and he talked to Lamarr about it. Lamarr found books about birds and fish, researching which were the fastest and why. Ultimately, she proposed a wing shape for Hughes’s planes that was based upon what she’d learned.

Hughes pronounced her work “genius.”

In the scientific arena, she is perhaps best known for the “secret communications system” that she developed with composer George Antheil.

Both wanted to contribute to the Nazis’ defeat. Could they improve the way in which torpedoes were delivered? At the time, remember, torpedoes couldn’t be effectively guided. Radio communications between submarine and torpedo were difficult because communications could be intercepted or jammed by the enemy. But Lamarr had an idea: Instead of using one frequency to communicate with the torpedo, the military could use multiple frequencies in a coordinated fashion. A system of “frequency hopping,” would leave the enemy stumped.

Antheil’s contribution to the process? He had previously created an automated piano player. It was now adapted to make Lamarr’s idea work.

The two inventors obtained a patent for their work in August 1942—then they gave the patent to the United States Navy. Astoundingly, the Navy didn’t take the invention too seriously at first. They maintained that a player piano wouldn’t fit inside a torpedo, ignoring suggestions that the components could be made smaller. Or did they simply look at Lamarr’s beautiful face and get sidetracked? They urged her to sell war bonds instead.

Patriot that she was, Lamarr did exactly that.

Today, Lamarr’s technology is considered a precursor to the “spread-spectrum” wireless communications technology used in cell phones and other modern devices.

There is a lot more to Lamarr’s story, of course. Hollywood left its mark on her. She suffered when her beauty faded. She had difficult relationships with her children. She got married (and divorced) too many times. But she wouldn’t want to be remembered for any of that.

She’d surely be much more satisfied to hear that she was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.


If you enjoy these history posts, please know that it is important to LIKE, SH☺RE & COMMENT. This site’s algorithm will weed these posts out of your news feed if you do not interact with them. (I don’t make the rules! Just following them.) 😉

Gentle reminder: History posts are copyright © 2013-2019 by Tara Ross. I appreciate it when you use the Facebook

“sh☺re” feature instead of cutting/pasting.

#TDIH #OTD #AmericanHistory #USHistory #liberty #freedom #ShareTheHistory — with Jody Abraham.

The book The Only Woman in the Room, by Marie Benedict was a lighter read than I anticipated, done in Novel form from the perspective of Hedy.

I hope you give it a try!

Book time

A new book awaits me.  Survivor,  the last of Vince Flynn’s novels.  I don’t want to let go of Mitch Rapp just yet.  He’s my favorite protagonist.  

I’d love to crawl into my book and just live right there.

Labor Day Binge Watch

Yes, I will….because I can.

I’ve read the books, and now I’m binging on the HBO series Game of Thrones.

So far:  Season one came reasonably close to the first book…..the rest is exceedingly questionable, except the number of people who die.  Besides Ros, and she doesn’t count, cause she wasn’t in the book.

Tyrion Lanister/Peter Dinklage, you are remarkable, and your portrayal of Tyrion is spot on for me.  Thank you for bringing the book to life.

Jon Snow/Kitt Harrington. Will you survive the betrayal at Castle Black?


I will wait for the new book.  The books are so much richer than the HBO departure. I sincerely hope the last book “finishes everything off”.  Bad pun, so sorry..but Winter is coming!  Time for a finale to the Game of thrones.

I hope this next season explains more of where Bran ends up.  Will his role play a part in controlling the white walkers?

Who will ride the other two dragons?  Will Danareus Storm Born invade the 7 kingdoms?

Will Arya become a “faceless man”?  Will she become like her Targarean hero who rode her own dragon?

Since HBO took such liberty with Sana’s story, will she pick up her mother’s story line in the upcoming season?  It should be interesting.

Will the white walkers invade?

Where did Little Finger go?

What about Varys?  Is he a Targarean bastard?

So many details.

So many Characters.

Who will ultimately sit on the Throne made from a thousand swords?

A study afternoon

After taking my first two John Maxwell classes, I decided to pick up a couple of the books he recommended reading.

I started the Dale Carnegie book today.  At first I was skeptical, this is a really old book.  It was published in 1944, 20 years before I came along.  The second thing was, I’m not much of a worrier, but I can get a bit negative, if I can’t see a way to make things work.

It’s a surprising read.  It’s practical, full of examples from people from all walks of life.

What also struck me, was these folks picked themselves up from extraordinary circumstances during a time when there was no Welfare system, no Unemployment insurance, no Government handouts.  Many of these folks brought themselves into success during the Great Depression, during WW II, without any type of hand out all, just their determination to stay positive, and keep going.

The book has great quotes from philosophers from Lin Yutang to Horace.

Some of the earliest success stories of the 20th century seemed to have the same thing in common.  They looked at the worst thing that could happen, faced their fears, and kept moving forward one step at a time.

With the rains today, it was really nice to turn off the TV, the Internet, and read a few chapters of inspiration and practical application to maintaining a positive attitude in the midst of trials, change, and difficulty.


To meet a warrior, is a special experience.

To hear a warrior tell his story is humbling.

When he pulls his breath in sharply through his teeth, and clamps down on visible emotions running across his face….we all held our breath, then I wept.

To watch a warrior laugh with his friend gave me a glimps into a special world.

To get an autographed copy of Lone Survivor, my husband will be jealous. 

Shaking the Warrior’s hand, and saying thank you seemed like the most paltry response to such an overwhelming sacrifice of blood, bone, and limb.

Emotionally wrecked after 2 hours of Chad Flemming and Marcus Lutrell…..we are so fortunate to have such men serve to protect our nation.  The situation deserved some serious quiet reflection.  

The most poignant question asked by Marcus Lutrell was “why are your friends, your friends?”  He went on to propose that you don’t really have good friends, until you go through something tough together.  Marcus, had and has some tremendous friends.

If you ever have the opportunity to see either of these Warriors speak, regardless of your political view, their human experience, and their drive to succeed, win, and overcome terrible obstacles is inspiring.

shine anyway

“It never troubles the sun that some of his rays fall wide and vain into ungrateful space, and only a small part on the reflecting planet.”

Excerpt From: Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson.” iBooks. 



Good Tuesday

Two of my favorite things for sure, reading and dancing.

After a day of fog, sales calls, driving, and paperwork.  I will be grateful for such a great day.

So I’m taking a time out to read a bit, a little Emerson.  Then…maybe I will put on some Buddy Guy and sway about.

Oh my, the books the books!


The house needs dusting, the garden is full of weeds, the dogs need walking…..but sneezing and coughing I will rest and read. And I won’t feel guilty about any of the tasks that won’t get done today.

So get ready “The Hit” by David Baldacci. Here we go.

Today I am grateful that I can rest and recover from this sniffle and cough with a good read.

New books


So for 2015, I splurged on a couple of titles that will be my friends for the next couple of weeks.

The arctic north wind has made its way into my tropical S. Texas homeland. I have forgotten how to wear a coat.
There is an art to carrying an accessory so large. Getting in and out of the coat. The habit of bundling up is rusty with me. My watch is too large and catches on the sleeve.
I had to practice putting on my gloves. Taking them off, pull the pinky, then the thumb, then follow the fingers down to pull off the glove successfully.

On my sales calls today, a particularly flamboyant receptionist had on rainbow wool gloves. She had to show them off. A high of 44, she was bundled up inside in sweater, scarf, boots, and gloves. She was sweet.

The wind is picking up. The day is winding down. My books are on the edge of my desk….beckoning me to my reading spot.

Maybe an early cup of tea and a chapter or two before dinner.


Today I’m grateful for reviving old skills. I’m grateful for the chilly wind that brings back childhood memories, and kills the bugs.

I’m grateful for successful sales calls, and a good coat to keep me warm on the two or three days a year I get to wear it.