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.

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#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!

Empowerment

The body is a remarkable machine.

As I kick up into the headstand, my instructor spots me so I don’t dump over.  I will never forget her remark, “you have really strong legs, you need to relax into the stand”.  

I’ve come to learn that the headstand, while intimidating at first, is only a first step to empowerment. 

It’s an empowering move for sure, and I’m getting stronger all the time. I can’t wait to see what I can do next. 

Spine stiffened


Image credit Sermanquotes.com. 

After the massacre in Dallas last night, it was hard to sleep.  This is all so hard to understand.  

The death count is up to 5.  Law Enforcement continues to look for bombs. 

And, the hate escalates. The Daily Caller had the best coverage of the event.  The video is chilling.

I guess I don’t understand blanket hate.  


Image credit:  misrevolutionaries.com

Can we be brave today, and step away from hate?  

Brave ventures and new books

South Texas had a bit of wonky weather this week, and it was not acceptable. I had no time for the freeways to be shut down, school cancellations, or appointment rescheduling. So what to do?

Should I curl up on the couch and say “oh well?” Or do I get up and say “hell no”.

There is a fine line between bravery and foolhardiness. I had to make the decision on if I was going to bet on the weatherman who is less than 50% correct in the summer, let alone in this crazy winter we are having.

When I left the house Tuesday morning, the trees were hanging down with the weight of….wait for it…..Ice. Lots of ice, everywhere, but the street looked reasonable. I checked the traffic cams, no significant closures, and the high temp for Tuesday was supposed to be 50 degrees. I headed out.

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It’s been many years since I’ve driven in freezing rain, but it went reasonably well. Only two bridges were shut down between Houston and Austin, and getting around them was pretty reasonable, as there was very little traffic.

The weird weather demonstrated it’s fickle self in a little town called Bastrop, Tx. On the south side of the Colorado river the trees looked like they did at home, ice laden and bowing down low. Once I got through town, and about 3 miles north of the Colorado River, it was dry, clear, and there was NO ice anywhere.

My trip paid off, as I was on time for my lunch appointment, my 2:30 went really well, and I found a new book to keep me company.

I started the Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I fell in love with it from the very first page. I didn’t know they had made a movie out of it, but once I’m done with the book I will watch it. I’ve never read anything from such an interesting point of view. It’s entrancing, and the characters are so relatable.

My mistake was tying to read it in a restaurant while having dinner Tuesday night. I forgot it was Mardi Gras. Austin doesn’t have a big festival or anything, but I was in the middle of some serious party peeps, and I had to return to the hotel to enjoy my book.

If you haven’t picked up The Book Thief, I highly recommend it.

If you have, I’d love to hear your comments!

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It’s been an outstanding week. I’m quite grateful that I braved the weather, and I’m delighted in the story that I’m fully immersed in for the duration.

TGIF everyone!

I thought this was profound coming from someone who went to jail for standing up for freedom, led his country, and was a symbol of hope for people around the globe.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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