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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hedy Lamarr......actress of the day......

Usually I post some pics regularly of favourite actresses....it's a vanity post, I suppose, because I'm not always basing it on acting ability....

Well, tonight...Hedy Lamarr.  Here's a little bit about Hedy, other than bio, which you may, or may not know:

http://www.inventions.org/culture/female/lamarr.html

From Strapless to Wireless
Hedy Lamarr helped to set the groundwork for some of the most revolutionary technology of our time.
Following the outbreak of World War II, Lamarr, a passionate opponent of the Nazis, wanted to contribute more to the allied effort. As Mrs. Fritz Mandl, she had closely observed the planning and discussions that went into attempting to design remote-controlled torpedoes. These never went into production, because the radio-controlled guidance system was too susceptible to disruption. She got the idea of distributing the torpedo guidance signal over several frequencies, thus protecting it from enemy jamming. The only weak point was how to employ the synchronization of the signal's transmitter and receiver. 

In 1940, Lamarr met the American avant-garde composer George Antheil of "ballet mécanique" fame. She described her idea to him, and asked him to help her construct a device that would enable this signal to be synchronized. Antheil laid out a system based on 88 frequencies, corresponding to the number of keys on a piano, using perforated paper rolls which would turn in sync with one another, transmitting and receiving ever-changing frequencies, preventing interceptance and jamming. 

In December of 1940, the "frequency hopping" device developed by Lamarr and Antheil was submitted to the national inventors council, a semi-military inventors' association. Lamarr and Antheil went on to file for a patent application for the "Secret Communication System," June 10, 1941. The patent was granted by the United States patent office on august 11, 1942.

Lamarr and Antheil immediately placed their patent at the disposal of the US military. Though the us government did not deploy the "secret communication system" during World War II, the US Navy commissioned a project to acoustically detect submarines using sonar buoys remote-controlled from airplanes employing "frequency hopping" in the 1950s. 

Twenty years after its conceptualization, during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the first instance of large-scale military deployment of Lamarr and Antheil's frequency hopping technology was implemented-- not for the remote-controlled guidance of torpedoes, but to provide secure communications among the ships involved in the naval blockade. The early '60s saw the development of reconnaissance drones based on frequency hopping, which were later deployed in Vietnam. With the emergence of digital technology and the military's release of frequency hopping for public use in the 1980s, Lamarr and Antheil's invention took on new significance. Instead of "frequency hopping," today's term is "spread spectrum" but the basic idea is the same. The FCC recently allotted a special section of the radio spectrum for an experiment using the spread spectrum idea in a test designed to make cell phone calls more secure. A lot of corporate dollars have been invested in this process which has allowed more cell phone users to use the existing frequency spectrum.

Anyway....here are some more pics....




"Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid."-Hedy Lamarr 


But glamorous and bright......that's a rare commodity ;)

7 comments:

  1. Hedy Lamarr was the most beautiful woman ever to grace the silver screen. No other woman even came close. I have always been an admirer of her beauty. Many years later I discovered we shared the same birthday, November 9th. What a coincidence. I am glad I found your website.

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    1. Yes, she was beautiful for her time, but you don't mean to say she was more beautiful than Audrey Hepburn? No way!

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    2. Much more, for me! But of course it's a matter of taste..

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  2. Thank you for the wonderful compliment, fellow Scorpio!! (I'm Oct. 25).

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  3. Great blog I saw her after she lost everything in Florida where she lived before she died . Her tech is the greatest tech in this century

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  5. Gorgeous bit of Humanity Ms. Lamarr!!...and a Heckuva brain, too.
    I always wished that she had been the co-star with Hope Emerson in "Caged"; although Evelyn Harper was no dog. ( http://sumshee.com/hope-emerson.html ) But her time frame was slightly ahead of that movie production. She was a bit too much of a star.

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