Thursday, March 12, 2015

                   "The Most Beautiful Woman In The World" ~ By Cara Haley
     Hedy Lamarr was an Australian and American film actress. She  was a beautiful star that stole the audiences heart away with her performances. Praise for her glorious looks, she was promoted as the "world's most beautiful women".  But other than her glamorous life that most admire her for, she was also one intelligent inventor for her time.  During her career as a successful actress, she co-invented the technology for spread spectrum and frequency hopping communications. She used her role as a women to her advantage. She learned quite a few things about torpedoes during her former marriage to Friedrich Mandl, an Austrian arms dealer that worked with the Nazis.  She was silent, secretly expanding her knowledge.  "Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid." And when she fled away from that alluring "gold prison" to America, she took with her not only her phenomenal theatrical skill and her exquisite beauty, but also the useful knowledge of military technology   
     During World War II, Lamarr was inspired to contribute to the war effort. She focused her efforts on countering torpedoes. With George Antheil, an avant garde composer and a dear friend of hers, Hedy Lamarr founded the creation of a frequency hopping system. This new technology became important to America's military during World War ll because it was used in controlling torpedoes.  Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil discussed the fact that radio-controlled torpedoes, while important in the naval war, could easily be jammed by broadcasting interference at the frequency of the control signal, causing the torpedo to go off course.  They  developed the idea of using frequency hopping to avoid jamming. Their method was achieved by using a piano roll to unpredictably change the signal sent between a control center and the torpedo at short burst.   The specific code for the sequence of frequencies would be held identically by the controlling ship and in the torpedo. It was nearly impossible for the enemy to scan and jam it for this implement was simply too advanced with power. The frequency-hopping sequence was controlled by a player-piano mechanism, which Antheil had earlier used to master his Ballet Mécanique.  Both Lamarr and Antheil used cognition from their past lives to help advance their idea to the next step.  This early stage of wireless communication they created  was the main foundation of GPS, Galileo,  GILO and  NASO satellites, Bluetooth, cellphones, and digital wireless systems.  No later than a decade after Hedy invented this astounding device, it became a basic military technology. 
    Though this invention was a form of careful instructed intelligence, Hedy Lamarr was never truly appreciated with thanks or even an award. Her gifted implement was taken away and used. But not with despair, Hedy reached out and made something marvelous, not allowing the high democracy of sexism that dictated the era's choices control her.  She kept inventing as a passionate hobby, one in which she allowed no one to discourage. She was a Hollywood scarlet with ambition. Except in the matter of her beauty, which she valued least of all, people regularly underestimated her. A few ever saw beyond her charming looks to her intelligence.   Hedy Lamarr was finally inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014. She invented to challenge and amuse herself, but mostly to bring order to the world through chaotic. And this, she truly succeeded. 

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