Monday, November 9, 2009

A Beautiful Mind

Today is the birthday of the incandescently beautiful Hedy Lamarr.
Not only was she simply gorgeous, she was also a member of the artistic/scientific duo--the other being George Antheil, concert pianist and self-described "bad boy of music"-- that won Patent #2,292.387.
Basically, in an effort to provide the Allies radio-controlled torpedoes, the pianist and the actress developed the first form of "frequency hopping," as a torpedo controlled on a single frequency was too easily jammed.
The concept on which this patent was based continued to grow, and scientists continued to slice and splice the concepts, and Hedy's contribution to science, one can plausibly claim, came to be known as that weird critter "WiFi."
Anyone in the military today can tell you the impact of frequency-hop radios (and anyone who has ever tried to re-set timing or send an IRF in the dark in the rain can tell you that we may well have peaked with Ms. Lamarr).
And, I guess, Ms. Lamarr was pretty "edgy" for her times; in the 1933 film Ecstasy, she apparently spent most of her screen time being, um, what's the word? Nekkid. Apparently (even by today's standards) the film was a wee bit racy.
So, for all of you that either post or prowl pictures of today's beauties--say, Megan Fox, all I can say is: look for a beautiful mind.

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