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 Forum index » Discussion » Schmooze
Hedy Lamar's Birthday today
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2023 1:12 pm    Post subject: Hedy Lamar's Birthday today Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Apparently Hedy Lamar's birthday is today. Among other things, she was a friend of composer George Antheil. In the 1930s and 40s Antheil wrote music for Hollywood films at MGM studios where he met Lamar who was a famous glamourous movie star. In real life she was a lot smarter than the air-heads she often played in the movies.

Antheil was an avant-garde composer who was interested in automatic electrical control of musical instruments. The story goes that at fancy parties they would go off and talk about Antheil's projects. Together they came up with the idea of frequency hopping, or what we call today spread spectrum communication, which they jointly patented during WW2. Spread spectrum communication is a foundation technology for secure radio. Cell phones, wifi, and almost all digital communication depend on it.

Hedy Lamar is a hero to me, not because she was a woman who broke the barrier against women in engineering, but because she was a brilliant engineer, and a supporter of avant-garde music.

If you get a chance, listen to George Antheil's music.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2023 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kind of a coincidence but last month I stumbled across a documentary about Hedy Lamar that discussed her engineering achievements as well as her fame as an actress.
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