What is common between orgasm and Wi-Fi

    Hedi Lamarr was not only the first to star in a movie and portrayed an orgasm on camera, but she also invented a radio communication system with protection from interception.

    I think the brains of people are more interesting than their appearance.
    - said Hollywood actress and inventor Hedi Lamarr in 1990, 10 years before her death.

    Hedi Lamarr is a charming actress of the 40s of the last century, who became known to the world not only because of her bright appearance and successful acting career, but also because of her truly outstanding intellectual abilities.

    Vedien Lee (Scarlett, Gone with the Wind), who was often confused with another beauty of the 20th century cinema, gave the world the opportunity to use extended-spectrum communications (thanks to which we can now use mobile phones and Wi-Fi).

    Vivien Leigh and Hedi Lamarr

    The life path and career of this extraordinary woman were not easy, but at the same time exciting and noteworthy.

    Hedy Lamarr, who was named Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler at birth, was born on November 9, 1914 in Vienna, Austria, in the Jewish family of pianist Gertrude Lichtwitz and bank director Emil Kisler. Her mother was from Budapest, and her father was from a Jewish family living in Lviv.

    Since childhood, the girl conquered everyone with her abilities and talent. She studied ballet, attended theater school, played the piano, and the baby enthusiastically studied mathematics. Since the family was well off, there was no need to work at an early age, but nevertheless, Hedi left her parents' house at the age of 16 and entered the theater school. In parallel, at the age of 17 she began acting in films making her debut in 1930 in the German film “Girls in a Night Club”. She continued her film career, working on German and Czechoslovak films.

    The beginning of her career was very successful, but nevertheless over the next three years she was simply one of many, the Czechoslovak-Austrian film “Ecstasy” by Gustav Mahat brought her world fame. The film for 1933 was provocative and ambiguous.

    A ten-minute scene of naked bathing in a forest lake is quite innocent by the standards of the 21st century, but in those years it caused a storm of emotions. In some countries, the tape was even banned from showing, released only a few years later with censorship.

    Hedi Lamarr in the film Ecstasy, 1933. The

    sensation around the film and the furious indignation on the part of the church played into the hands of the actress, because of this she became notorious. At that moment, the scandal was not the fault of the nudity itself, but a large flurry of emotions that caused the scene of the first imitation of orgasm in the history of cinema, convincingly played by a girl. Later, the actress said that the director specifically pricked her with a safety pin during the filming of an erotic scene, so that the sounds made seemed plausible.

    After the scandalous film, parents made every effort to quickly give their daughter in marriage. The first husband of Hedy was the Austrian Fritz Mandl, a millionaire arms manufacturer who supported the Nazis and produced weapons for the Third Reich. While traveling with her husband to meetings and conferences, Hedy listened attentively and remembered everything that the men talked about - and their conversations at that time were very interesting, because Mandla's production laboratories were working on creating radio-controlled weapons for the Nazis. But this fact "shot" later.

    The husband turned out to be a terrible owner, and besides, she was jealous of her for everyone she met. It ended up that the young wife was literally locked in her "golden cage", not having the opportunity to act in films, and after that just to meet friends. He tried to buy all copies of Ecstasy from the Vienna rental. The nightmare marriage lasted for four years, but, unable to withstand such an attitude towards himself, the unfortunate wife of a wealthy and powerful ammunition manufacturer in the middle of the night, having poured sleeping pills and putting on her clothes, ran away from home on a bicycle and boarded the Normandy steamboat.

    She emigrated to the United States on the eve of World War II and on the ship that sailed from London to New York, she met with the head of the studio MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) Louis Mayer. Lamarr spoke a little English and it was not bad, since she was able to conclude a lucrative contract for filming in Hollywood films.

    In order not to cause unnecessary associations with the American Puritan public, he takes a pseudonym, borrowing it from MGM actress Barbara La Marr, Meyer's former favorite, who died in 1926 from a heart attack due to drug abuse.

    A new career stage is unfolding successfully. During her career in Hollywood, the actress has played in such popular films as Algeria (1938, the role of Gabi), Lady in the Tropics (1939, the role of Manon de Vernet), and the adaptation of J. Steinbeck's Tortilla-Flat (1942, dir Victor Fleming, the role of Dolores Ramirez), The Risky Experiment (1944), The Strange Woman (1946) and Cecil de Mill's epic film Samson and Delilah (1949). The last appearance on the screen is in the film “The Female Animal” (1958, the role of Vanessa Windsor).

    Acting did not interfere even with the fact that during this period Lamarr became the mother of three children. True, in different sources this information is contradictory, since, perhaps, one child was not his own son.

    Hedy left Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1945. In total, Hedy Lamarr earned $ 30 million from filming.

    The Vienna beauty found life in Beverly Hills and chatted with famous people such as John F. Kennedy and Howard Hughes, who provided her with equipment to conduct experiments in her trailer during a time when she did not act in films. It was in this scientific environment that Lamarr found her true calling.

    Hedi Lamarr was a loving, passionate and fickle woman, periodically experiencing a need for novelty. It is not surprising that in addition to the legal spouses, and there were six during her life, the actress had many lovers.

    Two years after fleeing from her first husband, Lamarr married again. The second husband was screenwriter and producer Gene Macri, he was madly in love with his wife, but Hedy was not in love with him. Despite the fact that she had a loving husband, she paired up an affair with actor John Lauder and even gave birth to a child from him (according to some sources). Macri agreed to accept Hedi's son because he could not imagine his life without this magnificent woman. However, after a couple of years, she divorced anyway, and Lamarr began to live with her child’s father, John Lauder, with whom they soon formed a relationship.

    The third marriage of the actress lasted 4 years. During this time, she gave birth to Lauder two more children: a son and a daughter. And in 1947 she expressed a desire to get a divorce. Three more official marriages subsequently followed: with restaurateur and musician Teddy Stuffer (1951 -1952), oilman William Howard Lee (1953 -1960) and lawyer Lewis Boyes (1963-1965) .

    As you can see, the fate of Hedi Lamarr was not the happiest way. Six marriages did not bring her happiness. Relations with three children were also far from ideal.

    Often called the “Most Beautiful Woman in Films,” the beauty of Hedi Lamarr and her presence on the screen made her one of the most popular actresses of her time.

    Of course, the acting field glorified Lamarr, but real immortality brought her scientific activity.

    As if to be a beautiful, talented actress was not enough, Hedy was also extremely smart and was engaged in inventive activities. She knew mathematics well and through the efforts of her first husband was well versed in weapons.

    Her abilities and their application served as a meeting with the avant-garde composer and inventor George Antheil. Having talked somehow with the actress, he realized that his interlocutor is much smarter than she seems.

    Lamarr was delighted that he used strange instruments and arrangements in his music and liked to make and invent a lot, as she did. Hedi inspired his way of using several punched tapes for a mechanical piano, which allows you to switch playback from one instrument to another without harming the music (literally “without losing a beat”). Later, they successfully patented the brilliant technology of pseudo-random tuning of the working frequency (PFRCH), embodying the mentioned idea of ​​using punched tape to protect radio waves from jamming. Just as careful synchronization of punched tapes ensures the continuity of music played on different pianos, the radio signal is switched from one channel to another.

    This idea later became the backbone of both secure military communications and mobile phone technology. In August 1942, she, together with composer George Anteyle, received a patent under the number 2,292,387 “Secret Communication System”, allowing remote control of torpedoes. The value of the technology of "jumping frequencies" was evaluated only many years later. The impetus for the invention was the message about the evacuation ship sunk on September 17, 1940, on which 77 children were killed. Her extraordinary abilities in the exact sciences enabled her to reproduce many of the technical details of the conversations about weapons that her first husband conducted with his colleagues.

    He and George set about inventing a radio-controlled torpedo that could not be intercepted or drowned. Lamarr shared with Anteyle a very important idea: if you remotely transmit the target coordinates to a controlled torpedo at one frequency, then the enemy can easily intercept the signal, jam it or redirect the torpedo to another target, and if you use a random code on the transmitter that will change the transmission channel, You can synchronize the same frequency transitions on the receiver. Such a change in communication channels ensures the safe transfer of information. Until that time, pseudo-random codes were used to encrypt information transmitted over non-changing open communication channels. Here, a step forward took place: the secret key was used to quickly change the channels of information transfer.

    Scheme from the 1942 patent. Image: Flickr / Floor, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. (A figure from the 1942 patent. Image: Flickr / Floor, distributed under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.) The

    original idea, designed to solve the problem of enemy blocking of radio-controlled missiles during World War II, included a simultaneous change in radio frequencies to prevent detection signal to enemies. She wanted to give her country a military advantage. While the technologies of that time at first did not allow to realize the idea, the appearance of the transistor and its subsequent reduction made the idea of ​​Hedi very important for both military and mobile communications.

    However, the U.S. Navy then rejected the project because of difficulties in implementation, and only began to use it in a limited way in 1962, so the inventors did not receive deductions for it. But after half a century, this patent has become the basis for communication with the extended spectrum, which is now used everywhere, from mobile phones to Wi-Fi.

    “It's easy for me to make inventions,” said Lamarr in the Bombshell. “I don’t need to think about ideas, they come by themselves.”

    But, according to a new documentary about her life, technical thinking is her main legacy. It is called Bomb: The Story of Hedi Lamarr. The film talks about the patent that Lamarr filed for frequency hopping technology in 1941, which was the forerunner of secure Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. The frequency hopping spectrum is one of the most important aspects of code division multiple access (CDMA), which is used in many of the technologies that we use today. One of the first is the GPS, which you use every time you check your location in the map application on your smartphone. Mobile phones also used CDMA for telephone signals, and if you ever downloaded something over a 3G network, you used technology, based on the inventions of Lamarr and Anteyla. Frequency hopping technology all around us is easy to take for granted, but the invention was admirable and respected for being so creative and inventive.

    However, for Lamarr, the fame and compensation that she deserved for her ideas did not come. The patent, which she filed together with the inventor George Anteyl, was aimed at protecting their military invention for radio communications, which can "jump" from one frequency to another so that the Nazis could not detect allied torpedoes. Until today, neither Lamarr nor her fortune received a cent from the multi-billion dollar industry, for which her idea paved the way, although the US military publicly recognized her patent for frequency hopping and its contribution to technology.

    Lamarr's work as an inventor was hardly announced in the 1940s. This flaw, which, according to Bombshell director and Reframed Pictures co-founder Alexandra Dean, fits into the narrow narrative of a movie star in those days.

    Professor Jan-Christopher Horak, director of the UCLA Film and Television Archive, at Bombshell, states that MGM studio director Louis B. Mayer, who first signed the Hollywood contract with Lamarr, saw that women were defined in two types: they were either seductive, or they had to be put on a pedestal and admire them from afar. Professor Horak believes that a woman who is both sexy and amazing was not the one Mayer is ready to accept or present to the audience.

    This impressive technological advancement, combined with her acting talent and stellar quality, made “the most beautiful woman in the film” one of the most interesting and smart women in the film industry.

    ”Louis B. Mayer divided the world into two types of women: Madonna and whore. I don’t think he ever believed that she was anything but the last, ”says Horak in the film, referring to Lamarr.

    Dr. Simon Nike, chairman of the branding department at ESSEC Business School in Paris and a previous fellow at Harvard Business School, agrees that Hollywood classifies women in a double order. Dr. Nike teaches Power Brand Anthropology at ESSEC and is an expert in using female archetypes in advertising and the media.
    According to Dr. Nike, women are positioned as one of three archetypes: powerful and smart queens, a seductive princess or a fatal woman, which is a combination of both. He says these archetypes date back to Greek mythology and are still used to portray women in the media and advertising. Dr. Nick says that “femme fatale” is a category that fits the beautiful, brilliant inventor Lamarr, and that multidimensional women often look very threatening.

    "A powerful, sexy, but smart woman ... It's really scary for most guys," says Dr. Nike. "You just show how weak we are."

    Dr. Nike notes that historically, women have been positioned in the media in an outdated, one-dimensional framework created from the perspective of men. Within this framework, multifaceted women, such as Lamarr, are often valued only for their physical form, and not for their ability to think, invent and create. This information on women's disabilities is expected to be available to an impressive audience worldwide.

    “The position of women is almost like toys,” says Dr. Nike. “They do not have voting rights. And this is precisely the problem. ”

    Therefore, Dr. Nick is not surprised that Lamarr's entrepreneurial activity in producing and directing films was not supported in the 1940s. Or that it took decades for the Lamar story to develop in order to pay tribute to her as the inventor she was.

    Lamarr's daughter, Denise Lauder, takes pride in her mother’s ingenious mind and the work she has done throughout her career to push the boundaries of how women are perceived. She notes that her mother was one of the first women to own a manufacturing company and tell stories from a female perspective.

    “She was so ahead of her time when she became a feminist,” says Lauder in
    Bombshell. "She was never called that, but she certainly was her."

    It took a long time, but Lamarr and Antail are now widely recognized as inventors of frequency hopping, which led to the development of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. In 1997, when Lamarr turned 82, the Electronic Frontier Foundation awarded her two awards for her achievement.

    Lamarr did not think and did not consider herself smarter than others. Instead, it is her attitude and views in various life situations that distinguish her from others. She asked questions. She wanted to improve things. She saw the problems and knew that they needed to be solved. Some people in her life considered this a wrong attitude, and she was often criticized for being a difficult star. But Lamarr did exactly what she wanted, so she clearly won. And how did she win? As she said in Popcorn in Paradise: I win because many years ago I found out that someone who is afraid to lose money always loses. I don’t care, so I win.

    She died three years later.

    Last year, the Digital Entertainment Group, an American association that supports and promotes entertainment platforms, awarded the Gene Davis the Hedy Lamarr Award for innovation in the entertainment industry, for its work on gender and the media. The award recognizes women who have made significant contributions to the entertainment and technology industry.

    A few years ago, Lamarr became a topic for Google.

    Therefore, if you are reading this on your phone, think of the woman who contributed to the creation of this.

    The unpalatable and categorical character of Hedi quarreled her with all of Hollywood and made her a persona non grata in film circles. Lamarr played a movie until 1958, after which she decided to take a long break. During this time, she wrote an autobiography, Ecstasy and Me, in collaboration with screenwriter Leo Guild and journalist Sai Rice. This book, published in 1966, was a blow to the career of the actress.

    The work said that the girl suffers from nymphomania, and also has sex with men and women. These details sparked fierce condemnation from the Hollywood public. The inventor denied all the scandalous fragments of the book, claiming that they were secretly added by the co-authors, but after the scandal she was never offered star roles.

    After that, the 52-year-old actress tried to return to the screen, but this was prevented by the persecution campaign launched against her. Unsociable, harsh nature, the habit of openly expressing an unflattering opinion about Hollywood and his mores gathered many influential enemies around the actress.

    In 1997, Lamarr was officially awarded for her discovery, but the actress did not arrive at the ceremony, but only transmitted an audio recording of her greeting.

    In old age, Hedi led a secluded life and practically did not communicate directly with anyone, preferring telephone conversations.

    In general, the last years of Hedi Lamarr were not very joyful, filled with scandals and vile gossip, and very lonely.

    She spent them in a nursing home, where she died at the age of 86.

    The actress died in Kasselberry, Florida, on January 19, 2000. The cause of Lamarr's death was heart disease. According to the will, the son of Anthony Lauder dispelled the ashes of his mother in Austria, in the Vienna Woods.

    The merits of Hedi Lamarr and George Anteyle were officially recognized only in 2014: their names were included in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

    For their contribution and achievements in cinema, Hedi Lamarr was awarded stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    And on the actress’s birthday, November 9th, the inventor’s day is celebrated in German-speaking countries.

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