Saw a great program on Hedy Lemarr on Netflix awhile back. After learning what she invented, I think she should be remembered more for her invention side than her movie star side.
She was a refugee from Hitler’s Austria, yet the Govt seized her “frequency hopping” invention as an “enemy alien”; still they asked her to tour the country as a Hollywood star selling war bonds.
That invention today is the basis for cell phone technology.
Today that one invention of hers alone is worth an estimated $30 Billion.
Awhile back I posted what I considered to be signs of genius; Hedy certainly makes the grade.
I remember from the Netflix documentary that she used to work on her inventions while in her movie trailer waiting for the next scene.
David Foster of Chicago Boyz has a great post on her.
Update – 01/22/19 22:16 – I just saw Bombshell , the Netflix documentary, again. What an amazing woman. Her main invention, which was taken from her without any compensation, is today the basis of cell phone technology, secure WiFi, military communication…
The documentary closed with her quoting a beautiful poem by Kent Keith towards the end of her life:
The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
Courtesy of Focus Features
A couple of years ago at a dinner, I had the honor of meeting a well-dressed elderly woman while sipping a martini (both of us!). I learned that she was one of the 1,000 or so female pilots in WW2 who became known as WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots).
Fifinella, the official Mascot of the WASPs
The WASPs weren’t the Army’s idea, but the idea of famed aviatrix Jackie Cochran, who, with so many men going off to war, suggested the idea of women ferrying new planes to bases to Eleanor Roosevelt. Eleanor made it happen, but the WASPs were not really taken seriously by the Army Air Force.
They were issued used mechanic’s overalls that the women called Zoot Suits, men’s sizes only, 44 and up. Of course these were too big for most women. But the women actually turned lemons into lemonade, making them look fashionable (with the sleeves rolled up).
They were not even integrated into the military, but seen as a civilian auxiliary.
By lex, on March 17th, 2010
For the Fallujah SEALs **:
The case against a Navy SEAL accused of not protecting an alleged Iraqi terrorist took a major turn Friday when a military judge ordered that five key defense witnesses be granted immunity to testify on his behalf…
The town of Paradise, CA being engulfed by fire
Funny that I just wrote about visiting the epicenter of the Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in California history, and all the news today in Northern California is about the impending announcement of declaring bankruptcy by the utility that covers most of Northern California, PG & E (Pacific Gas and Electric).
“Under California law, utilities are exposed to liability from wildfires regardless of their negligence.”
After the Camp Fire, with 11,000 homes lost, I had a curiosity to see the epicenter, Paradise. Paradise is on the Sierra foothills in Northern California , about 1,500′ elevation.
It really is a bucolic little town, nestled among the pines, and was a favorite place to retire. Despite its 1,500′ elevation, it is only 20 miles or so from Chico, elevation 150′, a smaller city at the northern end of the Central Valley.
I called the California Highway Patrol in Chico, who assured me that all the roads to Paradise were open. With that knowledge, I headed up the highway to Paradise.
I’ve had a friend since I was 12 who, once he was 30, decided that he’d better get a skill or a trade. He was tired of getting minimum wage jobs. He became an apprentice to a plumber and years later decided to retire at age 55 or so.
Loves hunting and fishing, and spends a large amount of time traveling around with his 5th wheel trailer.
He was an excellent plumber. What impressed me, years ago, when he was visiting me (he lives about 100 miles away) – I told him that the urinal in my office always flushed like Niagara Falls. (we are talking plumbin’ stuff!).
I have always believed that the world has had very few true geniuses. My definition of a genius has been one who changes the world in a fundamental way, often against the thinking of the society at the time.
Sir Isaac Newton. For his laws of motion. Albert Einstein, of course. Wolfgang Mozart, who started composing at age 5, and whose compositions are still enjoyed over 200 years later.
There is a component of perseverance and lots of work to change the world. I read somewhere that Thomas Edison tried 1,000 different ways to make the incandescent light bulb until hitting the right formula.
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Great accomplishments depend not so much on ingenuity as on hard work. This is a saying of the American inventor Thomas Edison.”