Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Hedy Stuff

 For several days now, I've been more or less prostrated by a mystery bug – not the CCP Virus (as some wags are calling it, rather aptly I fear) – but one of the many lesser players now seizing their moment. You may judge the severity of my malaise by the fact that I haven't had a drink in five days – well, only one very weak Campari and soda, or rather soda and Campari. This is the longest drink-free run I can remember, so I hope it's doing me good. 
Today, anyway, I seem to be well enough to head back to Mercia  (Lichfield, to be precise).
As it's the 107th birthday of that extraordinary and lovely woman Hedy Lamarr, I take the liberty of reprinting a Nigeness post from 2009 – yes, this blog has been going that long (in fact a year longer)...

'This blog cannot let today go by without pausing to salute the great Hedy Lamarr, born (in Vienna) on this date in 1914. Described by Max Reinhardt as 'the most beautiful woman in Europe' (you can see his point), she gained early notoriety in a famous slice of arty porn, Ecstasy, prancing about in the altogether, skinny-dipping and assuming an orgasmic facial expression – achieved, she claimed, by the director pricking her in the bottom with a needle. Hmm...
Her first marriage, to a fascistically inclined Austrian arms magnate, was not a howling success, but, in his determination to keep her out of mischief, he would take his young wife with him to technical meetings – where, with her sharp mathematical mind, she picked up a lot of useful information about military technology. This would come in handy later in her life, when she had fled her husband and headed for Hollywood, movies, more husbands and lovers – and the invention, in collaboration with the avant-garde composer George Antheil, of a Secret Communications System, which they patented in 1942. Apparently this was an invention far ahead of its time, having to rely on the primitive technololgy of a piano roll, but it was, according to those who know about such things, an early version of frequency hopping, and a precursor of spread spectrum communications technology, which, according to Wikipedia, is 'a key to modern wireless technology'. So there you are – what a dame! Brains and beauty too... Happy birthday, Hedy, wherever you are.'


  1. So sorry you haven't been well.

  2. Thanks Zoe. I'm fine now, back on the beer and whisky. Phew.