Beauty and the Brains

We at Grant's like our females with a bit more substance. Because well, good looks nowadays are more than a dime a dozen, and of course with a credit card, it can be bought, altered, and airbrushed in an instant. Which is why I was impressed when I read this NY Times article that Hedy Lamarr, who was called the most beautiful woman in Europe in her day, was also a rocket scientist on the side. So who is this lady?

She was born Hedwig Kiesler in Austria-Hungary, the only child to Jewish parents, studied ballet and played piano before age 10, and starred in dozens of films opposite the likes of Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable. Her escape from Vienna to Hollywood is almost right out of a film  - she supposedly drugged her maid then disguised herself as the maid to escape her husband who had ties to the Nazi. But of course countless Hollywood leading ladies have seen their share of drama off-screen. What set Hedy apart from the rest of the glamour set, was her brains and extracurricular activities. Together with composer George Antheil, Lamarr came up with an early version of frequency hopping intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect. Their frequency-hopping idea serves as a basis for modern wireless technologies. So with the exception of an arrest for a Winona-like shopping spree accusation, this lady had some skills.

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