jakeem

PBS airs "Bombshell" -- a documentary about Hedy Lamarr

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The long-running PBS series American Masters will televise the documentary "Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story," which explores the Austrian-born American actress' prowess as an inventor. The program will be presented tonight on many public television stations. Check your local listings for air dates and repeat showings.

Here's a recent segment about Lamarr (1914-2000) that aired on a weekend ediition of PBS NewsHour.

 

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I remember when the IMDb still had message boards. There was a huge debate on Hedy's page about this very topic.

Some people felt Hedy had been sexually involved with the guy who really invented that technology, and he was so charmed by her, he gave her the credit. Most of them did not believe she really had much scientific knowledge. Instead she had men down to a science.

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Thank you, jakeem, for bringing this to our attention.  It should be a fascinating documentary.  Hedy spent her final years very near here.  I remember when her shoplifting episode made the news.  It was hard for me to reconcile it with the woman I was familiar with onscreen.  Now, older and a little wiser, I only feel compassion for her.   

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4 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I remember when the IMDb still had message boards. There was a huge debate on Hedy's page about this very topic.

Some people felt Hedy had been sexually involved with the guy who really invented that technology, and he was so charmed by her, he gave her the credit. Most of them did not believe she really had much scientific knowledge. Instead she had men down to a science.

See, when you are a good looking woman men give you jewelry, furniture, condos, and apparently patents to telecommunications technology.

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Just now, calvinnme said:

See, when you are a good looking woman men give you jewelry, furniture, condos, and apparently patents to telecommunications technology.

Yes, that's exactly right. 

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5 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I remember when the IMDb still had message boards. There was a huge debate on Hedy's page about this very topic.

Some people felt Hedy had been sexually involved with the guy who really invented that technology, and he was so charmed by her, he gave her the credit. Most of them did not believe she really had much scientific knowledge. Instead she had men down to a science.

I think there are people who just can't give a pretty woman credit. Even if that was true, if she motivated or influenced him or even was his muse. She still would have had a hand in the invention. I'd rather go with what is known until new facts occur. 

If she was Hank Lamarr, that argument would never have occurred.

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20 minutes ago, GGGGerald said:

I think there are people who just can't give a pretty woman credit. Even if that was true, if she motivated or influenced him or even was his muse. She still would have had a hand in the invention. I'd rather go with what is known until new facts occur. 

If she was Hank Lamarr, that argument would never have occurred.

I agree that it may be hard to accept a seductive movie queen as a serious scientist/inventor.

But also it works the other way too-- where people (feminists?) are eager to make her into something she might not have been to challenge the firmly held belief that glamour girls are brainless.

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35 minutes ago, GGGGerald said:

I think there are people who just can't give a pretty woman credit. Even if that was true, if she motivated or influenced him or even was his muse. She still would have had a hand in the invention. I'd rather go with what is known until new facts occur. 

If she was Hank Lamarr, that argument would never have occurred. 

Yes that argument would occur if Hank had no background or education in science or engineering. I am trained in  electrical engineering and computer science, and believe me a great deal of mathematics and the absorption of difficult concepts comes along with learning both fields. I am just as likely to get up tomorrow morning and paint a great impressionist painting while performing interpretive dance as somebody with no background or training in engineering would come up with spread spectrum technology. It's not impossible, just not likely unless you are a voracious reader on the subject and some kind of genius.

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2 hours ago, calvinnme said:

See, when you are a good looking woman men give you jewelry, furniture, condos, and apparently patents to telecommunications technology.

True, but sometimes they give you money to keep quiet.

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Does anyone know if the documentary presented was the full length version? Sometimes PBS presents slightly shorter versions. I have this on reserve from my local library but also recorded PBS tonight. 

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4 minutes ago, spauldingd said:

Does anyone know if the documentary presented was the full length version? Sometimes PBS presents slightly shorter versions. I have this on reserve from my local library but also recorded PBS tonight. 

The full version is 88 minutes long. 

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It was nice to find out that Robert Osborne was interviewed for the documentary. He is one of the people to whom it is dedicated. I never knew he was a friend of Hedy Lamarr, but I'm not surprised.

Image result for robert osborne hedy lamarr documentary

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I've read Hedy's Folly, which is one of the sources for the documentary, and also saw a one-woman show at UMass Lowell (which has a huge engineering and computer sci department) on Hedy.  It's my belief that she did have a hand in those inventions.  Her fascination with inventions dated from her early childhood (and her close relationship with her father), and it's well-documented that she was always working on various inventions in her home.   Do we still need to believe that she got the credit because she slept with someone just because she was a beautiful woman?  Certainly the woman interviewed on those tapes was no dumb bunny.

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16 hours ago, calvinnme said:

See, when you are a good looking woman men give you jewelry, furniture, condos, and apparently patents to telecommunications technology.

Even good looking women should always have Mad Money in their Cordey clutch to call for a ride if things get messy.

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20 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

Even good looking women should always have Mad Money in their Cordey clutch to call for a ride if things get messy.

All women should always have enough money to leave and get away from an unpleasant or even a dangerous situation.

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46 minutes ago, rosebette said:

I've read Hedy's Folly, which is one of the sources for the documentary, and also saw a one-woman show at UMass Lowell (which has a huge engineering and computer sci department) on Hedy.  It's my belief that she did have a hand in those inventions.  Her fascination with inventions dated from her early childhood (and her close relationship with her father), and it's well-documented that she was always working on various inventions in her home.   Do we still need to believe that she got the credit because she slept with someone just because she was a beautiful woman?  Certainly the woman interviewed on those tapes was no dumb bunny.

I'm sure she was no dumb bunny. I'm sure she could be fascinated with how things work and maybe even invent some things that work on simple physical principles even though she did not have the education to understand those principles. I'm just saying that the very easiest book in print on spread spectrum technology is this:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0471593427/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I just don't see how you understand this material much less come up with it without a great deal of formal education on the matter. Lots of people do not have advanced degrees, those people are not necessarily dumb bunnies. There are lots of people that do have advanced degrees and are dumb bunnies outside of their chosen field.

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This is an interesting discussion and I have no valid opinion on it for either side. Don't know whether Hedy really did have the smarts or not, but it reminds me of the show on the History Channel, called "Ancient Aliens".

For some reason, on that show, any supposed leap of inventiveness in the history of mankind, is attributed not to the humans but always to aliens. They seem to believe that no human ever is born with a brain that even without a serious degree could possibly have come up with something above and beyond what is considered human potential. Not even poor old Leonardo is considered to be bright enough to have come up with some of his inventions, and we know he was not schooled in those areas technically, but mostly had art training. No, all they ever say on the show is something like "Is it possible that ancient aliens may have had a hand in helping Leonardo come up with the idea for a helicopter?" This goes on and on and frankly is annoying to anyone who thinks logically in my opinion. It's not that I don't think it possible there are aliens, but I also think many humans might not need reverse engineering to come up with viable ideas, as in Tesla.

Anyone reading books about Shakespeare are treated to the same premise that old Will was not bright enough to have created his master works and that it had to be a person more scholarly like Bacon or someone of higher lineage. Is it not possible that some people are just naturally bright and might have self discovery in various subjects without achieving a degree from Oxford, and come up with something brilliant?

I look forward to a final evaluation of whether Hedy did or did not have total control of this concept, and please report it here so we can all read of it. I believe in higher education but still do not think that a person without it could not be the superior of the one who has the diploma on the wall.

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3 hours ago, calvinnme said:

I'm sure she was no dumb bunny. I'm sure she could be fascinated with how things work and maybe even invent some things that work on simple physical principles even though she did not have the education to understand those principles. I'm just saying that the very easiest book in print on spread spectrum technology is this:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0471593427/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I just don't see how you understand this material much less come up with it without a great deal of formal education on the matter. Lots of people do not have advanced degrees, those people are not necessarily dumb bunnies. There are lots of people that do have advanced degrees and are dumb bunnies outside of their chosen field.

Does one need an advanced degree to be capable of understanding technical or mechanical concepts or creating inventions?  Thomas Edison didn't have an advanced degree either.  I happen to teach English at an institution that has an enormous engineering department.  I have students who were already building their own computers in high school.  My husband is a software engineer who is now in his 50s.  He dropped out of college to work on computers because he liked them and picked up a few things in a work study job.  His current partner in business never finished college and does most of the R&D for the company.   If Hedy was a male working with a male collaborator, would she be accused of sleeping with him or getting credit for someone else's ideas?  

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2 minutes ago, rosebette said:

Does one need an advanced degree to be capable of understanding technical or mechanical concepts or creating inventions?  Thomas Edison didn't have an advanced degree either.  I happen to teach English at an institution that has an enormous engineering department.  I have students who were already building their own computers in high school.  My husband is a software engineer who is now in his 50s.  He dropped out of college to work on computers because he liked them and picked up a few things in a work study job.  His current partner in business never finished college and does most of the R&D for the company.   If Hedy was a male working with a male collaborator, would she be accused of sleeping with him or getting credit for someone else's ideas?  

BIB: I think it's a real stretch to compare Hedy Lamarr to Thomas Edison.

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5 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

BIB: I think it's a real stretch to compare Hedy Lamarr to Thomas Edison.

I'm not saying that Lamarr was at the same level as Thomas Edison, just responding to the argument that to be an inventor, someone must have an advanced degree.

 

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What does BIB stand for? .....
"Brainless is Beautiful"?

or perhaps some other "B" word?

Don't you just love silly acronym's, especially when the letters can refer to so many different things. ;):D

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18 minutes ago, rosebette said:

I'm not saying that Lamarr was at the same level as Thomas Edison, just responding to the argument that to be an inventor, someone must have an advanced degree.

I honestly don't think Hedy had the knowledge to invent what she is credited with inventing. My own personal feeling about it. Notice I am not even getting into her shoplifting. Though I must say I've never heard of a legitimate inventor caught stealing panties and lipstick from a Los Angeles department store.

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However, "legitimate" inventors (i.e. Edison) have been known to "steal" another's inventions and then give themselves the credit. B)

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I have to ask what "BIB" stands for, as well. I noticed it the other day and meant to look it up. I just did, and I don't think you mean "Back in Black" or "Bigger is Better", which are the two highest answers.

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