[Science Wednesday] “All you have to do is stand still and look stupid”

“Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.”

It always cracks me up and makes me roll my eyes in equal measure when I read stuff about Hedy Lamarr. She’s inevitably described as “the most beautiful woman ever to appear in films”, as if that was some kind of an achievement. 

Cartoon drawing of Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr made time to be a scientist and inventor, as well as a Hollywood actress! Learn from her.

And yeah, she was beautiful.

But that’s not what makes her so interesting.

To me, there are 3 things about Lamarr that make her fascinating.

Thing the first: she ditched her Nazi arms-dealer husband to make her own career in Hollywood.

Thing the second: she portrayed what’s probably the first on-screen female orgasm ever (and in 1933, that was quite a thing, kids).

Thing the third: she was a mothertrippin’ scientist. She basically invented wi-fi.

And, this being Science Wednesday, I want you to know about it too. In 1942, Lamarr and her business partner, composer George Antheil, were awarded a patent for a “secret communication system”. Meant for radio-guided torpedoes, they gave it to the US Navy… where it languished for decades before becoming part of GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technology.

Hedy Lamarr was a Hollywood icon who was a scientist and inventor on the side. Or perhaps she was a scientist and inventor who was a Hollywood icon on the side. So you can imagine my disdain when I hear people say they “don’t have time” to do something they supposedly want to do, or that will be good for them, or will make them money.

We make time for the shit that’s important to us.

And if you’ve made time, but don’t know where to start, well:


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Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

PS If all you’re after is surface glamour, this probably isn’t the place for you. But if you’re interested in building a solid foundation of ability, I welcome you with open arms. And gin.


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