Featured image: A modern-day submarine communication system relying on satellites and buoys; such an arrangement was impossible during the torpedo crises of WWII. (Courtesy Engadget)
Welcome back to our friend and librarian Kelsey Ockert! She brings us the new historical fiction novel, “The Only Woman in the Room” by Marie Benedict, which covers famous Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr. Known for her dramatic escape from the Nazis and subsequent celebrity life, Hedy was also a crafty inventor, though she is only now being recognized for her seminal contributions. During World War II, Hedy worked with a partner, George Antheil, to improve torpedo communication systems and thus sink more German submarines. Though the technique was never deployed in the war, the tricks Hedy developed were later crucial for enabling WiFi and Bluetooth technologies, both of which rely on “frequency shifting” for transmitting encrypted signals.
Take a look at The Only Woman in the Room to get a more thorough feel for the life, times, and triumphs of Hedy Lamarr; or check out the documentary Bombshell. Thanks to Princeton Public Library and Kelsey Ockert for sharing the book review, and for enabling our book giveaway this week!
In other news:
- The solar winds emanating from small red dwarf stars might be especially violent, making life on nearby planets impossible. It’s a big leap from impressive new measurements of star material flowing outward from a red dwarf system.
- New archaeology of ancient Mongolians finds good overall health alongside a preponderance of horse-induced injuries and deaths. Evidently the eventual Mongol empire earned its cavalry dominance through millennia of bruised spines.
The playlist can be found online at WPRB.com or below.