WELCOME TO THE LYCANTHROPY CLUB
March 5, 2009 in The Tarantula Club
For some reason, I am very tired this evening. Oh, also, I’ve learned that a “dog friendly” tavern does not necessarily contain “friendly dogs”. I was viciously attacked by a gigantic hellhound last night, and now I have the rabies, and am a werewolf. A wencewolf. Grrrrrrrrrr.
There’s a full moon coming up on Tuesday, so I’m going to have to ask you a favor: You must tie me to the bed. No matter how much I beg and plead, no matter how much I thrash and yell, it is in your best interests not to free me. Because if you do, I might just throw you down and tie you to the bed, and then, uh oh, will you ever be sorry. Or something.
Here’s George Antheil’s Ballet Mecanique, a 1924 composition for sixteen synchronized player pianos and percussion orchestra, plus siren, alarm bells, and propeller. A pianola company in Paris claimed it could pull this off, sixteen player pianos in sync, but it turned out no; no, it could not. They were a bit shady, this Parisian pianola company.
Physically impossible for human beings to play as written.
Unheard in its original intent until robotics caught up with it.
Three cheers for robots!
This is a great day for science:
Oh, also? In 1940, the actress Hedy Lamarr enlisted Antheil’s help in developing an idea she had for a torpedo guidance system using variable frequencies, so as to foil Nazi detection and jamming. Dirty jamming Nazis. This whole business about synchronized player pianos had her thinking he might be of some help. As Antheil was an armchair endocrinologist, writing columns in Esquire on the subject, she lured him to her home by telling him she wanted advice on how to enlarge her tits.
This all just sounds like exactly the sort of shit I would just say, doesn’t it?
The Antheil-Lamarr patent was granted in 1942 for their “Secret Communication Device”. It involved a set of matching piano rolls, one in the torpedo itself, and one in an airplane overhead. The remote control radio signal could then vary wildly, and only be understood by the mechanical transmitter and receiver.
The Navy considered the notion preposterous, said, ha ha, thanks, toots, and shelved the patent. The White House asked Lamarr to try selling kisses for war bonds instead. She raised seven million dollars in a single evening.
In 1957, Sylvania revisited the invention’s schematics, replacing the piano rolls with electronic components.
It is now used by the government’s defense system communication satellites, and is in all of your cell phones.
Would you like to see Hedy Lamarr naked and wet?