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When I was a kid, my parents strongly discouraged watching "after school cartoons" so I was one of those kids who watched the after school child offerings from PBS.  One of those shows was 3-2-1 Contact which was a great science show.  They did all kinds of articles about science and what not including an entire week where the "kids" on the show went to Malaysia  ("The Tropics are Hot").

I hadn't really thought about that show in a long time until I read a science article on this morning.  This article is about "Alex" a research parot at Brandeis University.  The 3-2-1 Contact kids did a series about animal communication which included an interview with a bat researcher and Irene Pepperberg the lead research scientist working with "Alex".  I remember they were interviewing her about "Alex"'s skills in communication including the fact that "Alex" was starting to create his own words.  For example he created a word for apple, "Bannarry"  which was a combination of Banana & berry.  Dr. Pepperberg said they theorized that "Alex" created this word b/c the first apple slices he was exposed to were Red like a strawberry but the flesh was yellow and had a similar texture to bananas.

I always thought "Alex" was a interesting case.  Well now, after 30 years, "Alex" has died. 

mourns for "Alex"....I suppose as I get older these kinds of things will start to happen more often.


Posted on Friday, September 14, 2007 10:21 AM Personal Geekness | Back to top

Comments on this post: 3-2-1 Contact flashback & sadness too

# re: 3-2-1 Contact flashback & sadness too
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God I loved that show! I even remember the (french) title song where they were shouting "3-2-1------contact!".

I hadn't thought in that show since... don't know... the 80's :-)

Thanks for reminding me of it... even if that's with sad news..,
Left by Laurent on Sep 14, 2007 10:50 AM

# re: 3-2-1 Contact flashback & sadness too
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Ah, the many hours I spent chanting down with the TV, "3-2-1...Contact!". Thanks for the memories!
Left by Jerod Crump on Sep 14, 2007 1:01 PM

# re: 3-2-1 Contact flashback & sadness too
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wow I loved that show. Sorry to hear about Alex.
Left by Chris Williams on Sep 14, 2007 2:00 PM

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