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Michelle Bachmann Attacked Governor Rick Perry On His Decision To Sign An Executive Order Requiring All Girls To Be Vaccinated Against The HPV Virus D
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Michelle Bachmann Attacked Governor Rick Perry on His Decision to Sign An Executive Order Requiring All Girls to Be Vaccinated Against the HPV Virus D

According to a spokesman, Spongebob Squarepants, the animated show on Nickelodeon which features a talking kitchen sponge, his dim witted best friend, a sea star, a squid who is his neighbor and coworker as well as a squirrel who lives in an air filled dome at the bottom of the sea, is geared to children ages six to eleven.  Children younger than that age might be dramatically impacted because the show is just “too much” for them, not only because of its fantastical characters and outrageous plot lines but also because of the incredibly fast pace that the show moves at. A new study has set out to prove how much of a problem that these shows can be.

The study, published in the journal, Pediatrics, was a limited one at best, but may be the foundation for a more comprehensive study to be performed later. The study, performed by the University of Virginia, was performed with a small group of children consisting of only sixty four year olds. The kids were described as mostly white, from mid to upper class backgrounds. There was no discussion of the children’s educational backgrounds or if there were any underlying health concerns before the study got started.

Each of the children in the study were randomly divided into one of three different groups. In the first group, the children were allowed to watch nine minutes of the Nickelodeon show, Spongebob Squarepants. The second group were given a PBS show to watch. Caillou, a more realistic, slower paced show is considered to be educational and more beneficial by experts. The third group of children were allowed to color or to draw pictures for nine minutes.

After the kids performed the assigned tasks, the researchers tested their ability to concentrate and maintain direction during a task. The children who watched the PBS show or colored had similar score results while the children who watched Spongebob scored drastically lower on the tests.

For the average four year old, a realistic attention span is between 12-20 minutes not counting time they are spending watching television. Experts agree that sitting in front of the TV does not indicate “attention” but may instead be time they are zoning out, not thinking at all. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents prevent their children from watching any television before they reach the age of two. Children who are older than two years old should only have very limited television time, no more than one to two hours per day.

But, the experts are also suggesting that quality is also as important as quantity when it comes to children and television. Educational, slow paced and more realistic shows are handled better by younger children, while the faster paced shows are often too much for their brain’s to process. Spongebob Squarepants, the center character for the controversy is not a stranger to criticism. In 2005, an evangelical preacher condemned the show, claiming that the animated sponge was a homosexual.


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