Today in research: more Earth-like planets found, near-death experiences demystified, parental denial, and, yes, the latest thing wrong with SpongeBob.

  • So, parents don't seem to have gotten savvier recently.  The Times pairs together a new University of Michigan poll finding that only 10 percent of parents believe that their teenager has drunk alcohol with a National Institutes of Health survey that found that 50 percent of teens conceded the point. Unsurprisingly, the same parents were also more suspicious of everyone else's teen.  [The New York Times Motherlode blog]
  • Study finds reason to dislike SpongeBob Squarepants. In your most widely covered study of the day, SpongeBob finds itself not under attack from cultural conservatives but from concerned researchers who believe that it's one of the shows that, according to the AP, "can cause short-term attention and learning problems." A Nickelodeon spokesperson has already hit back at the findings, questioning the study's small sample size (60 children). [Associated Press via Hollywood Reporter]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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