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Hmmm ... new Dora is a little on the "Carrie Bradshaw" side.
Hmmm ... new Dora is a little on the "Carrie Bradshaw" side.

Is new Dora too sexy?

Last week, Mattel and Nickelodeon finally released a picture of the new, older Dora the Explorer. Prior to the unveiling of the pic, the companies released a black silhouette of the tweenaged Dora.

Mattel says they updated Dora’s look because the young girls who grew up and admired the adventurous tom boy in the bowl cut are now tweens and they need a hipper Dora to relate to.

Lots of parents, however, find the new Dora too sexy. Apparently, Mattel’s marketing department says Dora is wearing a tunic top -- not a mini-dress -- and that she is not wearing make-up. (Although her lips do appear pinker.)

Personally, I would have prefered a new character all together, perhaps another cousin for Dora and Diego, who was older and more appealing to tweens. My only hope for the older Dora is that she increased her Spanish vocabulary beyond "rojo" and "¬°v√°monos!"

Mmmmm ... flapjacks.
Mmmmm ... flapjacks.

Where do you go for pancakes?

Eating out -- particularly for breakfast -- is a rare treat these days, mostly because I often find it easier and more affordable to feed my wee ones at home. But this weekend I'm feeling brave, and thinking about journeying out for brunch.

I am a lover of the pancake and make a pretty damn good stack at home. However, I am wondering which local eateries specialize in the syrupy cakes?

I usually eat pancakes when dining out for brunch / breakfast because they are filling and, if ordered without butter, are relatively low in fat. I admit that I'm tempted by other menu items, like omelettes the size of my kid, but I usually pick  pancakes. You know, trying to avoid the stereotyped "mom" figure.

Punch that card, then punch it again!
Punch that card, then punch it again!

Kudos to coffee punch cards

Yesterday,'s Bobby Tanzilo, Jeff Sherman and I coincidentally cashed in our full coffee punch cards. Personally, this was only the second time I held onto a punch card long enough to fill it up, but I'm a die-hard believer in them now because a free fancy coffee is a great way to start a day.

Needless to say, in the current economy, even an occasional free cup of joe makes a difference.

Some people like to carry their punch card around until they are short on funds, and then it feels particularly satisfying to splurge on a coffee drink. Remember, the beauty of the punch card free drink is that you can order whatever you want, so go for the extra shot of espresso.

If you're going to be a dedicated coffee card puncher, it's important to know which days are "double punch" days. Starbucks doesn't issue punch cards, but here are a few local joints that do:

Alterra (all locations): Get your  double punch for cups or bags of coffee on Tuesdays. Twelve punches earns a free drink.
Fuel Café (818 E. Center St.): Mondays are double punch card days at Fuel, and 10 punches get you a free cup.
Stone Creek (all locations): Stone Creek doesn't have a set double-punch weekday, but they do give "double punches" every day in February. 

Porn: harmless entertainment or harmful to women?
Porn: harmless entertainment or harmful to women?

Postscript to porn interviews

March may be cold, but it's hot and heavy here at as we celebrate our first-ever Sex Week. We're taking a mature look at local video and sex toy shops, area strip clubs, sexy Milwaukee events -- and even some connections between Brew City and Playboy magazine. It's serious, responsible, adult-themed content -- but don't worry, parents, we'll keep it PG-13 in case junior stumbles upon these stories as turns a pale shade of blue for seven days.

As you probably gleaned by now, this past week was Sex Week on, and we published an array of articles including interviews with local women working in the adult entertainment industry. The interviews are, hopefully, provocative and entertaining, and above all, non-judgmental.

But Dr. Sara Johann, who sent me a couple of e-mails during Sex Week, believes pornorgraphy is detrimental.

Johann is the author of "Sourcebook on Pornography," and she believes exposure to porn can lead to rape, abuse and domestic violence. Johann has appeared on "Sally Jessy Raphael" as an expert, testified in a death penalty case and taught abuse clinics around the country.

I asked Johann three questions about the porn industry, and here are her responses: In your opinion, how does porn lead to violence and domestic abuse?

Sara Johann: My book cites hundreds of examples. (Make) a quick call to the Milwaukee Police Department sex crimes unit and ask the question of how often pornography is found to be involved in rape and molestation cases might also help you (understand) this issue.

OMC: What is porn?

SJ: I spent large portions of the five years of research and writing my book, as well as a year working on proposed laws on that topic as an attorney working for the Wisconsin Legislature and finally came up with a very detailed definition of pornography in my book ‚Ķ¬† Pornography is a hate crime which primarily targets women for abuse and hat…