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Future feminists 

Who would have guessed that little weird-looking, buggy-eyed cartoon characters could be tutoring the feminists of our future? Warner Brothers would and did. Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup — AKA the Powerpuff Girls — are a trio of tiny heroines who spend much of their time painting a fresh pink coat of irony on their names. They bust up criminals and find their way out of sticky situations with more flair and determination than 007 himself. And in order to allow legions of young girls to identify with their quirky sense of liberation and plastic empowerment, an extensive line of Powerpuff merchandise is raiding store shelves with the same explosive energy that drives the characters themselves. Inflatable chairs, stickers, comic books, action figures, junk jewelry and beanbag likenesses of the trio are everywhere. Check it all out at Catch “Powerpuff Girls” on the Cartoon Network cable channel. Norene Cashen pays attention here every other week. E-mail

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