Bikers Must Wear Helmets When Riding DR. WALLACE: I enjoy riding down the Trans Canada Highway on the back of my fiance's motorcycle. I always wear a safety helmet, but no matter what I do or say, Nick refuses to wear a helmet. He thinks wearing one takes away from being "free" with …Read more. Alcohol Was Once Consumed for Warmth DR. WALLACE: What is alcohol made out of, and what useful purpose does it serve? I'm talking about the alcohol people drink and that can make them drunk. — David, Oakland, Calif. DAVID: There are many different kinds of alcohol, but the kind …Read more. Your Adoptive Parents Are Your Real Parents DR. WALLACE: I'm 14 and have a big problem. I live with adoptive parents who are very strict, yet I know they love me. They limit the time I can talk to friends on the phone, limit and monitor my television viewing, and they make me go to summer …Read more. I Want Correct Answers on Sex DR. WALLACE: I'm 13 and keep hearing about "the birds and the bees" from my "know it all" friends and some older kids at school who brag about having sex with their boyfriends. I'm smart enough to know that not everything they are talking about is …Read more.more articles
Opossums Are Valuable Creatures
DR. WALLACE: We have a cat that sometimes doesn't finish eating all the food in her bowl in the backyard, and the uneaten food attracts opossums and raccoons. My brother thinks raccoons are cool, but says opossums are part of the rat family and carry a lot of diseases. When he sees an opossum in the yard at night, he chases it and tries to kill it by throwing rocks at it. I don't think opossums are rats, and I don't want my brother killing them. I think they're cute and that they were put on earth for a purpose. What's the right answer? —Katie, Riverside, Calif.
KATIE: Every couple of years I get inquiries about this wonderful animal. Let me set your brother straight. Opossums are not related to rats. Some think they are because of their long, rat-like tail. Actually, opossums are North America's only marsupial (meaning the mother has a pouch), and they eat all types of nuisance insects, including cockroaches and beetles, as well as snails. They're called "nature's sanitary engineers" and present a far lower health risk to humans than your cat does.
Please encourage your brother not to throw rocks at this valuable but defenseless creature. We humans must respect the right of all "critters" to live in harmony with us. Please make sure your parents read your letter and my response. They must make sure your brother stops this uncivilized behavior immediately!
Her Boyfriend Wants Her Super Slim
CORRINE: Almost all anorexics feel they're in control and can stop starving themselves whenever they reach that "ideal" weight. Unfortunately, they never reach that ideal weight. All anorexics are out of control and need professional counseling to overcome their obsession with thinness. Insist that your parents seek professional help for your sister immediately. Your parents must be made aware that anorexia nervosa is an extremely addictive eating disorder, and if not overcome, it can result in death by starvation.
I'd also suggest that your parents call the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders at 1-630-577-1330, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST. They'll answer any questions and give you advice.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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