The other day I started reading some online advice columns. These have to be the biggest scams of all time. Thus, I’ve opened up a new website called AOO!O, pronounced just like its written, at www.AdviceOneOh!One.com, where I give advice on various subjects ranging from teenage broken hearts to quantitative analysis, of which, thank SHAZAM, I know nothing. Google Reviews calls AOO!O “The most exciting new website since Google.” Bill Gates writes, “When I have a problem with my wife or kids, or am just trying to figure out a way to destroy my competitors, I go to AOO!O and get expert advice. So should you!”
I decided to give a sample of AOO!O so my massive blog audience can start joining in the fun.
Dear Doctor D,
I am a 13 year old young man from Newport, Rhode Island. My family is quite well off. I have everything you could ask for and then some. We often go away for the Summer season and when I come back, I feel quite distanced from my peer group with whom, to be frightfully frank, I have little in common. I am told that with my breeding I am quite a catch, but you would not believe the scallywags and riff raff that the women in my class go for. It's positively distracting. Please don't mock my request, as, to be honest, I am quite despondent. Any wisdom you can send my way would be duly appreciated
Lost on the Gold Coast"
Seriously. High School girls don't like you? No friends? I'll bet your mother's friends just think you are peachy. Good God, man, I thought I was a loser in high school. You should have signed your name King of the Zeroes. Let me explain this in one word for you, you dithering cretinoid mass of teenage befuddlement.
Drugs! I never thought I'd recommend this to anyone, but if there is anyone drugs will help it is you. Not over the counter and not prescribed. Illegal drugs that will get you ten years for just possession. If anyone ever needed to completely destroy their own psyche, it is you. If you are in recovery you probably still won't have friends, but, at least people there will be people who have to say hi and listen to you.
As an alternative, go ask Jeeves to help you find a stool and some rope in the garage, throw the rope over a rafter and then chant as follows – No one likes me, No one likes me, No one likes me - until you get some results. If you can’t figure that out, at least don’t ever, ever, ever write here again. Ever!
Hope I helped,
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I don’t know where else to turn for help, you know. I am 17 year old and supposibly really hot looking, but comfoosed. Everyone says I look like a curvy Angelina Joley. Boys have started paying me a lots oftention this year ever since my body started, you know, changing, sum old guys too. I don’t think I should be doing anything, you know, with these guys, at least my parents wouldn’t want me to, you know. But, my body just wants to go, go, go. You know.
What should I do?
Young, tan, hot and bothered
You poor thing. I don’t blame you for being confused? Your body is telling you one thing and your heart and mind another. You sound so sweet, intelligent and pretty too. Those bastards. I’m sure that these guys are not good enough for you. Stay away from them.
I shouldn’t do this, but, since you seem so nice, you deserve a break. I run a religious camp for troubled kids like you at my home. I want you to send me your email address and we can move things along from there. If you can get here, and I don’t mind helping with the money, I think I can help you to a path to God you are not going to forget.
Let’s keep this between ourselves. No reason to worry your parents and your friends will just be jealous if you tell them and try and talk you out of it. It will be our little secret, sweetheart. I know none of them understand you, but I do. You can call them from here after we get acquainted and you get straightened out if you want to.
Note to Webmaster from David – do me a favor; Don’t include this one in the post, but send it privately to her. Thanks.
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Dear Doctor David,
Maybe you can help with a research product we’ve been working at The Institute for Higher Biological Research. My co-workers and I are working on quantitative analysis of conformational changes of the nucleotide-binding subunits, MalK2, of the maltose ATP-binding cassette importer MalFGK2 during the transport cycle. Distance changes occurring between selected residues were monitored in the full transporter by site-directed spin-labeling electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and site-directed chemical cross-linking. We aren’t sure where to go from there though? I don't know if you've worked on anything like this, but based on your website, I have a feeling you can help.
A group of geniuses
Have you considered S83C and A85C from the conserved Q-loop and V117C located on the outer surface of MalK. Also, I’d suggest including two native cysteines (C350, C360) in the study. You will probably find on ATP binding, small rearrangements between the native sites, and will likely not detect distance changes between at position 117. In contrast, position 85 should come closer together in the ATP-bound state and in the vanadate-trapped intermediate and move back toward the apo-state after ATP hydrolysis.
Likely, your results will be consistent with a slightly modified tweezers-like model of closure and reopening of MalK2 during the catalytic cycle, and show a previously unforeseen potential interaction between MalK and the transmembrane subunit MalG.
Any more hints than that and I will have to insist my name goes on the paper. Next time give me a hard one.
Peace out, brother scientists.
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[Follow up from researchers]
Dear Professor Eisenberg,
Oh my, God. Thanks so much for your advice on our study. It worked out exactly like you said it would. How did you know? By the way, we’re not brother scientists. We are all women.
A group of lady geniuses
Yeah, right. And I lactate. Nice try, guys.
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Dear Dr. David,
I thought you might have some advice for me. I run what you might call a big company. Everyone I hire comes with a great reputation, went to Harvard or Yale, blah, blah, blah, but in the end, they are all screwing up one way or the other, particularly our financial planners. Two kids with a pitcher of lemonade have more sense. I consider myself more a motivator rather than a hand’s on kind of guy but I’m about to give up. Honestly, I’ve been saying dumb things myself lately. I'd quit, but my number two is three I.Q. points from being an idiot, but there is no practical way to get rid of him without a lot of trouble. What embarrasses me is, the more we screw up, the more we have to pretend we know what we are doing to maintain credibility.
Here’s my question. I’ve been thinking of going back to teaching, something I used to do back in the good old days. It’s less money, less “glory” (I guess), but no one’s really mad at you except for a few kids who get bad grades and you sleep a lot better. Any words of wisdom,
Hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, you have to be president, and you don’t know what you are doing, and I didn't vote for you, and everyone’s going to hate you, and you have to have lunch with Joe Biden, and you are probably going to screw up the wars, and the economy will fall apart, and every one is going to blame you, and you will never teach again, and hah, hah, hah, hah, hah.
p.s. Of course, once you are done you will earn millions of dollars writing an uninspiring book ("Biden excused himself and we all waited until the door was closed before cracking up so bad our sides ached") and making speeches, even just signing letters for big corporations. It’s not a bad life.
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I am 60 something government retiree, an "A" personality type, and now I’m feeling a lack of purpose. It’s depressing getting old. You’d think after giving my life to my country for 40 years you’d have some kind of respect but noooo, I’m so last year. And now, for crying out loud, a black guy is president - a black guy - and he gets more respect than me. I need some sage words or I swear I will put a gun to my head.
p.s. I am also a vampire.
You want more respect? Here’s a starter. Start calling yourself “Richard”. What do you expect people to think when they call you Dick? Can you name a real person named Dick who has been a success outside of a few comedians? Remember Nixon. He came in Richard and went out as Tricky Dick. See, what I mean.
As to the vampire thing, I had a feeling you might have been responsible for Harry Byrd’s condition. Very nice work, indeed.
But, given your astonishingly low favorability ratings I don’t really want to be known as the guy who kept you from putting the gun to your head, so keep this between the two of us.
Stay Strong, Dick.
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Hi, I’m a musician in a rock n’ roll band along with my three best friends, Gina, Pam and Debbie. There’s no doubt that Debbie is the most talented one of us all. She’s the best looking, writes music, plays awesome guitar and can sing like Aguilar. The rest of us are okay, but we don’t expect to make a career out of it. We just want to have fun for a while and maybe make a little money in college.
I have a feeling that Debbie is going places in the entertainment world either as a singer, musician or model. I don’t want to feel jealous but I do. Also, she is my closest friend and I just know she might forget me when she makes it. We have just started getting gigs, but already I feel like this is going to tear the group apart.
Jealous at 21
I’m glad you wrote because the solution is easier than you think. The best way to lose Debbie as a friend is to let the green eyed monster drive you crazy watching her succeed in show biz while you work your way up to kiosk manager. Oh, she would try and be friends with you for a while, but soon it will be . . . “I didn’t think you’d feel comfortable around my big star buddies and didn’t want to embarrass you.”
So, let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. Face your feelings, think before you act and then, go out there and sabotage her. Insist on being lead singer. Just before a performance, weaken one of her guitar strings and then really lace into her after the performance. Get Pam and Gina into the action. During practice everyone agree that she is constantly off key. It’ll really screw her head up. Maybe pay someone to pretend to be a talent scout who wants to watch her and then have him leave shaking his head in the middle of the set without saying goodbye. If your band gets covered in the paper, bribe the reporter (trust me, they make almost nothing; lunch might do it) in order to make you sound like the star. Success often is dependent on confidence and I promise you, if you handle it right, you can destroy hers while you end up feeling like a million bucks. And that, my young friend, is show business.
The Doctor has left the building. Please write in with your advice requests.
- I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .