Dear Dr. Boli: Why does the sun shine?—Sincerely, The Hon. Alethia Carbon-Fiber, Age 6.

Dear Miss Carbon-Fiber: The sun shines for you because your parents are fortunate enough to be able to pay your solar-energy bills. Millions are not so fortunate, especially in the developing world; thus the phrase “darkest Africa.” Remember, the next time you see the sun shining, how privileged you are, and give a little thought to those less well-off than you. You may wish to suggest to your mommy and daddy that they make a small donation to a solar-energy charity, such as—merely to name one—the Boli African Solar Fund.

Dear Dr. Boli: I have a little spot on my shoulder. My wife says it’s a mole, but I think it’s an alien implant. What should I do?—Sincerely, A Man with a Spot on His Shoulder.

Dear sir: Dr. Boli is a doctor of letters, laws, and philosophy (among other things), but not a medical doctor. He is not qualified to dispense medical advice. He does, however, wonder whether this alien implant is causing you any inconvenience. If it is not, then why not simply tolerate it and forget about it? The aliens are doubtless motivated by the same purely scientific interests that compel ornithologists to band birds. If they wish to compile a body of observational data on the habits and movements of human beings, Dr. Boli thinks they should be allowed to do so, and indeed encouraged. After all, more than one species of rare bird has been saved from extinction by the efforts of ornithologists, and perhaps some day the alien observers may do the same for us.