LATE AFTERNOON and the SHADOWS of FATIGUE. Sometime ago I read an article which detailed President Obama’s penchant for working in his study late into the evening.  It seems,  to stave off fatigue the President has arranged to have a steward bring him seven almonds at a predetermined time each evening.  Mark it seven, not six and not eight, but exactly seven.  The article did not specify whether the almonds were roasted or raw, salted or unsalted. No explanation was given as to why seven-“exactement”.  Perhaps it represents the findings of a nutritional study or some sort of biblical symbolism? I have with me this afternoon in my office exactly seven almonds.  As the shadows of the day grow longer and the body grows wearier I plan to consume those seven almonds and experience their effect whether beneficial or deleterious. Mine are raw and unsalted so I may be violating the protocol.  To be clear I do this in the service of science, of course. And it is a far, far, better thing I do now than I have ever done before, or is it?


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