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The brain is an awfully big place, and for some reason we humans only use a fraction of it. So what’s the rest for, reading minds and bending spoons? Well, why not? Even the CIA (bastion of all things reliable) thought there might be something to ESP (anything to stop those pinko fuckers). In his novel, The Man With Psi, former MIT Professor John Penhune explores the premise that the United States actively used psychics in a feeble attempt to outwit their cold war opponents. Penhune (or, rather, “Alan Eagle,” the fictitious reporter who lets us in on the whole thing) tells the story of Jason Star, psychic, and his trials and tribulation as a U.S. mind spy. The prose meanders in a sub-Clancy way that would put even the most patient of beach readers to sleep. And you thought international psychic intrigue was exciting. Penhune discusses his book at 12:30 p.m. at Crown Books, 11 Dupont Circle NW. Free. (202) 319-1374. (Mike Kanin)