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It seems to happen more often than chance should allow: Just as I step into the glow of a streetlight, its bulb dies with a pathetic little flicker. My girlfriend agrees that I may have some kind of low-level malignant power: “You do tend to suck the life out of things,” she says. Catholic University nuclear physicist Lawrence Fagg’s new book, Electromagnetism and the Sacred, suggests that our folie a deux has a bit of scientific credibility: Electromagnetic energy, he points out, flows through and connects everything in the universe. Fagg also suggests it’s not coincidental that light—electromagnetic radiation—has for millennia metaphorically represented spiritual energy and divine presence. His fascinating parallel has far-reaching implications, but it leaves me a little worried, since it means my light-sucking trick may be upsetting an authority much more powerful than the D.C. Department of Public Works. Fagg speaks at 8 p.m. at the Ripley Center’s Lecture Hall, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Leonard Roberge)