I have found that my daily commute back from the subway after work causes me to pass twenty-seven streetlights. I have also found in the five days I've kept track, I have had the following number of them go out as I approached them (never after I'd passed under the lamp):
  • three
  • three
  • five
  • four
  • six

Now let's have a look at that. In the five days I kept track (and they weren't consecutive, just for full disclosure) I never had fewer than around eleven percent of these streetlights 'happen' to go out as I approached. On the last day, just under twenty-two percent did this!

This can't be coincidence. For it to be coincidence, or at least for me to accept it as coincidence, the following would have to be true. I would have to observe that streetlights have a duty cycle of 80%. I would have to have seen them go out just after I'd passed the lamp. And I'd have to be sure that the things weren't part of a great streetlight conspiracy fnord.

I would be more inclined to believe that my presence somehow produced an environmental change that caused the streetlights to switch off. I know that many of them are motion-sensitive so as to prevent short-circuits and fires if they are knocked over (either by nature, say in a windstorm, or by drunken college students headbutting them to make the light go out). However, while I'm overweight, I refuse to believe I'm *that* overweight. Perhaps if these were the eight foot high 'streetlamp' types; however, I'm talking the forty-foot arching-over-the-power-line mercury lights.

Or, of course, they may just be watching me and recording my movements, trying to see if I get nervous when they pull this trick. They are all connected, after all, and recently, they've been connected to the internet for cheap and easy remote control and monitoring. Mr. Spender? Mr. Spender...