Shedding light on different Northwestern neuroses
    Headless Teddy Bear Lamp. Photo courtesy of

    A month or two ago, my boyfriend, while fidgeting, accidentally sucker-punched my bedside lamp, breaking it cleanly in half and ruining any future chances of late night reading, journaling and not stubbing my toe getting into bed. I didn’t think too much of it, as I had other light sources at my disposal, but the bruises that speckle my feet tell me that lamps play a pretty important role in suburban survival. Whether it’s to set the mood, to let your roommate sleep or simply to be in control of your environment without leaving your bed, everyone needs that neighboring night light. So for your convenience, here are all kinds of lamps for all kinds of people. I think you’ll find it pretty illuminating.

    For sadists

    Remember those weird kids in kindergarten who would light bugs on fire or stomp on baby bunnies? That kid probably survived to adulthood, and is now an investment banker with repressed killing urges. Quiet the storm inside with lamps that feature a tinge of darkness. That way, the last thing you see before you go to bed can be just as scary as the dreams you’re probably having. I recommend the headless Teddy Bear Lamp, or lamps custom-made to look exactly like your eyeballs.

    For conspiracy theorists

    Convinced you saw Elvis on the street? Have you bookmarked all the photographic evidence of the Loch Ness monster available on the internet? Are you spending your spring break in Roswell? Sounds like we’d get along. For anyone who, like me, loves a good conspiracy theory and takes pleasure in perpetuating them, the Alien Abduction Lamp lets you play Martian. It looks just like a UFO beaming something up to the mother ship (it comes with optional cow and human figures so you decide who’s getting abducted). Now if they can just manufacture a nightstand that represents the Kennedy assassination conspiracy, we’ll really be in business.

    The Wooden Bulb. Photo courtesy of

    For the tree-lover

    The term tree-hugger has always been a little ambiguous to me. I get that it means you love trees; but is it the kind of love where you want what’s best for them, or the kind where you want them to be with you always, whether or not it’s in their best interest? Well, whichever way you love, we’ve got you covered. There’s the Krank Lamp, which runs on human energy and is therefore totally environmentally independent. Which is, you know, good for trees, I guess. Then there are also ways to have the goodness of trees annihilated and harnessed to provide the convenience of a light source. Check out the Wooden Bulb, a decorative light fixture crafted to look like a huge light bulb made of wood — maybe its light will illuminate the selfish side of your love.

    For punk rockers, or the really attention-hungry

    Hey theater majors, do YOU love the spotlight enough to have one permanently affixed to your face? I don’t really understand why this is happening and the Web site offers little more explanation than “Weird Bizarre Face Piercing Lamp Shocking Asia,” but the end result seems to be a functioning light bulb pointed directly at your face. Stage-starved dramaturgs, now’s your chance!

    Cassette Tape Lamp. Photo courtesy of

    For hipsters, or Steam Punks who are a little off

    For whatever reason, our generation often seems to define coolness or hipness based on being aware of — and having a relationship with — old, outdated things. Now don’t get me started on the Steam Punk movement, but this phenomenon is overwhelmingly visible at a particular intersection of Davis Street, where Urban Outfitters and American Apparel are engaged in a constant staring contest, hocking overpriced versions of the garage sale fare we all mocked as pre-teens. If you subscribe to this philosophy, then you’ll love the recent advent of Cassette Tape Lamps, which repurpose the outdated audio technology to keep you illuminated. I’d recommend you DIY-it and give 8-tracks a try.


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