big. brother. lamp.
You don't just switch on the Big Brother Lamp, you ignite it by turning a key (supplied). Of course that's not the only interesting design element of this thing. Just look at it. Someone clearly watched War of the Worlds before they sat down to build this. If you like your lamps with less sci-fi to them, the blue version is not quite as alien looking as the green. It's about two feet tall and weighs a gazillion pounds, so you don't have to worry about the ungainly (but beautiful!) head tipping it over. Cost: $200-$250.
big. brother's. sister.
The Big Brother lamp has a sister called the Area 51 (pictured top right). You don't need a key to get this one going. To turn it on, just tilt it. Cost: $350.
where. to. find. it.
I first saw this lamp in Kasala in Seattle. I think Jensen-Lewis in New York also carries it. (Duncan writes in to say: I think that these are available in the Greater Boston area at the DeCordova Museum store in Lincoln, Mass.)