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The basement is a cold and lonely life, but above all, it is an unnaturally lit life. While my windowless lair prevents passersby from peering into the hard, unblinking eye of my mundane existence, sometimes, lack of natural sunlight can be a bummer.

The solution? Why, unnatural natual sunlight, of course!

Introducing: The Negative Ion Therapy Lamp. My mother, fearing my basement dwelling’s darker influences, sent me one of these babies a few months back:

“Lift your spirits! It’s safe, soothing, and measurably effective,” reads the literature accompanying this handsome NatureBright model. Measurably effective? Count me measurably impressed! NatureBright claims to tackle a host of Basement Livin’ ailments: sleep difficulties (yes), irritability (oh, yes), menopause discomfort (not yet!), jet lag (occasional), and winter SAD 🙁 .

I try to flip on my NatureBright for a few minutes every morning to allow its negative ions to penetrate my retinas, but the jury’s still out on how “measurably effective” it is. The ions don’t actually visibly escape the contraption as one photo on the website indicates, and for the most part, I remain a cripplingly irritable shell of a human. But according to candid event photos, celebrities—-like Claudia Jordan, “S1mone look-alike” in S1mone, Robert Shapiro, Celebrity Attorney, and Shar Jackson, brave protector of early Federline spawn—-agree to take candid event photos with it. Surely, it must do something.

This isn’t the first time my mom’s stuck me on the sunlight replacement box. When I was a child growing up in Spokane, Washington, she forced my brother and I to sit in front of one of these things every day of the winter months. The thing appeared to be enormous, as far across as my eight-year-old wingspan (newer models appear more compact, but less goofily sci-fi). Mom thought it would fend off Seasonal Affective Disorder, but no lightbox could reverse the inherent drag of growing up in Spokane, Washington. My main point of contention with the thing was that, when switched on, it would change the channels on the television. How’s that for measurably effective?