Welcome to the Goo! Hope you meet some nice people and learn a lot about lava. I"ll bet your dysfunctional lamps are all contemporary lava lamps from either Wal-Mart of K-Mart or Spencer's. Am I correct? Never fear. Just look for lamps made before 2003 or buy some Mathmos lamps. Stay away from the Chinese lamps. They are the purest junk known to man or beast.