While preparing for Home Energy’s 30th anniversary, we leafed through some of the earliest issues. Today’s issues are slick compared to those early years. It was amateur hour then because an untrained staff researched and wrote articles, prepared artwork, edited, typeset, proofed, and much more. Still, the topics have not changed much and—sadly—some of the editorials from the 1980s could easily be reprinted in 2014 without readers sensing anything was amiss.

But it struck us that one big difference between then and now is humor: those earlier issues were filled with cartoons, jokes, even stories. (See the cartoon to the left, which ran in a 1985 issue with the caption, "Insulating with Jello.") It was a special type of humor that you couldn’t find elsewhere because it focused on home energy. The cartoons were corny (and not terribly professional) because they portrayed stereotypical situations. Imagine the attic insulator’s leg poking through the ceiling. Yet they still provoked smiles.

Humor has value. A noted social scientist remarked that a dirty joke is sometimes the best way of dispensing sex education. We’re not claiming that raunchy humor should be part of the energy efficiency training curriculum, but humor—which might include an embarrassing situation—is a complementary educational route.

To make this happen, we need your assistance. Good jokes—and especially cartoons—don’t just appear. The earliest versions sometimes are only barely funny but, after considerable refinement, they hit the mark. So first you need to send us the idea, the punch line, the scene, the gut-busting incident (or even just a chuckle). Lord knows the energy efficiency industry has no shortage of fodder for jokes. Imagine a cartoon scene where an energy professional is standing at the front door speaking to a homeowner. There must be a thousand different hilarious two-liners to go with the picture. And probably 999 actually occurred. Or the scene where a guy is blowing insulation in a wall and something—you tell us what!—is popping out another hole. This won’t happen overnight; we will experiment a bit, exploiting the best features of the web and paper issues to solicit ideas and improvements.

So our 30th anniversary resolution is to “lighten up”. With the help of cartoons, sketches, jokes, and anecdotes interspersed through the magazine and website, we hope that we’ll make you smile. And perhaps learn a lesson or two.

- Alan Meier

Views: 209

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Forum Discussions

When is it too windy to use blower door?

Started by Brandon Walton in General Forum. Last reply by Kent Browning on Friday. 10 Replies

Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF)

Started by Barry L NewDelman in General Forum. Last reply by Arnie Katz on Thursday. 2 Replies

Affordable Housing Funding

Started by SUZETT MOFFITT in General Forum. Last reply by Diane Chojnowski on Wednesday. 4 Replies

Latest Activity

Laurie DiDonato updated an event

Hybrid HERS Rater Training September 2017 (NH) at Online/ Classroom in Manchester, NH

September 11, 2017 at 9am to October 6, 2017 at 5pm
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: Register by August 15th and get $200 off!This training has been approved by…See More
3 hours ago
Profile IconEmily Rhea, Spray-on Foam and Keith Flores joined Home Energy Pros
Friday
Kent Browning replied to Brandon Walton's discussion When is it too windy to use blower door?
"I found this post thru a Google search. I was already a member and have posted a few times. I am a…"
Friday
Home Energy Magazine's video was featured

2017 U.S. Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Race to Zero Student Design Competition (Race to Zero) inspires collegiate students to become the next generation of buil...
Friday

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service