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: 175

Comment

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

Join Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Hal Skinner replied to Kurt Shafer's discussion Where can I find the best radiant barrier to install under my roof?
"I just posted a statement and pictures of a home in Yuma AZ.  This is one I did 10 years…"
6 hours ago
Hal Skinner added a discussion to the group The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)
6 hours ago
Tom Mallard replied to Kurt Shafer's discussion Where can I find the best radiant barrier to install under my roof?
"Anything done to raise the roofing off the sheathing works to reduce the high temperatures in the…"
8 hours ago
Michael Dunseith posted a photo

http://www.prattcenter.net/energy-champions-launch-party

Senator Kevin Parker poses with Pratt Center's Green Jobs Green New York Project Coordinator Elana…
15 hours ago
Michael Dunseith posted a status
15 hours ago
Rob Madden, Solar Home Broker posted a blog post

Phoenix 3rd Quarter Solar Resale Statistics Continue to Impress

Phoenix solar home sales were up during the third quarter of 2014, including the resale of homes…See More
yesterday
Everblue posted a status
"Green job alert! Energy Auditor in Baltimore, MD with Advanced Green Home Solutions. Check it out: http://bit.ly/1xhQuXO"
yesterday
Chris Clay replied to Isaiah Borel's discussion Blown Cellulose VS Blown Fiberglass in the Attic
"The Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks, AK has alot of information about this…"
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service