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: 212

Comment

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

Join Home Energy Pros

Groups

Latest Activity

Profile IconKen Goodrich and Test Guy joined Home Energy Pros
2 hours ago
Victor Rols Lindsay commented on Building Performance Institute's group Building Performance Institute (BPI)
"Does anyone know what/ how/ where in Ontario Canada to become BPI certified? The contact I have in…"
yesterday
Victor Rols Lindsay joined Building Performance Institute's group
Thumbnail

Building Performance Institute (BPI)

BPI is the nation's premier standards development, quality assurance and credentialing organization…See More
yesterday
Safe-R Insulation commented on Chris Laumer-Giddens's blog post Rock Wool Insulation for Floor of High Performance Tiny House
"Thanks for sharing this much information about roof wall…"
Saturday
Lindsay Bachman's 4 events were featured
Friday
Profile IconChris Hoskins and Ken Goodrich joined Home Energy Pros
Friday
Diane Chojnowski commented on Diane Chojnowski's event Better Buildings Peer Exchange Call: Home Improvement Catalyst: Keeping the Ball Rolling with Homeowners by Delivering More Value
"Hi Victor, All the BBRN Peer Exchange Calls are archived so you can listen anytime. Check out over…"
Friday
Victor Rols Lindsay commented on Diane Chojnowski's event Better Buildings Peer Exchange Call: Home Improvement Catalyst: Keeping the Ball Rolling with Homeowners by Delivering More Value
"Hi Diane, Unfortunately some of us are unable to partake in this webinar/ forum. Is there a…"
Friday

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service