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: 259

Comment

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

Join Home Energy Pros Forum

Forum Discussions

New(ish) ZNE publications available

Started by Ann Edminster in General Forum. Last reply by Jacob Corvidae 14 hours ago. 1 Reply

Energy OutWest 2020

Started by Diane Deyerler in General Forum 16 hours ago. 0 Replies

Proper means of insulating raised floor above concrete

Started by Matthew Greenawalt in General Forum. Last reply by Franco Oyuela on Tuesday. 6 Replies

The Nest Learning Thermostat - Good or Not So Much?

Started by Melissa Baldridge in General Forum. Last reply by Franco Oyuela on Monday. 67 Replies

Latest Activity

Coby Rudolph commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post What Are the Nation's Best Utility Energy Efficiency Programs?
"Interesting. Something needs to change when 30% of the exemplary programs (16 out of 53) saw…"
12 hours ago
Dimitri Mal joined Bob Krell's group
Thumbnail

Healthy Indoors (IAQ)

The Healthy Indoors group is focused on indoor air quality (IAQ), mold, moisture control, radon,…See More
13 hours ago
Dimitri Mal joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
13 hours ago
Jacob Corvidae replied to Ann Edminster's discussion New(ish) ZNE publications available
"Great to see these Ann. Thanks for sharing. "
14 hours ago
Jacob Corvidae commented on Pearl Certification's blog post New Study Measures Impact of Energy Efficient Features On Home Sale Prices in Phoenix
"Congrats folks - great to see that moving forward. We'll look forward to the…"
14 hours ago
tedkidd commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post What Are the Nation's Best Utility Energy Efficiency Programs?
"Midwest energy is the only program I've run across that's worth a damn. VT and Austin…"
14 hours ago
Jan Green commented on Pearl Certification's blog post New Study Measures Impact of Energy Efficient Features On Home Sale Prices in Phoenix
"The link to the study doesn't work. "
15 hours ago
Jan Green commented on Pearl Certification's blog post New Study Measures Impact of Energy Efficient Features On Home Sale Prices in Phoenix
"Excellent forward thinking partnership.  Gaining momentum with this partnership is HUGE!…"
15 hours ago

© 2019   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service