Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Musings: Our Energy Usage Vs. Our Neighbors; Beware of Movies with "Language"

We just received our first Home Energy Report from National Grid. It compares our electricity usage with 100 neighbors. We’re #20, meaning we use less electricity than all but 19 of our neighbors, pretty good considering that I’m home (and on the computer) all day.

I’m impressed by the report itself (you can see both pages by clicking on the images – please excuse the coffee stains but nothing’s safe on my desk for very long). It’s easy to read and well designed. And note the two boxes on the first page, both of which tell us how we’re doing (in a slightly cheesy way with the smiley faces). Ulla told me that this is because people sometimes read these reports and think, “I guess I can use more electricity!” They’ve actually found that a simple “You’re doing well” helps! (I wonder if these are the same people who figured out that if they put an image of a fly or a golf tee inside a urinal, men will be 80% less likely to pee on the floor!)

We saw The Descendants yesterday (great movie) and somewhere around the 4th or 5th preview, I started to laugh at the MPAA rating language. Take a look next time you’re in a theater or see a preview on TV. Below the rating itself, they’ll give reasons why, e.g. “For brief nudity, drug usage and strong violence.” The one that cracks me up is “language” or “some language,” as in “Rated R for language, nudity” or “Rated PG-13 for brief disturbing images and some language.” I don’t know about you, but unless I’m watching a silent movie, I expect “some language.” 

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