I’ve always had mad respect for those who have a knack at carving intricate designs out of large orange squashes because, like putting together IKEA furniture and algebra, it’s something I’ve never been very good at. As an artistically inclined, Halloween-obsessed kid, the idea of carving a pumpkin excited me. But I suppose I had set the pumpkin carving bar too high for myself because I was always disappointed with the end results. I was well aware of what a good jack-o'-lantern looked like and mine, well, seemed to scream shoddiness. I aspired to create something magnificent, something original, something ripped from the pages of Sunset magazine. Perhaps all I needed was more patience and one of these bad boys.
Because of my early failures, I haven’t attempted to sit down and spend some QT with a pumpkin and a paring knife as an adult. I also haven’t come to truly appreciate the art of pumpkin carving due to some lingering envy issues.
So that's my deal. But for those of you who are skilled at pumpkin carving and also happen to be all worked up about renewable energy issues ahead of the big presidential election, the Department of Energy has you covered with an array of energy-themed jack-o-lantern stencils: CFL bulb, solar array, and wind turbine. Spooky! There’s also a scientifically inaccurate atom symbol, which as Grist points out, is the same design that the military stamps on the gravestones of atheists. Double spooky!
The DOE did, however, forget to go all out meta and include a pumpkin itself.
The reason that the DOE is delving into pumpkin-carving territory (again)? October just happens to be National Energy Action Month, the perfect time to “show off your energy-saving, science-loving spirit” by dazzling the neighbors with a CFL jack-o'-lantern. Or something like that.
If so inclined, download the energy-themed carving stencils and send along photos of your completed masterpiece to the DOE. There’s the chance it might be published on Energy.gov during the week of Halloween. Or instead of solar arrays and wind turbines, you can just go with a safer, less preachy option like Lionel Richie or Colonel Sanders.
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