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Webster Tome Just Keeps On Printing --Cagle

November 2008

Generally this publication does not report on news from outside of North America, and while it is not known if operator error or a safety breech caused this fatality, it seemed too important of a PSA opportunity to pass on. Please post this in your break room.

This machinery—and it is pretty much the same the world over—is unforgiving. You know that better than we do. But what you don’t know, as Yogi Berra might say, is the unknown.

Follow proper lockout/tagout procedures. Do not undo safety guards. Report unsafe conditions. Yes, it’s a pain to go through extra steps to perform certain tasks that would normally take a second or two. But stupid, freakish things happen, that once-in-a-million occurrence that is beyond unlikely...and “Bam!” You’ve just become the unluckiest person on earth. The truth is, you can’t undo that “Bam!” —and your loved ones now have to spend the rest of their lives without you.

Many of you will say you know the press like the back of your hand. But, it can turn on you just like affectionate canines who inexplicably attack people. Turn your back on the press, and the circumstances will forever change not only your life, but your family’s, as well.  

Ian Ebbs has a 13-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son, who must now cling to memories of their dad. As unlikely a major catastrophe may be, take the extra time and walk the safety talk. 

DECK THE HALLS: This will appeal to anyone who enjoys collecting oddball items or can appreciate printing samples from long-past periods. According to an AP story, Columbia University has carefully cataloged its collection of 6,356 decks of playing cards that were donated to the school by a collector.

The decks range from simple 1550s Austrian woodblock prints to a 1963 deck with caricatures of the Kennedy family. Included is a 1677 English pack featuring facts about places from China to Florida, and there is a World War I-era German deck that has sketches of scenes including “Zeppelin Uber England.”

The collection was bequeathed to Columbia by Albert Field, a teacher, author, mountain climber, nudist and Salvador Dali archivist. Field began amassing playing cards because they were the only souvenirs he could find while visiting decimated Europe following World War II. 

As an aside, Field became close with Dali and asked the surrealist artist if anyone was keeping tabs of his lithographs and other prints. Dali invited Field to tackle the chore, and he later published an official catalog of Dali’s prints in 1996, according to the AP.

Field died in 2003. PI

—Erik Cagle


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