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Asbestos
2005-05-26 12:16:31

Asbestos (Greek a-, "not"; sbestos, "extinguishable") is a group of fibrous metamorphic minerals. The name is derived for its historical use in lamp wicks; the resistance of asbestos to fire has long been exploited for a variety of purposes. It was used in fabrics such as Egyptian burial cloths and Charlemagne's tablecloth, which, according to legend, he threw in a fire to clean. When...

Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'