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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
pawl
  • A pivoted catch designed to fall into a notch on a ratchet wheel so as to allow movement in only one direction (e.g. on a windlass or in a clock mechanism), or alternatively to move the wheel in one direction.
The word 'pawl' probably comes from a Latin word meaning 'stake'.
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