mánudagur, maí 11, 2009


  • stone flax or silk (depending on its fineness)
  • amianthus (or amiant)
  • salamander wool (for those either ignorant or given to metaphor)

The present proper term is asbestos, though asbestos is a misnomer. It is from a Latin word from a Greek word for quicklime, even though quicklime is something completely different. Its Greek designation meant "inextinguishable," as quicklime (CaO) is, reacting as it does violently with water. Asbestos does no such thing. It is merely and quietly impervious to flame.

Quicklime might have been an ingredient in Greek Fire, the napalm of the Byzantine Empire. It took a long time to figure out that the feathery mineral with more obvious defensive applications would be at least as dangerous.

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