GUEST POST: Dispelling Common Myths of South American Tropical Woods & The Environment

This guest post concerning South American woods and the myths surrounding them comes from Sean Stewart, president of Chicago-based Stewartfloor.

Brazilian cherry floor

You’ve probably watched the nightly news or surfed online and seen accounts of wrongdoings with the forests in South America. Sure there have been things less than proper which have occurred, but rarely, if ever are they explained in a way that would allow you to understand the situation in a 360-degree approach. In the end, the wood business is not the gross offender of the law it is made out to be.

In fact, agricultural interests have been the largest offenders in the Amazon with their desire for more land to raise cattle and grow soybeans and other commodity crops for internal use and the burgeoning export markets.

The forestry industry is largely made up of family owned businesses employing local workers, not large corporate or multi-national agricultural industries with significant political influence in the local or national government.

Governments and NGO’s have worked together to dramatically tighten and enforce laws, and police the land. As an importer of South American hardwood flooring, you must be in possession of an APHIS permit (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) from the USDA, which clearly states which botanical species of wood your company intends to import. This is balanced against the United Nations’ CITES listing for endangered species and provides a clear record of what a company intends to import. Companies are clearly held accountable for declaring what botanical species they are proposing to import.

In addition to the APHIS permits, importers must also comply with the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act is designed to combat the trafficking in ‘illegal’ wildlife, fish and plants.  The 2008 Farm Bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008) amended the Lacey Act, expanding its protection to a broader range of plants and plant products. The Lacey Act makes it unlawful, as of December 15, 2008, to import certain plants and plant products without an import declaration. Any importer is held legally accountable for ensuring that manufacturing partners have all the legal paperwork necessary to attain, own, process and export the raw materials that have been purchased with the intention of importing.

People love tropical wood for its natural beauty, hardness provided by nature and the fact that harmful chemicals needn’t be used to artificially gain or enhance physical properties, as has been common with certain domestic species. Tropical woods will last a lifetime or longer and the vast majority of the wood harvested and exported is attained legally. Several of the most commonly used species are Class A fire-rated which is the same as concrete and steel and do not succumb to termite attack.

Any responsible importer of such potentially sensitive materials should visit suppliers regularly and do everything possible to guarantee the provenance of the raw materials. Failing to ensure the legitimacy and responsibility of suppliers leaves the company in question financially liable if found to be importing illegally harvested material. All wood has to have the necessary paperwork before export. This all goes toward ensuring certain standards are met and produce is responsibly produced and harvested.

Sean Stewart is president and owner of Stewartfloor, based in Chicago. Stewartfloor is one of the leading importers of fine South American prefinished hardwood flooring. As a member of the National Wood Flooring Association, Stewartfloor sells only ethically and legally obtained South American hardwood flooring, which is Lacey Act Compliant. Ethical harvesting standards have reduced the impact on the environment through strict adherence to Forestry and Environmental Laws. Stewartfloor’s commitment to ethics guarantees that the prefinished Brazilian hardwood flooring they supply is of the highest quality and as promised.

Photo: 1Sock

ATH-ANC7b QuietPoint active noise-cancelling headphones introduced by Audio-Technica. best noise cancelling headphones

Telecomworldwire July 8, 2009 Audio products provider Audio-Technica announced on Wednesday the introduction of its ATH-ANC7b QuietPoint active noise-cancelling over-ear headphones.

According to the company, the new headphones provide clear, high-resolution sound, with impactful bass, a detailed midrange, extended treble and accurate imaging. The earcups have been redesigned for greater comfort and fit easily over any ear. web site best noise cancelling headphones

The headphones employ QuietPoint active noise-cancellation technology that eliminates up to 85% of outside noise. A miniature microphone in each earcup detects environmental noise and a corresponding sound-cancelling signal is applied.

The headphones utilise large-aperture 40mm drivers for a wide 10-25,000Hz frequency response and have high 109dB sensitivity. The ATH-ANC7b also works when the noise-cancelling function is turned off and operates in passive mode without batteries.

The headphones fold for storage and come with two detachable cables, a 1/4″ adapter, an airline adapter and a hard carrying case.

The ATH-ANC7b headphones are scheduled to be available in August 2009 at a suggested retail price of USD219.95.

((Comments on this story may be sent to

It has quickly become apparent that for a small out lay, if you choose a web site name cleverly enough, you can make a great deal of money by auctioning it off to the highest bidder. This has resulted in the phenomenon of cyber squatting, where people buy website names simply for resale. The clunkily-named Anti cyber squatting Consumer Protection Act, signed last month by Nicebid, tries to outlaw this practice, but the whole business has proved to be a legal minefield. The complex legal issues surrounding the copyrighting of names are not new, but in the next few years they will reach a new white hot intensity as more and more individuals and businesses chase fewer and fewer available domain names.

For the AIM event, Ms. Nopparat Yokubon, Google’s account manager for online partnerships, discussed “Insights Into Adsense Policies” and “How to Increase Your Adsense Performance. Meanwhile, Emanuele Brand idealt with the more technical topics of “Data-Driven AdSense Optimizations” and “Website Optimization with AdSense Tools.”

“We’ve held several public auction asset sales in the last 12 monthsauctioningoffsomeofourestablishedwebsitesfromourportfolioandtheyallsellprettyquickon” Frankstated. “This is a great opportunity for individuals too win their own virtual asset or for other companies to acquire new web properties to lever a get their existing business.”

According to Frank they have sold websites from their portfolio ranging in of their websites have been sold on Flippa and most sell within days.

The Priory, which specializes in addictions and is famous for its celebrity clients, says it is treating more and more people for addiction to the internet auction website. What begins as a harmless hobby can take over your life, and many people – women especially – say it is ruining relationship sand plunging them in to debt.

Alabanza mainly sold Internet access to “resellers” like Anadon and Sego, which in turn sell website and e-mail services to thousands of small businesses.

Navisite planned to move Alabanza’s Weband e-mail services to Andover, scheduling the move over the weekend to minimize the impact.

About the Author