Willis Newton Interview – 1979

Willis Newton was the longest living Texas outlaw who robbed more than 80 banks and trains. He and his outlaw gang robbed more than Jessie James, the Daltons, and all of the rest of the Old West outlaws-combined. Their biggest haul occurred in 1924 when they robbed a train outside of Rondout, Illinois-getting away with $ 3,000,000. They still hold the record for the biggest train robbery in US history.

In 1979, I interviewed Willis Newton at his home in Uvalde, Texas. A few months later the outlaw died at age 90.

When I stepped up and knocked on Willis Newton's door there was no response. After a minute I heard a raspy growl, "It's open. Come on in."

Stepping inside the rundown clapboard house with the unkempt yard, I saw a small, with looking looking old man glaring at me from his rocking chair. "What the hell do you want?"

"Mr. Newton, I am the guy that called you yesterday and wanted to ask you some questions."

"I is not talking to no one about my life.

I knew then that doing an interview with the old outlaw was going to be a tough nut to crack. As best I could, I reminded him of our phone conversation on the previous day when I asked him to provide me with some details on how to rob a bank or a train. I told him I was writing a paperback novel (which was true) and that I needed some help in depicting a factual description of how the robberies took place (which was also true). After a few moments of consideration, he gestured to a chair in the small living room and agreed to answer "just a few questions."

In contrast to the chilly weather outside, it was hot and stuffy in his cluttered living room-being heated by a small gas wall heater. I quickly unloaded my tape recorder and after a brief conversation with Willis, handed him the microphone. I asked him how to stage a bank hold up and what was involved in robbing a train. Then like turning on a wind-up toy, Willis essentially started telling me his life's story. From time to time, I managed to get in additional questions but for the most part he rattled off the well-behaved accounts of his life in machine gun fashion-rationalizing everything he had done, blaming others for his impersonations, and repeatedly claiming that he had only stolen from "other thieves."

I had no idea what to expect when I stepped into his little house that day but what I encountered was the quintessence of the criminal mind. Everything he had done was justified by outside forces, "Nobody ever give me anything. All I ever got was hell!" As I listened in rapt attention, he sat center stage speaking in a high-pitched raspy voice, pontificating on an assortment of subjects of his choosing. Lacing his speech with large quantities of profanities, vulgarities and racial slurs, Willis was quite articulate in telling his stories – a master of fractured grammar. At times he would slip into mythological story telling mode where he would talk of killing rabbits and camping out while on the run from lawmen. Then with a little prodding he would return to the basic facts of his story.

In the process, he told me how he was raised as a child and how he was first arrested for a crime "that they knew I did not do." He went into detail about his first bank holdup, how he "greased" a safe with nitroglycerine, robbed trains, and evaded the lawmen that came after him. Willis described the Texas bank robberies in Boerne, San Marcos, New Braunfels, and Hondo (two in one night). He also related the double bank robbery in Spencer, Indiana and proceeded to give accounts of bank robberies in a multitude of other states.

He often recounted the events of the Toronto Bank Clearing House robbery in 1923 and finally the great train robbery outside of Rondout, Illinois, where he and his brothers got away with $ 3,000,000 in cash, jewelry, and bonds. He went into great detail about the beatings he and his brothers took from the Chicago police when they were later captured. As he told the story his face reddened and his voice rose to a pitched screech until he had to pause to catch his breath. Then lowering his voice he described how he managed to negotiate a crafty deal with a postal inspector for reduced prison sentences for himself and his brothers by revealing where the loot was hidden.

He told about his prison years at Leavenworth and his illegal businesses he ran in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after he got out of prison in 1929. He complained bitterly about being sent back to prison in McAlester, Oklahoma, for a bank robbery "they knew I did not do, "in Medford.

After returning to Uvalde, Texas, following his release from prison, Willis swore that he "never had no trouble with the law after that." When I asked him about his elderly brother's botched bank robbery in Rowena, Texas, in 1968, he exploded, "They tried to get me as the get-away driver but hell, I was in Laredo, over 400 miles away! I had 12 Witnesses that said I was there the night old Doc and RC got done. "

At the end of the interview, I asked him to comment on the Rondout loot buried in Texas by his brother, Jess. He said he knew where it was buried-just not exactly where because "Jess was whiskey-drunk when he hid it." Looking at the frail aged man dressed in a frayed union suit and a pair of stained pants, Willis did not appear to have any loot left of any of his robberies; although, locally it was rumored that from time to time he would spend money that appeared to have been printed during the '20s or' 30s.

Finally, I turned off the tape recorder and thanked him for helping me with the details I needed for my paperback Western. Returning to my car, my mind was awhirl with the stories I had just heard. The thought of writing a book on the old outlaw had never crossed my mind and I was very sincere in telling him I was a fiction writer and not a biographer. But what a story he told!

The following week I put the cassette tapes in a safety deposit box thinking the information might be useful for a future writing project. A few years later, I transcribed the tapes, added my notes and filed the interview away. Then while working on another book I came across the interview file and knew I had to write his story-but the complete story, not just what Willis had told me in the interview. As I found out this was a much bigger project than I had anticipated. I tracked down several hundred newspaper and magazine articles on Willis and his brothers, court records and police reports. Then, where I could, I interviewed the few remaining people who actually knew and had first-hand knowledge of Willis Newton.

Along the way, I unearthed some startling evidence that dispelled the myth that Willis and his brothers had never killed anyone in the commission of their numerous crimes. This is the first time that this fact has been brought to light.

When I had finished the research, I knew I could write his story. With some minor editing, culling some of the blatant racial references and over abundances of profanities, I tried to keep his words to me intact. I do not espouse demeaning racial terms regarding any ethnicity of people-whether it is the Irish, Jewish, Hispanic, African, Italian, or other deprecated populaces.

In a few instances, I had to structure his accounts for clarity. He spoke in a rapid fire jailhouse prose using a wide range of criminal jargon that sometimes was difficult to follow. Wherever possible I strove to retain his colorful phraseology, using the common expressions of the day.

In writing the Willis Newton book, I omitted most of his repeated self-justification for his actions in which he took great pains to paint himself as a gallant criminal-in the Robin Hood vein. It is true that he robbed from the rich but he got very little to the poor. In a few of his accounts, he did describe giving the "hard money" (silver coin) to some poor and downtrodden farmer that had helped him. In addition, he repeated the idea that he never meant to harm anyone in the robberies; "all we wanted was the money." There is no doubt that Willis Newton was shaped and stamped by the rough economic conditions of the southwest in the late 1890s and early twenty century. Yet at the same time, there were hundreds of thousands of other people that strived to work hard and become solid citizens of their communities. It was his choice to go after the "easy money."

In poring over hundreds of newspaper reports and magazine articles, I was stuck with how much of the story varied with what Willis had told me, sometimes substantively. At the same time I found that the news, in their rush to get their story out, misspelled names, got their facts wrong, under or estimated estimated dollars of loot taken, and had a very difficult time keeping the Newton brothers' names straight -Willis and Wylie (aka Willie or Doc) deal with them fits.

A few weeks before Willis Newton died, he was admitted to the hospital in Uvalde, Texas for tests on a multitude of physical problems. After he had been there a few days, I went by his room and visited the old outlaw. I knocked on his door and he managed a weak, "Come on in."

When I entered his room, I saw a very emaciated version of what I had seen in March of that year. Rail thin and covered with a crimson rash on his legs, Willis cocked his head sideways and demanded, "Who are you?"

I politely reminded him that we had talked at his home earlier and that he had given me advice on robbing banks and trains. He nodded his head and stared up at the ceiling, "Yeah, I remember now."

I told him I was sorry to see him ailing and in pain. He replied by saying, "Yeah, I'm headed to the bar ditch. got my mind. Only crazy people kill themselves but I is not crazy. "

Realizing that his time was about up I asked him if he had any regrets or was sorry for anything he had done in his life. He cocked his head sideways and raised his head up off of the pillow glaring at me. "Hell no," he screeched at me. "I've still been doing them things but my body's done played out on me. If I was 20 years younger, I'd be running guns across the border into Mexico and bringing drugs back! is not ashamed of anything I done! "

So much for contrition and redemption.

I did not know how to respond and remained quiet. After a moment he stared at the ceiling again and added, "The only thing I'm sorry about is that $ 200,000 those who left in that bank when they got spooked. getting out before we get caught. ' Hell, we left $ 200,000 just sitting there on that counter.

The next day they moved Willis to a hospital in San Antonio where he died on August 22, 1979. Fierce and defiant to the bitter end he died the way he had lived-as an outlaw.

During my 1979 interview with Willis he went into great detail about the times he had spent in jail or prison. In describing his first prison time he said, "I was jailed for 22 months and 26 days and then sent to Rusk (prison) for two years. ! " Then over the years he spent over 20 years incarcerated in some type of penal confinement. I never got to ask him the question: was it worth it?

My guess the answer would have been a resounding, "Hell yes!"

Spending a fourth of your 90 years of life behind bars severely seems worth it to me.

As I left Willis Newton's hospital room for the last time I spotted his physician who was a personal friend of mine. I asked him about Willis' condition and he confirmed what I had been told by the dying man. Then with a twinkle in his eye he asked if I wanted to see an X-ray of Willis' spine.

Sure, I had no idea what to expect.

We went to a nearby viewing room and he slapped a film on the lighted viewing board. There was a very distinct spot located near the spinal column. "That's a German Luger slug he's been carrying around for about 30 years. Some old boy shot him up in Oklahoma."

As I gazed at the image, the physician concluded by saying, "And destroyed if that old outlaw is not going to be buried with it!"

I guess you could say it was a fitting eology-of sorts.

Contemporary Furniture Design – History And Influences

Contemporary furniture design came about through the combination of enquiring, innovative minds, advances in technology and the ability to produce incredible furniture at more affordable prices. The industrial revolution also played a huge part in this, particularly in terms of cheaper materials, access to factory space and the ability to create artistic furniture pieces at a price more suited to the public at large.

From the late 19th century, designers started to look towards sleeker, simpler designs for modern furniture. Whereas in the past furniture had been constructed almost entirely from wood, resulting in heavy overstated pieces indicative of grandeur and luxury. This access to new materials and different ways of working allowed designers to make more compact and modest sized items. These new furniture designs were easier to incorporate within any required living space and also gave the purchaser an opportunity to buy items that were an expression of their own personal tastes, with less limitations. Contemporary furniture design became known for being serviceable and functional but with a creative slant that saw modern furniture often viewed as pieces of art in their own right.

Odd angles, clean lines, curved shaping and materials such as metal and moulded plastic paved the way for modern furniture to infiltrate into our consciousness. It’s hard to ignore the striking designs of contemporary furniture pieces – the fluidity and sharpness often used in these designs made people really start to sit up and take notice of modern furniture.

Many designers of modern and contemporary furniture are also noted for being incredible architects – contemporary furniture is really about functional items being seen as architectural and artistic designs. Architects such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright and even Antoni Gaudi started to incorporate contemporary furniture design into their overall architectural visions. Gaudi would often design furniture pieces to complement the interesting nuances of his buildings, creating a harmony between the external structure and internal decoration.

Other notable contributors to the contemporary furniture movement include Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier and Lilly Reich. Mies van der Rohe invented the now famous and often copied ‘Barcelona chair’ and his contemporary furniture often used cantilevers to enable supportive yet delicate framework, often created out of chrome. Mies worked in collaboration with Lilly Reich for over a decade, sharing both a professional and personal relationship. In addition to her involvement in the design of the Barcelona chair, the couple also worked together to create the Brno chair, another iconic piece of modern furniture that continues to be cited as both inspirational and aspirational.

Head YouTek Prestige Midplus Tennis Racquet Review

Every major racquet company has a flagfish racquet that is synonymous with the brand. Wilson has the Pro Staff 6.1 95, Babolat has the extremely popular Pure Drive, and Head has the Prestige. Originally introduced in the mid 80's as the Prestige Pro, the Prestige family of racquets has become instantly recognizable in the hands of such greats as Goran Ivanisevic, Marat Safin, Gustavo Kuerten, and young guns Marin Cilic and Stanislas Wawrinka. Head's newest incarnation of the Prestige line is the Yutek Prestige infused with Head's patented d3O technology and a classy new cosmetic. For this particular play test, I took out a new Youtek Prestige Mid Plus strung with a Polyblend at 57 lbs.

Anyone who has played or demoed a Prestige in the past knows that this racquet is geared for control and more control. Everything about the frame from its moderately low stiffness rating (which is 62 by our RA), thin beam, and dense string pattern (18×20) are geared for pinpoint precision, and this racquet does not disappoint. Starting from the backcourt, I could instantly feel that this racquet has superior stability and plow through on the ground. My ground strokes were deeper and more penetrating than racquets with less weight, and I felt no vibration whatever when connecting with well stuck balls from my opponent.

Moving into the net is where I really started to enjoy the feel of the new Prestige. For anyone who has had some higher level player frames from Head in the past (ie Radical, Prestige), there is a tendency for the racquet to feel something dead near the top of the racquet. For this reason, I sometimes struggle with my feel at net with my current racquet (Microgel Radical MP). This was not the case with the new Prestige. I felt that all of my volleys were crisp and accurate, even when I did not connect right in the center of the sweet spot. This was a big bonus for me as I actually picked up some free points at net that I would not normally get.

While I certainly enjoyed the Prestige from the backcourt and at the net, the racquet really excels when you start to serve. From the service line, I was able to crack hard flat serves down the "T" and slice some great looking serves out wide. With other racquets, I sometimes have to hold back in order to gain my control within the box, but I was able to let loose with this racquet and gain some much needed free points.

From my review you might think that this racquet is magical and will instantly make you a better player. While I certainly approve of this new version of the Prestige, here are some things to consider. First, the racquet is heavy in comparison to most of your other racquets in the market, and will be best suited for strong players 4.0-4.5 and up. If you are not used to playing with a racquet this heavy you can really start to feel the weight, especially if you have to go a third set. Second, this racquet provides you with control for days, but that means that you must generate most of your power from your swing. Nothing short or compact will work here; it requires those long loopy strokes. If this sounds like your kind of racquet, feel free to use the coupon at the end of this newsletter for a free week long demo of the new prestige!

Best Herbs for Internal Detoxification – 5 Channels of Elimination

The case for ridding the body of accumulated waste is a strong one. Powerful natural healers over the years have pointed to internal cleansing time and again as a cornerstone of optimum health. Natural health adults including Dr. Bernard Jensen, Dr. Norman Walker, Ph.D., Dr. Jon Matsen, author of Eating Alive, one of the best natural health primers ever written, Dr. Paul Bragg, Dr. Herbert Shelton, Dr. Paavo Airola have all emphasized the need to cleanse our internal bodies. The list of advocates goes on and on. The question no longer is whether to detoxify, but how.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, of Kellogg's cereal fame and subject of the film The Road to Wellville, offered his guests a variety of cleaning programs at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Later, Dr. Jensen assisted thousands of patients treat a wide assortment of ailments through internal cleansing at his ranch retreat in Escondido, California. But these days it is not practical for most of us to drop everything for days, weeks, or even months at a time to "clean house". We may no longer have the time, but our need to detoxify is greater than ever.

Today, toxins from every direction bombard our bodies. Poisons pollute the air we breathe. They see into the water we drink and infiltrate the food we eat. There's just no avoiding them. In 1993 over 271 million pounds of toxic chemicals (phosphoric acid, ammonia, sulfuric acid, methanol etc.) were dumped into our water supply. Agribusiness uses 33 times more pesticides today than 50 years ago. The simple truth is your filtering and eliminative organs were not designed to process such a heavy load. Sometimes they become overworked, sluggish and toxins begin to accumulate through the entire body.

Staying inside will not work either. The EPA reports that levels of pollutants inside buildings can be as much as 100 times greater than outdoor pollution levels. Time magazine, December 21,1998, in an article titled This Place makes Me Sick, reported on the escalating problem known as sick-building syndrome, a disease of modern architecture in which sealed, energy conservation buildings have become breeding grounds for some particularly insidious stuff. These include out-gassing of paint, vinyl flooring, insulation and furniture; chemical contaminants oozing from copy machines, fax machines and laser printers; molds, fungi, bacteria and dusts belching from dirty air ducts and inadequately maintained air conditioners. It's enough to make you sick … and it does.

But if this toxic monster seems unbeatable, do not despair. Therapeutic, internal cleansing can take the load off your eliminative organs and free them up to do their work. Remember that these poisons are hiding all over your body, in all the soft tissues, organs and systems. Avoid the mistake of concentrating solely on the colon. A colon cleanse will do you some good, but improvement will be marginal. The large intestine is only one of your body's five channels of elimination, albeit the most obvious one. The lungs, lymph system, kidneys and skin each have critical rods to play in the cleansing process, and you'll need to address them all to get maximum results. The liver, the primary filter for the blood stream, will almost certainly need detoxifying. However, unless it is especially weak or toxic, cleansing the liver should wait until you've lowered the toxic load on the rest of your body.

Fortunately, modern herbalists have formulated some excellent cleansing products you can use to great effect, without putting your life on hold. Keep in mind, different herbs target different organs and systems. A cleansing product's design should be comprehensive enough to do a thorough job. The best cleanses activate all five channels of elimination and promote the release of toxins from every nook and cranny. Here's what to look for.

Channel # 1 – The Colon
Without you are having 2-3 good bowel movements every day you are constipated and invariably toxic.

Therapeutic Herbs

Chickweed to strengthen the bowel.

Fennel seed to relieve gas by improving digestion.

Ginger Root which acts as a cleansing agent.

Marshmallow removes hardened mucous from the intestines.

Peppermint cleans and strengthens the bowel.

Plantain is one of the best herbs for neutralizing poison and breaking up intestinal mucous.

Slippery Elm heals and soothes the bowel (and the lungs).

Fenugreek lubricates the intestines and dissolves hardened mucous.

Health Food for the Colon

Flax Seeds – a gentle bulking agent.

Miller's Bran – a fiber to help restore peristaltic action.

Whey – to acidify the colon.

Brewer's Yeast – supplies B-complex vitamins, amino acids and minerals to support nerve supply to the colon.

Yogurt – supplies friendly bacteria.

Super-Green Foods – chlorella, spirulina, and blue-green algae help detoxify and build the entire body.

A colon friendly diet is large vegetarian with lots of high fiber vegetables, fruits, whole grains, cereals and salads.

Channel # 2 – The Lungs

Every time you exhale you are eliminating waste.

Therapeutic Herbs

Black Cohosh helps to loosen and expel mucous from the bronchial tubes.

Fenugreek helps expel phlegm, toxic waste, and protects against infection.

Ginger Root is a cleansing agent for the lungs.

Licorice Root reduces excess fluid in the lungs.

Mullein loosens mucous.

Marshmallow removes mucous.

Slippery Elm is soothing and healing to the lungs.

Lobelia relieves bronchial spasms and congestion.

Health Food for the Lungs

A diet for lung health should be high in vegetable proteins, whole grains, and low in refined carbohydrates and starches. Pitted fruits like apricots, peaches and plums are good for the lungs, as are cultured foods like yogurt, kefir and miso.

Channel # 3 – The Lymph System

This circulatory system removes cellular debris from all over the body and is home to a large part of your immune system.

Therapeutic Herbs

Black Cohosh stimulates secretions of the lymphatic system.

Echinacea improvements lymphatic drainage.

Fenugreek promotes the expulsion of toxic waste from the lymph.

And because liver exhaustion and stress weakens lymphatic function, support your liver with:

Dandelion Root is a powerful liver detoxificant.

Milk Thistle is very protective and cleansing to the liver.

Health Food for the Lymph System

Too many saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and insufficient water make lymphatic flow sluggish. A colon friendly diet is also good for the lymph. You'll also want to add some potassium rich foods like broccoli, bananas and black olives. Fresh vegetable juice made from carrots, celery, spinach and parsley is great for the lymph system and the liver. Buy it freshly made at the health food store or, if you are feeling particularly motivated, get a juice extractor and make it yourself using 3 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, a a bunch of spinach and a a bunch of parsley.

Channel # 4 – The Kidneys

Regulation of water and electrolytes, maintaining normal acid-base equilibrium, retention of vital substances and the elimination of metabolic waste is the kidneys' responsibility.

Therapeutic Herbs

Burdock Root helps detoxify the kidneys.

Ginger Root detoxifies the kidneys.

Horsetail tones the kidneys and bladder.

Health Food for the Kidneys

Emphasize garlic, onions, papayas, bananas, sprouts, leafy greens, cucumbers, and watermelon- all are healing to the kidneys. Try to avoid heavy starches, red meat, dairy products (except cultured), refined, salty and fatty (fast) foods- they all inhibit the kidneys' filtering ability. In general, a healthy diet that includes plenty of water will support healthy kidneys.

Channel # 5 – The Skin

The body's largest organ also happens to be the largest organ of elimination, removing over 20% of your body's waste. If you want to detoxify you're going to have to sweat.

Therapeutic Herbs

Herbs that cleansse the blood have a beneficial impact on the skin.

Black Cohosh neutralizes poisons in the blood.

Yellow Dock a great blood builder.

Burdock Root one of the best blood purifiers.

Dandelion Root detoxifies the liver and the blood.

Yarrow opens the pores to permit free perspiration.

Health Food for the Skin

Foods for healthy skin include: mineral rich foods like leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, sunflower and sesame seeds, fish and sea vegetables. Cultured foods like yogurt and kefir supply friendly bacteria. Eat lots of high water content foods; vegetables and vegetables, and drink plenty of water, 6-8 glasses of bottled or filtered water every day.

Turbo-charging the cleansing process with herbs and lifestyle modification has helped thousands of my clients alleviate digestive problems, lose weight, improve poor skin, eliminate allergies, constipation, fatigue, headaches, brain fog, menstrual problems … the list goes on and on. Chances are, it can help you too.

Sam Rose, CN MS is a licensed and certified nutritionist and owner of Rose Nutrition Center in West Los Angeles. He can be reached at sam@rosenutrition.com or 310-473-8835.

TheBestDetox.com

Hybrid Diamonds Or Diamond Stimulants – Which is Better?

Diamond stimulants have been around for many years. In fact, the common simulated diamonds have been available in the market today for many years now. In 1998, a more brilliant diamond was introduced. It is hard like the diamonds since it can also cut glass but still, mined diamonds are the best.

Hybrid diamonds came into the industry several years ago and since the, it has gained worldwide acceptance. The hybrid variety consist of small diamond crystals which were aligned to form one diamond. Such creation became the flawless diamond simulant and with modern technological advances, jewelry lovers craved for more. Most simulated diamonds were off-white in color while the hybrid versions can be easily created to have the same color as the mined diamonds. Aside from that, hybrid diamonds are more affordable since the production cost is quite low. The hybrid variety is FG graded, durable, good quality, and possesses almost the same color as the mined ones.

With the combination of non-precious cores and man made crystals, diamond hybrids feel and look like real diamonds. A patented process is used to manufacture diamond hybrids. The infused layer will not disconnect or peel and so the diamonds are of good quality. Throughout the FCVA-Ion Jet Beam Diamond Seeding, crystal seeds are implanted. A real diamond layer will grow inside the core. The patented process is not expensive and so the hybrids are more affordable. It would be best to purchase diamond hybrids that were cut in Israel since diamond cutters there are well known for their skills. By choosing diamond hybrids sold in quality settings, you can witness the diamond's unmatched brilliance. If you want, you can also get the colored varieties like blue, cognac, lavender, purple, gold, yellow, and pink.

So, are you going for the hybrid variety or will you choose the other diamond simulants? Simulated diamonds are bright and shiny but they are nothing compared to mined diamonds. Their specific gravity, refractive index, hardness, and weight are not even close to real diamonds. True diamonds came from carbon which was subjected to extreme pressure and suffocating heat deep down the Earth. Later on, it became diamond crystals.

Most of today's simulated diamonds came from synthetic, minerals, and glass; they are marketed in various names like white corundum, yttrium aluminum garnet, rhinestones, strontium titanate, and gadolinium gallium garnet. Fine quality simulated diamond jewelries are usually sold in attractive settings. They are sold in different price ranges under $ 100 to about $ 500 per carat. Today, many couples choose simulated diamonds for their special occasions because it is much affordable and with proper care, the jewelries can last for a long time.

Whether you go for the hybrid diamonds or the diamond simulants, you can still get great value for your money. It's now up to you to choose the design and setting of the diamond jewelries. If the simulated varieties are still expensive for you, you can always choose the hybrid diamonds. Search for the perfect diamond jewelry online or in local stores.

Building Green With Engineered Wood

Building green encompasses many different aspects of the building process. It means using construction materials that come from renewable sources, that are environmentally friendly and toxic free, and that minimize waste and carbon emissions. Building green can be as simple as using recycled building products, insulating to reduce energy waste, or decreasing the size of the structure itself. There are many ways to build green that can lessen the impact on the environment.

With building green becoming more important within the construction industry, it is time that all aspects of building green be explored and utilized in new home building or remodeling. One significant product that will enhance green building is the use of engineered wood also known as engineered lumber in as many areas of the construction as possible. Engineered lumber includes, i-joists, laminated veneer lumber (LVL), rimboard and plywood.

These products are more environmentally friendly than dynamic lumber in several ways:

  • Engineered lumber products can be fabricated from wood by-products produced from the traditional milling process. Engineered lumber products use smaller pieces of wood and wood chips bonded with resins to create structural and dimensionally stable building components, thereby reducing the need to harvest larger trees to achieve lumber of the same size.
  • The resins used as the bonding agents in modern engineered wood products are formaldehyde-free and eco friendly.

Using these products in building green homes will not only help to reduce our impact on the environment, but when used appropriately will also save in construction costs, will provide a better structure, and have a longer lifespan than traditional lumber products.

  • Some I-Joists can be ordered precut to the exact dimensions that are required for the construction project. This can save in shipping costs, as you are not paying for excess weight, and in labor costs and time at the construction site. When the construction project requires large cross section dimensions or extreme lengths, then engineered wood beams are less expensive than large beams of standard lumber.
  • Engineered wood products are much less acceptable to warping or twisting than traditional lumber, so ensuring that the structure is built truer and will retain its structural integrity better than using standard dimensional lumber. When the project calls for spans of 16 feet or more, engineered wood joists and beams will make the construction easier and will result in floors and ceilings that remain level.

The construction industry is coming around to the advantages of building green, and the engineered wood product industry is leading the way with eco friendly building products. With products that include wooden I-beams, laminate veneer lumber (LVL) and composite material rimboards, all areas of construction lumber are covered with engineered wood products. The industry is continuing to improve the quality of its existing products, while it continues to search for new and innovative ways to use engineered lumber products throughout the construction process.

5 Common Timber Materials You Can Use For Your Next Decking Project

Decking materials differ in a number of ways. These include durability, maintenance requirements, color and texture and of course, affordability. If you are looking for a low-maintenance deck, then a wood plastic composite is just right for you. But if want something more authentic looking, durable and can maintain its appeal for many years, then you should opt for timber decking. Because of the durability and classic look of wood, it is still the most popular choice among many homeowners when it comes to decking materials. Here are some of the common materials used for wooden decks.

1. Jarah is classified as a kind of hardwood that is termite and decay resistant. This kind of wood hardens with age in a way that normal woodworking tools would no longer be effective. This is why Jarah is ideal for outdoor applications such as decks and pergola. It can also be used for constructing hot tubs or spas because it is resistant to rot. It has a rich dark reddish-brown color and beautiful grains that does not easily diminish over time.

2. Merbau (ipil or kwila) is a tropical wood which grows in mangrove forests. It is naturally oily and contains high levels of tannin. It is widely used for its durability, strong resistance to extreme weather conditions, decay and termites. It comes in a variety of colors from deep reddish-brown to yellowish and orange brown.

3. Cypress is considered as softwood, but it still has been typically used for various home constructions because of its stability and durability. Cypress trees produce natural oil called 'cypressence' that serves as a preservative and pest repellent. It comes in light yellowish-brown to dark brown color and turns gray with age.

4. Spotted Gum is also called lemon-scented gum.The largest advantage in using spotted gum is that it can withstand extreme weather conditions, making it perfect for outdoor use. Its color varies from dark red to light golden brown. It is also considered as one of the hardest known timbers in the world. This allows you to work even with tiny pieces of wood without breaking them. Its natural oiliness also allows you to machine it well. But it must be glued right after surface preparation.

5. Redwood is another remarkable deck material known for its stability and durability. It is highly resistant to wood eating insects and extreme weathers even without conservative chemicals. It has a rich reddish-brown color. If left unfinished, it will turn black until it becomes silvery gray. It is also less likely to shrink or warp than other types of wood. Plus, it is one of the most fire resistant materials than can be used for decking that can last for about 30 years.

Lessons in Baby Massage: 12 Most Frequently Asked Questions

At its most basic, a baby massage offers precious moments to emotionally connect with your infant, relaxing you and baby. Since touch is the most developed sense for an infant, it is not surprising that early massages have the ability to stimulate nerve centers and improve immune system function. There are overwhelming scientific evidence in support of baby massage that the negatives are difficult to find.

We have put together 12 most frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the subject and provided answers from qualified instructions.

QUESTIONS ON BABY MASSAGE

1: Will I hurt my baby?

Use firm, slow strokes. For guidance on how much pressure to place on infant, look at baby cues to help. Not too hard, but too light might be ticklish.

2: At what stage should you start a massage?

Massages start at the new-born stage, as soon as the mother feels comfortable performing the technique.

3: When is the ideal time to massage your baby?

When your baby is in the quiet alert state is a good time for a massage. Other suggestions are after a bath, and at least half an hour after a feed.

4: Should I massage an ill baby?

Do not massage an ill or disturbed baby. Always look for cues that indicate abnormal behavior.

5: Should I begin with a full head-to-toe massage?

No. Perform massages in limited sessions until baby can tolerate a full massage, both anteriorly (toward the front) and posteriorly (toward the back).

6: What type of oil should I use and how much?

Several types of oil may be used in generous amounts. Simply pour warm oil into the palm of the hand and rub them together for even distribution. Recommended oils are: Organic vegetable / nut oils (example-olive, sunflower, sweet almond, sesame). These are unscented, and will not interfere with phototherapy.

7: What if baby looks to always resist massage?

Hold your baby gently, but firmly (using containment holds), until they gradually relax and accept the massage.

8: Is baby massage helpful with a colicky baby?

Yes! Babies who have their tummies and legs rubbed along with knee pressing exercises (into the tummies) receive fantastic success rates. Rub their tummy in a circular clockwise direction.

9: Can a massage help with asthma and skin disorders?

Touch Research Institute conducted studies that show the benefits of massage for both these conditions. Parents can learn the technique from qualified instructors.

10: Do I need to learn technical strokes or can I just gently rub baby all over?

Massage strokes are specific in generating a scientific result. Once you learn the techniques you will begin to see the difference. The strokes incorporate Swedish, Indian and Reflexology components.

11: How often should baby be massaged?

Massages can be done more than once per day; some experts recommends up to 3 times a day. The ideal amount is very personal to your baby, you and family circumstances.

12: What should be the first steps before starting a massage?

Gather all needed supplies. Ensure that the room is warm. Begin the massage when your baby is comfortable. Start at one of the extremitudes, and remember not to overtire baby.

Baby massage is comforting and improves all-over circulation and encourages growth. Begin the habit of asking permission from your baby before starting a session, as this will become an essential part of the routine later on.

Mind Hypnosis – 3 Powerful Ways To Take Control Of Someone

In the field of hypnosis, there are three ways in which you can basically take control of someone's mind and get them to do whatever you want. So here they are …

Mind Control # 1: Dual Reality

This is a technique used in magic that can also be used very well in hypnosis, especially with stage hypnosis. Basically it describes a scenario where the performer presents his material in such a way that both the subject and the audience experience different things.

For example, suppose a volunteer is invited onto the stage to help with a trick. The performer meets the volunteer at the edge of the stage and, quietly so that the audience does not hear, saying: "What's your name?" "Jim" Replays the volunteer. "Okay Jim, do not worry everything will be fine." The performer now addresses the audience: "Now ladies and Gentlemen, I have never met this person before. Is not that right …" The volunteer sentences before the performer continues … "erm … Jim, is not it? " The volunteer has to agree again.

The audience thinks that the performer has just somehow guessed the volunteers name, and the volunteer thinks that he has just forgotten forgot it before recovering.

Mind Control # 2: Invisible Compromise

This is another magic technique that can be adapted to suit pseudo hypnotic or mind control performances. This is quite similar to dual reality, except that the volunteer actually knowingly helps to perform the trick – he is not a stooge in that he is not pre coached on how to react, he is skilfully used by the magician to actively participate, controlled by clever verbal commands that mean one thing to the audience, and something completely different to the volunteer. I will not go into this in more detail here.

Mind Control # 3: Pattern Interrupts

This is a hypnotic / NLP term used to describe a way in which a person's thought processes can be momentarily interrupted during that time which can be induced into a trance very quickly.

It is a technique devised by Milton Erickson, which involves interfering the normal, expected patterns of behavior that the subject expects to experience. At this point their brain pauses briefly to try to understand the unexpected activity that the subject has just experienced and a command to "sleep" is quickly given during this pause in the brain activity.

The command slips right past the critical censor and into the subconscious where it is acted upon immediately (assuming that the technique is taken out correctly, the subject is suitably receptive, and the performer is confident enough in their abilities).

Boa Feeding Tips – 7 Hints For Tempting Snakes to Eat

Boa Constrictors one are the most commonly kept snakes, and with good reason. They tend to make excellent pet as they are docile, easy to handle, and have modest care requirements. They are also generally good feeders, usually taking defrosted rodents without trouble.

Some boas however, particularly wild caught specimens, can be problematic to wean onto defrosted prey. Having a snake which refuses to eat can be extremely frustrating, but there is usually no need for concern. If the boa is otherwise healthy it can go for considerable amounts of time between meals.

If your snake is refusing to eat, monitor its weight, and follow these tips to help get your boa feeding readily and easily.

1. Feed appropriatively sized prey: All species of boa can be fed exclusively on rodents in captivity. They type and size of prey is entirely dependent on the size of the snake. Neonates may be started on pinky (day old) mice, and the prey size should gradually increased as the snake grows. Small, through medium, to large mice should be followed by rats, and even rabbits for larger boas. The key is to offer prey no larger than the girth of the snake to avoid training the boa's digestive system.

2. Feed your boa at regular intervals: How regularly you offer prey items will depend on the age and size of your boa. For most species, neonates should be fed weekly, while adults can be fed fortnightly since it takes them longer to digest the larger meal. Boa with slow metabolisms however, such as the Emerald Tree Boas, only need feeding every 21 days.

3. Defrost the rodents safely: While pinkies and small mice can be safely defrosted at room temperature, larger items will take longer, increasing the chance of bacterial growth. To safely defrost prey items, place in the refrigerator overnight, sealed in a plastic tub. Before feeding, warm them slightly for 30 minutes under a lamp, or near a radiator. Always ensure that prey is thoroughly defrosted, and avoid using a microwave which will partially cook the prey.

4. Tempt your boa with defrosted prey first: If your boa will not take defrosted prey on its own, try leaving it undisturbed in the vivarium overnight. Another trick is to try leaving the prey, and the snake, in an unfurnished plastic tub for an hour. If none of these methods work, you should try 'tempting' the boa with the prey. Either use a long pair of forceps and dangle the prey in front of the snake, or drop the rodent on the floor of the vivarium, and gently wiggle it with a stick. With a little patience this is often enough to get a boa eating. 5.The 'bait and switch' method: If the above methods have failed, you can try using a freshly filled mouse. Dangle it with the forceps, and try to get the boa to strike. Once in feeding mode, you can swap in a defrosted rodent.

6. Offering freshly killed prey: If, after a number of attempts with the above methods, you really can not get your boa eating defrosted rodents, try offering one which is freshly killed. If your snake takes the prey, try offering a small defrosted rodent immediately afterwards. Often, once the boa is already in feeding mode, it will take the defrost, and once a boa has eaten one defrosted rodent, it will take more in the future. If this fails at first, the next time you feed the snake, hold a defrosted rodent against the half swallowed fresh kill. This can be enough to trick the boa into eating both, and again, once they have taken a single defrost it is easier to feed more in the future.

7. Offering live prey: Only if all of the above methods have failed should live prey be offered. A live rodent has sharp teeth and claws, and can seriously injure a snake. Never leave live prey in with your boa for more than 15 minutes, and never unattended. Keep a close eye and be ready to remove the rodent quickly if necessary.

By following the above methods you should be able to tempt just about any boa to eat, and slowly to wean them onto defrosted food. Once taking defrost, try to keep them on it without absolutely necessary.

In the rare cases where all the above methods fail, and a boa is losing weight, it may be necessary to force feed. This is a stressful, and dangerous method of feeding which should only be attempted by experienced herpetoculturists and is beyond the scope of this article. If you get to the stage where force feeding is necessary, consult your veterinarian, or find an experienced keeper via your local herpetology center. However, with patience and the methods outlined above you¡¯re unexpectedly to ever need to resort to that.

Is Berber Carpet Right For You?

Berber carpet is a style of carpeting that contains large and small tufts of fiber, usually woven in a cut pile or looped construction. Usually, berber carpet contains two colors, a darker color on a lighter shade background. It is readily available in neutral colors and can also be found in darker shades and even bright, vibrant varieties. Berber carpeting can be made from a wide array of materials including wool, nylon or Olefin.

Many homeowners are choosing berber for their home flooring solution because it is not only stylish, but durable and easy to care for. The high-density woven fibers offer a unique look and can be very resistant to staining. Because the fibers are looped and grouped, they may be snagged or readily, damaging the carpet. This may be more impressive if you have pets with long nails or children's toys that can catch on the carpet fibers.

Wool berber carpet is more expensive then other materials. It is soft and durable, giving your home a comfortable feel and a luxurious look. Wool is hypo-allergenic, so can be a great choice for anyone who suffers from allergies. Because of the high price of wool, this type of berber carpet is not as popular as nylon and other blends. Wool berber carpet, however, is tough and resilient, and therefore able to withstand years of use.

Berber carpet that is made from nylon is not as pricey as the wool alternative. Nylon is also able to withstand years of use and abuse, and is fairly resistant to staining.

Berber carpet made from Olefin and nylon or other materials is much less expensive than wool or total nylon carpets. However, when it is made from Olefin blends, studies have shown the fibers are much more pre-staining and discoloration than oil-based products. Some types of oil-based stains will bond with the Olefin fibers, often times causing irreversible damage to the carpet.

Berber carpeting is the ideal choice for many homeowners because of the sustainability of the high-density looping. Footprints are less likely to show up, and while are vacuum tracks. Furniture is less likely to imprint on the carpet because of the toughness of the tightly woven fibers. Many homeowners report reduced utility and energy costs because berber is thick and, therefore, acts as a great insulator. You can choose a thicker berber carpet with small, tight loops or a berber with larger, knob-like loops. It is evan available with multi-level loops for an even more unique and distinctive look. For extra thickness and insulation, use carpet padding.

Finally, the affordably of berber carpet over traditional carpet styles is a great reason to make it your household floor choice. Along with a durable and long-lasting life, berber is a cost-efficient and economic option for any room in your home.

Insulation and Air Conditioning Unit Size

An HVAC contractor can determine what size of air conditioning unit to install in your house, but will that size unit be the best unit for your home? There are many variables to consider when having a new unit installed in your home. These variables are brought together by a load calculation performed either by your contractor or a mechanical engineer. How do they do it though? What can make an engineer designate a larger home with a unit smaller than what is in another home with fewer square feet in some instances?

Let's use the three little pigs as an example (with some artistic license). The first little pig lives in a metal house that sits on a pier four inches off the ground. The second little pig lives in a wooden home that sits on a concrete slab which has been beloved into the ground. Finally, the third little pig lives in a house built with 10 inch thick mason blocks, also sitting on a slab. None of the homes are insulated. All of these houses have the same internal dimensions, but they will have different load calculations, which means, they may each have a different sized air conditioning unit.

A load calculation is a mathematical function put together to determine the amount of heat that needs to be displaced in order to cool or heat a home. The main reason for the differences in the load calculations is what is called the R-value of each home. R-Value is a measure of thermal resistance (the 'R' comes from the word, resistance) of a substance or an object. Although you may not be able to determine the R-value of your home, you can easily understand the concept by taking a look at each of the little pigs' houses.

The metal building the first little pig lives in is off the ground. This allows outside air to flow under the home as well as over and around it. Air flowing under a home decreases the R-Value of the home since it's another route for heat to enter or escape the home. Also, because this house is made of metal, it is a better conductor of heat than other materials, so that also decrees the R-value of the home. The lower the R-value of the home, the larger the unit needed to heat / cool it. This home has an extremely low R-value.

The wooden building the second little pig lives in is on a slab which was scattered in the ground. The slab keeps the floor of the home a relatively even temperature through the year, summer or winter. The wooden walls are built of one inch thick clapboard siding and less less heat conduction as well. Neverheless, without added insulation, this home conducts heat in or out fairly easily as well. The R-value in this home is higher than that of the metal home. It's possible that this home can use a smaller central air unit than the metal home.

Finally, we come to the brick home constructed on a concrete slab and built of 10 inch mason blocks the third little pig lives in. Although this home has a wooden roof, it is constructed of a thick wood with a higher R-value than that of the wooden house, and is shingled with a better quality shingle which is designed to reflect heat rather than absorb it. Since this house is also on a concrete slab, there is no outside airflow underneath it. The 10 inch walls work very well at insulating against heat conduction. These materials all work toward this home having a very high R-value. This high R-value causes the home to hold whatever temperature air inside for a longer period of time. This means a smaller air conditioning unit can be used in this home than in the previous two.

How a home is insulated plays a key role in how much heat must be displaced to keep the home cool or warm. To cause a central air system to work as efficiently as possible, better insulated walls, floors, ceilings, doors and windows are key. If these things are used, then a home is well on its way to becoming a 'green' home. The air conditioner will run less often, and it will run for just the right amount of time in order to cool the dwelling adequately and use the least amount of energy possible.

If you really want to know the answers for your house, call your local HVAC expert.

Testing the All Natural Cedarshield Oil Wood Preservative

I had read the articles, the various reports and scientific data and so, it was now time to put this apparently miraculous product to the ultimate test. A good friend of mine who specializes in the hand crafted manufacture of Ash furniture gave me the suggestion that we could try it out on a freshly cut slice of Ash tree. Normally he fills the trees, removes the branches and they are then stacked for periods of up to twenty years to completely dry out the wood and make it suitable for use in the manufacturing process. What he now suggested was that we cut a large slice from a recently felled and still wet tree, then apply this cedar oil based product to it and see what happens and if there is any noticeable difference.

Armed with a five gallon bucket of the product, an extremely long chain saw, some gasoline and a couple of saw horses, we set off in my friend’s truck towards the site where his Ash trees were kept. After about forty minutes we drove up a bumpy gravel road and turned into an area that appeared to be an abandoned stone quarry. We stopped his truck and got out to view some well stacked piles of huge trees, all set out in neat rows to both sides of the truck. We commenced by emptying out the truck box of all the items we had carried with us. My friend set up the two saw horses in the middle of the gravel yard and then proceeded to gas up his chain saw and give it a first start. Now convinced that everything was in good working order, we headed off towards one of the log piles.

I was advised that this particular stack of trees had only been felled just over one week previously and as such, they were still as wet as the day they were cut down. My friend studied each of the trees in the stack and then made his decision as to which one would be our subject for the experiment. Marking the end of it with chalk, he picked up his chain saw and climbed up to a suitable position where he could access the tree’s diameter with ease. With ear muffs on and a couple of fast pulls on the chain saw string, that well known buzz burst into life and the long chain was ready to start cutting. He stood firm and straight on the logs and commenced his first cut through a tree with a diameter of almost five feet. Within a few minutes and a couple of position moves on his part, the end of the large tree fell free to the ground. The exposed cut was clean and straight and I could see most of the circles quite clearly. Without hesitation, he climbed back up to his original position and started his second cut. The chain entered the tree about three inches from the newly exposed end and once again he worked away steadily until an almost evenly thick slice again fell free to land on top of the first slice. With that, the chain saw stopped buzzing and he climbed down to explain that this was the slice we were going to do our experiment on.

Together, we carefully pulled the large tree slice away from the pile and then, with one of us one each side we lifted the rather heavy piece of wood up and over onto the two awaiting saw horses. Placing it carefully on top of the horses, we had to adjust one of them to get it lying more solidly in position without a wobble. After a short five minute rest, we took over the bucket of fluid to start our test. Armed with a three inch brush each, we coated all of the upper side with its first coat of the cedarshield oil. It soaked into the timber as quickly as we applied it and that in itself was quite amazing considering how wet the timber was. We waited another five minutes or so and then commenced applying our second coat in exactly the same way as the first and yet again, it continued to soak in to the wood almost immediately. After this we waited maybe ten minutes before starting our third and final application. This time, by the time we were about half way across the large circle of wood, the fluid started to drip from the underside and onto the gravel below. We completed our application, closed the bucket and placed our brushes tightly into a plastic bag then went back to examine the now actively dripping tree slice. Sure enough, the underside was oozing the fluid we had applied on the surface but it did feel different to the touch. At that point we really didn’t understand what was happening or why the fluid coming through the downward side felt so different to the touch.

The real surprise came when the fluid finally stopped dripping through the wood and we decided it was time to lift the slice back to the truck. Again, with one of us at each side we grabbed hold of the wood and commenced to lift it. We both stopped in unison and dropped the wood back onto the saw horses for we had discovered it was now very light in weight compared to the time we had placed it in position. After some discussion on this, we again lifted it up and carried it over to the waiting truck for transportation back to my friend’s workshop. With everything now packed up and well secured, we left the site and headed back home with our newly cut slice of Ash tree. Upon arrival at his home and workshop, we were both eager to investigate the treated timber in more detail. Yes, its weight was now equivalent to that of dried Ash of the same dimensions but we had to ask ourselves why? We sent the slice through his planer and thickness machine and out it came fully dressed just like a piece of fully seasoned dry timber I was advised. To my friend who was well used to working with this type of timber, this discovery was truly amazing in itself. However, when we read the technical data for the fluid and found that the wood was now dimensionally stable, that it would not split or warp and that it was also fully protected from all types of fungal attack, rot and insect attack, my friend looked at me and stated “This has to the most miraculous invention for the treatment of wood ever!”

Upon reading the technical data further, we discovered that the cedarshield fluid contained double tailed molecules within its formulation and upon its application to timber, these molecules would instantly attach themselves to hydroxyls within the timber, acting as a water scavenger and instantly turning the inherent moisture into ethanol gas which immediately evaporated and left the wood totally dry and completely preserved again almost everything. Truly an amazing achievement and even more so when we considered that this fluid is 100% natural organic in its make up and contained no toxins, poisons or hazards of any kind. My friend continued to work on our newly cut circle of Ash wood and now, I am the proud owner of a highly polished and most certainly all natural Ash picnic table that I seen being manufactured literally from start to finish. This unique fluid is now saving my friend from waiting for periods of up to twenty years before he can work his beloved Ash timbers. It is most certainly a wonderful, safe and highly effective product that is likely to be used throughout all areas of the lumber industry.

Eco Friendly Fireplaces – Alternatives to Wood Burning Fireplaces

Fireplace wood contains carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides that cause smog, fine particles, soot and a host of gases and chemicals which may result in or complicate health problems, especially in children, pregnant women and individuals with respiratory problems living in the home. As for the environment, burning wood in your home may contribute to acid rain and smog.

During the cold winter months, it is still possible to heat up your home without leaving a carbon footprint in the process. Instead of burning wood in your fireplace, you may opt for wood pellets manufactured from sawdust and other byproducts of lumber as a more eco friendly solution. This is because these byproducts would otherwise have ended up as waste in landfills. These small logs are specifically formulated for very efficient burning – almost completely, mainly because of their low moisture content, which means that fewer pollutants will be released into the air both inside and outside the home.

In order to safely handle the wood pellets, you will require a pellet stove or a fireplace insert when burning. This insert fires the pellets using an igniter. It also has a blower which fans the fire and an augur that pours pellets onto the flames to keep the fire burning as long as you require. This set up eliminates the need to keep on opening your stove doors to feed the fire, which means that fewer pollutants are released into your living room area.

Alternately, you may also reduce carbon emissions from your fireplace by opting for a gas insert which burns either liquid propane from a swappable tank or piped-in natural gas. The inserts will draw air in to oxygenate the fire, while channeling the smoke outside either through a vent or up your chimney. You should note that hearth fires are unable to heat up large spaces as effectively as the free-standing wood, gas or pellet stoves.

Be sure to have your fireplace regularly inspected for leaks, cracks or back drafts which could have resulted in added pollution to your home. Have your chimney swept every couple of years to remove any blockages due to creosote which could increase indoor pollution of the air in your home. When installing a new fireplace or insert, consult a qualified professional to ensure that they set it up properly in the most eco friendly and efficient manner. Whatever fireplace fuel option you settle for, the health of your family and the safety of the environment should factor primarily in your decision making.

Laminate Flooring – Exceptional Durability

Laminate flooring offers exceptional durability. Laminate floors are remarkable for their unmatched reliability and affordability, these very factors account for their immense popularity.

Unlike hardwood, laminate floors are not pure wood. Instead, they consist of a wood composite base over which come layers of melamine-impregnated paper covered with a scratch-resistant layer that contributes to their amazing durability. The advantage they possess over hardwood is that the scratch-resistant wear layer is immune to dog claw scratches and all kinds of other scratch marks. Laminate flooring is also less expensive and easier to install than hardwood. But it still adds elegance to the room and lends the impression of real wood; therefore, this type of flooring looks much more expensive than it actually is.

Exotic Impressions from Armstrong is an example of wonderfully durable laminate flooring. The elegant finish it's provided with gives it an appearance of exotic hardwood, and it is available in great wood-inspiring colors such as exotic walnut, cherry bronze, and cherry natural. It also comes with a 30-year limited warranty. Pergo's Prestige is extremely attractive and resistant to scuff and stain. It's also effective against moisture. It has a 25-year triple plus warranty and comes in colors such as savanna oak, Brazilian cherry and rustic oak.

Laminate floors can be either attached to the sub-floor or its pieces connected to each other. The latter is a floating floor that can be replaced easily whenever necessary. Laminate flooring of the former kind is more stable and produces less noise. As it is moisture-resistant, there's almost no place in a home where laminate flooring can not be used.

An online store can give you instant shopping and purchasing opportunities for all kinds of laminates. You can browse the range of colors and finishes offered and make your choice.