The History of Word Searches

Being a relatively simple concept at its core, one might think that the word search has existed in some form for many years. Yet that’s not actually the case, as word searches are less than 50 years old, and came about well after the creation of several other popular word-related games such as crossword puzzles and scrabble.

The man credited with creating the first word search is Norman Gibat, who published them in a small local paper in Normal, Oklahoma devoted to classified listings called the Selenby Digest. The word searches instantly caught on, and soon local teachers were requesting additional copies as activities for their students. Before long they were sending them to other teachers outside their district, and word searches eventually became syndicated, appearing in newspapers around the world.

Online word searches are now plentiful, and can be tackled in any manner of different formats, from the smallest boards typical of newspapers or children’s publications, to the most gargantuan, housing dozens of words hidden amongst hundreds of letters. Some puzzles may only place words in forward positions, some only vertically and horizontally, while others also place them backwards and diagonally. In some puzzles the words will not overlap each other, meaning each letter us only used for one word or none at all, while others do overlap.


5 Important Things Every Condo Should Have

The demand for condos is still high and a good number of developers are making them available to meet with the market demands. New condos come with better amenities, units and benefits and they are not really equal. Some are better than others, but there are things or features that you can use to be sure that the condo you are interested in is really worth the money you are going to spend on it.

1. Good location

To many people, location seems like a cliché but it is something that still remains to be very important. If you are looking at a long time investment with your condo, then you cannot afford to overlook the location. The location should work in terms of family needs, culture, career and relaxation. In essence, a good condo will be located in the area that you love and one that is most convenient for you.

2. Luxury

It is amongst the things that make condos loved and above normal housing units. Luxury units tend to appreciate much faster and keep their value; hence you know that you have made a good investment in a good luxurious condo. When checking your options, make sure that you consider the landscaping, interior features and even the building materials used just to be sure of the quality that you get.

3. Privacy

Condos are part of a larger property, meaning that there will be several units in one block. But this should not in any way compromise your privacy. Good developers are thoughtful, even where the walls are shared between the units by putting soundproof walls and intelligent layouts that ensure every unit enjoys a good level of privacy. When looking for the best unit, consider what noise reduction measures have been put in place, what the balcony looks out to and every aspect that touches on privacy. It can really make a difference when it comes to truly enjoying your condo.

4. Modern amenities

Today, amenities go beyond luxurious sitting spaces and appliances. A good modern condo will have other important amenities such as fully equipped fitness center, internet, sheltered parking, garden, pools and others that really make life comfortable and convenient. Some properties are designed so well that they come with mini shopping areas for the convenience of the residents. Find out what your condo has to offer you beforehand in terms of amenities made available.

5. Reliable security

It is amongst the most important and you should feel absolutely safe when within or away from the property. New modern condos have everything taken care of from surveillance camera systems to high tech door lock systems and electric fences among others. Even if the property is not gated, it should at least have reliable security solutions for all tenants. You do not want to ignore the security levels of the property because compromised security can give you sleepless nights and restless days. A good condo should give you peace of mind as far as your safety and security goes.


Thinking About Cosmetic Plastic Surgery? Learn the Truth About Your Surgeon’s Board Certification

When I got my ABPS Board Certification, I wanted to walk around with it taped to my forehead. It’s that hard to get. So, why does that matter to you?

The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the only accredited board for plastic surgery in the United States.

One of your early and most important decisions about having plastic surgery is the obvious: Who is going to do your surgery? Who is it that, above all others, you trust enough to understand your goals, listen to your fears, perform the procedures competently with the best results possible, and stick with you through thick and thin during your recovery period, no matter what?

Ever thought of it this way? You should.

With the popularity of plastic surgery, there recently has been an increase in untrained physicians performing plastic surgical procedures. Interestingly, it is not illegal for a licensed physician to perform any procedure, regardless of whether they were properly trained. The media has featured surgeons performing plastic surgical procedures on various TV shows as presumed experts, without verifying credentials, contributing to mass confusion, and putting patients at increased risk of dangerous situations they may never be aware of.

We are learning to ask if a plastic surgeon is “board certified,” but even that can be confusing because one could answer “yes” if they are certified by another specialty board or a non-accredited board. There are a number of “boards” out there which are not accredited, some of which have very impressive and important sounding names which easily fool the patient into thinking that certain training and qualifications are present when in fact they are not. And, by the way, there is no such thing as the “Oprah Board.”

All accredited medical boards are listed on the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) website ( You can check there for any specialty to see if your doctor’s Board is accredited. And, by the way, did I mention –

The American Board of Plastic Surgery ( is the only accredited board for plastic surgery in the United States.

There really are such things as “weekend courses” or other reduced training programs that award a “board” of some type. In the medical community, we sometimes joke about these “smorgasboards.” The training required, or lack thereof, can be a mystery. Fortunately, this is easily sorted out– If they do not measure up to the American Board of Medical Specialties rigorous standards, they are not accredited and are not listed on their site as an accredited board.

Surgeons certified by the ABPS are also members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) – famous for the “circle logo” (

So the question is not “Are you board certified?”

The question is “What Board?”

Hint: You should be able to find your surgeon by name on both the ABPS and the ASPS sites.

When you visit my office, if I forgot to tape my certificate to my forehead that morning you can ask me about my boards– I will be very impressed. Of COURSE then, like a kid with a great report card, I will then want to show you all the certificates, talk about the many years of training that went into achieving this milestone, how I traded my youth for it (ok, a little dramatic), etc. So be prepared!


Versatile Uses of Plastic Handles

Industrial handles are important for many commercial as well as residential applications. They serve to make life easier and more functional to consumers in getting a good and firm grip on doors, windows and all components that need to be opened and closed. Handles and knobs are common entities on components in numerous life applications whether at home or elsewhere.


There are many types of handles; they can be made of different materials such as plastic, wood, metal, rubber or wrought iron in a myriad of shapes, sizes and designs. Each design would be well stocked to cater to its respective function.

Plastic handles are very common in various industries, homes and commercial environment. They are usually stocked and available in various styles and sizes that include multi-lobes, indexing and soft touch as well as bridge styles.

Besides plastic, handles can come in other types of materials such as polypropylene which is cost effective and hardy against water and solvents. There are phenolic handles which offer a high gloss finish with a resistance to oils, greases and fuels. Such material offers excellent electrical and thermal resistance.

Some industrial plastic handles offer soft gripping features which were designed for applications that require that firmness. Maximum grip with comfort is available to impact resistance for turning and opening.

There are applications in confined space which require indexing or clamping plastic handles. These are high density plastic that are tough to function like a wrench in tight places. These are indexing handles with a soft touch overlay which is excellent for heavy duty applications. Bridge handles as well as drawer pulls can also be of plastic material in different colors.


Industrial or commercial handles have many applications; there are machine handles made of strong plastic that can endure high temperature which can be found in many heavy duty industries such as production and manufacturing.

Spring loaded hinged plastic handles are found in applications that need that extra force support with the presence of a spring while indexing handles can be heavy duty for the extra pressure in heavy duty factory performances. Plastic bridge handles are common in many commercial applications as they come in various forms and colors to make them an attractive sight in their environments. These handles can be made very strong and scratch resistant with socket head screws for the cap. Lift & Turn shaped plastic handles allow users an easy hold and grip for any application they are used in. Similarly, plastic quarter turn handles are popular as they are lighter than metal.


Types and Benefits of Plastic Fasteners

Plastic fasteners have grown to become viable products for joining applications in various industries. They are regarded as suitable alternatives to metal fasteners, and are known for their flexibility, durability, and application versatility. The various material features and benefits makes them ideal products for applications in a variety of industries such as aviation, marine, automotive, construction, oil and gas, food and beverage, sewage plants, and heavy machinery.

Types of Plastic Fasteners

Plastic product manufacturers can produce a variety of fasteners to meet the needs of various applications. Examples of well-known fasteners include:


  • Rivets
  • Nylon Threaded Rods
  • Plugs
  • Bolts
  • Plastic Threaded Rods
  • Bushes
  • Nuts
  • Grommets
  • Clips
  • Plastic Screws
  • Cable Ties


Benefits of Plastic Fasteners

One of the reasons behind the popularity is that they can be manufactured using a variety of plastic materials. The following are some of the popular plastic materials used to manufacture fasteners.

Nylon: Possibly one of the most well-known fastener materials, nylon is known for its resistance to corrosion, electric conductivity, extreme weather, strong chemicals, and abrasions. It displays low friction, mechanical stability, and does not require any lubrication in an application.

Acetal: Also known as Delrin, this material is popular due to features such as high stiffness, stability, and low friction. It is resistant to heat and abrasions, and possesses dielectric properties.

Polyvinyl Chloride: PVC is non-toxic, optimizes fastener performance, chemical stability, resistant to chemicals, and is inexpensive.

Kynar: Polyvinylidene fluoride or PVDF is generally used in applications that require pure and high strength materials. PVDF is resistant to acids, solvents, heat and smoke generation. It has low density and can even be injected, molded and welded.

Phenolics: By nature, phenolics is a hydrophobic material, which makes it the perfect replacement for metal fasteners in water related applications. It provides good resistance to alkalis and acids.

Apart from the materials, plastic fasteners can provide other benefits to the product manufacturer and his customers.

Ease of Use and Durability: These can be easily removed after fastening and reused, making them reliable and long-lasting.

Can Replace Metal Fasteners in Applications: These prove to be the best solutions for applications where metals can rust and corrode.

Performance Maintenance: While metal fasteners have been required to be optimized for better performance, plastic fasteners have been able to maintain their performance, and are available in standard and custom designs. These fasteners can be designed with high strength so that they don’t get hot or melt under pressure. Plastic does not conduct electricity, making plastic fasteners extremely useful in applications where electricity can adversely affect a machine’s performance.

Versatility: If required, plastic fasteners can also be used along with metal fasteners to improve the seal of fastening holes and prevent contaminants like dirt and dust from entering the hole. For example, a toggle fixer can be used with a metal screw to seal a hole. The fixer expands when a metal screw is driven into it, thus locking the fixer in place and providing complete sealing. They can be manufactured in various colors, which enhances their aesthetic appeal in an application.

Miscellaneous Advantages: In many industrial applications, designers, and engineers choose to use plastic fasteners for benefits like good chemical and acid resistance, thermal and electrical insulation, and water tolerance.


Plastic Shopping Bags Banned

Bye, Bye Bag Lady, Reusable Bags for Me!

Challenge everyone in your family to take reusable bags whenever they go and avoid using plastic bags! This simple step to preserve natural resources really adds up when you think of all the plastic bags you might use in a year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 380 billion plastic shopping bags are used in the U.S. annually. Only a tiny fraction (0.6 percent) of the plastic bags are recycled. As many as 1 trillion plastic bags may be used globally each year, or about one million bags per minute.

It takes 1,000 years for plastic bags to degrade. In addition, plastic bags contain harmful chemical such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and diethylhexyl phthalate, which is a carcinogen (CANCER CAUSING). About 100,000 birds, marine mammals, whales, and sea turtles each year either choke to death on plastic bags, or die of an intestinal blockage after eating one.

Whole Foods Market announced in December 2007 that it will no longer offer plastic grocery bags at the checkouts in its two stores in Austin, Texas, where the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket is headquartered.

“Let’s face it, plastic bags fill landfills, harm our water systems and wildlife, and litter our roadsides and communities. We are discontinuing the use of these bags in support of our Core Value of ‘caring for our Communities and our Environment,’ which includes adopting wise environmental practices.” said Seth Stutzman, Whole Foods Market’s Southwest regional vice president. “By partnering with our shoppers, we can together bring the plastic bag issue to the forefront in Austin to help protect the environment in our hometown and our planet at large.”

Eliminating plastic grocery bags at its Austin checkout counters will be a test for the Company and will serves as the first step to ban such bags companywide by early next year. Paper bags made exclusively for Whole Foods Market from 100 percent recycled content will continue to be an option for shoppers.

Day by day, bag by bag, everyone can really make a difference by choosing alternatives to plastic at retail checkout counters.

Steps are being taken in many countries to curb plastic bag use. The Republic of Ireland has enacted a 15 cent tax on plastic shopping bags, which has curbed their use by 90 percent in that country. Bangladesh banned plastic shopping bag after finding that they were blocking drainage systems and causing floods. Taiwan, Singapore, South Africa, and several East African countries have also banned plastic shopping bags. The housewares chain IKEA is now charging five cents per plastic bag, and estimates the move will reduce plastic bag use in their U.S. stores by 50 percent.


Should I Use a Metal Machining Company to Manufacture My Plastic Parts?

Engineers and buyers often reach out to metal machining companies to produce plastic machined parts. They assume that the metal machinists use the same processes as a plastic machining company, and therefore there is no significant difference. In reality, the two companies are worlds apart. This article reviews the three major reasons why a company that machines metal should not be used to make plastic machined components.

Cutting fluids for each material are crucial:
Equipment used to machine metal – even if only used for metal occasionally – can contaminate parts with oil-based cutting fluids. Many plastics are also very sensitive to petroleum based cutting fluids and will degrade if they come into contact with these fluids. Additionally, many plastics are hygroscopic and will absorb the cutting oils. If the parts are being manufactured for FDA-approved uses or medical applications, they will not meet standards.

Metal fragments contaminate plastic parts:
It is difficult to adequately clean a machine that has been working on metals, especially if it has been working on stainless steel. This can lead to another contamination problem. If the plastic material is soft, residual metal fragments can become embedded in the parts.

Metal shops are experts in metal, not plastic:
Metal machining companies rarely have any in-depth knowledge of plastic materials, or more specifically, which material to use in an application. Plastic machinists know what plastics are best for any function, and can produce the part you need without the “trial-and-error” processes a metal machinist would use. A good plastic machining firm will have the material knowledge and the right machining processes to consistently give you the highest quality parts.

Engineered Plastic Products Corporation is the premier supplier of plastic machined parts. EPP Corp has extensive experience manufacturing critical parts to the aerospace, military, fluid handling, instrumentation, and medical industries. Capabilities include: custom plastic milling, custom plastic turning, custom plastic screw machining, custom plastic manifolds, and assembly.


Plastics: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

‘Plastic’ comes from the Greek word ‘plastikus’ which means anything moldable. Plastics account for 30% of the waste by volume and are a major threat to the environment. Highly toxic and non-biodegradable, they can be got rid of only by burning-which itself releases toxic fumes. Toxins from plastic bags leach against the soil making it barren. Dioxins released from plastic bags in garbage dumps and landfill sites contaminate water and may even lead to cancer.

Based on their long life, plastic products can be divided into three categories. 60% of plastic products have a long lifespan as they are in use for years. Used in radios, TV sets, cars, blood transfusion sets, plastic panels, pipes, furniture, boxes, crates, buckets, water tanks, crockery, suitcases, etc., these articles stay in use for decades and even lifetimes. This 60% can, in fact, be considered pro-environment as it saves forests and other natural resources. These plastics can be re-molded into new items that can last for decades more.

The second category of plastics(22%) needs monitoring as they last for a week to three months only. These are items like detergent and shampoo bottles, jars for cosmetics, oil and ghee, congestive tubes, etc.

However, the ugliest of all plastic products are the small, thin, colored plastic carry bags available at vegetable, fruit, meat, sweets and medical shops. They have zero re-usability. Most of them find their way into and block open sewers, adding to the proliferation of mosquitoes, flies, and bacteria. Since they have little recycling value and are very light, rag pickers tend to ignore them. As a result, cows and other animals that feed on garbage dumps often choke to death when they swallow plastic bags. Similarly, plastic bags disposed in the seas and on beaches are fatal to marine life. The indiscriminate use of plastic has even damaged the ecology of the Himalayas. Even the route to Mount Everest is degraded.

In Delhi, organizations like ‘Vatavaran’ have started community waste management schemes. Under the scheme, Vatavaran workers collect garbage from household in tri-cycle rickshaws. The garbage is then segregated into compost-able and recyclables. The compost-able waste is converted into manure and recyclable material like plastic is sent for recycling. Another Delhi based NGO, ‘Srishti’, has also undertaken similar initiatives while ‘Exnora’, a group in Chennai, has taken upon itself the task of raising awareness about cleanliness in slums. India is all set to introduce a color code for plastic carry bags and restrictions on recycling them beyond a certain limit. Also, hotels, catering houses and fast food outlets will have to ensure that the plastic used for packaging conforms to the specifications and standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards.


Choose Your Plastic Products With Care

People of a certain generation remember when a neighbor whispered a hot tip into the Graduate’s ear, “Plastics.” That was a reflection of the 1960’s excitement over the material that promised to revolutionize manufacturing, industry and household living.

To a large part, that prediction came true. It’s hard to imagine daily life without plastic. I type on my Think Pad made of light and durable plastic; plastic medical instruments, building materials, automobile parts, cell phones, toys and tools make things in America affordable, convenient and portable. A world without plastic is almost unimaginable.

Environmental Impacts
As the cost of oil rises, it’s perhaps time to take a closer look at how and why we use plastic products – and what impact the disposal of plastic items has on an environment we now recognize is in peril. It is difficult to measure how much of oil drilled and shipped to refineries is used in the production of plastic. One estimate is a low as 4 percent and energy experts doubt that, should demand for plastic diminish, there would be less drilling and production of oil.

Once crude oil and natural gas are shipped to refineries, they are separated into many categories of petrochemicals. Some of the ethane and propane are siphoned off for use in the making of plastic pellets – the raw material that’s sent to manufacturers of plastic products. It appears that a significant environmental impact of the plastics industry is in production, transportation and disposal of products. In these activities, the use of gas is significant.

Despite outreach efforts by the EPA and many environmental groups, the recycling of plastic bottles – particularly those made with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – is abysmal. Up to 80 percent of PET beverage bottles end up in landfills where they take 1,000 years to degrade. The same is true of the over-abundant plastic wrapping used on many products – from small toys and cosmetics entombed in many square inches of plastic to electronics and larger items.

More Product, Less Package
The EPA is a strong proponent of packaging that minimizes the use of plastic. Some industries have responded. For example, CD’s and DVD’s once came encased in lots of plastic packaging. Now, the outer packaging has been eliminated or is removed and reused after a sale.

Unfortunately, as one industry seems to get the message, another does not. The popularity of bottled and flavored waters in PET containers has taken the world by storm. We already know the majority of these plastic bottles are left to degrade and pollute natural environments for millennia. But, even when people are conscientious recyclers, the energy needed to transport and transform plastic into new materials takes its own toll on the environment.

Governments and municipalities have done their best to educate people about the benefits of recycling plastic containers – and suggested using alternatives to plastic. These environmental concerns have not been heard by an industry that makes billions from pouring water into plastic bottles or encasing tiny products in massive plastic packaging.

It seems up to the consumer to send a message by making smart choices about which plastic products to purchase and use. People can start by developing new habits – such as purchasing a personal water bottle that’s made of lightweight metal. Lots of bottled water is actually no more than tap water, some treated, some not. Households can be equipped with a variety of water filters if the tap water is unpalatable. Water filters cost a fraction of bottled water and is under EPA quality control.

Plastic Benefits Abound
Clearly, plastic contributes greatly to the convenience and efficiency of daily life. For example, massive water storage tanks – above and below ground – are often made of durable plastic that serve their purpose for decades when other materials crack and rust. Our cars are made from a variety of molded plastic parts that make them lighter and more fuel efficient. Since 1988, the average passenger car has lost about 145 pounds, saving about 21 million barrels of oil. Plastic components help us explore outer space and examine the microscopic building blocks of life.

Our households are switched on by plastic. It’s insulating and thermal properties keep electrical systems in our homes safe. The plastic interior of our refrigerators cover plastic insulating foam that saves up to 30% of energy costs.

Consumer Purchasing Power
It’s clear that plastic is an essential building block of modern life. But, it’s up to consumers to use this manmade resource wisely. On one hand, plastic creates efficiency and savings and can help preserve our natural environment while on the other it can be an instrument of destruction. Thoughtful people will discern the difference and choose alternatives to beverages in plastic bottles and items with more plastic packaging than product. They’ll use plastic products that are durable and not designed to be discarded.

Granted, kicking the plastic throw-away habit probably won’t impact the price at the gas pump. But, it will send a message to product manufacturers that Americans can, through purchasing power, support positive change that benefits the planet’s future.


Plastic Signs – Practical and Practically Universal

Plastic signs may be made of acrylic, polyethylene, polypropylene, or polystyrene, to name just a few plastic materials. They are perfect for door signs, signs that go on fences, and security signs.

These types of signs look completely professional; and do professional sign printers have the knowledge and equipment to make them? They don’t take too much time to manufacture/print, nor are they overpriced. Best of all they are easy to customize. Imagine and create your ideal message using wondrously practical and universal plastic signs!

These signs are ideal for inside and for outside usage. Produced from 8-mm plastic, they are sturdy and easy to keep clean. All you need is a damp cloth to keep them looking fresh, bright and highly visible.

Types and Quality of Materials

There are many types of plastic signs. They may have engraved letters and be posted outside for a variety of usages. Because they are typically made of thick acrylic or other plastics such as melamines or other poly-type plastics, they are nearly weatherproof and color resistant. Plastic signs are the normal choice for professional office door headings. The look is amazingly professional considering that it is made from a piece of plastic instead of traditional wood.

The plastic signs of today are much more sophisticated than a few years ago. Nowadays, all colors are used, but the look is more discreet and subtle. Clear and muted colors like a light grey or tan are often chosen for professional purposes.

Common Uses

People post other personal messages on plastic too. Beware of Dog, or No Soliciting, are often made from engravable plastics like polypropylene or polyethylene. At every restaurant or public place you have visited, there must be a sign for the bathroom, right?

Words or symbols can be used to make the message clear. More often times than not, these are also a great example of plastic signs that do the job beautifully and efficiently. Welcome signs and business signs may also be made of plastic.

While outdoors, you may be surprised to notice how many plastic signs are in use. Most business illuminated signs on the street today are made from polycarbonate plastic. They may be mounted in a lit up display but the actual message is made of a vinyl piece making it essentially just another of those great plastic signs.

On the walls outside, it’s easy to identify plastic letters in public places. Plastic signs may show the name of the hospital, school, apartment building, sports club, social club, country club, and much more. The sign outside your favorite mall is may be made from plastic, too.

Around your home, apartment or dorm you will find many other plastic signs in use. There are garden signs, letter box signs, and house signs. There are usually warning signs like safety signs, or “slippery when wet” and prohibition signs like “”Residents only” “Employees Only,” “Do not enter,” and “Keep Out!” Store hours are often posted with plastic signs which can be easily viewed from the outside of the glass doors or windows at the front of your business.

Not Limited to Large Sizing

Plastic signs don’t have to be large in order to be useful. Small plastic tags, also known as name badges, are used everyday all over the world. Almost any public place gives its staff name badges.

When people serve the general public, guests are able to know an employee by name, because of their name tags. Many service employees – gas station attendants, hotel employees, restaurant staff members, nurses, medical personnel and even blue-collar workers often wear name badges which are made of these resilient plastics.

In Conclusion

If you are hard pressed to decide which material will service your needs the best, there are many options to choose from – wood, metal, plastic, aluminum and so on. In many if not most cases, plastic can both pull its own weight and meet budget requirements. These plastic signs are long-lasting, attractive and easily maintained.

LAST UPDATED ON: April 17, 2018

Barry Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn’t what he thought he’d do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else!

He has been marketing these products online since 1998, and the company he was general manager of in 1998 was the first sign company to be listed on Yahoo!