## Dominoes and the Domino Effect

Dominoes can be used in a variety of games, from simple block-building to skill-based match-ups. Some of the most popular games feature matching colored dominoes, although many people also enjoy using one-color ones. Others use them to line up a series of dots or even to create intricate designs. The term “domino effect” can be applied both literally (an observed sequence of actual collisions) and metaphorically (causal linkages within systems such as global finance or politics). The mechanical domino effect can also be exploited in Rube Goldberg machines.

The most common domino game requires two players and a double-six set. The 28 tiles are shuffled and then arranged into a stock, called the boneyard, with the heaviest domino on the left. Each player then draws seven tiles from the boneyard. Players alternate taking turns placing and playing their tiles. Play continues until either a player can no longer lay a domino or the total value of the remaining dominoes exceeds that of their opponents. Then play passes to the other player.

Whenever someone drops a domino, that domino causes the rest of them to fall. Likewise, if someone tries to break a link in a chain, it can cause the whole chain to collapse. The process of a domino collapsing is known as the domino effect.

In order to prevent a domino effect, some people try to sabotage the chain of events that leads to a disaster. For example, an individual might deliberately snatch the only domino they can reach from a group. Another way to prevent a domino effect is to sabotage the entire chain from the beginning.

Dominoes have inertia, a tendency to resist motion without outside force. However, a small nudge can overcome this resistance. That nudge is enough to convert the potential energy that the domino had stored in its upright position to kinetic energy, or energy of motion. Then the force of gravity causes the domino to tip over. The kinetic energy is transmitted to the next domino, which gets the push it needs to fall over as well.

When Hevesh knocks over one of her mind-blowing domino setups, she is demonstrating the power of the domino effect. It’s the same principle that allows an engineer to design a skyscraper or a scientist to construct a complex chemical experiment.

When writing a novel, the domino effect can help you create a plot that is more interesting and compelling. Whether you work off of a written outline or write by the seat of your pants, thinking about the domino effect can give your story a sense of momentum and drama that may have been missing before. So the next time you sit down to write, remember the domino effect and see if you can turn your story into a blockbuster.

## The Nature of Love

Love is a cherished topic for philosophers, poets and writers but is also an essential concept in psychology. Love is a complex mix of emotions, behaviors and beliefs that includes feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth and respect for another person or animal and for cherished ideas and principles. Some even use the word to describe a spiritual connection with God. Love isn’t always easy and can vary from person to person, as well as from culture to culture.

The earliest explorations into love’s nature were met with considerable criticism. Freud’s comments that “people in love are crazy” triggered a backlash that lasted for 75 years and discouraged many psychologists from studying this important phenomenon. Nevertheless, research into love continues to grow. In the last few decades, psychologists have started to distinguish between types of love such as romantic and companionate.

Scientists have found that love may have some health benefits, including lowering stress levels and blood pressure. It has also been shown to increase one’s sense of wellbeing, and help them feel good about themselves. Studies have shown that those who spend time with their loved ones are more likely to live longer than those who don’t. This is often referred to as the Blue Zone effect, with people living longest in communities where they have strong connections with their friends and family.

In the early stages of falling in love, a chemical called adrenaline floods the body. This along with a jumble of other hormones like dopamine and norepinephrine can make your cheeks flush and palms sweaty, and create that intoxicating feeling that makes you want to run into the arms of the person you love. Then comes the attachment stage where the adrenaline is replaced with oxytocin, also known as the ‘cuddle hormone’. This can lead to feelings of closeness, trust and security, as well as a desire for sex.

Once you have bonded with someone, your brain’s reward centers become activated and the release of these chemicals leads to the obsessive, crazy love that can cause us to do some pretty silly things (like embarrassing ourselves at a party to impress our new partner). In fact, parts of the brain responsible for detecting danger and making decisions go into hibernation during this phase. This can lead to some serious pitfalls, such as blindly following the advice of an over-bearing parent or doing something that puts your life in danger.

When in the throes of this kind of intense love, the brain’s oxytocin receptors increase, and it has been suggested that those who have more of these receptors are more likely to form long-term pair bonds. Scientists have also found that people in long-term, stable relationships can be as madly in love as those who are in intense new romances.

Regardless of how you define love, it is important to be open to giving and receiving it. Loving others can be as simple as showing appreciation, making time for them and listening to what they have to say. The key is to be honest and not let your ego get in the way.