The Domino Effect


Domino is a small rectangular block, the face of which is divided into two parts and each bearing an arrangement of dots resembling those on a die. A complete set of dominoes consists of 28 such blocks. The word is also used to refer to a game played with such blocks, which are typically arranged in lines or angular patterns.

Many people use dominoes as toys that they can stack on end to create long lines of them. Then, by tipping the first domino ever-so-slightly, the others tumble over in a neat and rhythmic sequence. This simple action reflects the power of the domino effect, which describes any action that results in greater-than-expected consequences.

The best way to understand the domino effect is to watch a video of a professional domino artist, who creates incredible displays that can take several nail-biting minutes to fall. But how does she do it? Ultimately, it comes down to science.

Physicist Lorne Whitehead demonstrated the true power of dominoes in a 1983 study, and it has become well-known that such a chain reaction can knock over something about one-and-a-half times its size. This is because each domino in the chain reacts as a pulse, traveling at a constant speed without losing energy as it moves down the line and in a single direction. This makes it very similar to a nerve impulse in the brain, which travels down an axon at a constant rate and then turns back toward the cell body.

When Domino’s CEO David Doyle took over the company in 2010, he made it a priority to listen to employees and make changes that would improve the workplace environment. This was consistent with the company’s core values, including the value of championing its customers, and it paid off. In the years that followed, Domino’s saw its customer numbers jump and its reputation improve.

In writing, the domino effect can be a helpful tool to keep in mind when crafting a plot. Whether you compose your manuscript on the fly or follow an outline, it’s important to consider how one event may lead to another in order to develop a compelling story that keeps readers engaged.

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