My name is LARRY VINCENT. I'm a writer, speaker, photographer and lovable nerd based in Los Angeles. When I'm not writing here about things that inspire me, I look after The Brand Studio at United Talent Agency.
For many of us, summer is a time for the adrenaline rush of a good roller coaster. Each coaster taunts us with its own promise. Some promise speed, others harrowing loops. There are coasters that promise to suspend us in the air and frighten us in the dark. One thing’s for sure: we celebrate the coasters that exceed our expectations.
This article in today’s New York Times profiles a particular type of coaster that combines the best of science with the charm of the past. Wooden roller coasters can have tighter bends and twists than steel ones. They excel at giving just the right amount of airtime—that exhilarating feeling that grips the pit of your stomach when you truly feel you’re falling and makes you happy to be alive.
My favorite part of the accompanying video is the interview with Sister Michelle Sinkhorn, a Benedictine who is lovingly referred to as The Coaster Nun. Her excitement demonstrates just how universal the power of a good coaster can be for saints and sinners alike.
A cool piece on PSFK about the power of gaming to solve social problems:
In the over 5.93 million years of game play spent playing World of Warcraft, which is the same amount of time that has passed since our first ancestor stood upright, games have been employed as extremely effective problem solving tools, as well as a relaxing recreation. As gamers continue to spend millions of hours gaming, designers increasingly use the gameplay architecture to unravel social problems, creating realms of responsibility beyond escapism.
For all those who question the logic of emotional branding campaigns, read this NY Times science article on recent research into the brain’s processing of memories. The study found that single brain cells became highly active when remembering recent experiences — these cells were equally as active when the actual experience occured, suggesting that remembering can be just like doing. For the brander, this is significant because it could mean that positively charged brand experiences can affect people even in recall.
When my daughter Jordan was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor in 2003, our whole family began a journey that has led us through many unexpected twists and turns. I write about this ongoing adventure and the girl that is my muse here.