Domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block with a surface that is blank or marked by dots resembling those on dice. Each side of a domino has a number indicating its value, normally from one to six (double-six). When placed end to end, the ends of two or more tiles touch and form a chain whose total value is indicated by the sum of all the numbers on the touching sides. Dominoes are used as gaming pieces in many different board games, and can also be laid out to form shapes such as flowers or houses. The game is most famous for the way in which it can be used to create elaborate, 3-D structures called dominoscapes.
The most widely used domino sets contain 28 tiles, although there are many different games that can be played with these. Dominoes are normally arranged in a straight or curved line on the table. The first tile is pushed down onto the rest, and the others fall in sequence according to the rules of the particular game being played.
In recent years, dominoes have been used to model how one event can affect a larger chain of events. This concept is often referred to as the domino effect, and it can apply to any situation in which a small trigger causes a series of events. For example, if a person starts drinking heavily, they may find that this behavior eventually leads to other problems such as trouble with the law or relationship difficulties.
One example of the domino principle is the way in which the collapse of the banking system in Cyprus caused a domino effect in other countries that ended up in a global recession. In this case, the domino effect was caused by the failure of a single bank that allowed depositors to withdraw large sums of money at once. As a result, the bank’s failure was compounded by the withdrawal of funds from other banks in the same region, which caused them to fail as well.
A physicist named Stephen Morris points out that when a domino is standing upright, it has potential energy based on its position. However, as soon as the domino is knocked over, it converts that potential energy into kinetic energy that causes the rest of the chain to tumble. In the same way, concentrating our efforts on one important activity can help to “knock over” other interests and propel us forward.
Lily Hevesh has been fascinated by dominoes since she was 9 years old, when her grandparents gave her their classic set of 28 dominoes. She has now built a successful career as a professional domino artist, creating spectacular setups for movies, TV shows, and even an album launch for pop singer Katy Perry. She tests each of her creations by building a smaller version and filming it in slow motion, to make sure everything works as expected. She then assembles the biggest sections of her setup, and finally lines up the smallest dominoes to connect them all together. She has more than 2 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, where she shows viewers how she builds these intricate structures.