The Domino Effect

Domino is a game played by placing pieces of a rectangular block, each bearing one or more dots, on a flat surface and then lining them up in straight and curved lines and stepping on them to knock them over. The game is popular with children and adults, as well as in schools and classrooms. It is a great way to learn about cause and effect, and how one action can lead to another.

The domino is a symbol of how small changes can create big changes. For example, when Jennifer Dukes Lee began making her bed every day, it was a small change in her daily routine. Yet over time, it became part of her identity, influencing other parts of her life. This is called the Domino Effect: one small behavior creates a chain reaction of similar behaviors, which eventually shift our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.

Physicist Stephen Morris explains how the Domino Effect works in this video. He begins by demonstrating that even the smallest of dominoes can be used to set up something much bigger, such as an entire building. Once he sets the first domino in place, a large number of dominoes follow suit, forming an incredible pyramid.

Dominoes are often made of polymers, such as styrene or plastic, but they can also be made from many other materials, including wood, ivory, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), and precious stones. They can also be decorated with inlaid or painted pips. A few of the more unique sets have been made from metals, ceramic clay, and frosted glass. Historically, dominoes were made of wood or bone, and their pips were inlaid or painted onto the surface. In modern times, dominoes are usually crafted from polymer, with a printed design and colored pips.

A single domino is a small rectangle, twice as long as it is wide. Its face is blank or bearing from one to six pips, and it can have either white or black spots. A full set of dominoes consists of 28 pieces. The name for the whole set is a domino, or sometimes a domino, but it is also common to refer to individual tiles as bones, cards, men, or pieces.

Hevesh, who has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers, uses a version of the engineering-design process when creating her mind-blowing domino setups. First, she considers the theme or purpose of the installation. Then she brainstorms images or words that might relate to it. After that, she starts putting together sections in three-dimensional forms and then flat arrangements. She tests the sections individually to ensure that they work as intended.

The most basic domino games involve blocking opponents’ play and scoring points by matching the ends of adjacent dominoes. Other games involve counting pips or dots, and some are adaptations of card games that were used to circumvent religious proscriptions against playing cards. Some are variations of familiar games, such as chess and solitaire. Others are new and original, such as games using doubles as spinners to allow for lines of play to branch.