Domino is the name of a game or set of rules that allows players to build and knock down rows of small blocks called dominoes. The word is also used to describe a series of events that begin with one action and lead to larger-and sometimes unexpected-consequences.
Some people use domino to create complex, symmetrical patterns that they can play with and admire. Others use it to teach children the importance of planning and following through with their commitments. Still others rely on the concept of domino to help them manage stressful situations.
The term domino comes from the Latin dominum, meaning “little king,” and it refers to the fact that once a domino is tipped over, it can trigger a chain reaction that leads to other actions and consequences. The game first appeared in Italy in the early 18th century, but it became popular in France shortly thereafter. The term spread worldwide in the 19th century, and today domino is a genericized trademark for a line of games based on the principle.
While the game of domino can be played by just two people, it’s usually more fun with a larger group. To accommodate more players, most domino sets are made in larger sizes that have more dominoes. A typical double-six set has 28 pieces. In a traditional domino set, each domino has a pattern of spots or pips on one end and is blank or identically patterned on the other end. The number of pips on each end determines the value of that domino, from zero to six, and it’s the unique combination of those values that creates different kinds of dominoes.
Besides the obvious recreational uses, dominoes are often used to illustrate mathematical principles and to educate people about history and culture. They are frequently included in social studies lessons to help students understand the importance of sequence and timing in events and in developing a timeline.
When it comes to personal growth, many people see dominoes as an example of the “domino effect.” The idea is that once you’ve completed a major task, such as starting a new job or writing a novel, it will have a positive ripple impact in your life. To develop the right kind of domino effect, you need to pick your tasks carefully. “Good dominoes” are tasks that will make a difference in your future. They may be challenging or take a lot of time to complete, but they will have a lasting impact.
While it’s possible to create a domino effect with any activity, many people enjoy the challenge of creating intricate domino designs. One such artist is Lily Hevesh, a 20-year-old who has created stunning displays that feature thousands of dominoes. Hevesh says the most important thing to keep in mind when designing a domino setup is the law of gravity. Gravity pulls each domino upright, storing energy until it falls and triggering a chain reaction. The process takes several nail-biting minutes, but once the first domino topples, it can create a dazzling display.