A domino is a small tile with a line down the center that divides it visually into two parts. The two parts contain different numbers of dots (also called pips) that range from six to none or blank. A complete set of dominoes has 28 such tiles. Dominoes can be arranged in lines and angular patterns to create intricate designs. They can be used in games where scoring occurs by laying one domino touching another, with the exposed ends of each domino matching the number on its opposite side.
Dominoes are a fun and engaging way to teach children the fundamentals of physics. They are also an effective tool for helping to develop motor skills, spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination. However, as simple as they look to the casual observer, there is a lot of science involved in constructing an impressive domino installation.
Hevesh is a domino artist who has created numerous incredible installations, including one of the largest domino chains in history. She spends several nail-biting minutes arranging her massive setups, but once they are complete, all she has to do is let them fall in accordance with the laws of physics. She explains that the domino’s most important attribute is gravity, which pulls it toward Earth and causes it to topple.
The Domino Effect
While dominoes are a lot of fun to play, they can also be a good source of inspiration. The idiom domino effect has been credited to political journalist William Alsop, who wrote about the potential for America to be “set in a chain reaction of events that would lead to Communism spreading around the world” in 1953. President Eisenhower later cited this analogy in a press conference to help explain America’s decision to offer aid to South Vietnam.
Dominoes have also become a popular symbol of mass chaos, often used to illustrate social or economic turmoil. A domino that falls can trigger a chain reaction that affects the entire population. In fact, the phenomenon has even been cited in real life, with one small event leading to the collapse of a large company or government.
A recent campaign by Domino’s capitalized on the adage to encourage people to stay home during the World Cup to watch football instead of going out to bars. The brand launched the tongue-in-cheek campaign with a film featuring former England soccer star Jimmy Bullard.
As a brand that generates almost half of its sales from digital channels, Domino’s has been savvy in capitalizing on online trends. Their Valentine’s Day campaign was a clever use of ecommerce tactics that leveraged user-generated content to generate reach and engagement.
While many dominoes have a specific value in the context of certain games, players are allowed to make a ‘personal train’ by placing a domino with a matching end to a central double domino that they played on their turn. In this way, the dominoes will build up a sequence that can be continued by any player who can add a domino from their hand to the train.