The Domino Effect

Domino is a term used to describe a sequence of events that starts with one small action and ultimately has larger-and sometimes catastrophic-consequences. A domino effect can occur in your personal and professional life. You can apply the concept of domino to your work by picking the right tasks to work on and focusing on them until they are complete. You can also use the domino concept when you write a novel by thinking about how to set up your plot in order to create a story with a dramatic, satisfying conclusion.

The word “domino” first appeared in the English language in the late 18th Century, although it may have been used earlier in France. The word was probably derived from the Latin, dominus (i.e. master of the house). In the 19th Century, it was adopted as a synonym for the game that is played with a set of numbered tiles called dominoes. The word has also been used to refer to a type of monastic hood and a hooded costume worn at a masquerade. It also refers to a type of domino tile with a blank side that can be ascribed any value by players.

When you play a domino game, the rules are generally very simple. The basic layout has 28 tiles, each marked with either a number or a blank. A tile that has a number is considered to belong to the suit of that number; a blank to the suit of zero. In a typical domino game, the player wins by scoring more points than the opponent. These points are typically awarded by laying the tiles end to end, with matching exposed ends: a single domino may count as one point; two doubles may count as six; or a triple-blank domino might count as 14.

Dominoes can be arranged in straight lines, curved lines, stacked walls, grids that form pictures when they fall, and 3D structures such as pyramids. The most complex dominoes are a combination of all of these, called a chessboard or domino art. When planning a domino art, it is important to consider the final design and how each piece will fit together. In addition, it is necessary to know how many pieces of a particular size you need to complete the design.

The most complex domino designs are the result of a chain reaction created by a simple principle: gravity. As a domino is knocked over, it generates a pulse of energy that travels down the line and causes the next domino to tip. This energy travels at a constant speed and loses no energy along the way, much like a nerve impulse in your body.

Hevesh says that when she creates her mind-blowing domino setups, she follows a version of the engineering-design process. She starts by considering the theme or purpose of an installation. She brainstorms images or words that relate to the theme. Then, she begins to sketch out the layout on paper, using arrows to show how the dominoes will be placed and where they will fall. Once the plan is complete, Hevesh lets physics take over. Her largest setups take several nail-biting minutes to complete.