A domino is a small rectangular block, typically twice as long as it is wide, that has a line down the middle that visually separates it into two squares. Each of the squares bears a number of spots or pips, which identify each domino’s value. The value of a domino can range from one to six, with blank or “zero” pips also being common. Dominoes can be played in a variety of games that use different rules and objectives. A game of dominoes can involve the whole family or just a few players.
Many people enjoy arranging dominoes on a flat surface in long, straight or curved lines and then “tipping” or knocking them over to set off an endless chain reaction. A domino may be tipped over in several ways: by pushing against it with a finger, using a hand, or by playing another domino on top of it. When a domino is tipped, its potential energy converts to the more useful form of kinetic energy, which then transmits force to other dominoes in the line until they all tip over. This is known as the Domino Effect.
As a child, Lily Hevesh enjoyed watching her grandparents set up a long curved line of dominoes and then flicking the first one to make them fall, one after the other. Hevesh began posting videos of her own domino designs on YouTube, and now, at age 20, has built a career as an accomplished domino artist. She has worked on projects involving more than 300,000 dominoes and holds the record for a circular domino arrangement.
Hevesh follows a version of the engineering-design process when creating one of her mind-blowing domino setups. She starts by considering the theme or purpose of an installation and brainstorming images or words that she might want to incorporate in her design.
She then draws a basic outline of what she wants to create on a piece of paper. This helps her visualize the layout of the pieces and determine how she will assemble them. If she doesn’t have enough space on the table to complete her layout, she will continue working with a smaller group of dominoes until she can build the full layout.
Writing in the style of a domino can also be helpful to writers. It can help them to see how a single change in one scene might cause a shift in other scenes in the same story. For example, if the heroine uncovers a clue in one scene, it is important that the antagonist reacts to this discovery in a way that raises tension or adds conflict. If not, the scene might simply sit there like a domino without much impact on the story overall. Writing tools such as outlines and software such as Scrivener can help authors weed out scenes that don’t advance the plot.