The Domino Effect

Domino is a small rectangular block with a number of spots, or pips, arranged like the ones on a die. A domino set contains 28 of these pieces, which are also known as bones, chips, men, tiles, or stones. They are usually made of wood or another rigid material such as plastic. They can be used to play games, and can be made into artistic structures.

A person who creates intricate domino sets is called a domino artist. The process of creating one of these sculptures can take several nail-biting minutes as the dominoes are carefully lined up and then flipped over to start the chain reaction that eventually brings them crashing down. These artists use a variety of techniques to achieve their amazing results, including using specialized rulers, spray bottles, and even fire. But one physical phenomenon is essential to any successful domino setup: gravity. Watch this video to see how the force of gravity pulls a domino toward Earth, causing it to fall over and trigger a chain reaction that causes the rest of the dominoes to topple as well.

While a domino effect is commonly associated with a chain reaction, the term can also refer to any action that cascades in a similar manner. For example, a character’s actions in a story can have the same impact as a domino when they are carefully crafted. This type of careful construction is often referred to as “plotting.” People who plot their stories ahead of time are called “pantsers.” In contrast, those who write without an outline or the help of a writing program like Scrivener are called “domino writers.”

The domino effect can be used to explain why a company’s success may depend on how well it listens to its customers. For instance, when Domino’s founder David Brandon was replaced by new CEO Steve Doyle in 2004, he quickly put into motion some of the changes he knew would be necessary to save the pizza chain. Among them were a relaxed dress code and a new leadership training program that focused on listening to employees.

A basic Western domino game involves two or more players. The dominoes are arranged on the table with one end touching the other, with a number showing at both ends of the piece. In turn, each player must place a domino edge to edge with the other, positioning it so that its numbers add up to a particular total. Normally, the first player to do so wins the game. If a player cannot play any more dominoes, they chip out by placing a single domino on the table, thereby ending the current line of play and letting the opponents begin again. The remaining dominoes are then gathered in a stack, sometimes called the boneyard. This is where the next round of play begins.

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