Domino effect means that one event, one small thing, can trigger a chain reaction that has much greater—and sometimes devastating—consequences. We’ve seen this in real life with natural disasters, wars, and even political events. But we also use the term to describe something that happens in our own lives, like an accident or a setback that can have a ripple effect, causing things to fall apart or change suddenly.
Dominoes are a popular toy, often used for games in which players line up the flat rectangular blocks in long rows and then knock them down. Each domino has a line across the face that divides it into two square ends, each bearing a number of spots or dots called pips. A domino with six pips on each end is most common, but there are also sets with only four pips or none at all. Some sets also include blanks, which are referred to as zeros. The most commonly available set of dominoes is a double-six set, which contains 28 pieces. There are larger sets, but they tend to be used for special purposes such as playing long dominoes games or creating elaborate layout designs.
People who play dominoes typically do so in groups, although some people prefer to solo. A person who is new to the game may begin by learning the basic rules and a few simple games, which are usually played in pairs or more. Then he or she can try more complicated layout games, which are usually played by three to four players. Several different types of games can be played with dominoes, but the most basic are block-and-draw and scoring games.
Many adults use dominoes as a relaxing pastime, either at home or at parties. Others build complex domino structures, such as walls or cities. Dominoes can also be used for art projects, such as making domino sculptures out of clay or drawing pictures with them. A domino can be painted or carved to make it more appealing, or a person can just leave it plain.
Creating an intricate domino layout takes time and patience, but it can be very rewarding. Some people build large-scale dominoes for display, such as artist Hevesh, who has created a number of spectacular displays and once held the Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement. Her largest domino artworks take several nail-biting minutes to complete.
When Hevesh first learned how to create domino structures, she had no formal training and used only tools in her grandmother’s garage, including a drill press, radial arm saw, scroll saw, belt sander, welder, and a few other hand-held power tools. She was able to create stunning works of art that would be hard for any professional woodworker to duplicate, but she had no formal instruction manual or expensive computer-controlled equipment. By observing how the different pieces fit together and practicing with the tools in her garage, Hevesh developed a method for building dominoes that anyone can follow using the same tools and in the same garage.