Dominoes are a popular children’s toy that can be used to create elaborate structures. They can be arranged in straight or curved lines to make shapes, and they can be flipped over to start a chain reaction. Many different games can be played with dominoes, and a lot of them involve counting the number of ends on each domino. The term domino is also used to refer to any small event that triggers a larger sequence of events, such as a political revolution or the fall of a nation.

A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block, typically marked with dots or symbols that resemble those on dice. Most sets have twenty-eight dominoes, although some have more or less than that. Each domino has an open end that can be joined to the next by playing a matching tile. A line of dominoes that has been matched and played is called a layout, string, or line of play. In most domino games, a count is made only when the number of pips on the ends of the tiles in the line of play is a multiple of five or three. This allows for a single-player game to be played without using the entire set of dominoes.

When a player draws more dominoes than the rules of the game call for, he may pass his turn and let another player take the first move. The earliest known use of the word domino is from 1750, though the word had earlier denoted a long hooded robe worn with a mask at a carnival or masquerade.

Lily Hevesh started collecting and creating domino setups at age 9. Her grandparents gave her their classic 28-pack, which she used to set up straight or curved lines of dominoes, flipping each one over to start the cascade. Now she’s a professional domino artist who creates mind-blowing domino installations for movies, TV shows, and even events, including a Katy Perry album release. Her largest creations can take several nail-biting minutes to fall.

Hevesh says the physical phenomenon that makes her amazing designs possible is gravity. She explains that when you pick up a domino and stand it upright, it has potential energy, or stored energy based on its position. But when you knock over a domino, much of this energy is converted to kinetic energy, or the energy of motion.

Good dominoes are tasks that contribute to a bigger goal or project and can be broken down into manageable parts. For example, creating a financial plan can be a good domino because it will help you track your spending and save money. A good domino is also a task that requires a substantial chunk of time and focus to complete. By breaking down your goals into smaller steps, you can be more effective in achieving them.

The Art of Dominoes