Wonder of the Day: Dominoes
Dominoes are game pieces that are arranged in long lines so they can be tipped over. When a domino is tipped, it causes the rest of the line to tip over, and so on. This is the inspiration behind the common phrase “domino effect.” Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Juan, who wanted to learn more about how dominoes work.
The word “domino” itself is a combination of two roots, the first of which is the Latin term for “fall.” This root means to fall or crumble, which is exactly what happens when a domino is tipped over. The other root of the word is Latin for a kind of garment worn together with another piece, such as a cape or mask. The word may have also come to denote a long hooded cloak that priests used to wear over their surplices.
Most modern domino sets consist of 28 tiles. The dominoes are marked on one face with an arrangement of dots or pips, similar to the markings on dice, and the other side is blank or identically patterned. Some modern sets use colored plastic for the pips, while others are made of natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or ebony, with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted.
Besides the traditional domino games of blocking and scoring, many other games are played with the set. These include a version of Concentration that was popular in areas where religious prohibitions against playing cards prohibited the use of them, and many adaptations of card games.
One of the most interesting things about dominoes is how they can be used to create art. Artists use the curved and flat pieces to make straight lines, rounded curves, grids that form pictures when they fall, stacked walls, and 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. To create these works of art, artists follow a variation of the engineering-design process. First, they consider the theme or purpose of their design. Next, they brainstorm ideas or images that they want to incorporate. Finally, they sketch out their design and calculate how many dominoes they will need to make the desired structure.
The domino effect is a great example of how one small action can have massive consequences. It’s important for us to think about this when we do things in our daily lives. If we focus on the little things that have a big impact, we can be more successful and productive.
When the CEO of Domino’s, David Brandon, realized the company was losing money and a lot of customers, he knew it was time to get to the bottom of what was happening. He began by talking to employees and listening to their complaints. He then implemented a number of changes, such as a relaxed dress code and new leadership training programs, to show employees that he cared about them. These changes helped the company to turn around its fortunes in a short amount of time.