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Wonder of the Day: What is the Domino Effect?


Dominoes are small rectangles with black and white dots that are used for various games. Some people line them up in long rows and knock them over. Others use them to teach basic math skills by counting the dots and calling out the number they see on a domino. Some people also make artistic creations out of them, like mosaics or paintings. Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by a question from Juan who wants to know, “What is the domino effect?”

A Domino effect is a chain reaction that can take place when one domino falls over another without any direct contact between them. This can happen even when the first domino is much larger than the next one, and it’s not possible to control the sequence of events. This effect is often seen in movies where one event triggers the fall of a series of other events, like a train wreck or a car crash. It can also occur in everyday life, like a bad day at work or an unexpected illness that ruins a planned vacation.

When it comes to writing, it’s important for authors to think of each plot beat as a domino. If they can see every scene in their novel as a domino that will eventually tip over with the help of other scenes and characters, then they can plan and write them better. This will help the book stay on track and have a more logical structure.

Dominoes (also known as bones, cards, men or tiles) are small rectangular blocks with black and white dots that are usually twice as long as they are wide. Each domino has a line in the middle to separate it visually into two squares, called ends. The values of the two ends, referred to as pips, range from six points up to none or blank.

The most common use of dominoes is for positional games where each player takes turns placing a domino edge to edge against an opponent’s domino in such a way that the adjacent numbers form either a multiple of five or some specified total. Once a domino has been played, its value becomes the point count for that player and any other players who have not yet played their final domino.

Whether they’re building a masterpiece for a live audience of fans or just playing around with friends at home, domino builders are always amazed by the power of the little plastic rectangles. Thousands of dominoes can stand up right where they are, unmoving for hours — until someone gives them a slight nudge. Once the first domino falls, the potential energy it stored is released and can be used to push on the next one.

Whether they’re planning to win the lottery or just want to improve their own lives, each of us has a domino effect that can ripple out from our actions and decisions. By examining the chain reactions that can occur in our lives, we can become more aware of our own influence and how we can be more intentional about the impact our decisions will have on others.