A domino is a type of game tile used to mark the starting point of a chain reaction in a board game, where one piece of the set triggers its successors. A domino is usually made of a material such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or a dark wood such as ebony and has black or white pips inlaid on its surface. Other materials include marble, granite or soapstone; metals like brass or pewter; and even frosted glass or crystal.
Lily Hevesh started playing with dominoes at 9 years old, when her grandparents gave her the classic 28-piece set. She loved setting up the tiles in a line, then flicking one to make it all fall at once. This led to her career as a domino artist, creating mind-blowing setups for movies, TV shows and events, including an album launch for Katy Perry. Hevesh creates her setups by using a version of the engineering-design process: she starts with a theme or purpose, brainstorms images or words that might inspire her and then sketches out an initial design.
A domino layout consists of a series of tiles, each of which is marked with numbers on one side and blanks on the other. The blank sides allow additional tiles to be added to a domino chain, and the rules of most games determine how this is done. For example, some games allow a player to place a tile with a number on its left and a blank on its right, or a tile with an odd side on the bottom and an even one on the top. A double is a special type of tile that can be placed anywhere in a domino layout, although most games require the placing of a new tile against a long edge of a previous tile and only when it can be connected to adjacent tiles on both ends.
Domino has also been a mathematical polygon, a shape with two equal-sized squares joined together at their corners. It was first described in 1824 by a British mathematics teacher named John Cayley and is still used in modern school textbooks.
The word domino has been in use since 1750, though it probably originated in France. It is a combination of Latin dominus and French domino, the latter referring to a long, hooded cloak worn together with a mask at carnival season or a masquerade.
The word domino can also refer to a person who is able to inspire others, or to the occurrence of events that have a major effect on a person or a group. Domino can also be a surname, a given name or a title. A person who is a domino may be said to have a “domino attitude,” meaning that she or he is someone who takes responsibility for what they do and understands that every action has consequences. In business, a dominanto is someone who leads by example and encourages his or her followers to be innovative and think outside the box.