Domino is a small, flat, rectangular block used as a gaming object. It is typically made of wood, but is also found in ivory, plastic, and other materials. The top surface of each domino is marked with an arrangement of dots, resembling those on dice, and the other side is blank or identically patterned. The name of the block, and of the game with which it is associated, is derived from the Latin word for “falling.”
Like many kids, Lily Hevesh loved playing with her grandparents’ classic 28-piece set. As she grew older, she began creating mind-blowing domino setups and posting videos of them online. Now, the 20-year-old artist has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers and has created domino setups for movies, TV shows, events, and even a music video.
While Hevesh’s creations may look magical, they’re actually quite simple. Each domino has potential energy, which it stores based on its position. A tiny nudge is all it takes to release this energy and push the first domino over. As it falls, the domino’s potential energy converts to kinetic energy, which then pushes on the next domino, and so on, until the last one falls.
There are countless games that can be played with a set of dominoes, but the most common are blocking and scoring games. These involve placing a domino end to edge against the end of another domino, with the goal of getting all of the pieces falling in a straight line. In addition, there are a number of games that require the player to arrange the dominoes into specific shapes or combinations.
As with playing cards, the term domino can also refer to the entire set of pieces or a specific type of piece. The most common type of domino is the double-six, which contains a total of 22 squares (including the two outer edges). Each of these squares is marked with an arrangement of dots, or pips, that correspond to numbers on dice. Other types of dominoes include double-nine, double-twelve, and the rare double-18.
Traditionally, dominoes were made from hardwood, but modern dominoes are more often produced from polymers or clay. They are also often painted or coated with a protective varnish. In the United States, dominoes are marketed and distributed by several companies.
In the past, some companies made dominoes in their own factories. This was not always an economically efficient approach, however, as the cost of specialized machinery could be prohibitive. In addition, the quality of homemade dominoes could be inconsistent. In the 1990s, Domino’s CEO Tom Doyle sought to address these issues by overhauling the company’s manufacturing process and introducing new technologies.
Although Domino’s is now the largest pizza company in the world, it continues to innovate. In 2017, for example, it unveiled its first autonomous delivery vehicle—a colorful, cool-looking modified Chevrolet Spark that an article described as a “cheese lover’s Batmobile.” In addition to this new technology, the company has worked with crowd-sourced auto designers to create a customized car that could deliver pizzas from its stores in just a few minutes.