Dominoes are small, rectangular game pieces with anywhere from 0 to 6 dots on each side. They are used in a variety of games and arranged to create elaborate patterns. They are also the inspiration for one of my favorite phrases, “the domino effect,” which refers to the way that one simple action can cause a series of events with much greater–and sometimes catastrophic–consequences.
Lily Hevesh started playing with dominoes when she was 9 years old. Her grandparents had the classic 28-piece set, and she loved setting them up in straight or curved lines and then flicking the first one over to watch the entire line topple. Today, she is a professional domino artist who uses her talents to create massive setups for movies, TV shows, and even celebrity events like the album launch of pop star Katy Perry.
Hevesh learned to make dominoes by studying books and videos online. She eventually began posting her work to her YouTube channel, where she now has more than 2 million subscribers. Dominoes are relatively easy to make, she says, but the real challenge is making them look beautiful.
Dominoes are made from a number of materials, including polymers, but Hevesh prefers to use wood. It’s a more sustainable material that’s often reclaimed from scrap wood, and it gives the dominoes a more natural feel. She also likes the way that wood grain and color can change with age, making each new set unique.
In addition to being an environmentally conscious choice, wood is a very durable material that can withstand years of wear and tear. Hevesh has experimented with a number of different wood species to find the best ones for her creations, but she says that birch is the best choice because it’s lightweight and durable.
She also likes to use recycled plastic in her pieces. “Recycled plastic can help save the environment by reducing the amount of trash that goes to landfills,” she says. “Plus, it’s a cost-effective material since we can use what we have on hand.”
For the most basic game of dominoes, both players start with 28 dominoes in a pile called the boneyard. Then, each player chooses seven dominoes to play. The next domino must have an end that matches the value of one of the ends of the domino played by the other player. The process continues until one player plays all of their dominoes or neither player can play anymore.
In the 19th century, domino was also a term that denoted a long, hooded garment worn with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. The modern sense of the word is believed to have appeared in France in the mid-1750s. An earlier sense of the word referred to the black domino that contrasts with the white surplice of a priest.
While Domino’s is known for its pizza, the company also has a reputation for being innovative and cutting edge in other areas as well. For example, the Domino’s DXP delivery car is a crowd-sourced design that was built with input from the company’s customers. And the company has also been testing out robotic and drone-based pizza delivery.