The Domino Effect

Dominoes are small rectangular wooden or plastic blocks covered in dots resembling dice that form the basis for many games played with sets of 28 dominoes. Also referred to as bones, cards, men pieces or tiles, dominoes typically double in length to width making them easy to stack when not being played with. Each domino has different spots called pip markers whose number determines its rank – ones with more pip markers are preferred over ones with less. Most impressive domino setups involve an impressive display of dominoes falling one after the other in a cascade that showcases both art and physics. When this occurs, each domino’s energy transfers to its neighboring domino, giving it enough push to fall over as part of a chain reaction that continues until all have fallen over. Although many admire the Domino Effect for its feats of engineering, it can also serve as a metaphor for business or political strategies. President Richard Nixon used this idea in 1977 during a series of Frost/Nixon interviews when justifying destabilization of Salvador Allende regime in Chile by applying “domino theory.” He claimed that allowed Communist Chile and Cuba to form into a “red sandwich” which encompassed Latin America then communism would spread rapidly through it all over Latin America. Hevesh uses her own take on engineering design when she creates domino installations. She begins by considering the purpose or theme for the installation, brainstorming images or words related to it, and creating a layout to meet those goals. After which, Hevesh employs various tools–drill, radial arm saw, scroll saw and belt sander–to construct its individual pieces until her masterpiece emerges and delights both mind and eye while serving as testament to woodworking skills. Domino can be used in numerous games, both solo and with others. Positional domino play is especially popular; here, one tile is placed next to another with such that their total number of pips either match (e.g. 5 to 5) or reach some predefined target total (e.g. 9 to 3). Other popular domino variants include scoring and matching games. When writing, the domino image can be useful in eliminating scenes that don’t advance the plot or have enough logical impact on subsequent ones. This approach may prove particularly helpful to pantsers–writers who write without making detailed outlines beforehand–as this type of writer often struggles to ensure all parts of his or her story fit seamlessly together; using an outline tool such as Scrivener can help solve this problem.