Domino – A Word About Something That Builds On Itself

Domino is a word that can describe an effect that builds on itself. For example, a single setback can have a domino effect on an artist’s career. It can stifle creativity, or it can derail plans that have been years in the making. Another example of a domino effect is when one person infected with an illness causes other people to become sick. This can cause a chain reaction where hospitals are forced to close and patients die. The word also refers to a game in which players place tiles on the table and then knock them over to create lines of falling pieces.

Dominoes are small rectangular blocks, normally twice as long as they are wide. They have a line in the middle to divide them visually into two squares, called ends. The values of each end may be different, with a value of six pips at one end, for instance, and none or blank at the other. The domino game’s rules state that a tile can be played only if it has a matching end. When played to a double, it must be placed so that the two matching sides touch each other completely. The result of this is that a domino chain develops, forming snake-like curves in one direction or the other, according to the rules and the limitations of the playing surface.

The word domino also can refer to the design of a system or process. When creating such systems, designers follow a version of the engineering-design process. They begin by considering the purpose and theme of the system. Then they brainstorm images that are associated with the theme, and they consider the way a system might be constructed. In order to build the best possible system, engineers look at a number of options and then compare them with each other in terms of cost, complexity, and performance.

Dominos are often made from a combination of natural materials, such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or dark hardwoods like ebony, with contrasting black or white pips. Alternatively, they can be made from ceramic clay or frosted glass. The pips are typically inlaid or painted onto the surface of the domino, which can add to the set’s visual appeal.

Most domino games involve blocking and scoring. Some, like bergen and muggins, determine points by counting the dominos’ pips in the losing player’s hand. Others, such as chicken foot and Mexican train, involve re-arranging the dominoes to form a specific pattern. Many of these types of games teach children number recognition and math skills.

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