The Art of Dominoes

Dominoes are small, flat blocks used as gaming objects and stacked on end in long lines. When a domino is tipped over, it causes the next domino in line to tip and then the rest in a chain reaction until all the pieces have fallen. This type of game has become popular as a form of entertainment and can also be used to create intricate designs. The word “domino” and the concept behind it are so popular that the term is now commonly used to describe a situation or effect that starts with one simple action but leads to much greater–and often, catastrophic–consequences.

The most common domino sets include double six and double nine tiles with varying numbers of spots or pips on each end. These sets may be “extended” by adding more tiles with more pips, increasing the number of possible combinations of ends. This expansion also increases the maximum number of tiles that can be played in a given game.

A domino set can be used to play a variety of games, but the most popular types of domino play involve blocking or scoring. Blocking games, for example, require that a player place a domino of a certain number on the edge of the board to prevent his or her opponent from completing a particular move. The first player to do so wins the round. A scorer keeps track of the points scored by each player and adds up the total to determine the winner of a game.

Lily Hevesh started playing with dominoes when she was 9 years old. Her grandparents had a classic 28-pack of dominoes, and she loved setting them up in straight or curved lines, flicking the first domino, and watching the entire line fall.

As an adult, she has branched out into creating incredible domino art. Hevesh has created projects involving up to 300,000 dominoes and helped set the record for the largest domino display in history. She has even exhibited her work in galleries.

When designing a domino art, Hevesh uses science to help her plan out the best tracks for the pieces. She says that one physical phenomenon is particularly important: gravity. This force pulls a domino down toward the ground, sending it crashing into the other tiles and starting a chain reaction.

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