In games of domino, small rectangular blocks with anywhere from zero to six pips or dots are set up so that one side of the blocks matches those of another. When the first domino is tapped ever so slightly, it falls, starting a chain reaction that can knock over hundreds and sometimes thousands of other blocks. This effect, called the domino effect, is what makes domino so fascinating to watch.
Physicist Stephen Morris, who studies friction, says that when a domino is standing upright it has potential energy, which comes from its position and the fact that it’s resisting gravity. When the first domino falls, however, most of that potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, which gives the next domino the push it needs to fall. Then the energy keeps flowing from domino to domino, creating a cascade of movement that is both beautiful and rhythmic.
To create one of her mind-blowing domino creations, Hevesh starts with a theme or purpose. Then she brainstorms images or words that might be related to it. Finally, she uses her own version of the engineering-design process, which consists of testing each component separately. If a piece doesn’t work, she tweaks it until it does.
Hevesh grew up in the Detroit area and learned to woodwork at her grandmother’s garage. She has a collection of tools in her home that includes a drill press, radial arm saw, scroll saw, and belt sander. In order to make her creations, she has to be very precise, as each part of the domino is essential to how it works. Hevesh is also careful to test each part of her designs in slow motion, so she can make precise adjustments if needed.
In addition to the classic blocking and scoring games, there are many other domino games of a very different character. For example, a variant of Concentration that is played with a double-six set involves matching pairs of dominoes by their total number of pips. This type of game was once popular in some areas as a way to circumvent religious prohibitions on playing cards.
Domino has been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until the early 1950s that entrepreneur Fred Monaghan opened his first store in Ypsilanti, Michigan. His strategy of putting stores near college campuses was crucial to the company’s success and led to rapid expansion.
By the late 1960s, Domino’s had more than 200 locations, and the company continues to grow today with more than 25,000 locations worldwide. Its success can be attributed to the company’s core values, which include listening to customers and employees and being innovative.
Domino is an object-oriented computer programming language that supports a variety of algorithms in a simple, scalable way. The syntax is reminiscent of C++, but it allows for functions with arbitrary arguments and return types. The compiler can even recursively call itself, which allows for sophisticated algorithms that would be impossible to implement in other languages such as Java and C#. However, Domino does not support unbounded for loops or arithmetic operations on variables that aren’t atomically incremented, and the compiler can reject programs that attempt to exploit this limitation.