A flat thumb-sized rectangular block, usually black or white and bearing from one to six pips (or dots): 28 such pieces form a domino set. Dominoes may be used to play a variety of games. The most common are blocking and scoring games. In the former, each player places a tile on the table with its exposed ends touching (either a single end against another or both ends against a line). If the adjacent exposed ends have a total number of dots that is multiple of five the player scores points. The tiles are then repositioned and more tiles are played until the players score all of their points.

Dominoes are often used to model complex systems of interdependent actions. They also serve as tools for introducing students to the principles of engineering design and to the process of creating models by observing, asking questions, and making assumptions.

For the more ambitious, domino sets are a favored method of illustrating complex mathematical concepts, such as number theory and geometry. They are also frequently used to illustrate the concept of symmetry. A domino set can be a great tool to teach fractions and the concept of multiplication, as well.

The word domino comes from the Italian noun domini, meaning “fate.” Traditionally it has been used to describe a long hooded cloak worn together with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. Earlier, in both English and French, it denoted a cape worn by a priest over his surplice.

Domino’s founder, Tom Brandon, has a strong belief in the power of listening to employees. As a result, the company has built a culture that supports employees and rewards them for their contributions. Taking note of employee feedback has led to many positive changes, including a relaxed dress code and new leadership training programs. The company’s focus on listening to customers has also had a positive impact. Domino’s was named a Top Workplace in Michigan by the Detroit Free Press and has made several positive changes to its policies based on customer feedback.

The most impressive dominoes are the ones that take several nail-biting minutes to fall. The reason is simple: gravity. In fact, the force that brings a domino down is what makes it possible for us to create elaborate and imaginative setups. Hevesh is an expert at this and has created some incredible displays, including helping to set the Guinness record for the largest dominoes in a circular arrangement. In domino shows, builders build complex and inventive chain reactions before live audiences. They use a mixture of skill and science, but the most important thing is for the domino to be able to tip over. Then, it’s a matter of luck and timing for the rest to follow suit.