## Domino – A Worldly Phenomenon

Domino (also dom*i*noes and dom*i*nos) is a game played by one or more players using a set of flat, thumb-sized rectangular blocks with matching ends that bear from one to six pips or dots. The other sides of the dominoes are blank or identically patterned. A complete set of dominoes consists of 28 tiles. The earliest recorded reference to the game is in an 1120 CE document called the Chu sz yam (Investigations on All Things).

In a domino chain, each tile must touch another with its matching end. If the matching ends are not adjacent, the tiles must be placed at right angles to each other. The resulting snake-line of dominoes allows the players to create patterns and play tricks.

Aside from the fun of playing dominoes, they are also a wonderful way to teach basic math and number recognition. There are many different types of domino games, and the most popular involve emptying one’s hand while blocking opponents’ play. Others are scoring games, such as bergen and muggins, in which points are awarded based on the numbers of the exposed ends of the winning dominoes. Some games are also a form of drawing cards, but unlike playing cards, dominoes do not blow away and must be held in place.

The game has become a worldwide phenomenon and is now marketed as a teaching tool to help children learn and develop skills, such as spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, and motor planning. In addition, the ability to anticipate and react to changes can be a valuable lesson for life.

Domino has been embraced by artists as well, and can be used to create curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, stacked walls, and even 3D structures like pyramids. These elaborate creations aren’t a result of luck; the thousands of dominoes Hevesh sets up have a built-in potential energy that resists motion until a tiny nudge pushes it past its tipping point.

Similarly, a novelist’s plotting process involves the same kind of physics. Whether you work from a loose outline or take your time with a detailed outline, plotting comes down to a simple question: What happens next?

When Domino’s former CEO David Brandon became aware of the issues facing the company, he began to listen to employees. He relaxed the dress code, instituted new leadership training programs and spoke with workers directly. He knew that Domino’s could not continue to lose customers and fail financially if it was not to change its ways. By implementing these measures, Domino’s was able to quickly turn things around and regain the trust of its customer base. The company has continued to focus on listening to its customers, and this commitment was a key factor in their recent victory in the Detroit Free Press’s Top Workplaces survey. To learn more, visit Domino’s.