A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic marked with dots like those on dice. It is usually used to play games in which a player positions the domino so that its ends touch one another to build a chain of tiles. A player then plays a tile onto the chain which has a number showing on its end, thus increasing its length. The game continues until either a player cannot continue or there is a complete chain. The winning pair of players are those whose combined total on their remaining tiles is the lowest. The chain may be shaped in any way the players choose, but the standard shapes are straight lines or curved lines, grids that form pictures when the dominoes fall, stacked walls and pyramids.
A common variant of this game involves scoring points. Each time a domino is placed on an end of those already played such that the sum of the numbers on the two ends is divisible by five or three, a point is scored. A common variation on this game uses a double-nine set (55 dominoes) or a double-12 set (91).
In addition to playing games, domino can be used to create artistic works such as mosaics and sculptures. The pieces can be laid out on a flat surface such as a table or on a floor to create patterns and designs. The resulting work can be as simple or as elaborate as the artist desires. In some cases, the artists can use a domino set to plan out their artwork in advance.
Domino is also a term used to describe an effect that occurs when one event causes another and then influences the course of other events. An example would be a train arriving slightly late at the station, which can lead to other trains being delayed as well. If these delays are significant, it can cause a ripple effect that can affect many people and businesses.
The domino theory was first popularized by American journalist Joseph Alsop, who wrote that events in the world resembled falling dominoes. He applied this analogy to international relations and predicted that Communism in Latin America could lead to a “red sandwich” encircling the United States. In a speech in 1957, President Eisenhower invoked the domino theory to justify the U.S. intervention in Chile and Cuba.
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