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Breaking Down a Project Into Dominoes


Domino is a tile-based game played with one or more domino sets. The tiles have a rectangular shape and are normally twice as long as wide. They feature a line in the middle to divide them visually into two equal squares, each with a number of dots (or “pips”) from six down to none or blank. The number of pips on a domino determines its value and gives the player the opportunity to use it in various ways during play.

A domino set includes a stack of tiles called the “stock.” The stock is placed in front of each player. The player draws a domino from the stock for his hand and places it face up on the table. He may then begin play. Some domino games allow players to buy additional tiles from the stock for their hands, depending on the rules of each game.

Once all the tiles are arranged on the table, each player begins playing his or her turn in order of rank. If a player cannot make a play, he or she may knock the table and play passes to the next player. Usually, a player will place his or her domino as close to an opposing partner’s piece as possible.

Normally, the last player to place his or her tile is the winner of that round of the game. However, many games have rule variations that affect scoring. Some allow players to chip out and continue playing with just the partners whose combined total of the remaining dominoes has the lowest number of pips.

When you’re planning a major project, breaking it down into smaller tasks can help you stay on track. Think of each task as a domino in a row, and each one should lead to the larger project goal. For example, outlining your finances, creating a financial plan, and executing that plan are good dominoes that can help you reach your financial goals.

As a child, Lily Hevesh loved setting up her grandparents’ 28-piece domino set in straight or curved lines and flicking the first one to watch the whole thing fall. Her fascination with dominoes grew into a career as an artist, and she now creates massive domino setups for movies, TV shows, and events–including the album launch of pop singer Katy Perry.

Hevesh says that while physics plays a big part in her work, it’s gravity that makes the final result possible. She has created projects that involve up to 300,000 dominoes, and each of them takes several nail-biting minutes to fall.

While domino is typically played with polymer material, there are some older and more elaborate sets made from natural materials such as silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl or MOP), ivory, dark hardwoods like ebony, and stone (e.g., marble or granite). Such sets may be more expensive than those made from polymer, but they also offer a more tactile and distinctive look. Some are designed with the top half thickness in MOP, ivory, or a dark wood, and the bottom half in ebony or another color for contrasting effect.

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