A domino is a small rectangular block, usually made of wood, which is marked on one side with an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice. The other side is blank or identically patterned. A set of dominoes is used for playing games, such as a variation of the game of jacks or a strategy game called concentration.
The term domino is also used in a number of other contexts, most commonly to refer to a sequence of events that starts with a simple action and leads to much larger–and often catastrophic–consequences. This concept is sometimes referred to as the “domino effect,” and it is a common part of behavioral science.
Despite the fact that dominoes are small and thin, they are very powerful tools in the hands of a skilled craftsman. In a woodworking shop, for instance, they can be used to create a large piece of furniture. They can also be used to build structures, such as bridges and buildings.
Dominoes can be stacked on end in long lines to form structures, such as a house of cards or a castle of pegs. Some people even use them as toys, and children enjoy the challenge of constructing complicated designs using dominoes.
When a domino is tipped over, it causes the next domino in the line to tip, and the process continues until all of the dominoes are topped off. This is the source of the famous phrase, “The first domino always falls.”
Domino is also used to describe a series of events that begin with a small change and then lead to more changes. For example, if you start to exercise regularly, it will be easier for you to make healthy food choices. This is because you will be more motivated to maintain your new habits. Eventually, you will see the benefits of your efforts in terms of better health and greater energy levels.
The domino effect is also used in the field of politics and international relations, where it is a metaphor for the way that political events can have an impact on other countries. For example, in the 1977 Frost/Nixon interviews, Richard Nixon defended his actions in Latin America on the grounds of the Domino Theory. He argued that Communist Chile, if allowed to overthrow Salvador Allende, could easily spread the revolution to Cuba and the rest of Latin America. The Domino Theory was also used to justify U.S. interventions in Latin America, such as the overthrow of the Guatemalan dictatorship of Jacobo rbenz in the early 1980s.