bookmark_borderThe Domino Effect

The word domino is often used to describe something that starts a chain reaction, creating an effect that is greater than the sum of its parts. While the etymology of this word is unclear, it is clear that the concept it represents is powerful and useful. In the realm of business, domino refers to a key strategy for accomplishing difficult tasks. A good example of this is the adage “Pick one, stick with it.” By identifying the most important task for a given day and giving it your full attention until its completion, you can create a domino effect that will allow you to tackle bigger, more complicated projects.

Dominoes are large rectangular blocks of varying shapes and colors, usually marked with numbers or an arrangement of dots. The most common variant features two square sides, with one marked with an arrangement of spots, or pips, and the other blank or identically patterned. The value of a domino depends on the number of pips marked on each side and the position of those pips. The more pips a domino has, the higher its rank or weight.

Like playing cards, of which they are a variant, each domino has potential energy or stored energy based on its position. When a domino is standing upright, the potential energy of its pips and position are transmitted to other pieces on the board; once enough energy has been transferred, the piece will fall over and initiate a new chain reaction. When a domino falls, much of its potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, or energy of motion, which travels to the next domino and gives it the push it needs to fall over as well.

When Lily Hevesh was 9, she played with her grandparents’ classic 28-pack of dominoes, falling one set after another. She soon started making videos of her creations online, and now, at 20, she’s a professional domino artist, designing sets for movies, TV shows, and events—including a Katy Perry album launch. Hevesh’s mind-blowing domino setups feature straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, and 3D structures such as towers and pyramids.

As a writer, Hevesh uses the concept of dominoes to help her plot novels. She makes test versions of each section of an installation, arranging and filming them in slow motion so she can make precise corrections when something doesn’t work out. When she’s confident that each individual section works, she puts them all together—starting with the biggest 3-D sections and moving toward more linear arrangements—in order to complete an entire installation.

This process allows Hevesh to ensure that the individual pieces of her installation are arranged in the most effective way to achieve the desired result. Similarly, business leaders should follow the same strategy when developing and executing their plans. To maximize the effect of their actions, they should prioritize the most important tasks—those with the greatest impact on their business—and commit to them until they are completed.

bookmark_borderWhat is the Lottery?

The Toto SGP is a form of gambling that offers people a chance to win large sums of money by matching a series of numbers or symbols. It has become popular in many countries, and is a significant source of revenue for state governments. It is usually run by a government or private company, and the prizes are typically cash or goods. People who purchase tickets are required to pay taxes, which help support the prize pool and other expenses. In addition, the winners must be chosen randomly by a process called drawing.

Lottery players as a group contribute billions of dollars in lottery receipts to state coffers, while foregoing savings that could otherwise be used for retirement or college tuition. This is a costly form of taxation, one that should be discouraged.

Historically, lotteries have been promoted as a painless method for generating public revenue. They offer a low risk-to-reward ratio, and are popular with the public. However, they can become addictive. Some experts have warned that the glorification of lotteries in the media, as well as the marketing campaigns that promote them, may be contributing to rising rates of gambling addiction.

In colonial era America, lotteries were often used to finance road construction, building ships, and paving streets. George Washington sponsored a lottery in 1768 to raise funds for the road across the Blue Ridge Mountains. Today, lotteries are a popular form of fundraising for many charitable organizations.

The word lottery derives from the Middle Dutch phrase lotge, meaning “fateful drawing.” Traditionally, a lottery was a way for the wealthy to acquire land by drawing lots. The word may have also been derived from the Latin Lottera, referring to fate in general.

Modern lotteries are much different than their ancestor, with the public purchasing tickets for a drawing that takes place weeks or even months in the future. Ticket sales initially expand rapidly, but then level off and decline, prompting the introduction of new games to maintain or increase revenues.

The first major change was the development of scratch-off tickets, which provide the same odds of winning as other lotteries but at a lower cost. Another innovation was the use of computers to mix and select the winning numbers or symbols.

In some states, the proceeds from lotteries are earmarked for specific programs, such as education. But critics point out that the earmarking of lottery money simply allows legislators to reduce the appropriations they would otherwise have had to allot from the general fund. Moreover, the overall funding for these programs is not significantly higher as a result of this practice.