domino toppling orange and white and boy

The Strange Effects Of Domino Toppling – Watch Mario Fall!

Let's face it - heaps of toppling dominoes are uniquely engaging. And the act of watching them is, well - oddly gratifying.

No one knows why this pastime is so addicting but there’s no denying that we find it incredibly fascinating.

Some see it as acutely hypnotic, while others find it just plain relaxing.

Domino toppling expert Scott Suko noted that “Everyone likes to see things get destroyed, maybe because we don't intentionally destroy things in real life and that makes it fun to watch when it happens in a controlled way.”

A domino "show" is constructed by setting up dominoes in sequence, creating a chain reaction and also referred to as the "domino effect".

Thousands of domino shows have been created worldwide. It’s a pastime that holds excitement for both spectator and builder alike.

But along with that thrill comes a sense of uncertainty.

Each domino holds the possibility of causing a blunder that would set the whole show upside-down.

All of that work for nothing. There is a strong sense of loyalty to the fans and the builder does not want to disappoint.

Maryland Science Center 2016 - Preparing for Domino Day With Scott Suko

However, the builder’s concerns of failure are trumped by his motivation.

He has a tremendous affinity to the task and remains dedicated no matter what happens.

Like in baseball – the batter will strike out once in a while but he remains constant in his passion for the team and the role he plays.

That's true dedication, folks. 

Two-hundred hours of setup, typically with a team of sometimes thirty or forty people, for either three minutes of entertainment value - or - an afternoon of regret due to a chance error.

Most toppling experts will agree with Suko when he says, “Domino toppling is also a pursuit that inserts an “A” for art into STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — to create STEAM.”

I think we can all agree that it definitely has the attributes of an art form but a steady hand ain't a bad idea, either.......!

Maryland Science Center 2016 - After The Topple!

Unlike yesteryear, dominoes (especially stacking dominoes, such as “Maria Lamping”) now come in brilliant colors, with contrasting fronts and backs.

This allows builders to not only set up mosaic patterns and detailed images, but construct them in a way that shows a “before” and “after” the topple image.

Letters, spirals, levers, mouse traps, tiny flying planes and special effects, which sometimes include three-dimensional structures like pyramids, are all just some of the ways the "sport" of falling dominoes has progressed through the years.

Maryland Science Center 2016 - Standing Room Only

The first real domino show was done in 1976 by Bob Speca, from Broomall, PA.

His world record of single-handedly setting up and toppling 11,111 tiles won him the first official world record for highest number of dominoes toppling in chain reaction style.

This, as well as his subsequent appearance on The Tonight Show prompted a worldwide fad that has not since diminished.

In 1998, Domino Day was officially tagged.

Every year in November, the Netherlands hosted a massive domino toppling exposition.

They won their current world record on November 14, 2008, with 4,345,027 dominoes.

Domino Day has spurred this once demure hobby into a worldwide fascination and the Maryland Science Center has grabbed the baton in the relay to keep Domino Day alive.

Maryland Science Center 2016 - Suko and His Team [Video]

FYI, the German domino group “Sinners Domino Entertainment” is the current world record holder in six categories, one of which included 500,000 dominoes in August 2014.

It was the largest domino falling event ever hosted by an independent domino association.

We are posting the video here for your viewing pleasure.

It's a bit lengthy, but that's how long it takes for 500,000 dominoes to fall.

I promise you will not be bored ~

It's absolutely bouncing-off-the-wall phenomenal! 

References to Scott Suko and images of the Maryland Science Center courtesy of the Baltimore Sun


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Walda Woods

Walda Woods spent many years in the corporate world as a mid-level executive and now spends her time as a freelance writer and editor. Originally from Boston, MA, she currently lives in Topeka, KS to be near her family. She recently started a blog on game rooms, focusing on leisure time and the memories that friends and family can create. Her unique blend of personality, humor and values is sprinkled throughout this website and keeps her game room audience coming back for more.

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