They All Fall Down

I found this on You Tube yesterday – got to it from one of my favorite science blogs.

This is amazing to me for a couple of reasons. First off, it’s not just the work of laying out all the dominoes.  You don’t just come in one morning and start randomly setting up dominoes.  Something of this complexity needs to be mapped out ahead of time and I means seriously mapped out.  You have to know exactly how much space you need, you need to know how much time it takes for domino trails to fall, you need to know how many of each color, you need to know how to set them up so you know what they’ll look like when they fall down… a pretty long list.

But I think one of the most amazing things is that you don’t really get to test this. It took a team of 19 individuals from around the world a week to get it all set up.  There is no test-run.  You pull the first string and then you hold your breath for the 12 minutes it takes.  You really have to have confidence in your abilities to take part in something like this.  I’m not sure I have enough obsession or emotional strength for it!

What feat of engineering do you admire?


36 thoughts on “They All Fall Down”

  1. I want to pick up on the YouTube thing. I’ve tried for weeks to find a way to blog here about YouTube. It now has become my primary site on the internet. In an average day, I might spend two hours there. Two or three years ago I virtually never went there. But I don’t see a way to get a question of post out of that.

    As for admiring feats of engineering, I’ve been surprised late in life to find my respect for science and the scientific method growing. The turbulence and lack of discipline of the current president makes scientists look SO good! It is not a coincidence that he wants to find ways to ban science or ban the dispersal of its findings.

    I love the way scientific research has advanced our understanding of wildlife and wildlife communities. If you do science properly, each little research project is like creating another brick that can be used to create a vastly larger edifice.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Like you Steve I came a little later in life to really appreciating science. For many years my dad subscribed to Scientific American and about 3 years before he passed away he started sending them to me when he was done. When he died, my mother changed the rest of his subscription to my name and when it ran out I found that I really missed it. So I’ve been subscribing ever since and of all the blogs that I watch on YouTube (probably 15 of them) most of them are science-related.


      1. There is a ceramic tile grout that glows in the dark. I put up twelve inch tile in one of my bathrooms and used by that grout. With the lights off, it looks like the Holodeck.

        Liked by 5 people

  2. Slow morning here before the avalanche of mail comes, so I had to watch the dominoes fall. What an amazing layout! I wonder if any dominoes were left standing by accident?

    For me, it’s the simple things. While I truly enjoy science stuff and science fiction, I appreciate a well-designed brassiere, shoes that are cute AND comfortable, a sharp knife in the kitchen that feels good in your hands, the wonders of a smartphone, an outstanding mattress, the heavenly feel of perfect flannel sheets and the glory of sunrise. Some days I have to remind myself that life is good despite the difficulties that distract me.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Can we get Tim’s address? I’m thinking of making a showing at BBC this Sunday. Even just post it on the BBC page would be helpful. Thanks!


  4. Hey —

    Just back from English class and catching up before I get to work. I giggled at the domino’s video. Neat how they got so many sports in there!
    Engineering feats: I think I’ve mentioned before that I know the guys at the cemetery by our house. The mechanism for dealing with the vault and casket and lid is pretty ingenious to me. Simple, effective and useful.
    I love having a smart phone simply to be able to look things up at will.
    I’ve got a ‘Sawstop’ table saw in the shop. The so-called ‘Hot Dog’ saw because it can detect a finger in the blade and stops it. Pretty ingenious. But not as much as glow in the dark grout!

    The comment in the story this morning about how you don’t get to test it; you pull the string and hold your breath reminded me of farming or gardening. We plant the seeds and hope for the best. I don’t hold my breath for 6 months, but, you just never know what will happen after planting.
    And every year, I’m amazed (and grateful and thankful) that things grow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then tell me more about your saw
      I have a length of birch log that I’m looking to cut into discs, round discs but I’m having trouble finding anybody who has a saw that would be good for this.


      1. You need a big band saw. Or one at least big enough to fit your log though. I’ve cut slices with a chainsaw but it’s tough to support it in a fashion that allows you to safely cut. Not to mention keeping them flat and making straight cuts!

        How big around is the birch log? And is it dry or “wet” meaning fairly recently cut?

        A table saw only cuts about 3″ deep. You could also use a hand saw; if it’s dry then any kinda saw will work. If it’s wet you need the ones with big teeth like you’d cut a Christmas tree with.

        Here’s the saw:


  5. My son, Steve, and his world-traveling girlfriend, Lani, are creating a docu-series called “Making Do”. It’s about ingenious solutions to make the lives of various cultures more livable. Brad Pitt and Netflix are interested in producing the series. I’ll post just one example of Indian ingenuity here:

    Her screaming sandals may have saved her life.

    Abundance isn’t needed for innovation. In fact, it often just gets in the way. In Bangladesh, Lani discovers a group of young students developing a bluetooth women’s sandal that send alerts when the wearer is being attacked. She helps Grey Dhaka build a plastic bottle air-conditioner that’s credited with reducing heat-related suicide. She meets Remya Jose, the young girl who used repurposed bicycle parts and some sheet metal to reinvent the way laundry is done India. Life isn’t easy here but Lani discovers some simple solutions developed by beautiful people that make things a bit more bearable.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Husband just purchased a virtual sand tray for sand tray therapy. I h2sve a real tray with real sand and many miniatures. His virtual one will work great on the Reservation.


      1. You can pull an unlimited variety of objects into the tray on the screen and play out scenes or feelings or make statements with the objects. Some sand tray therapists have shelves full of the widest array of miniatres you can imagine that can be themselves or symbolize things. Sand tray therapy is pretty Jungian.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Pathways was a godsend to me when I was dealing with endometrial cancer and the side effects of treatments back in 1995. Wonderful place, with so many dedicated volunteers.

          Liked by 3 people

  7. The flush toilet is a pretty remarkable invention. If it had been invented later, it would likely have been designed to rely on electrical power. Then any time your power went out, it would fail. As it is, it’s just a gravity-fed design that is simple and elegant. Or maybe elegant is not the right word. Simple and utilitarian.

    Liked by 2 people

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