He was eight years old, and they called him Spinner, because nobody had ever seen anybody that could spin a quarter like he could.

Then one day at a diner in Knoxville, where the counter top was polished to a fine sheen, they set him up on a vinyl stool seat and asked him to show off his stuff. He was happy to oblige.

He held the quarter on edge under his left index finger, wound up the same finger on the other hand, and gave the coin a mighty flick. Off went the coin in a whirling blur with a whine like a jet engine. The overhead lights flashed off the gleaming silver onto his smiling face.

People held their breath. It spun, and it kept on spinning.

He was eight years, four months, and twenty-one days old: 3063 revolutions of the Earth. The quarter spun at twenty revolutions a second, and it kept spinning for two minutes and thirty-three seconds, ultimately reaching 3063 revolutions.

And at that precise instant, with a great gasp from the crowd, both Spinner and the quarter fell over, and spun no more.

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