Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
November 13, 2011 6:51 AM   Subscribe

Tai Star spent seven hours balancing 600 quarters, 501 dimes, 313 nickels, 1699 pennies and five foreign coins (3,118 coins in total) on a single dime. It's not his first attempt to break a record.
Star explained: 'It is on the very corner for a few reasons: to make it easy to see that it is on one dime and I think the structure of the table is most sturdy there - plus I just like precarious balance.'
posted by gman (48 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
What?! Fill that thing up! He could have fit, like, 40 more coins in there, easy.
posted by phunniemee at 6:57 AM on November 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Amazing - nice job sir. And interesting that he only had like 2 or 3 Canadian pennies out of all of those thousands. Up here in Canuckstan the ratio of Abe Lincoln pennies to maple leaves is like... 1 in 40. How does that work? (Are we once again freeloading off the mighty USA, this time of their supply of copper?)
posted by Flashman at 7:07 AM on November 13, 2011


Impressive, but I did want to see how he tore it down. One at a time? Try to knock the bottom dime clean out with a fast moving piece of thin plastic? Let the cat play with it?
posted by benito.strauss at 7:09 AM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


A busker's nightmare.
posted by davebush at 7:11 AM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Without knocking it down how do we know he didn't have the first 20 layers superglued together?
posted by ian1977 at 7:12 AM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hope and change.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:13 AM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Too much time on their hands" is one my all time least favorite phrases. People who watch Real Housewives of X have too much time on their hands.

Also, the result looks like The Monarch's flying cocoon hideout! Sweet!
posted by Scoo at 7:14 AM on November 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


In the comments he says it fell over in the middle of the night. Sometimes these things take care of themselves.
posted by Curious Artificer at 7:14 AM on November 13, 2011


The first minute was enough tension for me. I could never do this, I would knock them all down at about the 45 second mark, a slight tremor in my wrist and whamo.

But respect to the guy for doing it.
posted by marienbad at 7:20 AM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's awesome! It looks like a tornado to me. I would have no patience for this, but I wish I could do it.
posted by MultiFaceted at 7:22 AM on November 13, 2011


The first minute was enough tension for me.

Yeah, this is an amazing feat, but what I didn't expect is how distressing the video would be. It's like a game of Jenga played for 7 hours! Cool video, despite the TERROR.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 7:23 AM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder how important selection of the coins is; nothing unevenly warn, a consistent thickness for each denomination ect. I wonder if each coin is graded, or if he just rejects anything that looks overtly beat up.
posted by adamt at 7:25 AM on November 13, 2011


I hope he turns pro!
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 7:38 AM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


By the way, the Daily Mail is a very right-wing, very anti-immigrant tabloid newspaper who have a successful web presence due to their publication of interesting snippets like this. I would encourage the metafilter community to not link to their webpage as many of their articles are either racist or misogynistic.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 7:46 AM on November 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


What's the point of going pro? There's no money in it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:47 AM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am undecided whether it was more stressful watching him fill in the holes at the bottom with quarters or nickels, or watching him just drop in a stack of dimes.
posted by jeather at 7:47 AM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


My two-year-old started shaking the table while I was watching it and I surprised her with a DON'T SHAKE THE TABLE YOU'LL KNOCK IT oh wait as you were.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:53 AM on November 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


To be fair, while the Daily Mail might be very reactionary, they do have an excellent website.
posted by squealy at 8:14 AM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Morning Star really needs to sort out its celebrity cellulite and coin-tricks coverage if it expects to compete in the cut-throat modern media environment.
posted by Abiezer at 8:23 AM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


By the way, the Daily Mail is a very right-wing, very anti-immigrant tabloid newspaper who have a successful web presence due to their publication of interesting snippets like this. I would encourage the metafilter community to not link to their webpage as many of their articles are either racist or misogynistic.

But it's so inspirational!
posted by Diablevert at 8:29 AM on November 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yes, we all know The Daily Mail sucks, and yes, I did think about appologizing for my use of their rag in my post itself, but a) I did a quick search for other outlets carrying the story and didn't find any, and b) didn't really care all that much due to the lighthearted nature of this story.
posted by gman at 8:37 AM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Watching this with "Sun Treader" playing in the background; it's very dramatic and appropriate.
posted by silby at 8:45 AM on November 13, 2011


Which is to say I just love MeFi synchronicity.
posted by silby at 8:45 AM on November 13, 2011


Flashman: "Amazing - nice job sir. And interesting that he only had like 2 or 3 Canadian pennies out of all of those thousands. Up here in Canuckstan the ratio of Abe Lincoln pennies to maple leaves is like... 1 in 40. How does that work? (Are we once again freeloading off the mighty USA, this time of their supply of copper?)"

Considering that since 1982 US pennies have been 97.5% zinc, I think you're getting ripped off. On checking, Canadian pennies are 95% copper so yeah, you're getting ripped off.
posted by Splunge at 8:47 AM on November 13, 2011


(Are we once again freeloading off the mighty USA, this time of their supply of copper?)

Nah it's just that there's nine Americans for every Canadian. Tourists cross the border and bring back the change both ways, but here it filters into a larger pool of money.
posted by Diablevert at 8:54 AM on November 13, 2011


since 1982 US pennies have been 97.5% zinc,

That's to keep us hippie commoners from melting them down to make jewelry for our roadshows.

That, and I want to complain that zinc doesn't smoosh as nice on railroad tracks.
posted by Twang at 8:57 AM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


He could have fit, like, 40 more coins in there, easy.

In the same YT comment where he says it fell down in the middle of the night, he also says he stopped because that was all the coins he had.
posted by localroger at 9:09 AM on November 13, 2011


Good thing he didn't call in the local TV news team.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:10 AM on November 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I want to complain that zinc doesn't smoosh as nice on railroad tracks.

But you can melt the zinc ones with a 12 inch Fresnel lens on a sunny day. The copper ones, they laugh.
posted by localroger at 9:18 AM on November 13, 2011


What would be the physical limits on something like this? How tall could you theoretically build one until you start pushing against the limits of the materials involved?
posted by rh at 9:25 AM on November 13, 2011


If he shows up to comment in this thread, he certainly has enough change to put in his two cents...
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:26 AM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gnarly gnarly gnarly.

Also the air conditioner in the background didn't quite mesh with the rest of the hippie commune theme, neatly punctuated with the climactic mbira jam session.
posted by supercres at 9:34 AM on November 13, 2011


Browsing through the last link made me realize how process of breaking and verifying 'world records' is ultimately a crowd-sourced, democratized process, unlike the old stuffy model where a single (self-appointed) institution decided what is and isn't a world record. The direct analogy is that recordsetters.com is to Guiness Book of Records, just as Wikipedia is to Encyclopedia Britannica.

Now you can set and break world records in such categories as: posted by rh at 9:47 AM on November 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Amazing - nice job sir. And interesting that he only had like 2 or 3 Canadian pennies out of all of those thousands. Up here in Canuckstan the ratio of Abe Lincoln pennies to maple leaves is like... 1 in 40. How does that work? (Are we once again freeloading off the mighty USA, this time of their supply of copper?)
This is to be expected. The overall ratio of American pennies to Canadian people is significantly larger than the overall ratio of Canadian pennies to American people, and so even ignoring all other factors (such as the significantly higher percentage of the Canadian population that lives near the border, relative to the percentage of the American population that lives near the border), the average Canadian will find more American pennies in their change than the average American finds Canadian pennies in theirs.
posted by Flunkie at 9:51 AM on November 13, 2011


$232.84, not including the value of the 5 foreign coins or the dime at the bottom. Am I the only one who just HAD to figure this out?
posted by Daddy-O at 10:00 AM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good thing he didn't call in the local TV news team yt .

Wow...
posted by odinsdream at 10:01 AM on November 13, 2011


Me: I did it! I stacked over 3000 coins on a dime!

My Wife: Great. Now that you're done wasting (checks watch) almost eight hours, will you PLEASE do the damn laundry?!
posted by double block and bleed at 10:24 AM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Btw: nice job stacking the tags :)
posted by double block and bleed at 10:32 AM on November 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


i couldn't do this even with superglue. Also, why isn't this guy designing building or training to be a surgeon?
posted by Shit Parade at 10:35 AM on November 13, 2011


While this is interesting I was expecting some sort of message:

"Hi, I'm RecordSetters.com's Tai Star. These coins represe the daily wage of the average working class family. And while it is easy for me to balance these coins it is not so easy to balance a checkbook"
posted by munchingzombie at 11:19 AM on November 13, 2011


Longest Office Chair Train Pulled By A Motorcycle

Only 19? Bah! This one's going down!
posted by calamari kid at 11:23 AM on November 13, 2011


supercres: Gnarly gnarly gnarly.

Also the air conditioner in the background didn't quite mesh with the rest of the hippie commune theme, neatly punctuated with the climactic mbira jam session.
"\

Dope and Change.
posted by gman at 11:26 AM on November 13, 2011


Watched this with Sun Treader playing in the background. Excellent.
posted by dazed_one at 11:32 AM on November 13, 2011


Good thing he didn't call in the local TV news team

Fortunately, that was staged (click the "Pisa Tower" tile).
posted by hypersloth at 8:37 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a darn good thing that air conditioner didn't cycle on.
posted by captainsohler at 10:45 PM on November 13, 2011


The reason to build it on the corner is it means there is no table in the way. Only 25% of the circumference you would encounter the table blocking, and even then most of the time it isn't completely blocking.
posted by BurnChao at 10:59 PM on November 13, 2011


Neat, but reading the description, I had somehow gotten the idea the dime was on EDGE, which just seemed impossible. Probably is.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:35 AM on November 14, 2011


rh writes "What would be the physical limits on something like this? How tall could you theoretically build one until you start pushing against the limits of the materials involved?"

The first physical limit is probably the table. After that the bottom coin would start to flatten out but you'd need a lot of coins on top. Regular old carbon steel has a compression strength somewhere around 400-550 MPa; a dime is a smidge under 3/4" wide giving an area of ~1.5"2 meaning you'd need 90,000+pounds piled on it before it would start to deform. Of course coins are perfectly flat so there would be some compression before that limit until the mating surfaces were in contact. Let's say 10K pounds or 800K quarters

Flunkie writes "This is to be expected. The overall ratio of American pennies to Canadian people is significantly larger than the overall ratio of Canadian pennies to American people, and so even ignoring all other factors (such as the significantly higher percentage of the Canadian population that lives near the border, relative to the percentage of the American population that lives near the border), the average Canadian will find more American pennies in their change than the average American finds Canadian pennies in theirs."

Also I've never had an American coin refused as tender in Canada but many American business refuse Canadian coins thereby reducing the circulation of Canadian coins in America.
posted by Mitheral at 4:42 PM on November 20, 2011


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