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Some role-playing games use tops to augment dice in generating randomized results; it is in this case referred to as a spinner. Bearing tops, with a tip made of a small hard ceramic, tungsten carbide or even ruby ball sometimes wrongly believed to spin with respect to the body of the tophave been one of the biggest changes.
In the "sleep" period, and only in it, provided it is ever reached, less friction means longer "sleep" time whence the common error that less friction implies longer global spinning time There have been many developments within the technology of the top. Spinning tops originated independently in cultures all over the world.
In the kinds with an auger, an internal weight rotates, producing an overall circular motion. Typically the top will at first wobble until the shape of the tip and its interaction with the surface force it upright; contrary to what is sometimes assumed, longstanding scientific studies and easy experimentations reproducible by anyone show that less friction increases the time before the upright position is reached unless the top is so unbalanced that it falls before reaching it.
Forbes, which I witnessed in … [established] that blue and yellow do not make green, but a pinkish tint, when neither prevails in the combination…[and the] result of mixing yellow and blue was, I believe, not previously known. By rapidly spinning the top, Forbes created the illusion of a single color that was a mixture of the primaries: More sophisticated tops are spun by holding the axis firmly while pulling a string or twisting a stick or pushing an auger.
Some tops can be thrown, while firmly grasping a string that had been tightly wound around the stem, and the centrifugal force generated by the unwinding motion of the string will set them spinning upon touching ground.
Gould mentions maple seedscelts leading to rattlebacksthe fire-drillthe spindle whorland the potter's wheel as possible predecessors to the top, which he assumes was invented or discovered multiple times in multiple places.
In addition, plastic and metal have largely supplanted the use of wood in tops. The top is one of the oldest recognizable toys found on archaeological sites.