Pizzagate Chuck E. Cheese Style

Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese is the center of a new conspiracy hypothesis making the rounds all over the internet thanks to popular YouTube personality, Shane Dawson. The basic idea is Chuck E. Cheese employees are putting together leftover slices from various tables, reheating them, and then serving them as a new pizza.

The evidence for this is pizzas often come out with rough edges and slices that don’t appear to match up. Any number of pictures displaying this are readily available. The explanation put forward by various Chuck E. Cheese employees is pizzas are sliced and then put on a larger pan where they shift about haphazardly on their way to the customer. It is also put suggested that sometimes the slicer miscounts and makes five cuts instead of the required six, Chuck. E. Cheese insists each pizza have twelve slices, and kitchen workers then slice the two largest pieces in half to make up the difference.

I’d like to go after this conspiracy hypothesis with a line of critical thinking that I’ve had success with in the past. When discussing these ideas with believers I think it’s quite useful to point out what would have to happen in order to make it true. I’m of the opinion this forces the person advancing the hypothesis to walk it through in a rational fashion. In this case, the question is how would Chuck E. Cheese employees go about making such a pizza.

Basically, the bussers would have to collect every slice of uneaten pizza left on each table. These slices would then have to be arranged in the kitchen by pizza type until exactly twelve slices remained of a particular type. Then they would have to put those slices back in the oven and reheat them. The first problem becomes actually finding twelve slices of a particular kind of pizza. This seems to me to be a rather difficult task considering people generally eat most of their pizza leaving crusts perhaps but not entire slices.

The next problem is where you would store the uneaten slices waiting for an entire pizza to be assembled. Space restrictions in a kitchen would seem to make this not particularly easy.

A third problem would be keeping the entire thing a secret from the outside world. In order to make this work every employee at every Chuck E. Cheese would have to be part of the conspiracy. This particular hypothesis has been around for at least ten years, likely because of the various misshapen and oddly sliced pizzas as discussed earlier. I find it all but impossible to believe every employee of the franchise is loyal enough to keep this a secret.

Is it possible the slices are being collected, stored, and assembled while all the employees are keeping the secret? I don’t argue that it’s impossible, just incredibly unlikely. Therefore, I choose to accept the explanations offered by former employees and the company itself.

And you?

Is Chuck E. Cheese Making Frankenpizzas?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Tom Liberman

Sports Gambling Experts and the Tricks they Use

Sports Gambling

The prohibition against Sports Gambling was lifted by the Supreme Court not long ago and a number of states have already started to allow such betting with many more planning to do so. I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about a Confidence Game that Sports Gambling experts rely upon to relieve you of your money.

If you listen to Sports Talk Radio or watch it on television you will eventually come across a number of shows in which a gambler claims to be willing to sell you the guaranteed winner of certain games each week. He or she generally offers a free sample to prove how accurate are her or his predictions. It’s a relatively simple little trick but before I explain let me give you an example of how attractive it sounds.

Let’s say I make an absolute guarantee of victory and you fill out the required form. I send you my winner of the week. Imagine it turns out to be right. You’d be not much impressed I imagine. Anyone can get a game right. It’s essentially a 50% chance. Either the team I predicts covers the spread or they don’t. However, you’re intrigued. Let’s try again you might say to yourself. This could be easy money.

You try it a second time and I’m right again! Ok, this is getting serious. I might actually know what I’m doing. You’re a cautious person though and you want to test it a few more times. You’re so cautious you test it six times and each time I’m correct. Now you are willing to shell out a few hundred bucks to get a guaranteed winner, right? I mean, yes, you have to pay for the winner but you can gamble much more money and win it all back. Easy money!

What’s the trick? As I said, it’s not too difficult. Basically, each week I send out groups of predictions rather than single predictions. That is to say I don’t send a free sample of the same game to everyone who inquires. Instead I send out one of ten games randomly to each person. Each time I do so I risk being wrong 50% of the time. That means one out of every sixty-four, or two percent, of the people I send my predictions to will get the correct winner six weeks in a row.

I send these out to tens of thousands if not millions of people. Two percent of the people, if they required six straight corrects, will subscribe to my service. Let’s be conservative and imagine I send out these samples to 10,000 people a week. That means two-hundred people will send me their hundreds of dollars in return for my prediction, per week. Eventually they might become disenchanted but many will require less “proof” and many will remain loyal. This is a lucrative business opportunity, much better than actually betting on sporting events.

That’s the entirety of the trick. You can thank me by purchasing one, or more, of my novels. They’re only $2.99 and you might enjoy reading them. Even if you think it sucks, you’ll be out less money than if you listened to Sports Gambling Experts.

Tom Liberman

Misleading Headline Funds Seized from Student

Misleading Headline Student

Student’s funds seized after he paid $500,000 rent on penthouse blares the completely true but nevertheless Misleading Headline. The general intent of the Misleading Headline in this case is essentially to attract clicks. What, I asked myself, is all of this about? Probably I’m not alone in thinking some poor student is being mistreated by a government agency. Nope.

In this case, a young fellow Vlad Luca Filat moved to London and began studying. He made a number of luxury purchases including the penthouse in question. At issue is that he has no source of income and his father stole in excess of a billion dollars from Moldova while serving as the prime minster of that country. The general assumption being that Filat was using the money his father stole to finance a lavish lifestyle.

The National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom determined this is exactly what happened and seized the young man’s assets.

While the story is certainly a Misleading Headline it shines a light on the enormous amount of money being stolen by politicians in virtually every country in the world. I wrote about a year ago how the world is awash in untraceable money largely looted from the taxes of various nations, that is to say the average person. The looting is worse in some places, in Moldava the amount stolen was equal to 12% of the entire nation’s GDP, but there is no doubt it is happening everywhere including the United States.

This huge amount of stolen money isn’t really a problem for politicians because they’re the ones stealing it. They purchase all sorts of luxury items and pat themselves on the back for helping the economy. The amount of money is so enormous that no one can easily track it and politicians and their allies are simply fools if they don’t join in. That’s the world in which we live. Don’t blame me.

Tom Liberman

Casey Smitherman and Doing Good to Make Yourself Feel Better

Smitherman

The story about Casey Smitherman who made a false insurance claim to help a sick student has been much in the news lately and gets me thinking. Thinking about what, you might ask? Thinking about people who try to do something good largely for the purpose of making themselves feel better, not the person they are supposedly helping.

First the situation. A student in Smitherman’s school district, Ellwood Community Schools, missed some days of school and Smitherman went to the home of the student and took the boy to the doctor. There she used her insurance card and claimed the student was her son. This is insurance fraud.

I would guess the average person reading this story will laud Smitherman as a hero. While what she did was illegal, it was with the best intentions of the student at heart. This demonstrates an idea I wrote about a while back called Relativistic Morality but I don’t want to rehash that topic in this blog. What interests me in this case is that Smitherman has resigned and at least one family member of the boy who was treated is happy about it. Why? Because Smitherman came into the family home, took the boy, got medication, and gave it to him without permission from his guardians.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know all the facts about the case. I don’t know the circumstances of the boy’s life or the responsibility of his guardians but that fact bring into doubt Smitherman’s motivations. Basically, it’s possible she was simply doing it because she wanted to feel better about herself and was less interested in helping the boy. That’s the idea I’d like to examine in this blog. People who claim to be helping others when in fact they are trying to make themselves feel like better human beings.

How many of us are guilty of the same thing? We see something that appears to be an egregious situation and step in, without permission, to right the wrongs. How many of us stick our noses in the business of others where it does not belong?

If we see a parent disciplining a child in a way we deem to violent, should we step in? Most people want to be helpful and kind. It makes us feel good to help others. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads people to overstep their authority and place. We jump into someone else’s life with the hope of aiding them but in reality, we are just trying to make ourselves feel like a good person. They did not want nor need our help.

There are no easy answers here. Sometimes it’s very important to step in and help people. Other times we are doing it for the wrong reasons and we are making a situation worse. One of phrases I like to think about in these circumstances is: Don’t criticize the way another person goes about doing her or his business. Before intervening, I suggest you consider why you are doing it. Is it to help the other person or is it simply to make yourself feel like a good person?

I think Smitherman crossed onto the wrong side of the line when she took the boy without permission and her actions should be taken in that light. You may feel differently.

Tom Liberman