Talk about weird obsessions

David G. Schwartz, who runs the Gaming Studies Research Center at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, is really into casino carpets. As he says on his Web site ( “In my quest to launch casino carpet hermeneutics as a legitimate academic discourse, I delivered a paper on it at an academic conference. … Casino carpet is known an exercise in deliberate bad taste that somehow encourages people to gamble. In a strange way, though, it's a sublime work of art, rivaling any expressionist canvas of the past century. Note the regal tones of Caesars Palace, the bountiful bouquet of Mandalay Place, the soft, almost abstract pointillism of Paris, all whispering, ‘Gamble, gamble’ just out of the range of consciousness as people walk to the nearest slot machine.”