A more supposedly politically correct term for the academic research field might be “obesity studies.” Or perhaps “horizontally gifted studies.”

But no, it’s simply called “fat studies.” As San Diego State University professor Esther Rothblum explains, this is “a field that looks at how we can prevent discrimination based on body size.”

In this weekend’s Q&A, Rothblum talks about the growing interest in research about obesity from a variety of perspectives, including law, history, popular culture and sexuality.

She warns that plenty of companies have a vested interest in obsession about obesity and won’t be happy if people stop worrying about their weight.

In other news:

  • With its superintendent skipping town, the San Diego school board is mulling the idea of opening its search for a new chief to the public. The idea could make parents and teachers feel more like part of the process, but would-be superintendents may not like having the world know they’re job-hunting.

    Meanwhile, the school district’s fill-in superintendent is no stranger to that job. He served as acting chief when the district last had a vacancy in its head office, way back in 2008.

  • North County’s Guajome Park Academy, a charter school that got its start back in the early 1990s, came close to never existing at all. The Vista school board only approved the school because one member of an arch-conservative majority broke ranks and voted for it despite its embrace of liberal teaching philosophies.

    The school has persevered, but now it’s in a legal pickle: its practice of putting employees on its board of directors is drawing scrutiny, especially since one of those employees just happens to be the superintendent.

  • We’re continuing to untangle the web of confusion about this week’s countywide crackdown on medical marijuana stores.

    One of the most interesting issues: Is it even possible to get marijuana seeds legally? For the moment, at least, pot can’t be produced immaculately. So even if a marijuana dispensary managed to legally grow and sell the stuff, it might still run afoul of the law.

  • Our partners at the Media Arts Center have let us post a new interview with “The Waterman,” the homeless advocate who distributes hundreds of bottles of water each day.
  • In sports, former Union-Tribune reporter Tom Krasovic takes a look at the high stakes facing the Chargers in an era when winning the Super Bowl is all that matters, especially for a team that’s never had that honor.

    He also runs down what could go right and wrong this year for the team, and only briefly mentions a certain reality TV star.

The Coffee Collection (stories to enjoy over a cup of joe):

  • Prickly Times for Cactus Wren: The area around San Diego’s Market Street fits no one’s definition of bucolic. But a rare bird species calls a southeastern San Diego neighborhood home, and biologists want to make sure it sticks around since some of its other local habitats are fire-scarred.
  • Meet the Non-Teaching Teacher Some online classes in the San Diego schools don’t have teachers in the traditional sense. So why is the district making a point of calling them teachers?
  • Quote of the week: “[Expletive.]” — Charles Ziegenfelder, owner of Pacific Beach’s PB 420 Cheech & Chong Headquarters, upon hearing about Wednesday’s pot-store raids from someone named “Screwy Louie.”

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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