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The Spot: Work on the Waterfront

Lu Olkowski
Reporter Lu Olkowski with Pilot Rob Lukowski. (Say that three times fast.)

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers... 

"The Indiana Jones of Mathematics," produced by Ben Hayden for PRX'sTransistor, August 2014.

The podcast Transistor is a STEM audio project where radio producers are paired with scientists to create stories as inventive as the science they’re presenting. This episode of Transistor takes us thousands of miles away, into temperatures far below freezing, to the work site of the so-called “Indiana Jones of Mathematics.” Don’t worry -- there won’t be any snakes.

You can subscribe to Transistor on iTunes, and listen to more stories and view more images at the show's website.

Credit cargoland.kcrw.com

"Casuals," part three of Cargoland, produced by Lu Olkowski with KCRW's Independent Producer Project, December 2014.

Last year, award-winning radio producer and reporter Lu Olkowski debuted the five-part radio series, Cargoland, which tells the stories of the people anchored to the waterfront community of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The men and women who load and unload the ships in the harbor belong to one of the last truly strong American unions: the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. ILWU longshoremen have the kind of working class jobs that you can still raise a family on. The kind of jobs most Americans would love to have, but we rarely hear about what it takes to get those great jobs on the waterfront. In part three of the five part radio series, Lu meets two of the 6,000 workers trying to earn a spot in the ILWU.

Cargoland was conceived, written, and produced by Lu Olkowski, and edited by Samara Freemark, Sean Cole and Brendan Baker along with KCRW's Independent Producers Project. You can listen to all five radio stories at cargoland.kcrw.com and you can subscribe to the series on iTunes.

"Dam!," produced by Nate Dimeo for the podcast The Memory Palace, September 2009.

Recently, the Hoover Dam celebrated its 80th birthday. From the historical podcast The Memory Palace, here’s a look at the story behind who built the Hoover Dam, and how the stars -- yes, the ones in the sky -- might help us to remember them.

Nate Dimeo releases episodes of The Memory Palace on a weekly basis, and you can find out how to subscribe to the show at thememorypalace.us.

Credit Chris Williamson

This week's episode featured music from: Black Moth Super Rainbow, Kid Koala, Alexandre Desplat, and a selection from Twistin' the Freylakhs.

If you have a suggestion for a podcast or an audio project we should feature, please drop us a line at thespot@kalw.org.

Tune in next week for another episode of The Spot, only on KALW San Francisco.