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The Spot: Hashtag Cooking & Examining Efficiency

Photo by Stan Lee for KCRW
Mr. Fries Man serves up buffalo shrimp, buffalo chicken, bbq bacon and more on his "loaded fries."

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

Meet Mr. Fries Man,” produced by David Weinberg for the KCRW podcast Below the Ten: Life in South LA, November 2016.

Activists, beauty queens, barbers, refugees, underground chefs, and rocket pilots are a sample of the types of people you can meet in the podcast Below the Ten: Life in South LA. In it, Reporter David Weinberg shares intimate portraits of people living in the neighborhoods south of the 10 freeway, like Watts, Jefferson Park, and Compton. We’re introduced to a wide variety of personalities who are all working in different fields, but are all rooted in making their neighborhoods a better place.

In this story from 2016, we meet a chef with a big personality who doesn’t advertise. Word of warning: you may not want to listen to this on an empty stomach. 

Listen to more of David Weinberg’s profiles from South Los Angeles at kcrw.com, and you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

(In)Efficiency,” from the podcast Ministry of Ideas, October 2017.

Mr. Fries Man and other Instagram chefs aren’t worried about how easily potential customers can find them. They’re thriving while also keeping their business at a manageable size, and don’t need to rely much on whether or not their customers are happy with how their ordering and pickup process. But that’s hardly the norm in the larger business landscape with some of the biggest corporations battling to be more efficient and easier to use than their competitors. Should we be worried that efficiency could be moving from a technique for measuring business and technology to a widely held moral value? This is one of the many philosophical questions that the podcast Ministry of Ideas takes on in its first season.

Ministry of Ideas is podcast and initiative of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School and featured in The Boston Globe Ideas Section. It is also a member of Hub & Spoke, a collective of independent, idea-driven podcasts. To learn more, you can visit ministryofideas.org.

This week's episode featured music from: Black Moth Super RainbowBacao Rhythm & Steel Band, Four Tet, and Blue Dot Sessions.

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.