For as long as he can remember, German teenager Robin Dittmar has been obsessed with airplanes. As a little boy, the sound of a plane overhead would send him into the backyard to peer into the sky. Toys had to have wings. Even today, Dittmar sees his car as a kind of ersatz Boeing.
"I've got the number 747 as the number plate of my car. I'm really in love with this airplane," the 18-year-old says.
Two giant ships move through the Panama Canal's two parallel channels at the Miraflores locks, heading toward the Pacific Ocean.
The orange and white Bow Summer is a tanker. The deck of the Ever Dynamic is stacked high with burgundy and blue shipping containers. More boats like these are backed up in both the Pacific and the Atlantic waiting to enter the narrow waterway.
Global trade has grown dramatically, but the Panama Canal — one of the most vital transit routes — hasn't changed its basic structure since it opened in 1914.
The first in a 3-part series airing this week on Morning Edition.
When Facebook goes public later this spring, its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, will be following in the footsteps of a long line of Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs that includes Steve Jobs and Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin. But there was a time when the idea of an engineer or scientist starting his or her own company was rare.