Herbert Burtis' spouse, John Ferris (left), died four years ago. When Burtis went to the Social Security office to apply for survivor benefits, the clerk told him the federal government did not recognize his marriage.
Credit Courtesy of GLAD
Herbert Burtis is one of 17 gay men and lesbians who are part of a lawsuit on whether the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
Herbert Burtis met the person he wanted to marry in college, in 1948. But since the object of his affection was another man, they had to wait until 2004 for the ceremony, when Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriages.
"It's a long engagement," Burtis says, laughing. "We thought it was time that we made each other honest people."
His spouse, John Ferris, died four years ago. When Burtis went to the Social Security office to apply for survivor benefits, the clerk told him the federal government did not recognize his marriage.
Metal-working apprentices train in Leipzig, Germany, in 2010. Germany has Europe's lowest youth unemployment rate, thanks in part to its ancient apprentice system, which trains about 1.5 million people each year.
Credit Eric Westervelt / NPR
Robin Dittmar, 18, works at the Lufthansa Technik training center in Hamburg. He is about a third of the way through his apprenticeship as an aircraft mechanic and is confident his training will translate into a full-time job.
Credit Eric Westervelt / NPR
Apprentices are trained at the Lufthansa Technik training center in Hamburg last month. About 60 percent of German high school students opt for vocational training over further academic education.
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.
William Shockley (at head of table) celebrates winning a share of the 1956 Nobel Prize. Gordon Moore (seated far left), Sheldon Roberts (next to Moore), Robert Noyce (middle standing), and Jay Last (far right) are half of the "Traitorous Eight."
Credit Cindy Carpien / NPR
The list of more than 40 firms Arthur Rock asked to invest in the Traitorous 8. He was asking for $1.5 million and a share in the business for each of the founders. "None of the companies would do it," Rock says.
Credit Cindy Carpien / NPR
A plaque commemorating where Shockley set up in a lab in 1956. Shockley wanted to make better silicon-based transistors, but soon abandoned the pursuit. The building now houses an international produce market.
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.
Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at a campaign rally at Four Seasons Sheraton in Mars, Pa., Monday night. Rival Mitt Romney won the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Wisconsin primaries.
Rick Santorum came surprisingly close to an upset in Wisconsin this week, losing to Mitt Romney by less than 5 percentage points. It was not as heartbreakingly close as his previous losses in Michigan and Ohio, but it was one more reminder of what might have been.
With a win in Wisconsin, Santorum would have confounded the ruling media narrative of the moment, which wants to turn from the primary season of spring to the autumnal matchup of Romney and President Obama.
Tiger Woods at a practice round ahead of the 2012 Masters Tournament, which begins Thursday in Augusta, Ga. Woods receives the lion's share of press coverage despite his poor record over the past several years.
Hearing about golf these past couple of years has turned into some sort of dual universe. On the one hand there is the real world, like: "Smith and Jones Tied for Lead in Cat Food Open."
But then, in more detail, the larger shadow story reads: "Tiger's Putter Falters, Trails By 12 Strokes."
Golf has become like fantasy football or Rotisserie Baseball. Only, imagine if everybody has the same guy — Tiger Woods — on his team. No other golfers seem to exist, except possibly The Ghost of Jack Nicklaus.
Former GSA administrator Martha Johnson on Capitol Hill in June 2009.
The scandal involving the General Services Administration's by now infamous conference featuring spending on a clown and mind reader is certainly far from the biggest in terms of the overall dollars involved. After all, we're talking about less than $1 million all told.
That's pocket change at the Pentagon, where they can probably find more taxpayer money under the couch cushions.
But it may go down in history as one of the dumbest. A clown and a mind reader at a conference of federal bureaucrats? Really?
Historically, young people have been much less likely to vote than older Americans.
That trend has started to change in the past few presidential election cycles, especially in 2008, when a census report found that 49 percent of those ages 18 to 24 who were eligible to vote participated in the presidential election.
Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, known as The Milk Carton Kids, are getting a lot of well-deserved buzz. When the folk duo released its second album Prologue for free online last year, more than 60,000 fans downloaded the tracks. Acoustic, soothing, rich in ballads — the signature Milk Carton Kids form of fusing two voices into one sound is mesmerizing.
In a photo released by North Korea's Korean Central Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (third from right) and other senior leaders attend a memorial service in Pyongyang, March 25, marking the 100th day since the death of Kim's father, Kim Jong Il. North Korea has been sending the world mixed messages since the death of the elder Kim.
Credit Susan Walsh / AP
President Obama delivers remarks at Hankuk University in Seoul, South Korea, last week. During his visit, Obama warned Pyongyang against more provocative actions, at the same time reiterating the U.S. has no hostile intent toward North Korea.
A nonprofit foundation set up to support scientific research of interest to the Food and Drug Administration is finally starting to take off after years of struggling financially — and it's about to get some long-promised funding from the FDA.
But some critics worry that this foundation, which will also raise money from private sources including industry, could provide a way for the food and medical industries to sway FDA decisions.
Some extra-virgin olive oil is adulterated with lower-priced, lower-grade oils and artificial coloring along the supply chain without retailers or consumers ever knowing.
Credit Courtesy of Picarro
Aaron Van Pelt of Picarro uses one of the company's isotope analyzer in the field in China.
As we've reported, fish fraud – labeling a less-desirable species as a more desirable one – is more widespread than you'd think. Olive oil, too, isn't always what it seems. And honey from Asia is fraught with suspicion.
Right now, Dan Auerbach is living a rock-star moment, with his hard-hitting blues-rock duo The Black Keys selling out arenas all over the country. Lots of people want him on their records. So what does he do? He seeks out the 71-year-old Dr.