I've had two careers in my life. My education and 16 years of my working life were in the field of mechanical engineering. One of the best courses I took in graduate school had to do with fracture mechanics. One of the topics it deals with is predicting the likelihood of brittle fracture and growth of small cracks into larger ones. You'll see the term "crack propagation" in papers on the subject.
My father was born in Ireland and emigrated to America when he was a young man. He came here in search of better economic opportunities. He found that and more: he met my mother, married her, and had a raft of kids. He became a US citizen. He thought he'd reached the Promised Land. He had little to look forward to in Ireland at the time. He didn't want to be a farmer.
Now Ireland has become the Celtic Tiger of the EU. The population is young, educated, and staying home to work in high-tech industries that have sprung up. I was lucky enough to go back a few years ago and see the town where my father grew up.
One thing I learned while I was there was the Irish slang for conversation: "craic", pronounced like "crack". "Having a craic" means sitting around with your friends and having a lively discussion.
So the title of my blog is an attempt to be clever and pay homage to my former profession and my father's homeland.
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