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A former North Carolina State University professor and expert in materials science said Monday that travelers shouldn't worry about cracks in the bodies of commercial airliners.

Charles Manning said cracks that result from metal fatigue are a part of life. For the past 30 years, he has headed Accident Reconstruction Analysis Inc., an engineering consulting firm that performs failure analysis and accident reconstruction. Before that, he was a materials science professor at N.C. State, and he also headed NASA's Langley Advanced Materials Research Program.

"It can happen with everyday things. Take a paper clip and bend it back and forth. It's going to break," Manning said.

Well that that ought to allay a lot of fears. It should be obvious why I put this story in the Weird Desk column. Also note that he's a "former North Carolina State University professor."  You can't make this stuff up...To read the rest of the article, click here.