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Russell Frank

Russell Frank worked as a reporter, editor and columnist at newspapers in California and Pennsylvania for 13 years before joining the journalism faculty at Penn State in 1998. He roots for the Yankees, plays blues guitar and harmonica (badly), bikes and hikes for physical exercise and does The New York Times crossword puzzle for mental exercise. He is, by academic training, a folklorist (Ph.D., UPenn), which means, when you strip away all the academic jargon, that he loves a good story. He is the author of "Newslore: Contemporary Folklore on the Internet." His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.

Articles by Russell Frank

The Best Holiday Gift Ever
Column
The Best Holiday Gift Ever
3 days ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The poor schlemiels who grew up a generation before I did got handfuls of walnuts and raisins. That wouldn't do for kids raised in the 'burbs whose peers were getting bikes from Santa. Jewish parents needed to step up. [Read More]
Money: A Mere Fascination
Column
Money: A Mere Fascination
1 week ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Then, as if they know that the planet will spin off its axis if I actually win something, the visitors rally. I break out in a sweat. I squeeze the steering wheel hard enough to liquefy it. [Read More]
Black Legs Disappearing into the Blue Sea
Column
Black Legs Disappearing into the Blue Sea
2 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
It was heartening to see that the students were moved to speak up; that they believe that speaking up can actually accomplish something; and that they were paying attention to the world beyond Happy Valley ... [Read More]
Youth is Wasted on the You-Know-Who
Column
Youth is Wasted on the You-Know-Who
3 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I half-jokingly asked a girl I fancied to ditch her boring boyfriend and marry me. Sensibly, she turned me down. But if she had proposed, in turn, that we drive the four hours to Vegas and tie the knot with an Elvis impersonator as our witness? [Read More]
Ten Things to Be Thankful For
Column
Ten Things to Be Thankful For
4 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The steady stream of students makes this place about as recession-proof as a place can be. Rush hours hereabouts are more like rush half-hours. It is now possible to get decent bread, Thai food and locally-brewed beer here. This was not the case back in the 20th century. [Read More]
Happy Valleywood: The Movies
Column
Happy Valleywood: The Movies
5 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Maybe a movie isn't the best way to tell the Sandusky story. I say this after a mini-binge: I watched "Happy Valley" at the State Theatre on Friday night and streamed "365 Days: A Year in Happy Valley" on my computer over the weekend. [Read More]
News Flash Re Ash Stash
Column
News Flash Re Ash Stash
6 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
This will not surprise anyone in my family. My mother prophetically called me the absent-minded professor when I was a kid. I lost my dad. Specifically, I lost his ashes. [Read More]
And Then Comes the Hangover
Column
And Then Comes the Hangover
7 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
One of the things "kids" have to learn about making mistakes is that they're accountable for them. When a football player gets charged with a criminal offense, however minor, on Thursday and then plays on Saturday, the message seems to be, the cops think you did something wrong, but we don't. [Read More]
Bring on the Bambini!
Column
Bring on the Bambini!
8 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I'm generally not the artsy-craftsy type but at trick-or-treat time I would be seized by a mad compulsion to make ingenious get-ups. One year I turned a gold shopping bag into King Tut's headdress ... sawing off the head and neck of a plastic dinosaur to use as the cobra on Tut's forehead. [Read More]
Welcome to Alt-State College!
Column
Welcome to Alt-State College!
9 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
If only, he says. If only there were more bookstores here, more coffeehouses, more jazz clubs, more galleries, more ethnic restaurants, fewer pizza joints, fewer T-shirt shops, fewer student hangouts, fewer drunks. [Read More]
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