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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

This Is Your Lucky Minute
Column
This Is Your Lucky Minute
5 days ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I am pleased to report that almost all the drivers on Atherton Street obeyed the section of the motor vehicle code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that requires them to halt the forward progress of their vehicles at red lights. The one that did not stop missed me by an eyelash. [Read More]
What's a Matzo?
Column
What's a Matzo?
2 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
"Uh, you know how I just asked you about Jewish crackers?" I muttered. "Jews don't celebrate Easter." I doubt the kid heard me. Just as well. I didn't want to give him a hard time. He probably was on customer-friendly autopilot when he wished me a happy Easter. [Read More]
April (and May and June and...) Fools!
Column
April (and May and June and...) Fools!
3 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
"Stop breaking my heart! People are dying. Our hope is for war to end. This does nothing to hasten peace. You are wasting precious time and energy that could be devoted to worthy causes, not sophomoric pranks. Though laughter is good medicine, your brand of "humor" is a poisoned pill." [Read More]
Apples vs. Icebergs: Who's Right?
Column
Apples vs. Icebergs: Who's Right?
4 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
If 144 members and former members of a fraternity are entertained by a Facebook page that displays photos that never should have been taken, that too, suggests, if not a culture of rape, then certainly a culture that condones the mistreatment of women. [Read More]
The KDR Scandal: Who's Naked Now?
Column
The KDR Scandal: Who's Naked Now?
5 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I know this sounds like victim blaming: It isn't the women who should have to alter their behavior; it's the men. But I'm thinking in practical terms: Women can change the social dynamic at Penn State starting this weekend ... [Read More]
Do We Need a Weatherman? Do We Need a Weatherman?
6 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Bill Ayers is a retired professor of education at the University of Illinois and, by most accounts, a well-regarded scholar. But to State Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, a wild-eyed radical Ayers was, and a wild-eyed radical he shall always be. [Read More]
We Shall Have Spring
Column
We Shall Have Spring
7 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Strangers would see me on the street and ask, "Is that The Big Coat?" I did not wear The Big Coat all that often. For one thing, I looked pretty dweeby in it, kind of a cross between Ralphie's snowsuited little brother in "A Christmas Story" and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in "Ghostbusters. [Read More]
Zap Me a Cookie, Would Ya?
Column
Zap Me a Cookie, Would Ya?
8 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The beauty of my Coronamatic was that it had a correcting cartridge. When you mistyped, you popped in the correcting cartridge. At the critical moment I ejected the old cartridge, flung it across my bedroom, Frisbee-style, inserted the new one and resumed typing, all in one fluid motion. [Read More]
Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang
Column
Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang
9 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Fiore is fond of hot little things. It's how she described the pistol she had in a holster between her thighs during a telephone interview. The first thing a lot of people thought of when they heard of this push to arm students was the ocean of alcohol on which undergraduate culture floats. [Read More]
Welcome to the Devil's Workshop
Column
Welcome to the Devil's Workshop
10 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Amazingly, the guy apologized. Why, he asked himself, was he tormenting a person he didn't know and who had never done him any harm? Great question, pal. When the two of them spoke on the air in a recorded phone conversation, they both cried. [Read More]
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