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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

Here, Friday Night Lights Refer to Sabbath Candles
Column
Here, Friday Night Lights Refer to Sabbath Candles
3 days ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
One of the first things I noticed about Irina Zborovskaya was the back of her cell phone protector. It looks like a piece of a matzo. Irina's phone tells us something important about life in Ukraine's third-largest city: Odessa's Jews are not afraid to be Jewish. [Read More]
A Tale of Hunger Among the Ice Cream Eaters
Column
A Tale of Hunger Among the Ice Cream Eaters
1 week ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Benmayor first learned of many of his father's death camp experiences from a newspaper story written decades after the end of the war. Like many survivors, his father hadn't wanted to talk about what he had endured until he realized late in life that if he didn't remember, the world would forget. [Read More]
Of Japanese Toilets and Greek Breakfasts
Column
Of Japanese Toilets and Greek Breakfasts
2 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
My friends apparently had many fine experiences on their trip, but what they talked about most, or at least what I remember them talking about most, were the wonders of the bathroom in their hotel. Other countries might have a thing or two to teach us. [Read More]
Nice Places to Visit, But ...
Column
Nice Places to Visit, But ...
3 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
In the bus station of this small port city in northern Greece I met an American woman who has spent the last two years looking for a place to retire. Not long ago, my own version would have taken me on a tour of the world's seaport towns ... [Read More]
On Turning 21: Goop, Gum, Geysers and Little Men
Column
On Turning 21: Goop, Gum, Geysers and Little Men
4 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I didn't know a soul in Denver, but I was too tired at the end of the workday to do anything other than scrape tennis court goop off my body. After an hour or so I would have transferred the dark, oily speckles from my skin to my pink porcelain bathtub. [Read More]
Sleepovers: A Blast from the Past
Column
Sleepovers: A Blast from the Past
5 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I have fond memories of sleepovers at my friend David's house. The big treats were chocolate shakes and Jiffy Pop. The big adventure was climbing down the side of David's house using a heavy rope looped around the leg of the bunk beds in his second-story bedroom. [Read More]
Battle of the Bamboo
Column
Battle of the Bamboo
6 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I'll be frank (so to speak): I don't like chainsaws. It mostly has to do with the fact that I am morbidly noise averse, though I also find it entirely too easy to picture a chainsaw separating me from various important body parts as easily as a knife goes through room-temperature butter. [Read More]
When the Hurly-Burly's Done
Column
When the Hurly-Burly's Done
7 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
A functioning fraternity might have abided by the Interfraternity Council's ban on "daylongs" (all-day outdoor parties in Woospeak); members of a suspended fraternity felt no need to follow an IFC directive, so, if anything, life in the Woolands has felt even more out of control. [Read More]
The Amazing Disappearing Student
Column
The Amazing Disappearing Student
8 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Five-alarm sex, eh? That's pretty awesome, all right. We will probably continue to have instructors who, for grading purposes, don't care if they ever see their students' bleary mugs as long as their charges submit passable work. [Read More]
5,805 Characters About Baseball
Column
5,805 Characters About Baseball
9 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Baseball has always been a numbers game. It's not that I don't see the value of numbers. Reminds me of a mock sports report George Carlin used to do: "Here are some scores from around the league: 3-2, 6-0, 7-3, 4-1, and here's a partial score, 5." [Read More]
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