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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

Is This a Great Planet or What?: A Thanksgiving Toast
Column
Is This a Great Planet or What?: A Thanksgiving Toast
40 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Friend of mine calls me a nuts-and-berries guy. One of the things that has long worried me, nuts-and-berries guy that I am, is that electronic connectedness disconnects us from our immediate surroundings. [Read More]
Try a Little Tenderness
Column
Try a Little Tenderness
41 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I’m torn about the recent uproars at Claremont-McKenna, at Missouri, at Yale, and elsewhere. At the same time, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Spellman and Chodosh. Who among us has not spoken clumsily? Who does not have a blind spot about this or some tone-deafness about that? [Read More]
My Dad, the Celluloid War Hero: A Veterans Day Story
Column
My Dad, the Celluloid War Hero: A Veterans Day Story
42 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I have a watercolor caricature of my father from his World War II days. It doesn’t show him pulling a grenade pin with his teeth or charging up a French San Juan Hill or dogfighting with a Messerschmitt in the skies over Belgium. It shows him hopelessly entangled in celluloid. [Read More]
Oh, the Habits We Can Kick
Column
Oh, the Habits We Can Kick
43 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
To this day I am obnoxiously proud that my teenage rebellion took the form of never having a single puff of a cigarette. I did try other “smoking materials,” though, which kind of blows my holier-than-thou stance right out of the water. [Read More]
It Must Be World Series Time: I’m Defending Sports
Column
It Must Be World Series Time: I’m Defending Sports
44 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Usually, I'm the guy who's arguing against the hyper-inflated importance of sports in our society. Now, instead of being tickled that I was among students who agreed with me, I wanted to make them aware of the feelings of joy and unity that rooting for a team can elicit. [Read More]
Punter Needed? I'm Available.
Column
Punter Needed? I'm Available.
45 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I was a pretty fair kickball player back in the day and I don’t see why having a strong foot with one of those big, red playground balls wouldn’t translate to coffin-cornering the oddly shaped bladder you use in football. [Read More]
It’s Wonderful to Be Here, It’s Certainly a Thrill
Column
It’s Wonderful to Be Here, It’s Certainly a Thrill
46 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
It was 20 years ago today: I rolled into to State College in a car I no longer drive, to move into a house I no longer own, and work for a newspaper chain that no longer exists. I know that we moved to State College, in part, because it seemed like a good place to raise a family. [Read More]
(Seemingly) Good News: It’s Illegal to Carry a Loaded Gun on Campus
Column
(Seemingly) Good News: It’s Illegal to Carry a Loaded Gun on Campus
47 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
As humorist Andy Borowitz points out, “a vast majority of Americans, in fact, do not want to be shot.” All we are asking, we Americans who do not want to be shot, is that our laws make guns harder to get. Most criminals are only going to commit a crime if you make it easy for them. [Read More]
News That Stays News
Column
News That Stays News
48 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I am often asked, as a professor of journalism, where I get my news. As much as I hammer away at the importance of being well informed, I also think it’s possible to consume too much journalism. [Read More]
Bank Those Competitive Fires
Column
Bank Those Competitive Fires
49 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
“For many Americans,” writer Anne-Marie Slaughter begins, “life has become all competition all the time... The people who can compete and succeed in this culture are an ever-narrower slice of American society.” [Read More]
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