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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

Punter Needed? I'm Available.
Column
Punter Needed? I'm Available.
40 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
41 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
42 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
43 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
44 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]
We Could Be on Lesbos
Column
We Could Be on Lesbos
45 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
How many columns have I written about petty nuisances? A dead battery in the car. A live bat in the house. A flooded basement. A delayed flight. Of course, privilege is largely a matter of luck, and we’re only lucky until we’re unlucky. [Read More]
Farewell to the Summer of Schump
Column
Farewell to the Summer of Schump
46 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
This has been the summer of Amy Schumer and Donald Trump – the Summer of Schump, you might say. Schumer and Trump have something in common, apart from being tall and blond. Or rather, the responses to them have something in common, namely, a delight in naughtiness. [Read More]
Don't Be Rattled
Column
Don't Be Rattled
47 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Not to alarm you would-be woods walkers, but there are rattlesnakes out there. We met one the other day, all curled up along the John Wert Trail, which follows tea-colored Sinking Creek away from Bear Meadows, deep in the Rothrock State Forest. [Read More]
Too Cool for School? Don’t Be Fooled
Column
Too Cool for School? Don’t Be Fooled
48 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
As a parent I’m quite sure that my children learned more from my everyday comportment in the face of life’s challenges and absurdities than they did from any overt lessons I tried to articulate. The same may be true of my students. [Read More]
In Search of the Cure for the Summertime Blues
Column
In Search of the Cure for the Summertime Blues
49 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I vented my disenchantment with the current month to a friend, who had a ready explanation. “August,” he said, “is like one long Sunday night.” A young friend in New York considered this formulation, and elaborated on it: “June is Friday,” she said, “July is Saturday and August is Sund [Read More]
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