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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

Beware of ER Nurses Bearing Tales
Column
Beware of ER Nurses Bearing Tales
42 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
As a folklorist, Russell Frank is sometimes in the unenjoyable position of telling friends their great "true" stories are works of fiction that have often been making the rounds for years. [Read More]
In the Spring, an Old Man’s Fancy Turns Lightly to Thoughts of Dust Bunnies
Column
In the Spring, an Old Man’s Fancy Turns Lightly to Thoughts of Dust Bunnies
43 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
My household celebrated the arrival of spring in depressingly middle-aged fashion. Instead of dancing with the daffodils, we waltzed with the vacuum cleaner and shimmied with the sponge mop. [Read More]
Wanted: 469 Legislators. Must Play Well with Others.
Column
Wanted: 469 Legislators. Must Play Well with Others.
44 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
While news media seems to be all presidential politics all the time, how much have you heard about the looming battles for control of Congress? The relevance of the Congressional races to the presidential race, which has been on full boil for months, should be obvious. [Read More]
The Badda Boom, Badda Bing Presidency
Column
The Badda Boom, Badda Bing Presidency
45 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Columnist Russell Frank explores the fascination with and popularity of Donald Trump. [Read More]
The Obscure and the Obvious: A Rant Against Academic Writing
Column
The Obscure and the Obvious: A Rant Against Academic Writing
46 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
This week's Water Is Wet award goes to a study of an online support group for new mothers that opens with this bombshell of a first sentence: "Having a new baby is an extraordinary experience for most women." Who knew? [Read More]
Sentenced to Death: Fewer Periods, More Commas
Column
Sentenced to Death: Fewer Periods, More Commas
47 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Write like you’re getting paid by the period. That’s what I tell my journalism students when their sentences resemble corn mazes. New York Timesman Dwight Garner explained the problem with long sentences in his recent review of Henry James’ 'Autobiographies'. [Read More]
We’re Queens Guys... What’s It to Ya?
Column
We’re Queens Guys... What’s It to Ya?
48 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
You didn’t used to hear much about Queens. Then Donald Trump, a Queens boy through and through, announced he was running for president. And this week we learn that the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spent his formative years in Queens. [Read More]
Old Gray Hair Ain’t What It Used to Be
Column
Old Gray Hair Ain’t What It Used to Be
49 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Russell Frank got his gray hair the old-fashioned way... aging and having kids. He recently discovered a fashion phenomenon in which younger generations are purposely going gray, leading him to feel "funner and cooler and sexier." [Read More]
To Sleep, Perchance to Snore
Column
To Sleep, Perchance to Snore
50 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Such is my reputation for pondering matters of profoundest import that a helpful friend suggested I devote this week’s musings to Women Who Snore. [Read More]
This Column Was Crafted by Skilled Artisans
Column
This Column Was Crafted by Skilled Artisans
51 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I was disappointed to see that despite being “ultra durable,” despite having been “formed and hand-finished by skilled artisans,” and despite being coated with a “scratch-resistant glaze,” my pizza stone was chipped. [Read More]
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