Posts tagged ‘zombie ants’

The Penn Stater — Jan. 13, 2014

New semester, new coach, new era: Students are back in class today for the start of the Spring 2014 semester, but they’re not the only ones settling in to a new workload. And you can bet James Franklin was up earlier than most of them. Per @PennStateFball, the Nittany Lions’ 16th head football coach followed up a very busy weekend by getting to his new office by 5 a.m. today.

Bd2hMvFCQAEgRN-If you’re just now catching up on news of Franklin’s hiring, you can read our weekend recap of his introductory press conference here. For broader perspective, a few links worth checking out:

* Franklin’s busy weekend included Saturday’s press conference and photo ops and continued Sunday with appearances at the women’s volleyball banquet, the wrestling meet, and the Lady Lion basketball game. GoPSUSports has video.

* Local fan and media reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and while a handful of national columnists reacted with skepticism and scorn, most outside the Penn State community have nothing but praise for the hire. ESPN’s Ivan Maisel has some good perspective on this one, while the network’s Big Ten reporter, Adam Rittenberg, weighs the risks and rewards of Franklin’s hire.

* Franklin’s reputation as an ace recruiter is understandably getting a lot of attention. The should be very good news for Penn State, and as a couple of writers familiar with his previous jobs point out, temporarily very bad for Vanderbilt, and indefinitely awful for Maryland.

A really B1G show: Some great Penn State stories are featured on tonight’s episode of “BTN Live BIG,” airing at 11 p.m. Eastern on the Big Ten Network. The university’s nationally respected ability athletics program is highlighted, as is the work of David Hughes, the biologist whose fascinating research into “zombie ants” we’ve featured in the magazine. If you can’t stay up for it, set your DVR.

What’s in a (domain) name? If you’ve got $4,583 burning a hole in your pocket, you can bid on the rights to PennState.com. That’s the reported starting bid for the URL, which the university recently allowed to expire. The university’s home page, of course, is psu.edu.)

Closer to take-off: We’ve told you all about Penn State’s Lunar Lion team. The latest update from the (hopefully) moon-bound team? They recently tested their rocket engines, and happily, “everything went as planned.”

Ryan Jones, senior editor

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January 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

From the Magazine: Penn State’s Zombie Expert

Expanded content from the pages of The Penn Stater.

Our Sept./Oct. issue spotlights the work of David Hughes, an assistant professor of entomology and biology who has gotten a bit famous for his work with zombie ants.

Photo by Cardoni

Photo by Cardoni

Yes, that’s a real thing. There are all sorts of great videos on the subject, ranging from artistic to creepily real, which you can find here and here. Our favorite, (more…)

September 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm 3 comments

Check Your Mailboxes: July/August Issue Is En Route

If you’ve not received your July/August issue yet, rest assured it’s going to be in your mailbox soon, just in time for the summer reading season. And there’s a little something for everyone in this issue, including references to the Jonas Brothers and to zombie ants.

I’d like to call attention to an excerpt from the new book by Diane Ackerman ’70, One Hundred Names for Love. It’s a chronicle of how her husband, novelist and former Penn State professor Paul West, recovered from a stroke, but it’s also a beautiful, compelling love story.

If you’ve read any of Ackerman’s previous work, (I recommend A Brief History of the Senses), you’ll know her lyrical, poetic style. I read the entire book while deciding what we’d like to excerpt in the magazine, and it was not a easy decision to make. Plus, I teared up several times.

In this interview with Ackerman, who spoke to Katty Kay on The Diane Rehm Show, lots of speech language pathologists and relatives of stroke victims call in; it’s a fascinating hour.

In this issue, you’ll also find:

—Beautiful photos that Tina Hay took during the Alumni Association’s trip to Turkey.

—An incredibly entertaining profile of Rosey Grier ’56 by Michael Weinreb ’94. I bet my LP of Free To Be … You and Me, featuring his iconic rendition of “It’s All Right to Cry” is still in my dad’s basement, and this story made me want to go home and see if I could dig it up. It can’t be hard to find, not with the hot pink cover.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

June 24, 2011 at 11:39 am 2 comments


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