Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Good, the Bad and the WTF? 4/3/14

This week's good news comes from Science Daily.com, which reports from the University of Kansas Cancer Center that scientists are gradually honing in on a viable treatment for pancreatic cancer, one of the forms with the highest mortality rates. 

To summarize, "Findings of a new study provide a direct proof for a new therapy and provide hope for the people with pancreatic cancer.  Pancreatic cancer rates in the U.S. have been rising over the past decade, and the disease takes a very heavy toll.  The American Cancer Society estimates that in the last year alone about 45,220 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, while 38,460 died of the illness."

Dr. Liang Xu  at the university "has discovered that targeting a cell-surface receptor called 'CD44s' can block pancreatic tumor formation and recurrence after radiotherapy."  He states, "The sad truth is that patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have few treatment options.  The only hope for a cure is surgery, but unfortunately pancreatic cancer patients are often diagnosed too late, when surgery is no longer an option.  We need better treatments for these patients.  Now that we know more about how cancer originates and how tumors re-grow after treatment, we can design new therapies to prevent this.  Our team is motivated in accomplishing this goal and move new therapy to the clinic to benefit the patients and their families."

Link to the article at Science Daily.com:


Photo courtesy of Yahoo News

The bad:  Yesterday, a second spree killing at Fort Hood in Texas.  Four people were killed at Fort Hood including the gunman, Ivan Lopez, an active-duty soldier assigned to Sustainment Brigade.  Lopez was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder for his time served in Iraq and reportedly had "a number of other psychological issues," according to Lt. General Mark Milley, who addressed the press. 

This is the second mass shooting incident at Fort Hood following the 13-person massacre by a would-be Jihadist military psychiatrist.  President Obama has been quoted as saying "We're heartbroken something like this might've happened again."

Link to M. Alex Johnson, Jim Miklaszewski and Pete Williams' story-breaking article:


Photo via Twitter @kmattio/Fox Sports.com

It could be combined with bad news, I suppose, but this week's WTF? moment is courtesy of the classless tailgating slobs who left beer cans and other flotsam at the base of a statue dedicated to Shannon Stone and his young son at Globe Life Park in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers.  Stone fell to his death from the stadium in 2011 while trying to catch a ball thrown to him by outfielder Josh Hamilton.  While Rangers fans as a collective are not to be blamed, this petty, lazy and thoughtless act from the guilty parties is reprehensible and if anything makes you go "WTF?" upon sight, this is it.

                Listenin' to:  LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver

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