Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just a second, 2009 - the Earth needs to catch up!

Greenwich Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London

Greenwich Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London

AT THE GREENWICH PRIME MERIDIAN, England (AP) -- Just a second, 2009. It's going to take a little longer to say goodbye to the worst economic year since the Great Depression, but all for good cause. The custodians of time will ring in the New Year by tacking a "leap second" onto the clock Wednesday to account for the minute slowing of the Earth's rotation. The leap second has been used sporadically at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich since 1972, an adjustment that has kept Greenwich Mean Time the internationally agreed time standard.

Some scientists now say GMT should be replaced by International Atomic Time - computed outside Paris - because new technologies have allowed atomic time to tick away with down-to-the-nanosecond accuracy.

But opponents say atomic time's very precision poses a problem.

A strict measurement, they say, would change our very notion of time forever, as atomic clocks would one day outpace the familiar cycle of sunrise and sunset.

The time warp wouldn't be noticeable for generations, but within a millennium, noon - the hour associated with the sun's highest point in the sky - would occur around 1 o'clock. In tens of thousands of years, the sun would be days behind the human calendar.

That bothers people like Steve Allen, an analyst at the University of California at Santa Cruz's Lick Observatory.

"I think (our descendants) will curse us less if we choose to keep the clock reading near 12:00 when the sun is highest in the sky," Allen said.

Atomic time advocates argue that leap seconds are onerous because they're unpredictable.

Since the exact speed of the Earth's rotation can't be plotted out in advance, they're added as needed. Sometimes, like this year, they're added on Dec. 31, sometimes they're inserted at the end of June 30.

Those willy-nilly fixes can trip up time-sensitive software, particularly in Asia, where the extra second is added in the middle of the day.

Critics say everything from satellite navigation to power transmission and cellular communication is vulnerable to problems stemming from programs ignoring the extra second or adding it at different times.

Although the time will pass in the blink of an eye, Judah Levine, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colo., predicts the change will make him a very busy man starting about 5 p.m. Mountain Time. As part of the institute's Time and Frequency Division, he'll be helping to work out the bugs that follow.

"There's always somebody who doesn't get it right," Levine said. "It never fails."

Britons seemed less concerned about the remote prospect of having tea at 3 a.m. than the notion of leaving a France-based body in control of the world's time.

"I think there's some kind of historical pride we might feel in Britain about Greenwich being the point around which time is measured," 50-year-old telecoms executive Stephen Mallinson said as he waited to board a Eurostar train for Paris at London's St. Pancras Station.

"But in practice, does it make a difference? No."

At the Royal Observatory, 53-year-old homemaker Susie Holt was adjusting her wristwatch to match the digital display above the meridian. She said it would be a pity if GMT were made obsolete. Her daughter, 15-year-old Kirsty, was more forthright.

"We don't want the French to control time," she said. "They might get it wrong or something."

Meanwhile, Elisa Felicitas Arias, a scientist at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, which computes atomic time at a facility outside Paris, has been busy lobbying to scrap the leap seconds that have given the 17th century Royal Observatory pride of place.

"GMT is out of date," she sniffed.

She said she has been garnering considerable support, with the International Telecommunications Union - the arbiter of international time standards - considering a vote on a switch as early as next year, with a 2018 target to implement it.

The U.S., France, Germany, Italy, and Japan were all on board, she said.

But David Rooney, the Royal Observatory's curator of time, defended leap seconds, saying they give everyone "the best of both worlds."

The arrangement, he said, allows satellites, physicists, and high-frequency traders to benefit from the accuracy of atomic time while keeping our clocks consistent with the position of the sun in the sky - and with GMT.

The American Astronomical Society is officially neutral on the proposal to switch to atomic time, which is calculated based on readings from more than 200 atomic clocks maintained across the world.

Perhaps predictably, Britain's Royal Astronomical Society has come out in favor of conserving leap seconds. While spokesman Robert Massey said star-watchers could cope no matter what happened, he urged caution on such an important change.

"It's not just a matter for the telecommunications industry to tell everybody to get rid of the leap second," Massey said. "It would be a big cultural change at the very least. Abandoning the connection between time and solar time is really a big shift."

Check out article at The Advocate.

I'm on the fence on this one... scientific accuracy is important, but I kinda like that time matches solar time. Guess we'll have to see how this argument plays out over the next few years.

Anyway... Please everyone remember to be safe and responsible tonight... and enjoy the celebrations!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Paint Atlanta Purple!

Chick-fil-A Bowl 2008 - LSU vs GT - Paint Atlanta Purple!

ATLANTA — Whether it’s the first game of the season, the handful along the way against bitter rivals or the last time a team will strap on helmets and take the field together, every football game boils down to matchups.

Can your best players line up and beat the best players from the other team man-to-man, play-after-play more often and more convincingly for 60 minutes?

In that sense, the Chick-fil-A Bowl between LSU (7-5) and 14th-ranked Georgia Tech (9-3) won’t be much different than the previous 12 games the teams have played this season or the last three bowl outings the Tigers have turned in under coach Les Miles.

What’s different is the matchups facing LSU’s defense.

Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense is a hybrid of the wishbone from the 1960s and ’70s and the spread offenses in vogue now.

And the stakes, motivation and sense of urgency are intertwined and packaged differently for LSU as well.

Instead of putting a crescendo on a stellar season like they have the last three years, the Tigers are relegated to tacking something positive onto a season that spiraled out of control in November.

Whether LSU can dig deep enough to find the necessary motivation to play well will be nearly as important as how well the Tigers slow down the Yellow Jackets proficient offense, making this season finale intriguing.

“It’s real important for us to come out and play with energy and intensity because we want to finish this season a lot better than we’ve played the last few games,” LSU linebacker Darry Beckwith said. “If we do that and play good fundamental defense the way we’ve been coached, we’ll be OK.”

Those fundamentals boil down to what LSU coaches deem “assignment football.”

Each member of the defense has a specific role depending on the formation and is expected to take care of that job and not stray from the script.

“The great thing we’ve had is time, so we’ve been able to take it and break it down and teach it concept by concept and really get a lot of work done on what we need to stop, so it’s fortunate that we’re facing them in a bowl game and not in the middle of the football season,” LSU defensive co-coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto said.

Peveto’s co-coordinator Doug Mallory said whatever success LSU’s defense has will start up front with the defensive line.

“It starts with those guys up front and how disciplined they can be,” he said. “We’ve got some guys who when we face a conventional offense, they’re geared to getting up the field as fast as they can and rushing the passer. Against this kind of offense, the defensive ends are tied into option reads and they have to get geared up to play within the framework of the defense.”

Translation: The Tigers ends and cornerbacks have to stay home and dictate the quarterback’s decision.

If the two ends and two corners are effective, most running plays will either be funneled inside or strung out to the sideline where linebackers and safeties will be counted on to limit the damage.

“The linebackers are going to have to make a lot of open-field tackles,” LSU buck linebacker Perry Riley said. “We have to break down and be fundamentally sound and not miss when get a chance to wrap the running back up. We’ll be the first ones who have that chance and we want to make a lot of tackles and not leave it up to anybody else.”

That all sounds good in a neatly wrapped package, but part of Tech’s success and the danger the offenses poses is based on patience until the defense slips up.

While the triple-option might seem like a grind-it-out, ball-control way of doing things, the architect of Tech’s scheme takes umbrage with that notion.

“Honestly, I don’t think too many people out there understand (the triple option),” said Johnson, who relied on the offense to guide Georgia Southern to two Division I-AA national championships and then lead Navy to five straight bowl games. “I think that there’s the perception out there, which sometimes is perpetuated by the media and other people, that it’s just 3 yards and a cloud of dust and that fans don’t enjoy watching it because it’s boring and that guys can’t get to the next level playing in it. I think most of that has been proven wrong and as we get further into it here, all of it will be proven wrong.”

This season has certainly supplied some legs for Johnson’s argument.

In 12 games the Jackets have 64 plays of 20 yards or more. Broken down, 46 of those plays were rushes for 1,669 yards — 36.3 a carry. Eighteen pass plays went for more than 20 yards for 633 yards.

“There were a lot of games played this year where you could see our offense get 3-to-4 yards every carry and then all of a sudden hit a big one,” Tech center Dan Voss said.

“If you get out of position or if you take one false step or have any wasted motion, that can be the difference between a 3-yard gain and a 60-yard touchdown,” defensive end Kirston Pittman said.

So the Tigers have watched the triple option for three weeks, broken it down in the film room and a scout team has tried to emulate how the Jackets will attack.

“We’ve done everything we can to be as close to their style of offense to show it to our defense,” Miles said.

“If LSU’s scout team can execute as well as we can, we’re in trouble,” Jones said. “It’s going to come down to us executing our offense the best we can, and we always feel like if we execute our offense, we’re going to have a good chance.”

Johnson didn’t disagree.

“To me, what we do is a game of adjustments,” he said. “We don’t know how LSU’s going to play and they don’t know exactly what we’re going to do, so it’ll be who can adjust.”

Man-to-man, play-by-play, 60 minutes. Sound familiar?

Check out article at The Advocate.

Best of luck to the Tigers! I know this season hasn't been all that we hoped it would be, but this is still a talented team with a winning record and they deserve our respect and support!

Geaux Tigers!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008!

Christmas Scene

Christmas has had a long and varied history. It was been celebrated for centuries by different people, at different times, in different places, and in many different ways. Here you will find links to information about the different ways that the holiday we know as Christmas has been celebrated, or not celebrated, over the years.

Check out The Real Story of Christmas at

Regardless of the very interesting origins and history behind it, Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. While we're enjoying all of our gifts and traditions, let us not forget the real reason for the season!

Don't Forget The Reason for the Season!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

NORAD Tracking Santa's Sleigh Ride!

Santa Claus and his Eight Reindeer take to the sky!

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Who says Santa Claus doesn't exist?

The military personnel charged with being the eyes in the sky are certainly acting like he does — and they've been joined on the Internet by millions of believers.

Even doubters have reason to pause when they hear the North American Aerospace Defense Command — or NORAD, which monitors air and space threats against the U.S. and Canada — is in charge of the annual Christmas mission to keep children informed of Santa's worldwide journey to their homes.

"They challenge it, but only to a point," said Senior Master Sgt. Sharon Ryder-Platts, 49, who for five years has been a Santa tracker, taking calls from those wanting to know the location of jolly old St. Nick.

According to NORAD, Santa began his latest flight early Wednesday at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean. Historically, Santa visits the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia. NORAD points out that only Santa knows his route.

Last year, NORAD's Santa tracking center answered 94,000 calls and responded to 10,000 e-mails. About 10.6 million visitors went to the Web site, which can be viewed in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese and Chinese.

NORAD's holiday tradition can by traced to 1955, when a Colorado Springs newspaper printed a Sears, Roebuck & Co. ad telling children of a phone number to talk to Santa. The number was one digit off, and the first child to get through reached the Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD's predecessor.

Col. Harry W. Shoup answered.

Shoup's daughter, Terri Van Keuren, said her dad, now 91, was surprised to hear that the little voice on the other end thought he was Santa.

"Dad thought, `What the heck? This must be some kind of code,"' said Van Keuren, 59.

Shoup, described by his daughter as "just a nut about Christmas," didn't want to break the boy's heart, so he sounded a booming "Ho, ho, ho!" and pretended to be Santa Claus.

Enough calls followed that Shoup assigned an officer to answer them while the problem was fixed. But Shoup and the staff he was directing to "locate" Santa on radar ended up embracing the idea. NORAD picked up the tradition when it was formed 50 years ago.

"If we didn't do it, truly I don't know who else would track Santa," Maj. Stacia Reddish said.

The task that began with no computers and only a 60-by-80-foot glass map of North America now includes two big screens on a wall showing the world and information on each country Santa Claus visits. It took off with the Web site's 1997 launch, Reddish said.

Now, curious youngsters can follow Santa's path online with a Google two-dimensional map or in 3D using Google Earth, where he can be seen flying through different landscapes in his sleigh.

NORAD officials are hesitant to list all the potential sites Santa will visit with certainty.

"Historically, Santa has loved the Great Wall of China. He loves the (Space) Needle in Seattle. He of course loves the Eiffel Tower," Reddish said. "But his path is completely unpredictable, so we won't know."

Check out the article at Fox News.

This is a great service that NORAD is providing... the kids love to track Santa! Besides, with NORAD keeping watch over the skies, we can hopefully avoid any unwanted accidents... I'm sure Santa is grateful!

Click Here to Track Santa!

Santa Claus hit by plane!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Miracle on Fulton Street

Miracle on Fulton Street - New Orleans, LA

Miracle on Fulton Street - New Orleans, LA

Miracle on Fulton Street - New Orleans, LA

Miracle on Fulton Street - New Orleans, LA

One of New Orleans’ newest traditions, and one of the most colorful, is the annual “Miracle on Fulton Street” sponsored by Harrah’s Casino and Hotel. This free, seasonal event, which began in 2007, kicks off on Thanksgiving week and runs through the end of the year, celebrating the holidays in imaginative ways on the Fulton Street Mall, just outside the main Harrah’s Hotel.

Among the displays and attractions visitors can expect to see during the month-long event include the following:

  • Two winter wonderland tunnels, complete with Santa and his reindeer
  • A giant gingerbread house
  • “Faux Snow” falling every hour on the hour, starting at noon
  • Live entertainment with top local performers on weekends
  • Holiday-themed dining at nearby participating restaurants
  • Santa’s Shop, selling official “Miracle on Fulton Street” merchandise, including commemorative ornaments, apparel, bells, coffee mugs and more

Holiday drinks including Cajun egg nog, hot cocoa and hot toddies will also be on sale. Santa will be available for photos on Fulton Square.

Visitors can enter the fully decorated Mall at Poydras Street through a series of custom-built, faux wrought iron arches, accentuated by 12-foot-high Christmas trees and 3-foot-high fleur de lis ornaments. The arches will create a dramatic canopy illuminated by thousands of LED lights of various holiday colors.

Participating restaurants offering special holiday menu items include Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, Grand Isle seafood restaurant and Ernst Café – all of which border on the Fulton Street Mall.

Harrah’s New Orleans is operated by a subsidiary of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada nearly 70 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership.

Check out the article at New Orleans Online.

This is a very nice attraction to the riverfront area of Nola - we really enjoyed it! Check out my above photos!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Space Shuttles For Sale!!!

Space Shuttle Atlantis

Space Shuttle Discovery

Space Shuttle Columbia

Space Shuttle Atlantis riding a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA)

Need that perfect gift for the space buff in your life?
Got 129 million cu ft of spare hangar space?
Then has NASA got a deal for you: Once the space shuttle fleet retires,
probably by 2010, the shuttles will be ready for purchase.
But even for the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum,
the shuttles come at a hefty price—about $42 million each!

Earlier this week the space agency issued a Request for Information (RFI) to educational institutions, museums, and "other organizations" in an attempt to sell off the remaining space shuttles in 2010. The estimated total for tax, tags and freight is $42 million. According to NASA, the RFI will "gauge the level and scope of interest of U.S. organizations in acquiring … orbiters and other major flight hardware."

The agency hopes to find homes for two of the three orbiters; Discovery is already earmarked for the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. By law, the institution has something akin to a rights-of-first-refusal agreement with NASA that allows it first crack at space memorabilia once the government is done with it.

Discovery's long, active history makes it a logical choice for the Smithsonian. The third of NASA's winged spaceships and the oldest working orbiter, Discovery was deployed for the Hubble Space Telescope on mission STS-31 in April 1990, carried the 77-year-old John Glenn back into space in 1998, and was twice NASA's return-to-flight spacecraft—after the Challenger disaster in 1986 and the Columbia explosion five years ago. While Enterprise, the shuttle built for test flights, anchors the Smithsonian's space collection at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles airport in Virginia, the museum has long wanted to replace it with an operational orbiter. "To have any flown orbiter would be wonderful," says Valerie Neal, the Smithsonian's curator of the human spaceflight collection. "The Smithsonian tries to acquire the oldest or first-flown aircraft—so up until 2003, we'd hoped it would be Columbia. Now, of course, Discovery would be a perfect fit."

But that history comes with a hefty price tag—even for the internationally renowned Smithsonian. "We were in a different era then, where we had no eBay and people who were looking to make money off of artifacts," NASA spokesman Michael Curie told CollectSpace, a Web site devoted to space memorabilia. "So it was to everyone's advantage to try to provide them to those who might display them." NASA makes an important distinction: The $42 million isn't to buy an orbiter, but to prepare it for public presentation—nearly $30 million goes to "safeing" the craft (removing the fuel systems and other environmental hazards), approximately $8 million goes to display preparation and the final $6 million or so is spent on transportation and installation. Technically, the agency says, the cost is compensation for shipping and handling.

Industry observers also suggest that the cash-strapped space agency is grabbing every dollar it can find for the over-budget Constellation Program. In August, budget constraints forced NASA to scrap plans to have the shuttle's replacement, Orion, ready by 2013. The orbiters should be available Sept. 30, 2011, according to the RFI, and they should be ferried to their final destinations by May 31, 2012—where they will likely remain for a long time, since the agency is also decommissioning the 747 that is used to haul the spacecraft. "In the past, sometimes we have paid for this sort of 'shipping and handling,'" Neal says, "but this is unprecedented in terms of the cost involved. We're thrilled to have an orbiter designated for us, but we'll have to resolve the cost matter. Luckily, it's not like we have to come up with the money in 90 days."

Check out the article at Popular Mechanics.

Sweet... I want one!!! =)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Baton Rouge Snow Day!!!

Huey P Long Statue - Baton Rouge Snow Day - 12-11-08

Huey P Long Statue - Baton Rouge Snow Day - 12-11-08

LSU Tiger Stadium in Snow - 12-11-08  - Baton Rouge Snow Day

LSU's Mike VI in Snow - 12-11-08  - Baton Rouge Snow Day

Baton Rouge Snow Boarder - 12-11-08

Baton Rouge Snow Day - 12-11-08

Baton Rouge Snow Day - 12-11-08

With schools and many businesses closed this morning, area residents took to the snow-covered streets to enjoy the rare weather.

Even as snow turned to sleet, sledders and even a snowboarder slid down the rolling white hills of City Park.

On the LSU campus, seniors Kirk Melancon and Cade Worsham ran around the snow-covered campus fairgrounds with a few-dozen other students.

The two roommates started with photos and snowballs, which eventually led to full-on snow wrestling.

“I have one more exam today at 5:30,” Melancon said. “But I had to come out here today. This is a one in 15-year snow.”

Meteorologist Danielle Manning with the National Weather Service in Slidell estimated that 3 inches of snow fell in East Baton Rouge Parish, 2 inches in West Baton Rouge Parish and 5 in Livingston Parish.

The average snowfall in greater Baton Rouge is 2 to 3 inches, she said.

When Chicago native Chris Horton looked out of his Baton Rouge window this morning, the winter scene reminded him of home.

“Straight up Chicago,” he said. “I couldn’t think of anything but being in the Windy City.”

Horton’s sister, Crystal Burk, called him before sunrise to tell him about the weather. A few hours of shoveling and sculpting later, the twins had a life-size snowman in front of her Old South Baton Rouge house.

Burk’s grandchildren, who helped briefly with the project, had gone inside.

“It got too cold for them,” said Horton, who had a wide smile as he shoveled the snow.

Check out the article at The Advocate.

Yeah, Snow Day!!! Now, before y'all from up nawth start laughing at us, you gotta realize that we haven't seen this much snow since 1988!!!

Check out the online photo galleries at LSU Sports and The Advocate!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Celestial Bliss?

Venus Jupiter Moon Smile 2008

The heavens smiled down on Earth Monday in a rare celestial trifecta of Venus, Jupiter, and the moon.

The planets aligned—an event known as a conjunction—Sunday night, and were joined by a thin sliver of moon on Monday.

The rare planetary meeting was visible from all parts of the world, even from light-polluted cities such as Hong Kong and New York.

People in Asia witnessed a smiley face (above, photographed from Manila, Philippines), while skywatchers in the United States saw a frown.

The three brightest objects in the sky were so tightly gathered that one could eclipse them with a thumb, according to NASA's Web site.

The next visible Venus-Jupiter conjunction will be on the evening of March 14, 2012, but the two planets will appear farther apart in the sky.

Check out the article at National Geographic News.

Wish I could've seen the smiley face in the sky, but it was still an awesome viewing despite the frown! =)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

Venus Jupiter Moon Alignment 2008

Nov. 26, 2008 -- It's not just families that are getting together this Thanksgiving week. The three brightest objects in the night sky -- Venus, Jupiter and a crescent moon -- will crowd around each other for an unusual group shot.

Starting Thanksgiving evening, Jupiter and Venus will begin moving closer so that by Sunday and Monday, they will appear 2 degrees apart, which is about a finger width held out at arm's length, said Alan MacRobert, senior editor at Sky and Telescope magazine. Then on Monday night, they will be joined by a crescent moon right next to them, he said.

Look in the southwestern sky around twilight -- no telescope or binoculars needed. The show will even be visible in cities if it's a clear night.

"It'll be a head-turner," MacRobert said. "This certainly is an unusual coincidence for the crescent moon to be right there in the days when they are going to be closest together."

The moon is the brightest, closest and smallest of the three and is 252,000 miles away. Venus, the second brightest, closest and smallest, is 94 million miles away. And big Jupiter is 540 million miles away.

The three celestial objects come together from time to time, but often they are too close to the sun or unite at a time when they aren't so visible. The next time the three will be as close and visible as this week will be Nov. 18, 2052, according to Jack Horkheimer, director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium.

But if you are willing to settle for two out of three -- Venus and the crescent moon only -- it will happen again on New Year's Eve, MacRobert said.

Check out the article at Discovery News.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the viewing!

Check out today's Google art:

Google Thanksgiving 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chinese Democracy

Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy

Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy

Chinese Democracy is the sixth studio album by American rock band Guns N' Roses. It was released on November 23, 2008, worldwide and in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2008. It is the band's first studio album since 1993's "The Spaghetti Incident?", and their first album of original studio material since the simultaneous release of Use Your Illusion I and II in September 1991. Retail store chain Best Buy is the exclusive retailer of the album in the United States.

In a 2007 interview, Axl Rose's close friend Sebastian Bach stated that Chinese Democracy will be the first installment in a trilogy of new albums. Bach also remarked that Rose had told him the third, as yet untitled, album has been slated for 2012.

Guns N' Roses began to write and record new music in 1994. Ex-bassist Duff McKagan is quoted as saying, "[the] band was so splintered at that point that nothing got started". Slash has criticized Rose for making the band seem "like a dictatorship". Slash quit the band in 1996; drummer Matt Sorum and McKagan left soon afterwards. Slash was replaced by Nine Inch Nails touring guitarist Robin Finck, ex-Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson replaced McKagan, and Josh Freese joined as the drummer. In early 1998, the band — which comprised Rose, Finck, Stinson and Freese along with long-time Guns N' Roses associate Paul Tobias, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman — began recording at Rumbo Recorders, a state-of-the-art studio in the San Fernando Valley where Guns N' Roses had partially recorded parts for their debut album, Appetite for Destruction. During this time, Geffen paid Rose $1 million to try to finish the album, with a further $1 million if he handed it in to them by March 1, 1999.

In 2000, Rose hired avant-garde metal guitarist Buckethead, and drummer Bryan "Brain" Mantia to replace the departed Freese. Later on in 2000, Finck rejoined the band as the third guitarist. On January 1, 2001, Guns N' Roses played their first concert in over seven years at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was followed by their headlining performance at Rock in Rio III on January 14, 2001 in front of 190,000 people. On August 29, 2002, the band made a surprise visit to the MTV Video Music Awards, playing old songs along with a new "Madagascar" to an ecstatic New York crowd.

On December 14, 2006, Rose published an open letter to the band's fans on their website, claiming that remaining tour's shows were taking up time the band needed to finish recording Chinese Democracy. Rose also revealed that the band had parted company with their manager Merck Mercuriadis, implying that the reason the album was not released in 2006 was Mercuriadis's fault (many times throughout 2006, Rose had said the album would be released that year). In the letter, Rose announced a tentative release date of March 6, 2007 for the album, however, the album was once again delayed.

On February 22, 2007, the band's road manager, Del James, announced that all recording for the album had been completed and it was in the mixing process, James stated that there was no release date for the album but that things appeared to be moving on after a number of delays.

On March 26, 2008, various media outlets reported that Dr Pepper will offer a free can of Dr Pepper to everyone in America — excluding former Guns N' Roses guitarists Buckethead and Slash—if the band releases Chinese Democracy in 2008. Later on March 26, Rose replied to Dr Pepper on Guns N' Roses' official website and spoke of his surprise at Dr Pepper's support. Rose also said he would share his Dr Pepper with Buckethead as "some of Buckethead's performances are on [Chinese Democracy]". After it was announced that the album would be released in 2008, Dr Pepper confirmed that it would uphold its pledge.

On September 14, 2008, "Shackler's Revenge" was released on the music video game Rock Band 2, making it the band's first official release of new material since 1999's "Oh My God". "Shackler's Revenge" was shortly followed by another release, "If the World", which, according to Rolling Stone, plays during the closing credits of Body of Lies. A firm release date was announced by Billboard in October, 2008, set for November 23rd. In the US, the retail release will be sold exclusively through Best Buy. The first single from the album, "Chinese Democracy", was released on October 22, 2008.

Check out the Chinese Democracy Wiki page.

It's about freakin' time!!! I can't wait to pick up my copy... and I want my free Dr. Pepper, too! =)

Speaking of the Dr. Pepper promotion, you gotta love the press release from back in March, it's a classic...


*Guitarists Slash and Buckethead Will Not Be Eligible For Free Soda.

Then, the response from Axl...

We are surprised and very happy to have the support of Dr Pepper with our album “Chinese Democracy,” as for us, this came totally out of the blue. If there is any involvement with this promotion by our record company or others, we are unaware of such at this time. And as some of Buckethead’s performances are on our album, I’ll share my Dr Pepper with him.

LOL!!! Be sure to check out the Official Chinese Democracy website and the review from Rolling Stone.

UPDATE: Got the album and it freakin' rocks! Be sure to check it out, it's an awesome addition to any music collection!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

LSU 1958 Reunion of Champions!

LSU Tiger Stadium

LSU Tiger Stadium

LSU Tiger Stadium

LSU Tiger Stadium

LSU Tiger Stadium

LSU’s 1958 national champion football team will be honored at halftime of the LSU vs. Ole Miss game on Saturday. Also, 1959 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon will be recognized for his election into the College Football Hall of Fame.

BATON ROUGE -- Nostalgia will be dripping from Tiger Stadium on Saturday when the 1958 LSU Tigers, the first consensus national championship team in school history and the only undefeated title holder in school annals, will be presented at halftime of the game as part of a weekend-long reunion celebration for the squad.

Also, LSU legend Billy Cannon will be honored during the break between the first and second quarters for his election to the College Football Hall of Fame. Cannon was elected earlier this year and will be inducted in ceremonies to be held at New York’s historic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on December 9.

The 1958 team will start its reunion activities with a gathering at the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes on Friday evening followed by a tour of the LSU Football Operations Center. On Saturday morning the team will tour the Andonie Museum and will be presented at the Tiger Athletic Foundation Pre-Game Party in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

At halftime of the LSU-Ole Miss game, the team will be introduced at mid-field.

Cannon becomes only the sixth player in the history of LSU football to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Cannon will be presented with a plaque by the National Football Foundation on Saturday to commemorate his election to the Hall.

Other former LSU players who have been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame are G.E. “Doc” Fenton (1904-09), Abe Mickal (1933-35), Gaynell “Gus” Tinsley (1934-36), Ken Kavanaugh (1937-39) and Tommy Casanova (1969-71).

Five former LSU coaches are in the College Football Hall of Fame. They are Mike Donahue who also coached at Auburn; Lawrence “Biff” Jones who also coached at Army, Oklahoma and Nebraska; Dana X. Bible who also coached at Mississippi College, Texas A&M, Nebraska and Texas; Bernie Moore who also coached at Mercer, and LSU’s all-time winningest coach, Charles McClendon, who coached only at LSU from 1962-79.

Check out the article at LSU Sports.

Congrats to Billy Cannon and the rest of the 1958 Championship Team, who had one helluva season back in the day and have been honored for their accomplishments ever since.

Friday, November 21, 2008

U.S. Predicted to Fade?

Year Zero

The next two decades will see a world living with the daily threat of nuclear war, environmental catastrophe and the decline of America as the dominant global power, according to a frighteningly bleak assessment by the U.S. intelligence community.

"The world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the persistence of rogue states and terrorist groups with greater access to nuclear weapons," said the report by the National Intelligence Council.

The analysts said that the report had been prepared in time for Barack Obama's entry into the Oval office on January 20, where he will be faced with some of the greatest challenges of any newly-elected president.

"The likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used will increase with expanded access to technology and a widening range of options for limited strikes," the 121-page assessment said.

The analysts draw attention to an already escalating nuclear arms race in the Middle East and anticipate that a growing number of rogue states will be prepared to share their destructive technology with terror groups.

"Over the next 15-20 years reactions to the decisions Iran makes about its nuclear program could cause a number of regional states to intensify these efforts and consider actively pursuing nuclear weapons," the report Global Trends 2025 said. "This will add a new and more dangerous dimension to what is likely to be increasing competition for influence within the region," it said.

The spread of nuclear capabilities will raise questions about the ability of weak states to safeguard them, it added. "If the number of nuclear-capable states increases, so will the number of countries potentially willing to provide nuclear assistance to other countries or to terrorists."

The report, a year in the making, said that global warming will aggravate the scarcity of water, food and energy resources. Citing a British study, it said that climate change could force up to 200 million people to migrate to more temperate zones. "Widening gaps in birth rates and wealth-to-poverty ratios, and the impact of climate change, could further exacerbate tensions," it said.

The report says the warming earth will extend Russia and Canada's growing season and ease their access to northern oil fields, strengthening their economies. But Russia's potential emergence as a world power may be clouded by lagging investment in its energy sector, persistent crime and government corruption, the report says.

"The international system will be almost unrecognizable by 2025, owing to the rise of emerging powers, a globalizing economy, a transfer of wealth from West to East, and the growing influence of non-state actors. Although the United States is likely to remain the single most powerful actor, the United States' relative strength -- even in the military realm -- will decline and US leverage will become more strained."

Global power will be multipolar with the rise of India and China, and the Korean peninsula will be unified in some form. Turning to the current financial situation, the analysts say that the financial crisis on Wall Street is the beginning of a global economic rebalancing.

The U.S. dollar's role as the major world currency will weaken to the point where it becomes a "first among equals."

"Strategic rivalries are most likely to revolve around trade, investments and technological innovation, but we cannot rule out a 19th-century-like scenario of arms races, territorial expansion and military rivalries." The report, based on a global survey of experts and trends, was more pessimistic about America's global status than previous outlooks prepared every four years. It said that outcomes will depend in part on the actions of political leaders. "The next 20 years of transition to a new system are fraught with risks," it said.

The analysts also give warning that the kind of organized crime plaguing Russia could eventually take over the government of an Eastern or Central European country, and that countries in Africa and South Asia may find themselves ungoverned, as states wither away under pressure from security threats and diminishing resources.

The intelligence community expects that terrorism would survive until 2025, but in slightly different form, suggesting that Al Qaeda's "terrorist wave" might be breaking up. "Al Qaeda's inability to attract broad-based support might cause it to decay sooner than people think," it said.

On a positive note it added that an alternative to oil might be in place by 2025.

Check out the article at Fox News.

This is not the best of news. So much for "Change We Need..."

Check out Another Version of the Truth and use your mouse to wipe away the lies.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Incoming Obama Dictatorship?

Nazi SS Troopers - WWII

WASHINGTON -- A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist or fascist dictatorship.

"It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force," Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. "I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may -- may not, I hope not -- but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism."

Broun cited a July speech by Obama that has circulated on the Internet in which the then-Democratic presidential candidate called for a civilian force to take some of the national security burden off the military.

"That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did," Broun said. "When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."

Obama's comments about a national security force came during a speech in Colorado about building a new civil service corps. Among other things, he called for expanding the nation's foreign service and doubling the size of the Peace Corps "to renew our diplomacy."

"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set," Obama said in July. "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

Broun said he also believes Obama likely will move to ban gun ownership if he does build a national police force.

Obama has said he respects the Second Amendment right to bear arms and favors "common sense" gun laws. Gun rights advocates interpret that as meaning he'll at least enact curbs on ownership of assault weapons and concealed weapons. As an Illinois state lawmaker, Obama supported a ban on semiautomatic weapons and tighter restrictions on firearms generally.

"We can't be lulled into complacency," Broun said. "You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential."

Obama's transition office did not respond immediately to Broun's remarks.

Check out the article at Fox News.

What a scary thought! One can only hope that our system wouldn't allow such a thing to happen... I don't think it will.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day 2008

Veterans Day 2008

WWII Veteran Paul Kimball

WWII German Luger

WWII German Paratrooper Helmet

OPELOUSAS -- There’s more than superficial concern expressed by 90-year-old Paul Kimball Sr. when he contemplates the type of combat facing U.S. soldiers now fighting in Iraq.

“That’s urban warfare, it’s the worse kind,” says Kimball, while sitting in a quiet room of his secluded farmhouse several miles south of Opelousas.

If anyone knows the ferocity of house-to-house fighting, it’s Kimball, who served as a World War II ammunition and supply sergeant with the 75th Infantry Division in Europe from 1944 until May 1945.

Recently, just days before Veterans Day, Kimball took time to recall how just weeks after he arrived in France, he was rushed to Belgium near Bastogne, to help repulse the mid-December German counteroffensive launched through the Ardennes Forest.

Later he and members of his division moved into Holland, and then the Alsace-Lorraine area of France, fought along the Maginot Line, crossed the Rhine River and then finished the war in Germany, where they helped liberate a slave labor camp.

According to an official report compiled by the Army Office of the Theater Historian for the European Theater of Operations, the 75th Infantry Division was in combat for 94 days beginning Dec. 25, 1944.

During that time, the division suffered 3,954 combat casualties — killed, wounded and missing — and another 4,062 noncombat casualties.

Most of the fighting Kimball and his men experienced was in rural villages or in open countryside, where soldiers lived for days in foxholes. They faced machine gun fire, strafing from fighter planes and shelling from German artillery.

“The one thing the war did for me was make me a Christian. I say the rosary twice a day now and go to Mass every day. The old saying about no atheists in a foxhole is true,” he said.

Kimball said he never intended to serve in the Army. However, because it was difficult to find employment during the Great Depression in St. Landry Parish, Kimball said he and his brother, Pete, joined the Marine Corps in 1937.

Kimball served four years in the Corps but decided not to re-enlist. He also got a warning from a Marine officer which proved prophetic.

“He told me if I didn’t join up again, I’d be drafted into the Army,” Kimball said. Three months after being discharged from the Marines, Kimball was an Army staff sergeant in charge of an ammunition and pioneer platoon at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

The 75th Infantry Division arrived at Le Harve, France, in November 1944 and moved on to nearby Rouen, in Normandy province, where Kimball once traded Army rations for a butchered cow.

By early December, Kimball went to Vise, Belgium, and then the nearby town of Liege, where he took cover in a barn during a concentrated rocket attack.

“The rockets were coming in so low, we shot at them with our rifles, but it didn’t stop them,” he said.

Three days later Kimball moved to Charleroi and then onto Ny, about 6 miles from Bastogne, where the Germans eventually surrounded the American infantry.

Kimble said he and his soldiers accidentally dug into the Belgian forest 5 miles behind German lines, where they supplied rifle companies with ammunition.

“We fought all Christmas day and the day afterward. We took a lot of casualties, killed or wounded,” he said.

Kimball remembered that Christmas night as being clear and extremely cold, with a vivid full moon.

Kimball said one of his saddest memories of that engagement was knowing that a good friend, a lieutenant, died a few days after the man received a letter saying said his wife had delivered a baby boy.

Another scene Kimball can’t forget is watching an American P-38 Lightning fighter plane get shot down during a dogfight with a German Messerschmitt over Belgium.

“When the P-38 crashed, we all cried,” he said.

On New Year’s Day, 1945, Kimball was summoned to the front line, a hill held by the Americans.

For close to an hour, Kimball was in an earthen dugout where German artillery fire toppled trees over his protection.

Kimball said his knowledge of French allowed him to ride at the head of troop convoys.

In Alsace, France, he said the 75th joined the First French Army and the Third U.S. Army to flush the Germans out of a mountainous region.

Kimball recalled dining on cheese and champagne before a German artillery round exploded and cut off the leg of a cook sitting near him.

“Nobody ate anything after that,” he said.

A few days later at Weckleshiem, Kimball said he “almost vomited my guts out” when he was assigned to organize the burial of 30 German bodies, which had been stored in a barn for several days.

Several days afterward, he took a Luger pistol off a dead German officer lying face down at the Maginot Line.

“This officer was dressed to kill and he got killed, too. He must have been important, because the holster had the German Order of the Iron Cross on it,” Kimball said.

While in Germany, Kimball and his men were under siege in Dortmund before heading to Wesel and then Hemer.

It was near Hemer where Kimball said the Germans had established a slave labor camp which included Russian prisoners.

“Most of them looked like skeletons when we got there. They were dying at a rate of 250 per day,” he said.

Kimball said he helped organize a 50-man civilian detail to help bury the camp’s dead until “the graves looked like a big levee.”

During the past 63 years Kimball said he contemplated revisiting Europe.

Over time that changed.

“I thought about it, but then I decided not to. The memories are not that good,” he said.

Check out the article at The Advocate.

What an impressive story! I have nothing but the utmost respect for what that man and all members of the greatest generation went through.

Always honor our veterans... they have fought for our freedom and deserve our respect at all times!

For some more very interesting history and personal accounts of WWII, I highly recommend Band of Brothers, Pegasus Bridge, D-Day June 6, 1944, and Citizen Soldiers by Stephen Ambrose

Be sure to check out the Patriotic Fact Sheet and 2008 Presidential Proclamation by George W. Bush at the Department of Veteran Affairs website.

Check out today's Google art:

Google Veterans Day 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

Saban Bowl II

Geaux Tigers!  BEAT SABAN!

RUN Saban RUN!

Around the Bowl and Down the Hole, Roll Tide Roll!
Around the Bowl and Down the Hole... Roll Tide Roll!

Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban the Sell-Out!

Beat Saban the Sell-Out!Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban the Sell-Out!

Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban!

Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban the Sell-Out!

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Four bronze, larger-than-life statues look over Bryant-Denny Stadium’s front lawn, one for each man to win a national championship here.

From right to left, the statues stand chronologically: Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Bear Bryant and Gene Stallings. To the left of Stallings, there’s a lonely pedestal of grass, reserved for the next immortal.

It’s been considered that Nick Saban, who has Alabama at the head of the Bowl Championship Series title chase, could be the missing link.

“After we beat Georgia,” said David Jones, owner of the Alabama Express gift shop right off campus, “somebody actually went out there and put a mock statue of him in that spot.”

Such is the buzz absorbing Tuscaloosa these days. Sooner than anyone could have expected, Saban has awakened the 8,000-pound, crimson-clad elephant in the room.

Alabama football sleeps no more.

When the Crimson Tide face No. 15 LSU on Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium, it will take the field with a No. 1 ranking attached to its name for the first time since 1980, a year after Bryant won back-to-back national titles. It is the first time Alabama has had the ranking, period, since Stallings bronzed his status with a victory over Miami in the Sugar Bowl, following the 1992 season.

By beating the Tigers, the Tide can clinch a trip to the Southeastern Conference championship game. Alabama hasn’t done that since 1999, four coaches ago.

“Bama fans don’t really know what to do with ourselves right now,” said Jeremy Tuggle, a 2004 graduate from Birmingham. “We really thought it would be one or two more years before we were having these conversations.”

Saban, 57, might be the most popular man in town these days. Or it might be Mal Moore, the man who hired him.

One of the two.

It has been only 22 months, after all, since Moore, the Alabama athletic director, shocked football circles — NFL and college alike — by luring Saban from the Miami Dolphins, rushing him home on a private jet and introducing him as Alabama’s next coach at a news conference.

Across the nation, Saban was ripped for leaving Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga in a lurch. For investing only two years in Miami, then bolting. For famously announcing “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach” at a Dolphins news conference, only to reverse field.

Tuscaloosa never cared.

When Moore and Saban touched down, houndstooth-adorned fans — from the boosters to the coeds — rolled out the crimson carpet.

“You hear people talk about the Saban effect,” said Jones, who recalls Jan. 3, 2007, as a landmark day for sales. “I’ve thanked Mal Moore several times.”

Saban’s arrival was the big splash Bama craved. It promised the SEC’s most storied program a chance to end years of hit-and-miss and regain its traditional place as a consistent national player.

That’s what Moore wanted when he cast a line into the water after firing Mike Shula, like Moore a former Bama quarterback. For all the high marks he’d earned after directing a $125-million effort to enhance Alabama’s facilities, the A.D. knew he had to get this right.

Money wasn’t an issue. Neither was taking chances.

“I knew I wanted a proven coach who’d won a championship,” Moore said. “But I didn’t know that coach Saban was a real option for us. I’d only heard from different people that he might want back in the college game. When I flew down there, I didn’t even know if he’d talk to me.”

Moore left Tuscaloosa for south Florida the weekend of Miami’s final game, in Indianapolis. He returned a few days later with Saban, who had agreed to an eight-year, $32 million contract.

“I think it was a relief as much as anything,” said Kirk McNair, founder and editor of Bama Magazine. “Everybody was scared that Alabama wasn’t going to be able to get a (top-quality) coach.”

The one they got was one they knew. Saban, after all, had coached SEC West rival LSU to two conference titles and one national championship in five years.

He could do it here, too, couldn’t he?

The Tide had rolled through five coaches since Bryant retired after the 1982 season. Stallings, the third try, had been the only one worthy of a statue.

This would be different, Bama fans believed.

When the Saban story broke, its impact in Tuscaloosa could be measured in several ways, Web activity among them. McNair watched Bama Magazine’s message boards explode after he posted the news.

“It went berserk,” McNair said. “I’ve never seen the forums do anything like that.”Turning the Tide

Saban doesn’t seem to have changed much. He’s still not one to break out an oxford shirt or coat and tie very often. He’s still driven and competitive. He’s still impatient, for the most part, with anything — media functions included — that cuts into his time on the practice field or film room.

And his formula remains the same.

If you put this Alabama team in gold helmets and white jerseys, replaced its mascot with a live Bengal tiger and changed the lyrics of its fight song, you’d swear it was 2003 all over again. Saban has rebuilt in Tuscaloosa just as he did in Baton Rouge, carrying the same kit of tools.

He’s winning with defense. Solid, steady quarterback play. Preparation and discipline. He’s winning with the kind of team made for the long haul.

“It reminds us of a certain other coach,” said Ken Gaddy, director of the Bryant Museum, on the Alabama campus. “It’s what people think is Southern football.”

In other words, Bama isn’t flashy.Not yet.

Bama’s most recent recruiting class, however, was the best in the nation, according to, and other recruiting services. It included the likes of Julio Jones, a tall, athletic receiver who has caught 33 passes and started every game as a freshman.“People know he’s stocking the pantry,” McNair said of Saban, who recruited equally well at LSU, where he landed a consensus Top 5 class three times, in ’01, ’03 and ’04.

The most encouraging thing — or, if you’re a Bama rival, discouraging thing — about this 9-0 start? The Tide has only nine scholarship seniors, a sign that more of the same could await.

Saban won the SEC championship in Year 2 at LSU, but that team’s best ranking was No. 7, reached after a victory over Illinois in the Sugar Bowl. He didn’t have the Tigers in the national championship conversation until Year 4, a season that ended with LSU winning the BCS title.

Who knows where November will take Alabama? But it seems a lock the Tide will enter Year 3 under Saban ahead of schedule.

“Right now,” said Tuggle, the Bama grad from Birmingham, “we’re playing with house money.”Feeding the monsterSaban may not have a statue in front of the football stadium. But like every other man who has coached a game at Alabama since Bryant’s retirement, he does have an exhibit at the Bear Bryant Museum.

For now, the Saban display, located an option toss from the gift shop, is fairly unspectacular. It features a couple of magazine covers, a football commemorating the coach’s 100th career victory (registered against Tulane in September), last year’s Independence Bowl trophy and a highlight video accompanied by “Sweet Home Alabama” music.

But Kathleen Page, a lifelong Tide fan, figures the exhibit will need a remake soon. Her excitement is evident, from the ring tone on her cell phone (Yeah Alabama, by the Million Dollar Band) to her Tide handbag. She is too caught up in the unbeaten start to ponder star-studded recruiting classes.

“It’s been a long time coming,” the 44-year-old said, as she scanned old newspaper articles, bowl-game programs and game-worn equipment inside the museum. “And I really think this is the year we’re going to take it all the way.”

Every team in the SEC has passionate, impatient fans, to be sure. But nowhere else has a scrimmage drawn 92,000 fans, as Saban’s first spring game did.

“Coach Saban has preached to us about not getting too far ahead of ourselves,” said Gaddy, who has 12 team portraits on the wall in his office at the museum, one for every recognized national champion. “But the goal, long-term, come January, is to be No. 1 at the end of the season.”

And yes, to provide some company for Wade, Thomas, Bryant and Stallings. To put another Tide coach on that kind of pedestal.

Check out the article at The Advocate.

Well, it's that time again... time for Saban Bowl II. Not sure how this one's gonna turn out, those guys are on fire! No matter what happens, I wish my Tigers a great finish to the season and a worthy bowl appearance. Best of luck to the Crimson Tide on their national title hunt!

In other news, it seems that Mike the Tiger doesn't want to attend the football game! I'm sure he'll get more used to the crowds soon enough. This probably won't be the best game to bring him out due to the expected crowd noise, but it's ultimitely Mike's decision. But, as the Herb Vincent says... “When it’s a 500-pound tiger, there’s only so much you can do!”

Geaux Tigers!!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Can President Obama deliver on his promises???

Election 2008

Election 2008 - President Barack Obama

Barack Obama owes his election in part to President Bush's vast unpopularity, but that favor comes at a cost: the president-elect will be assuming responsibility for a credit crisis, a banking collapse, an unstable stock market and what is likely to be a lasting recession.

Now that he has won the White House following a two-year campaign that relied on soaring rhetoric about America's future, reality is setting in -- how can Obama deliver on his lengthy list of promises?

"He's made comments on the campaign trail that will have to be reconciled with his policies," said Republican political analyst Dylan Glenn.

Obama has offered tax cuts for working families, affordable and expanded health care and a speedy withdrawal from Iraq intended to save billions of dollars each month.

"His notion about what he will do in Iraq, his notion about what he will do in terms of fiscal policy for this country will have to be translated into real live policy, and that will be a challenge," Glenn said.

Obama will inherit a budget deficit that many analysts say could hit $1 trillion for the first time in history, potentially crimping any promises of tax cuts or spending on new programs.

He faces a diving economy that has traumatized Americans trying to buy a home, pay for college or plan for retirement. And he'll confront the complexities of trying to extricate U.S. forces from Iraq while facing a resurgent conflict in Afghanistan.

"He's taking office during a recession, in all likelihood, which is about what happened to George Bush," said Kevin Hassett, a senior fellow and director of economic policies at the American Enterprise Institute. "The odds are that we'll have a recession that's pretty lengthy, maybe stretching into the spring."

Just last month, Obama said he would delay rescinding Bush's tax cuts on wealthy Americans if there is a recession, suggesting such an increase would further hurt the economy.

"I think we've got to take a look and see where the economy is," he told ABC News. "I mean, the economy is weak right now."

He added that he still plans to push for his promised tax cuts for the middle class. But during the last weeks of the campaign, confusion swirled over how Obama defines the middle class. Joe Biden pegged the middle class as people making under $150,000 a year, and Bill Richardson cited those making under $120,000. Both figures are lower than the $250,000 Obama had set as the threshold for a tax increase.

Robert Litan, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, said he believes economic realities will force Obama to adjust only the timing of his promises.

"I think he's been very clear about what he wants to do," Litan said, citing Obama's pledge to fix healthcare, reduce dependence on foreign oil and lift middle-class families.

"I don't think his priorities are going to change. It's just the pace is going to be slower," he said.

Litan said he's not sure if Obama can do everything he wants in one term. But as far as what is Obama's top priority, Litan said it will be clear only if Obama tackle these issues sequentially.

Political analyst and FOX News contributor Juan Williams said Obama's biggest critics will come from the party's left wing, because he won't be able to fulfill all of his promises.

"Barack Obama realizes if he does anything precipitous with regard to American military forces in a place like Iraq and puts anybody in danger or in some way allows terrorists to make some gains, he will suffer a tremendous backlash that could be political damaging to him to the point that he never recovers," Williams said.

Glenn agreed, noting that will be "working with a liberal Congress that has been strengthened in numbers both on the Senate and House side."

Regarding what not to do as president, Obama need look no further than to Bush himself.

The outgoing president mainly embraced deregulation during his two terms in office, but some economists fault him for lacking a clear economic vision, leaving the next administration to pick up the pieces in his wake.

"In the end he was a president who failed to have any coherent economic policy," Hassett told "He pursued an enormous number of policies that were designed to attract Democratic support, and they all failed miserably to do that."

Obama's economic influence may well begin before he takes office, as he appoints a transition team to shape his administration's economic policies.

But the decisions that define his first few months in office could already be established in deals hammered out by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who announced Wednesday that she wants to revisit a stimulus package that includes additional benefits for the unemployed.

"I think that most of the policies, especially if there's [an additional] stimulus package... might well be baked into the cake by the time he takes office," Hassett said.

Check out the article at Fox News.

I'm not sure he'll be able to deliver on all of the rhetoric he relied upon to get into office... thank God!

In his speech, Obama invoked the words of Abraham Lincoln and echoed John F. Kennedy. "So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder," he said. If he truly believes these words, then what need would there be to spread the wealth in the first place? I mean, if everyone is working hard, they don't need any hand-outs... right???

I guess we'll just have to see how it all works out. I wish him the best and hope the next four years goes better than I think they will. I am a patriot and will back him and pray he is smarter than I think he is. Congratulations, President Obama!

I would also like to congratulate Senator John McCain on a hard-fought campaign and to thank him for a lifetime of service to this great country. The Democrats can bash him all they want, but none of them have half the balls that this man has. You are a great American, Senator McCain!!!

God Bless America!