November 2007
By Alan W. Dowd

China vs. Nature
China is literally moving heaven and earth as it gears up for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. As The Economist reports, the PRC is hauling 17,000 tons of sand from Hainan Island into Beijing for volleyball courts. Plus, the PRC’s exquisitely named Weather Modification Office promises that it will control when and where rain falls during the games by firing chemicals into the atmosphere.  

Friends in Africa
A massive survey of global opinion conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals that some of the most favorable views of the U.S. are found in Africa:

88 percent of the Ivory Coast has a favorable view of America
87 percent of Kenya
80 percent of Ghana
79 percent of Mali
77 percent of Ethiopia
70 percent of Nigeria
69 percent of Senegal
64 percent of Uganda
61 percent of S. Africa

A Growing Web
recently reported some amazing stats generated by the World Wide Web and Web-related technologies:

-97 billion emails are sent each and every day
-500 million visitors click on Google in a typical month
-230 million customers participate in 100 million eBay auctions at any given time
-200 million Wi-Fi (or wireless fidelity) products were sold last year
-$12 billion was wagered in online gambling last year
-$2.84 billion was spent on online pornography
-78 percent of home internet users in America rely on high-speed broadband

As a contributing editor to The American Legion Magazine, Dowd writes columns and news briefs on national security, foreign affairs and U.S. politics each month for the magazine's "Rapid Fire" section.