Sunday, April 06, 2003

First off, the English al-Jazeera site is now up. You can read it here: In terms of bias, I would describe it as equal to yet different than that of FOX News. However, I strongly recommend taking a look at it, because in the most important sense, learning about the world isn't so much about the day-to-day events, but rather the views and perceptions of different people, all of which are shaped by different social, historical, and cultural factors.

ICT this weekend was really fun. We didn't do quite as well as we hoped, but managed to avoid some annoying weather back in Madison. The social aspects of the trip were definitely fun, and I decided to reverse course and now love sushi. We didn't get to see that much of LA, but I was happy with what we did; I figure realistically I'll be back in the city sometime in my life. There was a great deal of sentiment that I should have rented a car, but I'm not too sure what we would have done with it given the time we had. The fact I'd never done it before contributed to a few bubble-bursting knock-downs regarding my recent thoughts that maybe I was finally becoming relatively cultured and well-travelled (see last Thursday's entry).

One of the friends I was with casually and unself-consciously mentioned that his parents were giving him $2000 as a graduation gift. To me, that's 2.5 months' wages, and he's just getting it as a handout! Of course, this person also will make as a grad student an income closer to what my father made providing for a family of four than what I'm making now, yet he muses he can live "comfortably" but probably won't be able to save much. He also suggested $500,000 as an income cut-off for the middle class. Don't get me wrong - I'm astounded, not critical. I like the guy a lot, but really hope he never has to live in the real world, because I'm not too sure how he would react to it.


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