204 reputation
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bio website topjaklont.org
location Toronto, Canada
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visits member for 2 years, 1 month
seen Nov 19 at 16:11

I'm a Post-Doctoral Fellow in atmospheric remote sensing at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I first came to Stack Exchange for practical reasons: Tex.SE has been of major help when I wrote my licentiate (midterm) thesis. Since then, I have discovered the joy of many websites. As my network profile will show, I'm interested in travel, outdoor, scientific skepticism, and as I work in academia, also in academia and LaTeX.


Nov
5
comment What was the first Solar Eclipse that was demonstrably predicted in advance?
See also the (upcoming) History of Science&Math site.
Jun
20
comment Why didn't Britain's nuclear weapons deter Argentina from invading the Falklands?
This question inspired this question on Skeptics.
Jun
20
comment Why didn't Britain's nuclear weapons deter Argentina from invading the Falklands?
All the political parties in parliament support this policy. This is false. The Green Party is committed to pursuing immediate and unconditional nuclear disarmament., this party represents Brighton Pavilion.
Mar
18
comment Why does the United States keep using “old” date representations and imperial system, while being in the minority?
Corollary: Why is it standard in many European countries to write "street, no., town" (middle-endian), whereas the American way "no., street., town" makes more sense?
Mar
18
comment Why does the United States keep using “old” date representations and imperial system, while being in the minority?
On the other hand, Americans write address as "no., street, town", whereas in many European countries it's "street, no., town". So in this case, the Americans have the more consistent (little-endian) notations, whereas Europeans do middle-endian!
Aug
5
comment Were East Germans more acquiescent to Soviet domination than the rest of Eastern Europe and if so, why?
@jwenting I never meant to imply that. After WW II, Germany got divided, US occupied their part and Soviets theirs and later the relative occupied parts both turned into nominally independent countries. One can debate how it was in practice, but de jure the FDR was an independent country with US soldiers present with government permission, and the GDR was an independent country with SU soldiers present with government permission. Of course in practice independence was limited, but I think the situation in the GDR 1955–1990 was not strictly speaking an occupation.
Aug
5
comment Were East Germans more acquiescent to Soviet domination than the rest of Eastern Europe and if so, why?
@jwenting My point is if the presence of foreign soldiers does not define an occupation. The GDR government probably also officially welcomed the Soviet soldiers, so then it boils down to the subjective judgement how legitimate a government is.
Aug
4
comment Were East Germans more acquiescent to Soviet domination than the rest of Eastern Europe and if so, why?
Soviet troops left East Germany, American troops however are still in West Germany.
Aug
4
comment Were East Germans more acquiescent to Soviet domination than the rest of Eastern Europe and if so, why?
I don't think Soviet occupation is accurate. Unlike the Baltic States, East Germany was a satellite state, not a country occupied by the Soviet Union. In theory, it was independent. Of course, the Soviet Union would intervene should it choose to stray too far from communism; but then again, so would (and did) the USA in its "backyard" in South America.
Jul
29
comment How long did it take for a diplomat to travel between Berlin and Vienna in the 1770's?
Re the saxon mile; the Scandivian mile to date is 10 km.
Feb
28
comment What was the situation of homosexuals in the early Soviet Union?
So the words and cultural attitudes change. What I mean is what the attitudes were toward individuals who feel sexually attracted to other individuals of the same sex.
Feb
28
comment What was the situation of homosexuals in the early Soviet Union?
@SamuelRussell Why are my terms anachronisms? Homosexuality has always existed so the question about the societal attitudes toward homosexuality is not limited to any particular time, region, or culture.
Feb
27
comment Why and how did some Germans choose to join the Stasi (Staatssicherheit)?
@jwenting I think you are over-dramatising the situation in the GDR. The GDR was not stalinism at its worst.
Feb
27
comment What was the situation of homosexuals in the early Soviet Union?
@SamuelRussell I don't know whether Western medical practitioners use the term "men who have sex with men" in preference to "homosexual", and if they do, I don't know why. Note that they don't mean the same, as homosexuals can be of either sex. I'm not sure what the different perspectives of freedom are but I find your sub-questions rather philosophical. All I'm looking for are historical accounts describing the situation of gays/homosexuals in the described time period.
Feb
26
comment What was the situation of homosexuals in the early Soviet Union?
@SamuelRussell I don't understand what problem you see in the question. Since the sexual revolution the western view of homosexuality has changed, but homosexuality has always existed. I'm not sure what a theorisation of human freedom means.
Feb
25
comment Why and how did some Germans choose to join the Stasi (Staatssicherheit)?
I don't think it's fair to apply a study into the evilness of the Nazis to the GDR. The differences in the severity of human right violations are vast. Many people did and still do hold that there were many aspects of the GDR that were good. The GDR was not the Soviet Union or North Korea.
Feb
25
comment Why and how did some Germans choose to join the Stasi (Staatssicherheit)?
Spies don't wear uniforms saying spy on them. GDR population did not starve. As for only seeing the good things, the interesting thing is that those in the GDR wanting capitalism also only saw the good things.
Jan
22
comment Heads of state convicted in international court
@DVK ... then they could equally well have written "since the birth of Napoleon"... I think it does imply someone was convicted in Nuremberg.
Dec
10
comment Has a country gone to war to seek payment of a debt since 1900?
It's probably cheaper to simply write off the debt.
Dec
7
comment How is Gaddafi viewed outside the West?
In addition to the statistics given by @astadaba: Libya in 2010 had a HDI of 0.77‌​. Algeria had 0.69, Egypt had 0.64. So based on education and life expectancy, the average Libyan /did/ have it better. Note that Saudi Arabia had the same HDI, but probably much worse inequalities.