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User talk:TVerBeek

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User talk:TVerBeek/archives

IB concerns

Thanks for your comments, I agree with your reasoning here. I shall carry on editting and adding for the time being, and if such a time comes, I will protest a bit more loudly if IB does start messing things up. I guess I'm rather wary of a corporate entity being in ownership of such a community driven site like this - can't quite see how it will work beneficially for them without some serious changes to the site. But, as I said, I shall continue until these changes come! Tsandell 12:57, 26 July 2006 (EDT)


of course you are entitled to believe that a warningbox is not required, however there was significant uproar over the allegedly unjust arrest of a British Citizen, many British people are unaware of the US procedure, and it would be much better for all concerned if our citizens weren't being arrested for having slightly odd senses of humour! Dan, 30 July 2006, 19:34GMT

That's not being arrested for having an odd sense of humor, it's for being incredibly stupid. I was given a stern lecture not to make jokes of that sort when I visited London ages ago (due to "the troubles" in Northern Ireland), so I know that most Brits of normal intelligence know better. The only difference is that now U.S. security agents take it just as seriously as you folks have been doing for the past several decades. We do not include warningboxes on Wikitravel articles to protect against incredible stupidity. - Todd VerBeek 18:38, 30 July 2006 (EDT)
And what happens in case of a difference of opinion like this, I believe the warning is required, you do not, but I was under the impression that there was no hierarchy of command in wikitravel?
Wikitravel operates by consensus. Whenever possible, we try to work out differences of opinion by discussing them and reaching an agreement about what to say that's reasonable and fair. If an agreement can't be reached through that process, and it's a situation where one person wants something and no one else agrees, the one person cannot expect to get his way. And by the way: I've been that person a couple times. - Todd VerBeek 08:09, 31 July 2006 (EDT)


Although I am not normally the type to disagree, it irritates me that you have written derogatory information regarding political freedoms in Iran, but refuse to allow any information about the immoral practices of your own government, perhaps this is right-wing totalitarianism, perhaps this website is not neutral after all and is controlled by Americans? dan

Although there are quite a few editors from the US, Wikitravel's contributors live in many countries (including the two founders in Canada). I assure you that I am no jingoistic patriot; I've protested at the gate of the White House over some my government's moral failings. But I'm not about to turn a travel guide into a political screed against anyone's government. So unless a government's moral failings have a direct impact on travelers (like Iran's possible death sentence for homosexuals), I'm not going to support adding them to the article. While you might argue that detaining a feeble-minded person for making an unwise and disruptive joke about carrying a bomb onto a plane is "immoral", almost any government on the planet would probably do the same. So adding that warning to just the US article would be rather unfair, and adding such common sense advice to every country article would be absurd. - Todd VerBeek 08:09, 31 July 2006 (EDT)


I know you generally dislike the idea of using counties in Wikitravel, so if you have any opinion on the matter could you add your comments to the region discussion on Talk:Ohio? In the case of Ohio, which is a big and mostly flat state where the license plates display county and, in the opinion of this former resident of Northeast Ohio, counties are fairly well known, they seem to be an easy way to determine regional boundaries, but you've made strong arguments against them in the past that should probably be considered. Thanks! -- Ryan 18:01, 1 August 2006 (EDT)

Polish pronunciation and its perceived difficulty

By paroxytonic I meant that in Polish the accent is always on the penultimate syllable. My point is that the perceived difficulty may be different than the real difficulty. If you think Polish pronunciation is difficult, try for example Danish. And then try a tonal language, like Mandarin. Now this is difficult. Not mentioning clicks, which are not just difficult but impossible to master for an adult person.

Of course, there are no easy natural languages. There always is some challenge, but where would you how would you rate Polish pronunciation relative to Danish and Mandarin?

Polish has its difficulties but they are in the grammar, not in pronunciation. In Polish you can actually read the pronunciation from the spelling. You are correct that you need to know the letters and digraphs first, but that's the case with every language. However, in Polish it ends here because knowing how the letters and the digraphs are pronounced plus a few rules you can pronounce almost every word.

Believe me or not, you would be able to pronounce perfectly intelligible Polish instantly if I transcribed a word or phrase into English for you. Of course, you wouldn't be able to reproduce certain phonemes, but it wouldn't matter, as it would not introduce any lexical difference (like sh*t/sheet, sorry for the example). And it can be like that because Polish only has 6 vowels: a e i o u y as compared to twentysomething in RP English and the vowels are not reduced (they sound the same whether accented or not).

It's not trivial, but it's easy. Sorry for such a long tirade but I know that I'm right, It's just that I can't pronounce it :)

Edit: I've forgotten the signature. Here it is: CandleWithHare 19:48, 1 August 2006 (EDT)

Another edit: fixing my typos

"Polish only as 6 vowels"... Is that per sentence?
I am sorry if this is overly blunt, but if you really believe your flippant remark that "no Indo-European language is... a difficult language for a speaker of English," you don't know much about native anglophones' linguistic skills. Many of them have trouble with even Spanish. English is my native language, and even though I'm pretty darn good at Spanish, and I'm good enough at French pronunciation to not be sneered at by Parisian waiters, I can enunciate German and Dutch pretty well (even if I don't know what the words mean), I still find Polish pretty inscrutible. It's a whole different branch of Indo-European, after all. (Since you ask: Danish, being fairly Germanic, wasn't too intimidating, but I relied mostly on their English for the couple days I was in Copenhagen.) Maybe each Polish letter only has a single pronunciation, but they're apparently different from how they're pronounced in English (especially the letters we don't have). I've looked at Polish names and I've heard them pronounced, and the code is not obvious to my eyes and ears. (That and we're used to finding vowels every two or three letters.) Understand that because English is not very phonetic, we don't necessarily learn it phonetically, using whole-word recognition instead, so phonetic languages aren't inherently easy for us. I'm not asking for lessons; I have little chance of using them any time soon. And don't give me linguistic arguments proving that what I know from my own experience is wrong. I'm asking you to spare me the "I know better than you" attitude, because you do not. Are you aware that most anglophones think that English is an easy language? (They learned it when they were only a few years old, after all.) They're wrong. Any chance you might be? - Todd VerBeek 21:15, 1 August 2006 (EDT)

The link about vowels ;)


This is why I love reading your comments on various posts - "...a certain class of Chinese masseuses will go the extra five-and-a-half inches..." - Andrew Haggard

Other destinations

Greetings. I notice that you dismantled the list of nine places I listed under 'Other destinations' on the UK article. I couldn't find a policy that states that there should only be one list of nine, and I orginally began this list in order to take the pressure off the 'list of nine' cites, where there seems to be a continuous battle for places. However, I can understand your concern that the establishment of a second list of nine may be stepping on a slippery slope. Still, though, I believe that some of the places listed are of sufficient interest to the traveler to merit a front page listing. So, taking into consideration your comments and with the view to saving the traveler time in locating these famous landmarks, I have re-written the list. I hope it is agreeable to you. I don't need a reply. If you agree, leave it. If not, then hit the edit button. Cheers. WindHorse 3 Aug 06

Hello from wikia

I have moved the discussion as suggested below. - Todd VerBeek 15:51, 4 August 2006 (EDT)

Please see (and maybe move this more general community discussion to...) Wikitravel:Cooperating with World Wiki. Maj 15:24, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
Should that be Wikitravel talk:Cooperating with World Wiki? ,-- Colin 15:31, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
Yup, but I leave it to TVerBeek if he'd like to move/copy the above to that talk page... Maj 15:40, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
Thanks Todd -- Colin 16:08, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
FYI - I talked to Evan - and calmed down a bit. Sorry about that. What set me off was this: Acura at wikicars was under CC until today (when they changed it to GFDL), and also does not provide attribution to Wikipedia for the same article Acura. I went slightly crazy, seeing that wikicars had stolen the content, without attribution, and put it under CC with what looked like an attempt to fork wikipedia, which would really suck. Gil

Deleting my work??

Even though, it would be utmost polite not to delete my work on Lower-Saxony, but move it to where you think it belonged. Aside Grafschaft is the German word for County or Duchy, and some regions are counties, i.e. Grafschaft Bentheim, an Lower Saxon enclave in the Netherlands. This was just deleted as well. Although the dukes have -as in the UK nothing to say in the political affairs, the regions are still historically named after them. Then you might also find a way to have the Canadian Lunenburg distiguished from the German one and to have Nienburg removed for it is really not a great tourist attraction. Last, but not least, there are just 8 cities in Lower Saxony, most of which is rural, but has with 8.5 million inhabitants the same population as Sweden. Of the 8 cities there are maximally 5 tourist attractions (or do you like box like housing estates and shopping centres?), but towns like Hamelin (the pied piper) would not feature at all, if we would go by the city notation.

Cheers mate. Kris. How do I create an account then?

Russian region names

I took the names from Wikipedia, but have changed them as per WT policy. WindHorse 12 Aug 06

I have made further changes. Please have a look, and let me know if there is still anything outstanding. Otherwise, no need for a reply. Thanks. WindHorse 12 Aug 06

Where's VerBeek?

You can be a crusty pain in the butt sometimes, but I miss ya. I believe you would be the litmus test for my idea to break Bermuda into parish articles and am holding off pending your return. There was a report of a VerBeek sighting in Montana, but later it was corrected to be Elvis. I'm sure you're "enjoying the journey"(tm) wherever you are. OldPine 11:40, 2 September 2006 (EDT)

When you get a second

Could you send me an email at I'd like to add you to the admins mailing list, but I can't do that because you gave a fake email address when registering for Wikitravel (shock!). --Evan 10:07, 12 September 2006 (EDT)

Michigan Divisions

Hi Todd. While fixing up a disambiguation of Bay City (Michigan), I noticed Bay City and Saginaw are linked to both from Central Michigan and Southeast Michigan, which doesn't seem right. I'm not much up on Michigan nomenclature, so I was wondering if you might be able to sort this out. Thanks! -- Colin 02:12, 28 October 2006 (EDT)


Todd, when you get a second, could you share your opinion on Wikitravel:Cooperating with WikiOutdoors? I think there's some possible (dare I say it) synergy here, but I'd love to see your opinion. --Evan 20:02, 4 December 2006 (EST)

Admin nomination

I've nominated User:Cacahuate to become an admin; please comment on Wikitravel:administrator nominations when you have some time. --Evan 01:30, 6 January 2007 (EST)

Hey Todd

Good to see you... hope things are going well. --evanp 22:36, 11 January 2007 (EST)

Aside from recently spending much of a Mexico/Belize/Honduras cruise quarantined in my cabin and unable to go ashore, and working 50-hour weeks when I'm not on vacation, I can't complain. - Todd VerBeek 22:49, 11 January 2007 (EST)
Yes, but in those specialized situations you've perfected it to an art form. B-) --evanp 10:06, 12 January 2007 (EST)

Recent Changes

Hi Todd! If you go to Special:Preferences and "Editing", you can check "Mark edits I make as patrolled", so we can concentrate on patrolling the real troublemakers! -- Jonboy 19:47, 25 January 2007 (EST)


Would you please read my comments here, think about the issue, then comment? It's fairly important and I'd like to get as many comments as possible. I'm quite worried about the compatibility of CC-by-SA 2.5 (or other non CC-by-SA 1.0) images in a CC-by-SA 1.0 guide. Thanks! -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 16:52, 5 February 2007 (EST)


How's the weather up there in the frozen tundra? Cincinnati has seen its first serious snowfall and we were hit by a whopping (according to Cincinnati standards) six inches in five hours. My brother moved up to Detroit a month ago and I bet he's missing the tropics of Cincinnati. How do you Michiganders survive? -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 19:04, 6 February 2007 (EST)

Och, this is nothing compared to the subzero blizzards we had when I was a wee lad. Snowdrifts over my head, I swear! Detroit always gets it easy compared to out here near the west coast, where Lake Michigan acts like a gigantic snow-making machine. To stay warm, we just share body warmth... like the male penguins during the long winter night in the movie Happy Feet. :) Besides, thanks to the SUVs Detroit keeps making, it won't be too many decades before oranges and pineapples replace apples and blueberries as Michigan's main crops. :( -Todd VerBeek 09:05, 7 February 2007 (EST)


I reverted your revert of the deletion of the quickbar image. I finally discovered it as a copyvio from our dear friend, Shalom Alechem. It's currently awaiting deletion on Shared. -- Sapphire 21:26, 11 February 2007 (EST)

But I didn't revert anything. I chose a different (public domain) image which is not up for deletion. The mountains/lake photo is confusingly contradictory with the text in the intro paragraph saying how flat Poland is. :) - Todd VerBeek 21:38, 11 February 2007 (EST)
I don't know how I did this, but I've apparently mistaken that photo for a different one, that I think may have already been deleted. It looks kosher to me so I'm going to take the liberty of reverting myself. Sorry. -- Sapphire 21:42, 11 February 2007 (EST)

Happy Birthday!

The Wikitravel Birthday cake — Ravikiran 11:11, 11 March 2007 (EDT)

Hope you have a great one! — Ravikiran 11:11, 11 March 2007 (EDT)

Happy birthday indeed! --Evan 12:48, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
Happy birthday from me too! Ravi's cooking is scrumdiddlyumptious so be sure the share the cake! -- Sapphire(Talk) • 14:55, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
Thanks, guys! I'm already stuffed from dinner and cake at my parents' house, but I'll put it in the fridge for later. -Todd VerBeek 20:44, 11 March 2007 (EDT)


Should Hell be our OTBP guide? That way we attract more contributors? -- Sapphire(Talk) • 23:48, 31 March 2007 (EDT)

I've just promoted it to DOTM. - Todd VerBeek 23:54, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
The T-Mobile bit is pretty funny, though it's an accurate description of the service I often received. Bast#%*@! -- Sapphire(Talk) • 00:00, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
Credit where it's due: that was just added by Cacahuate. - Todd VerBeek 00:02, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
So, we also have Earth. Wanna figure out how to show both on the Main Page? --Evan 00:13, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
OK :) - Todd VerBeek 00:26, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
Nicely played! I was wondering how that was going to work out. Man, we've got a surfeit of humor in this crowd. --Evan 00:32, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
cosmetology schools? How in the hell did you think of that? -- Sapphire(Talk) • 01:11, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
Where do you think I got my degree? ;) - Todd VerBeek 01:43, 1 April 2007 (EDT)


Sorry about creating the sub header, but the endless opportunities was just far too appealing. I figured out last five Republican presidents three are prime candidates to be the Anti-Christ and I wanted to give the Dems a chance at something greater than mediocrity. BTW, I'm actually a member of the Our Ukraine Party so I think it's fair for me to rip on both of them (hence the Ashcroft reference). :-) Keep up the fight! -- Sapphire(Talk) • 10:58, 1 April 2007 (EDT)


Hi, TVerBeek. Thanks for your message. I apologize for the confusion. I did it was by mistake. I intended to inform that I had obtained the Forte Brum pictures from the Cultural Foundation of the Brazilian Army (FUNCEB) website. In this site, there is a note in Portuguese saying that (1) the pictures are public, (2) they can be used by others (respectfully), and (3) the foundation would appreciate it if the source was cited. Thus, I have cited the source of the picture in the Recife Wikitravel page.


could you please come online to the hi version ( I need a bit of help with the quikbar. Upamanyuwikitravel( Talk )( Travel ) • 09:33, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

hi:Template:झलक -- Upamanyuwikitravel( Talk )( Travel ) •

Muchas gracias :) Upamanyuwikitravel( Talk )( Travel ) • 06:21, 12 April 2007 (EDT)

but the topimage is till giving probs, a small place for a heading comes above the quickbar. see the article on india for eg (hi:भारत )

Upamanyuwikitravel( Talk )( Travel ) •

Some anon logged on to the hi wikitravel a few minutes ago and solved the quickbar prob. Was it you? Upamanyuwikitravel( Talk )( Travel ) • 12:27, 12 April 2007 (EDT)

P.S. If it was, thanks a lot. Check out the new hi main page and let me know if it looks good. Upamanyuwikitravel( Talk )( Travel ) • 12:27, 12 April 2007 (EDT)

Well, thanks a lot!

The barnstar's from me -- Upamanyu


Greetings. Final Licence determination for Citizendium content has not been decided. Articles incorporating Wikipedia content are under GFDL. If you would like to discuss interlinks further, jpotkanski @ and/or sanger @ Replace CZ with citizendium. --Jason Potkanski, Citizendium


Thanks Todd, am I right in assuming that you are only referring to the Arabic redirect I made? Thanks for your heads-up. Koavf 23:09, 29 April 2007 (EDT)

Okay I see what you're saying about the Arabic redirect being superfluous and I agree that furthermore, it probably shouldn't be obligatory to create every possible redirect for a name, but considering that Arabic transliteration is not exactly standardized, it's desirable to have more spellings that someone might use than not, right? My only concern is that someone who has an Arab background would search for a city and not find it because he is accustomed to a certain Latinization and Wikitravel does not have that spelling. I haven't included any that I haven't seen somewhere else in print. -Justin (koavf)·T·C·M 18:43, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
Good, good Thanks again for your instruction; I'm new here, and I didn't put forth the effort to read all the relevant policies, so encouragement is appreciated. -Justin (koavf)·T·C·M 13:20, 2 May 2007 (EDT)



After about one day of contributing here, I can see that this project is not going anywhere. The number of contributors is very small, and their concept of the scope of the project is in some ways bizarre. There appear to be very few talented contributors working on the site. It has huge gaps. It doesn't at all cover what a normal guidebook covers. Sadly, it is proof that not every effort to produce a wiki produces a successful wiki.

You seem like a sincere and dedicated writer with a few strange obsessions about what you want the site to be. Doesn't everybody have a few of those? I hope you are not offended by me saying this, but I wonder why you are spending so much of your time working on this. I can't see that wikitravel is ever going to produce a useful travel guide.

I did look at your profile and I read your article about Isle Royale National Park. It seemed like a very good article. I've backpacked from one end of the island to the other myself.

I hope you'll find some other on-line project that makes better use of your time and skills. Good luck.

HLM HLM 15:02, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Marquesa Islands

I came across this page today, and, according to Wikipedia, it looks like it should be moved to Marquesas Islands. Since you created it, I was just wondering if you know something that WP doesn't. -- Fastestdogever 00:40, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

I like to think that I know one or two things that Wikipedia doesn't :), but in this case I just used a less-common version of the name. - Todd VerBeek 12:56, 1 May 2007 (EDT)