Ark.net.au is a brand new site as of 17 July 2021.
On 18 July, I put on some pages of animals — since you can't have an ark without animals, obviously. So far there are a few Australian fish, frogs, mammals, and spiders — with many more species (plant and animal) to still be added...
The other kind of ark you sometimes hear about didn't have animals inside it. It had two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments in it — which, according to the Bible, were given to Moses by God. Clearly, they have to go on the website too. It's hard to put stone online but you can read them and listen to them here on your device.
I have hundreds of pages to migrate to here from other sites, and new pages half-completed...
Many things don't fully work yet, but this will be fixed up over the following weeks!
Nature, Low-Tech Sustainable Agriculture, and Survival
I'll be migrating a lot of content from my existing websites, including especially survival.org.au. Due to recent rule changes with .au domain names, I'm no longer allowed to have that domain without becoming an incorporated nonprofit organisation, with a board of directors, and a heap of legal fees and paperwork. So I have to find another online home for most of that content by sometime in Spring of 2021.
Survival.org.au started as a completely static website, meaning each web page was its own individual page on the web server. This was very easy at first, however as the site evolved and got larger I added a database to automate more and more of the functionality. The more recent animal species pages are entirely made from the database, which means they are very easy to migrate to another site. Which is why these are the only species I've added so far to Ark.net.au. For the earlier species, including the plants and birds, I'll have to write some scripts to convert the page content from the static HTML form to the database form (or else do it manually with thousands of copy-and-pastes, which would be ridiculously slow). I'll try to get around to this as soon as I have time..
There will also be quizzes on the animal and plant species coming soon. (Actually these are easier to migrate to this website than the species themselvs, so I'll probably do that first).
I'll have to do an "instructions" page at some point as well, for how to use the various features.
Also, very soon to come will be the ability to tick a box next to words (and probably also animal and plant species, eventually) in quizzes which you want to save to a personal list to learn/revise more in future. This will allow you to create custom lists of words (and/or species and perhaps eventually other things also) which you can then learn by repetitively answering questions on just those items in your customised list.
I'll add more to this page soon...
The World's Oldest Writing
The world's oldest written languages are symbolic, were hundreds (in some cases thousands) of individual symbols must be learned. Sometime around 3000 B.C. (very approximately), the first alphabets developed, where only a small number of individual symbols were needed (as in English).
There is debate over exactly which alphabet was the first to ever be used. Many people say it's Phonecian. There are some recent claims that it was Hebrew. In any case, most of the evidence points to the Ancient Near East as where the first alphabet was developed.
And also, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the same 22 letters which are found in most of the Ancient Near Eeastern alphabet-based languages. The letters look different in the different languages, but have mostly the same sounds and the same functions. (As can be seen here on Wikipedia). And many of the exact (or very close) same words and spellings are found across the different languages of this type.
The Hebrew and Phonecian alphabets (and many others from that era and area) are close enough that once you learn one of them, it's vastly easier to learn the others. And the ancient language out of these with the most amount of learning resources available to us in the modern Western world is Hebrew (due to interest in the Bible).
Therefore (irrespective of your interest in the Bible itself), in order to learn the world's oldest written languages, learning ancient Biblical Hebrew is probably the best (and easiest) stepping stone to learning any of the other languages of this type.
Newly added features as of Saturday 24 July, 2021:
The original language (Greek New Testament and Hebrew Old Testament) Bible pages (and also the Parallel English and Original Language Bible) can play audio of the Greek and Hebrew. The player allows you to slow down the speed to 3/4, half, or 1/3 of the original speed — which I find extremely helpful when learning the language, and can't keep up with the full speed audio Bible playback. The player remembers the speed you set from page to page, though it will forget the speed after your browser session times out (however long that is, it's a fair while like hours I think).
In the Greek or Hebrew Bible, each of the verse numbers is a link to a word quiz which steps through that whole verse, one word at a time, in multiple choice format. I was trying to think of a way to read the Hebrew and Greek Bibles that was somewhere in between an interlinear (which shows both the English and Greek or Hebrew together on the same page) and a "reader's edition" (which shows only the Greek or Hebrew Bible text, but then has dictionary definitions for the less-known words at the bottom of each page).
The idea of the Walk-Through Bible Verse Quiz is that you get prompted with multiple-choice options for each word — meaning that you still have to activate the part of your brain that recalls information (rather than just reading it passively like an interlinear), but it's much less effort (for someone relatively new to the language) than reading the plain Greek or Hebrew text.
Get Notified of Updates to Ark.net.au
Currently the only way to get automatic notifications of new pages on the website is using an RSS reader (many email client programs, e.g. Thunderbird, also have this function). You can add the RSS feed for the site to your RSS reader to be notified of newly-added pages.
I was considering also adding notifications of when pages are updated to the RSS feed, however decided against it as some of the pages are being worked on a lot behind the scenes, and there would be a lot of notifications generated without a huge difference to the page (like any slight change at all). So, currently, only newly added pages to Ark.net.au will show up on the RSS feed.
I get a percentage of the revenue from books purchased by links from this site from affiliated sellers. The price to you (the buyer) is the same as otherwise. I am not expecting to make a lot of money from this, but hopefully it will offset somewhat the hosting costs and time spent working on this website.
If You Are Located Internationally or in Australia
I get a percentage (I think it is about 4%) of the price of books purchased from Amazon.com or Amazon.com.au via this website. It is meant to work for any books (or products) that they sell, not just the ones I have mentioned — so if you get to Amazon.com via any of the links on this website, and you search for and buy anything at all from them (even a giant screen plasma TV), ark.net.au will get a percentage of that.