IT’s a flowering shrub here, an ornamental.  I have also seen what I thought was ixora as a kind of large (tallerthan me) topiary outside.  I have seen red, yellow, and white.  There’s another common name for it here in the Philippines but I have forgotten what I was told.


Ixora is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceaefamily. It is the only genus in the tribe Ixoreae. It consists of tropical evergreen trees and shrubs and holds around 545 species. Though native to the tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world, its centre of diversity is in Tropical Asia.


It grows in the US in zones 10 and 11 and you can get it from your local plant nurseries.  Here’s how to care for it.

It blooms all year round here, and makes a very pretty hedge.

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Nature Study as Science


Nature-study is not elementary science as so taught, because its point of attack is not the same; error in this respect has caused many a teacher to abandon nature-study and many a pupil to hate it. In elementary science the work begins with the simplest animals and plants and progresses logically through to the highest forms; at least this is the method pursued in most universities and schools. The object of the study is to give the pupils an outlook over all the forms of life and their relation one to another. In nature-study the work begins with any plant or creature which chances to interest the pupil. It begins with the robin when it comes back to us in March, promising spring; or it begins with the maple leaf which flutters to the ground in all the beauty of its autumnal tints. A course in biological science leads to the comprehension of all kinds of life upon our globe. Nature study is for the comprehension of the individual life of the bird, insect, or plant that is nearest at hand.

Nature-study is perfectly good science within its limits, but it is not meant to be more profound or comprehensive than the capabilities of the child’s mind. More than all, nature-study is not science belittled as if it were to be looked at through the reversed opera glass in order to bring it down small enough for the child to play with. Nature-study, as far as it goes, is just as large as is science for ” grown-ups. It may deal with the same subject matter and should be characterized by the same accuracy. It simply does not go so far.

To illustrate: If we are teaching the science of ornithology, we take first the Archaeopteryx, then the swimming and scratching birds, and finally reach the song birds, studying each as a part of the whole. Nature-study begins with the robin because the child sees it and is interested in it, and notes the things about the habits and appearance of the robin that may be perceived by intimate observation. In fact, he discovers for himself all that the most advanced book of ornithology would give concerning the ordinary habits of this one bird; the next bird studied may be the turkey in the barn-yard, or the duck on the pond, or the screech owl in the spruces, if any of these happen to impinge upon his notice and interest. However, such nature-study makes for the best of scientific ornithology , because by studying the individual birds thus thoroughly, the pupil finally studies a sufficient number of forms so that his knowledge, thus assembled, gives him a better comprehension of birds as a whole than could be obtained by the routine study of them. Nature-study does not start out with the classification given in books, but in the end it builds up in the child’s mind a classification which is based on fundamental knowledge; it is a classification like that evolved by the first naturalists, because it is built on careful personal observations of both form and life.

If nature-study is made a drill, its pedagogic value is lost. When it is properly taught, the child is unconscious of mental effort or that he is suffering the act of teaching. As soon as nature-study becomes a task, it should be dropped; but how could it ever be a task to see that the sky is blue, or the dandelion golden, or to listen to the oriole in the elm!

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Writing notes by hand, an important life skill

Don’t take notes by laptop
Research shows you only remember 5% of what you hear in a lecture, about 10% of what you read, but about 75% of what you learn when you practice what you’ve learned and 90% of what you learned about when you immediately go over it and tell somebody else about it. Writing is a kind of telling. Research also shows that when you know you are going to write down what you learned about, your brain starts working ahead of time sorting the information and picking out the most important details. Other research shows that students who write out their notes by hand and then have a chance to go over those notes at least once, remembered more and had a deeper understanding of the material than students who took notes with a laptop.

(the study with the 10% of what you read, etc, was a lifehack article, and probably a little shakier in terms of firm research than the one linked above).

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The Entire Legal Team Resigned

The Southern Poverty Law Center incorrectly labels Dr. Murray a “white nationalist…”

“Angry protesters shouted down an eminent scholar and sent a female professor to the hospital.
A crazed gunman entered a D.C. public policy shop and shot an employee before being disarmed.
Someone mailed a suspicious white powder to a Scottsdale advocacy group, partially closing the office while a Hazmat team tested employees who had been exposed.
The victims in each case were targeted by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Founded in the early 70s, well after the Klan’s heyday and long after it took any species of courage or moral prescience, the SPLC rode to fame, popularity (and prosperity) by suing the remnants and a few other rag tag white supremacist organizations into hiding or bankruptcy.

In the mid eighties, they had essentially accomplished what they claimed they had set out to do. But institutions always exist to perpetuate themselves most of all.

The SPLC could have declared “mission accomplished.” But since funds were still coming in, they declared a new mission statement. No longer would they fight Grand Wizards and Jim Crow, but turned instead to an endlessly expanding target of “extremism.” The change in goals was so stark, the entire legal staff resigned.

They’ve received an F for the fund-raising, and essentially, anybody they disagree with becomes a far-right, white nationalist.
The put the Family Research Counsel on their anti-gay hate groups list, prompting a murderous attack on the organization that was thankfully foiled by a guard. But the main reason was the FRC is opposed to gay marriage. So was President Obama at that time.

A former ally referred to them as the Jim and Tammy Faye Baker operation.

Landing in their targets is dangerous, physically and financially. But it doesn’t mean a thing about your virtue and morals.
But we have known that for a long time now. When everything becomes racist, nothing much is anymore, and when everything the left dislikes is un-American, nothing is. These people have rendered these terms absolutely meaningless. They have untethered these charges from any kind of meaningful information.

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Nudibranchs, Coral, Crochet and Math

Nudibranchs may not be able to do math, but perhaps they are performing math: For your somewhat advanced students with a healthy curiosity about and interest in topics like marine biology, especially nudibranchs and coral), geometry, holograms.. and crochet!
“Living in tropical coral reefs are species of sea slugs known as nudibranchs, adorned with flanges embodying hyperbolic geometry, an alternative to the Euclidean geometry that we learn about in school, and a form that, over hundreds of years, many great mathematical minds tried to prove impossible…..”

“Corals and sea slugs construct hyperbolic surfaces and it turns out that humans can also make these forms using iterative handicrafts such as knitting and crochet – you can do non-Euclidean geometry with your hands. To crochet a hyperbolic structure, one just increases stitches at a regular rate by following a simple algorithm: ‘Crochet n stitches, increase one, repeat ad infinitum.’ By increasing stitches, you increase the amount of surface area in a regular way, visually moving from a flat or Euclidean plane into a ruffled formation that models the ‘hyperbolic plane’. Mathematically speaking, the hyperbolic plane is the geometric opposite of the sphere: where the surface of a sphere curves towards itself at every point, a hyperbolic surface curves away from itself. We can define these different surfaces in terms of their curvature: a Euclidean plane has zero curvature (it’s flat everywhere), a sphere has positive curvature, and a hyperbolic plane has negative curvature. In this sense, it is a geometric analogue of a negative number.”
Well, let’s just make it easier on ourselves and say healthy curiosity and sense of wonder.

Want more? Hundreds of strangely compelling an hypnotic hyperbolic images on pinterest, including crocheted versions, which also include crocheting, pinch me this cannot be real, a coral reef! They are not all crocheted, so if handicrafts give you an itchy feeling, scroll on down and look at the others.

Background stuff:

The Math Forum’s brief definition of hyperbolic geometry:
“The geometry with which most people first learned to visual basic shapes such as lines, triangles, and squares is the traditional geometry that most of us are used to, formally called Euclidean geometry. In two-dimensions, Euclidean geometry is viewed in a flat, infinite plane. However, there also exists non-Euclidean geometry, examples of which include the elliptic and hyperbolic geometries. ”

Meriam Webster: Definition of hyperbolic paraboloid
:a saddle-shaped quadric surface whose sections by planes parallel to one coordinate plane are hyperbolas while those sections by planes parallel to the other two are parabolas if proper orientation of the coordinate axes is assumed.


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