29 February 2012


I'm not a big insect person, but if I had to choose, my favorites are stick and leaf bugs. Once last fall during a frisbee game I saw a leaf flickering across the end zone, and when I realized it was a bug I got so excited that I stopped everyone and got that leaf to safety!

So you can imagine my excitement when I read this story from last week about an amazing stick-bug that we thought was extinct 50 years ago, but has somehow managed to survive on a rock near where their population used to be.

It's fascinating what biologists sometimes have to do in the name of their science-- they discover things and grow things when there's no logical evidence for what takes place. Sometimes engineers turn their noses at this, but I don't think that convex optimization has ever brought a beautiful bug back to life.