SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR ”. Today, we look at some recent Chinese Saber-Rattling.
More Pesticides = More Mosquitos
Reader G.P. spotted this at the National Geographic web site: How pesticides can actually increase mosquito numbers 
Another from G.P.: Spec ops technology: Could a digital flashbang make the difference in close-quarters combat? 
Name The Nine Contest
Hi-Point Firearms Announces Name The Nine Contest . JWR’s Comment: I would suggest the catchy H4 (HHHH) moniker, which would stand for “Hopelessly Hideous Hi-Point Handgun.” Or perhaps they could dub it “The Beholder”, with an logo of a large eye engraved on the slide, next to the name.
Charges: Failing to Act During Florida High School Massacre
Former Florida deputy facing criminal charges for failing to act during Stoneman Douglas High shooting . (Thanks to Tim J. for the link.)
Another suggested by G.P.: China vows military action if Taiwan, sea claims opposed . An excerpt:
“China’s defense minister warned Sunday that its military will “resolutely take action” to defend Beijing’s claims over self-ruled Taiwan and disputed South China Sea waters.
Speaking at an annual security conference in Singapore, Gen. Wei Fenghe did not direct the threat at the U.S. but loaded his address with criticism of activities by Washington, including support for Taiwan and leading so-called freedom of navigation operations in the strategic waterways that China virtually claims as its own.
Wei said the People’s Liberation Army would not “yield a single inch of the country’s sacred land.”
China’s ruling Communist Party maintains that Taiwan is part of China, and has used increasingly aggressive rhetoric toward the democratic island, which split from the mainland amid a civil war 70 years ago. It opposes Taiwan’s independence and formally says it seeks a “peaceful reunification” while refusing to rule out the use of force if necessary to achieve that goal.”
Do-it-Yourself insulin: Biohacking
“David Anderson is pipetting a yellowish liquid into conical flasks, anxious not to spill anything.
The liquid contains yeast cells, which, thanks to a bit of genetic engineering, are able to produce a precursor of insulin — the hormone that people with Type 1 diabetes need to administer to themselves to survive.
‘We are doing a test today with an enzyme that’s going to create the insulin from the proinsulin,’ David explains. ‘The enzyme did show activity before, so we are hopeful.’
It’s Sunday, lab day for the biohackers from the Open Insulin Project in Oakland, California.
The group aims to develop a protocol for ‘do-it yourself insulin’, a manual to produce the vital drug on a small scale with quite simple means.
‘It makes good economic sense,’ says Anthony Di Franco, founder of the Open Insulin Project.
‘You don’t require much in terms of equipment or labor to produce quite a substantial amount of insulin. In the corner of a room you could make enough for 50,000 to 100,000 people.'”
FBI Has Access to 640 Million Photos
Several readers sent this: Watchdog says FBI has access to about 640M photographs . Here is how the AP article begins:
“A government watchdog says the FBI has access to about 640 million photographs — including from driver’s licenses, passports and mugshots — that can be searched using facial recognition technology.
The figure reflects how the technology is becoming an increasingly powerful law enforcement tool, but is also stirring fears about the potential for authorities to intrude on the lives of Americans. It was reported by the Government Accountability Office at a congressional hearing in which both Democrats and Republicans raised questions about the use of the technology.
The FBI maintains a database known as the Interstate Photo System of mugshots that can help federal, state and local law enforcement officials. It contains about 36 million photographs, according to Gretta Goodwin of the GAO.
But taking into account the bureau contracts providing access to driver’s licenses in 21 states, and its use of photos and other databases, the FBI has access to about 640 million photographs, Goodwin told lawmakers at the House oversight committee hearing.”