Cuba is calling (and so are its birds)!

Petchary's Blog

Have you ever wanted to explore Cuba and its amazing ?

The largest island in the Caribbean has always held a deep fascination for me – its rich and diverse environment as well as its vibrant culture. Unfortunately, I missed BirdsCaribbean’s International Conference in Topes de Collantes in 2017. Then, there was COVID-19. However, BirdsCaribbean is back on track, and offering two amazing trips to the island in January and March, 2023. There are still a few slots left for these trips, which will include wonderful birding opportunities (you don’t have to be an expert!) There will also be time to explore the island’s culture and history, staying in bed and breakfasts and soaking up the local landscapes, from dreaming swamps to green hills to pristine silver beaches. And of course, there should be time for a quick daiquiri in Havana (cheers!)

Landscape in Viñales, with mogotes (steep limestone mountainsides)…

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Computer Privacy and Safety


A new study by a professor at the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada) indicates that taking your computer to a repair facility may expose your personal information on the system.

The study was conducted by Dr. Hassan Khan of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and involved 18 service providers ranging from national electronics chains to small local stores. Computers were rigged with disabled audio drivers, a quick and simple fix not requiring extensive examination of the computer to fix. The devices were also rigged with log files tracking what the repair technicians did with the computer.

While a small study, the findings are worrisome.

Key highlights include:

  • None of the service providers have procedures in place to guarantee the confidentiality of information on the computer brought in for service.
  • In half of the cases, technicians looked at files that had no relation to the repair.
  • In several cases…

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COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Treatments No Longer Effective (Some)

The FDA announcement stated that antiviral treatments, including remdesivir, Paxlovid, and Lagevrio, are all still options for patients at high risk for a severe case of COVID-19. Antivirals work “by stopping the coronavirus from replicating in the body,” says a summary from the U.S. Department of Health of Human Services, adding that “this lowers the viral load, reducing the chances of the illness progressing to more serious symptoms and hospitalization.”Source: COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Treatments No Longer Effective