New poll shows majority of Americans strongly oppose animal testing for cosmetics

A recent survey conducted by the Humane Society of the United States found that:

  • 68 percent of voters know that animals are used to test the safety of cosmetics.
  • Three in four voters say that they would feel safer, or as safe, if non-animal methods were used to test the safety of a cosmetic instead of animal testing.
  • Women, who are the major consumers of cosmetics, largely oppose animal testing of cosmetics, with 72 percent of those polled opposed.
  • Most women – 70 percent – think animal testing of cosmetics should be illegal.
  • Strong majorities of women think animal testing of cosmetics should be illegal, regardless of age, level of education or ethnicity.

While I am very pleased to see these numbers, I wonder how many of the people polled make a point of not buying cosmetic products that are tested on animals. I say this from personal experience, since I know several women who say they are opposed to animal testing, yet who may not scrutinize carefully the products that they use to ensure they are not tested on animals. Further, so many every day household cleaners and products are tested routinely on animals so, while focusing on cosmetic testing is important, we should not ignore the perhaps larger impact of testing on household products.

Apps for getting organized

I think it’s safe to say that most people who know me would agree that I’m an organized person.  I’m also a life-long technophile, so naturally, I am particularly fond of the use of technology to help keep me organized.  This post list 5 apps that serve this purpose:

I don’t think that Google Drive belongs on this list, as it’s not a task manager.  I use Evernote and am pleased with it. I’m tempted to try other apps (I use Google Drive already) as I love these types of apps, but doing so would actually defeat the purpose of such apps, so I’ll stick to Evernote.



A well-deserved tribute to Geneviève Bujold

In his post, Martin Knelman pays tribute to the wonderful Canadian actress Geneviève Bujold. I have always enjoyed Bujold’s performances, which have been nuanced, subtle, and very moving.  My first introduction to Ms. Bujold was in Anne of the Thousand Days.  She still looks so beautiful, too, at age 70.

Dire economic warning for UK universities

According to this post, “established UK universities will go out of business within the next 10 years unless they adapt to survive an era of intense pressure driven by globalisation, technology, rising student expectations, and competition for funding, a report has warned.” The most interesting conclusion of the article is that universities need to specialize, arguing that “increased competition from privately funded research and free online courses mean the traditional university with a range of degrees and modestly effective research has had its day.’  Given the increasing cuts to more generalist programs in the arts and social sciences, studies such as these don’t bode well for the model of the all-rounded scholar upon which so many of our universities have been founded.


Vegan macaroni and cheese with kale and mushrooms


Ingredients (2 servings)


  • 1 cup soymilk (I make my own, courtesy of my Soybella soymilk maker).
  • Shredded vegan cheese.  I used a combination of vegan swiss and cheddar.  As usual, I didn’t measure, but I probably had about 2 cups, as I like a rich sauce
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • Bouquet garni with dried thyme. 


  • Sliced cremini mushrooms.  I love mushrooms, so I use a lot – about 2 cups.
  • Chopped kale
  • You can add any vegetables you like. I use asparagus in the summer, for example.



  1. Heat the soymilk
  2. Add the garlic gloves.  Don’t cook the garlic, as the bitter taste is too strong for this sauce.  Just squash the peeled cloves with a large knife to release the juices.
  3. Add the cheese and bouquet garni.  Season to taste.
  4. Stir until the cheese is melted.  I added about a tablespoon of flour to thicken the sauce a little.
  5. Remove the bouquet garni and blend (I use an immersion blender) to ensure the garlc is completely integrated.

While the sauce is cooking, boil your pasta. I like to use penne; the ones I used in this recipe were a multi-coloured variety (beet and spinach).

Sauté the mushrooms and kale.

Add the sauce and vegetables to the cooked pasta and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.