Tiger, tiger burning bright... Friday links.

Today is July 4th, so happy independence day, AMERICA!  If you are on the East coast, I hope you don't get drenched and that your grilling will be ok.  I don't think I will be grilling today as we are to get a good dose of rain.  But I am prepared either way.  

Since today is Friday it is your what you should read and watch day!  But first a little update.  I know I didn't post a new food story or photographs on this blog or my Exposure since last weekend.  Hoping that this weekend will change that and the next weekend I am going to a BBQ picnic party so expect some BBQ and fried chicken photographs!  My friends and their families are some of the best and they always invite me to their annual party.  

At Birdie Smoothies in Costa Mesa, Ca.

At Birdie Smoothies in Costa Mesa, Ca.

The first story I am posting is about conservation and endangered species.  This might pull some heart strings.  I know it does for me.  My favorite animal growing up is the tiger.  Roughly 100 years ago, there were an estimated 100,000 wild tigers freely roaming their natural territories, from Asia to the middle east.  Today?  They are estimating 3,000 in small and confined wild areas.  Poachers are decimating the populations of these magnificent cats for their hides, bones, and genitals for snakeskin oil medicines that are traded to countries like China.  

National Geographic just recently published, among many publications for not just tigers but for all the other endangered species, an article on the dwindling populations of tigers.  We can expect a full extinction of these cats in the wild in our lifetimes.  Which not only sucks, but also destroy's the local eco system as they are the top predators in their region.  

Read the article here: Speaking For Tigers: A Call to End Asia’s Illegal Trade

But Kaziranga is an exception. Most people don’t realize that wild tigers are almost gone. A century ago, about 100,000 tigers roamed across Asia, from Turkey east to Siberia and south through Indochina to Sumatra. Last year, when Steve and I produced our book, Tigers Forever, experts told me that perhaps 3,200 wild tigers still survive. Since then, they say that their numbers may have dropped to 3,000—split among five subspecies, scattered in small pockets across 13 countries, living amidst Asia’s exploding human population. Despite millions of dollars spent on conservation over decades, India is the last real stronghold, with about 1,800 Bengal tigers.
— national geographic
I went to lunch with my SIL and nephew when I saw this moment in Costa Mesa, CA

I went to lunch with my SIL and nephew when I saw this moment in Costa Mesa, CA

On Scientific American, they are reporting that climate change is threatening the existence of the US national parks.  In their report, "Climate Change Threatens US National Parks" droughts are becoming much more common.  

“Whether or not you choose to think about the causes of climate change, all you have to do is open your eyes and look around you to see that climate change is real,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell recently said in a USA Today weekly video newsmaker series (ClimateWire, July 2). “So we can no longer pretend it’s going to go away. We have to adapt and deal with it.”

The secretary cited two 21st century challenges facing the National Park System: One is the need to engage with youth who may be too consumed in the digital world to have interest in the natural world, and the other is to address the changing landscape caused by climate change.
— Scientific American

LA times corroborates this report with their own findings that 80% of California is now under extreme drought conditions.  While there are national parks in other states, California's parks are being hit first because of the aridness of the area.  

In front of Cafeito Organico in Costa Mesa, Ca

In front of Cafeito Organico in Costa Mesa, Ca

These next two stories are from Modern Farmer.  

The first is the article about "Stop Romanticizing Farms."  A recent trend for the past 2 years in the wedding industry is to host weddings at farms.  Farm weddings can be gorgeous, though the focus of said photographs would and should be on the couple and their family and friends, it misses the plight of many farms in America.  The hidden costs.  Farming, being immensely important to our lives and culture, is a life of hard work and running close to debt or passed it.  Maintaining and running a sufficient and profitable farm is simply difficult.  The income farmers can get from space leasing can start as supplementary, if it becomes lucrative enough those farms will no longer be an active farm and just become an event space.  

The craze for rustic, weather-beaten barns, long farm tables and the other aesthetic trappings of traditionally conceptualized farm life has reached a fever pitch. We demand it in our weekend getaways, our dining experiences, and our leisure time. We travel to “farmstays” where we can pet sheep and book facials; we shell out cash for farm-to-table cuisine and go apple-picking. But many of the spaces that offer these activities are working farms that must do so in order to supplement their business, or are once-working farms that have found they can fare better offering a carefully curated version of farming to those willing to pay for it.
— Modern Farmer
A worker at Doublebrook Farms maintaining a part of the moving greenhouse.

A worker at Doublebrook Farms maintaining a part of the moving greenhouse.

I photographed a farm, Doublebrook Farm up in Hopewell township in NJ last October, of whom does not hose weddings or events, but is a sustainable and profitable farm.  The food that they produce supports their local economy.  

In more lighter reads... Argentina is known for their amazing steaks and beef.  It's a major cattle country.  But ever want to get an Argentinian grill to make your own steaks like how they grill them?  Or at least close, cause there is no substitution for actually going there. 

Making Argentinian Grills for American Cooks.

Argentinian grills are straightforward affairs: simple grates positioned over a wood fire, a cooking method that allows for intense smoky flavors and very high heat. Eisendrath’s model, built with the help of local welders after more than a dozen designs, was a portable stainless-steel contraption that included a cooking grate with small drains to catch meat juices, and a crank to move the grate up and down for heat control.
— modern farmer
Out on the streets in HCMC Vietnam, picking up some fruit before we left for Cambodia.

Out on the streets in HCMC Vietnam, picking up some fruit before we left for Cambodia.

Ever walk into a restaurant, for the first time, and wonder how the place fares?  I have and sometimes I have regretted that decision.  Yahoo Food wrote up a guide to help you think of what to look for if you haven't seen the reviews.  "How to Spot a Zero-Star Restaurant (Without a Review)"

Gear Envy: The Sony a7s.  Sam Hurd reviewed this full frame mirror less camera and writes that it is pretty good.  Check it out.  If I get a new camera system, I am going to go for these Sony's with some Zeiss optics.  Well if I can afford them.  I still love you Canon.  

A little plug.  I am heading to California August 12-26th and looking to shoot some food, lifestyle, and family sessions while I am out there.  $300 for the hour with 50 digital prints and one physical print.  Email me at ted@tednghiemphoto.com to set this up.