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Brad Wilson takes fine art portraits of wild animals.

Isolated in front of a dark backdrop and illuminated with soft lights, Wilson's stunning portraits are deceptively simple, but deeply striking.

His series, "Affinity" explores humans' relationship (or lack thereof) with the natural world.


All photos by Brad Wilson, used with permission.

Wanna get closer to nature? Start with 11 of Wilson's jaw-dropping photos and wild facts about these majestic animals.

1. You'll never be short on conversation, as baboons use at least 10 different sounds to communicate with their troops.

This baboon enjoys climbing, running, and talking about your favorite competition-based reality shows.

2. Mountain lions, pumas, and cougars are all the same species and go by many different names.

Not only does this mountain lion have kind eyes, it knows the entire Keith Sweat catalog.

One of those names? Ghost cat. Don't be surprised if she stops answering your texts.

3. Did you know mandrills sleep in a different tree each evening?

This mandrill is working on contouring. Does it show?

4. The palm cockatoo's beak is uniquely shaped and quite large, making them especially adept at cracking big nuts ... if you're into that kind of thing.

This black palm cockatoo just got out of a long relationship and is just looking for a good time.

5. The golden tiger is the same species as a Bengal tiger, but with rare coloring.

This golden tiger is here to dance and eat boar, and he's all out of boar.

Their fur is often thicker and softer than other tigers. Take that, other tigers.

6. Chimpanzees usually travel on all fours but they can walk up to a mile on two legs.

This chimpanzee doesn't mind that you still can't pronounce quinoa right on the first try.

No word on whether they will walk 500 more to fall down at your door.

7. Contrary to every cartoon, elephants do not like peanuts.

This elephant has big ears, and a bigger heart.

They do not eat them in the wild and keepers do not feed them to elephants in captivity. If you need to treat an elephant, stick to flowers ... or pumpkins.

8. Barn owls swallow their food whole and cough up the fur and bones.

Who's that with the soft feathers and great anecdotes for first dates? It's this barn owl.

Not much else to say about that.

9. This long-legged serval can jump up to 10 feet in the air.

This serval may look small, but this tiny cat has nine lives, and he's using every one to hang out with you.

The serval is native to more than 35 African countries and is found mostly in savannas.

10. Lorikeet tongues end in a kind of hairy brush, which helps them get nectar from deep inside flowers.

This brightly colored rainbow lorikeet did not come to play with you, parrots. She came to slay.

(At least that's what they're telling ornithologists.)

11. This white-lipped tree viper is most comfortable in trees, but some people are bold enough to try to keep them as pets.

This white-lipped tree viper might seem dangerous — and she is. Especially if you talk shit about her friends.

Beware, however, as the wise prophets Bell Biv Devoe once said: That girl is poiiiiiiiison. Never trust a forked tongue and a smile.

Wilson's remarkable photos are a beautiful reminder to appreciate the natural world and the animals we share the planet with.

Wilson hopes that his images "remind us, despite the pronounced feeling of isolation that too often characterizes our contemporary existence, that we are not alone, we are not separate — we are part of a beautifully rich and interconnected diversity of life."

We live on this planet with some pretty amazing creatures. It's our responsibility to protect and celebrate them.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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