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Nature feels different when you can actually look it in the eyes.

For more than two years, photographer Tim Flach has been capturing images of rare, threatened, and endangered animals.

Many of Flach's photos were purposefully framed to resemble portraits of humans, focusing in on the animals' faces. The effect is striking — there's a lot of great nature photography out there, but seeing an eagle from a distance and getting to make eye contact are two very different experiences.


Giant pandas live in bamboo forests in China. It's estimated there are just over 1,800 left in the wild. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

After all, there's some frisson about looking into someone's eyes — a small thrill, or fear, or excitement that comes from the sudden intimacy.

Capturing that frisson wasn't always easy, though. Some shots were taken in nature preserves or zoos, but Flach also travelled the world to find his subjects — including the wobbly-nosed saiga below.

The saiga's ridiculous nose might help filter and warm the cold air it breathes. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

Saiga are wild antelope that live near the Caspian Sea, where locals hunt them down on mopeds. In order to get their portrait, Flach originally had travelled to the region in the summer, but the weather ended up being so hot, it actually distorted his pictures of the rare antelope. He had to go back during the (equally harsh) winter to get the shot.

Flach has now turned his project into a book, "Endangered," which was published by Abrams and is available online. If you want to see more of Flach's portraits, check out 21 more of them below:

1. Axolotl

Axolotl hail from Mexico and, unlike most salamanders, keep their gills their entire lives. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

2. Beluga sturgeon

Demand for beluga caviar has led to heavy fishing of this massive fish. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

3. Bengal tiger

Bengal tigers are some of the biggest wild cats in the world. Fewer than 2,500 may still live in the wild. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

4. Blue-throated macaw

Blue-throated macaws live in Bolivia and are threatened by the illegal pet trade. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

5. Chimpanzee

Chimpanzees are some of humanity's closest living animal relatives. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

6. Crowned sifaka lemur

Sifakas, like all lemurs, are endemic to Madagascar. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

7. Golden snub-nosed monkey

These monkeys live in central and southwest China. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

8. Iberian lynx

There used to be less than 100 of these rare wild cats, but thanks to conservation efforts, their numbers are rebounding. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

9. Gharial

Gharials are related to crocodiles and live around India and Pakistan. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

10. Lemur leaf frog

Lemur leaf frogs are natives to Central and South America and threatened by habitat loss and fungus. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

11. Mandrill

Mandrills are the world's largest monkey and live in Central Africa. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

12. Northern white rhino

Northern white rhinos are some of the rarest animals on Earth. As of this writing, only three may remain. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

13. Philippines eagle

One of the largest eagles in the world, the Phillipine eagle is known for eating monkeys. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

14. Pied tamarin

[rebelmouse-image 19397996 dam="1" original_size="750x478" caption="These monkeys come from a single, tiny area in Brazil. The word "pied" refers to their multicolored heads and bodies. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission." expand=1]These monkeys come from a single, tiny area in Brazil. The word "pied" refers to their multicolored heads and bodies. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

15. Proboscis monkey

Hahaha, look at that schnoz. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

16. Ring-tailed lemur

Ring-tailed lemurs are some of Madagascar's most recognizable denizens. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

17. Sea angels

Though these sea angels might look like little airplanes, they are, in fact, a kind of free-swimming slug. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

18. Shoebill

Shoebills live in eastern Africa and are kind of intimidating, if I'm being honest. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

19. Snow leopard

Snow leopards live high in the Himalayas and are famous for their stealth and jumping ability. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

20. Western lowland gorilla

The Western Lowland Gorilla's scientific name is Gorilla gorilla gorilla. That's awesome. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

21. White-bellied pangolin

Pangolins are some of the most trafficked animals in the world. Photo from Tim Flach/Tim Flach Photography Ltd./Abrams, used with permission.

Flach hopes that by framing these rare and endangered animals in this way, it can help people reconnect with nature.

We come from the natural world and depend on it. As our lives become more digital and removed, we need a way to reconnect to the other animals that share the planet with us.

"The most important message is that it’s not simply images of animals but that every aspect of our being is influenced by the natural world around us," Flach told The Guardian.

If you want to see more of Flach's work, follow his Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, or visit his website. His book, "Endangered," is available from the publisher's website.

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The last thing children should have to worry about is where their next meal will come from. But the unfortunate reality is food insecurity is all too common in this country.

In an effort to help combat this pressing issue, KFC is teaming up with Blessings in a Backpack to provide nearly 70,000 meals to families in need and spread holiday cheer along the way.

The KFC Sharemobile, a holiday-edition charitable food truck, will be making stops at schools in Chicago, Orlando, and Houston in December to share KFC family meals and special gifts for a few select families to address specific needs identified by their respective schools.

These cities were chosen based on the high level of food insecurity present in their communities and hardships they’ve faced, such as a devastating hurricane season in Florida and an unprecedented winter storm in Houston. In 2021, five million children across the US lived in food-insecure households, according to the USDA.

“Sharing a meal with family or friends is a special part of the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. “Alongside our franchisees, we wanted to make that possible for even more families this holiday season.”

KFC will also be making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that works to provide weekend meals to school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

“The generous donations from KFC could not have come at a better time, as these communities have been particularly hard-hit this year with rising food costs, inflation and various natural disasters,” Erin Kerr, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, told Upworthy. “Because of KFC’s support, we’re able to spread holiday cheer by donating meals for hunger-free weekends and meet each community’s needs,” Kerr said.

This isn’t the first time KFC has worked with Blessings in a Backpack. The fried chicken chain has partnered with the nonprofit for the last six years, donating nearly $1 million dollars. KFC employees also volunteer weekly to package and provide meals to students in Louisville, Kentucky who need food over the weekend.

KFC franchisees are also bringing the Sharemobile concept to life in markets across the country through local food donations and other holiday giveback moments. Ampex Brands, a KFC franchisee based in Dallas, recently held its annual Day of Giving event and donated 11,000 meals to school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

If you’d like to get involved, you can make a donation to help feed students in need at kfc.com/kfcsharemobile. Every bit helps, but a donation of $150 helps feed a student on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year, and a donation as low as $4 will feed a child for a whole weekend.

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

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Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser for Variety's "Actors on Actors."

There are few actors in this world as universally loved as Brendan Fraser and Adam Sandler. So when the two sign on to interview one another, you can bet that people are going to be thrilled.

During one of Variety's “Actors on Actors” segments, the two swapped stories of being in the entertainment business—from the movie “Airheads," which they both starred in, to more recent projects like Sandler’s “Hustle” and Fraser’s “The Whale.”

It’s clear that these two respect and admire each other’s work. Sandler applauded Fraser’s career-long stride of making bold and interesting choices, and especially commended him for his starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” which has been hailed as a major comeback for the “Mummy” franchise star.
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Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

Joy

13 strangers became stranded at an airport, so they set off on a road trip together

The unlikely friends went viral online after documenting their 10+ hour journey.

@alanahsotry21/TikTok

From strangers to friends in one night.

Sometimes the greatest friendships are born out of the most unlikely circumstances.

Thanks to a canceled flight, 13 complete strangers found themselves stuck at Orlando International Airport on their way to Knoxville, Tennessee, with no way to get to their destination.

What started off as a disaster quickly turned around into an impromptu adventure, as the determined group banded together to rent a minivan and drive more than 500 miles from Orlando to Knoxville. Along the way they documented their travels, and the story was quickly picked up by news outlets like CNN, spreading like wholesome viral wildfire online.


The band of merry travelers hailed from different parts of the U.S. and Mexico, and didn’t all speak the same language. Plus each had their own reason for wanting to get to Knoxville. One college student was trying to make it back in time for her final. Another was hoping to tour her dream college with her mom and dad. A well-known farming influencer was set to deliver a keynote speech at a conference. A mother wanted to go fight for custody of her son, while another woman wanted to meet a friend to help her move. Others were just there to have fun.

Regardless of their differences, their road trip created unexpected community and a memory they won't soon forget.

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