National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries
Because apparently everything has to be terrible, Zelda Williams, the 25-year-old daughter of Robin Williams, announced Tuesday she was taking a social media break after being trolled on Twitter and elsewhere.
The love and generosity of the online community is just as real as its most bottom-feeding elements. On Tuesday, the younger Williams posted a brief message on Twitter, a quote from Antoine Saint-Exupery and the words, “I love you. I miss you. I’ll try to keep looking up. Z.” She later added, after an outpouring of donations to her fundraising page for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, “Thank you to all those donating to @StJude in memory of my father. I’m overwhelmed. The charity meant the world to him, as it does to me. Knowing that so many children will be helped in his honor is all I could’ve asked for. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.” On her Tumblr, she added a lengthier statement, an eloquent tribute in which she said, “To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that of on his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh.” But she added, “As for those of you who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you’ve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too.”
Though she didn’t specify the “negativity,” she later posted – and then deleted – a tweet regarding two Twitter users who reportedly posted Photoshopped images depicting her father after death. “Please report @PimpStory @MrGoosebuster,” she wrote. “I’m shaking. I can’t. Please. Twitter requires a link and I won’t open it. Don’t either. Please.” Both accounts have since been suspended. Soon after, she posted another tweet, “I’m sorry. I should’ve risen above. Deleting this from my devices for a good long time, maybe forever. Time will tell. Goodbye.” On Tuesday night she elaborated on Instagram, posting a photograph of a butterfly and explaining, “I will be leaving this account for a but while I heal and decide if I’ll be deleting it or not. In this difficult time, please try to be respectful of the accounts of myself, my family and my friends. Mining our accounts for photos of dad, or judging me on the number of them is cruel and unnecessary…. I shared him with a world where everyone was taking their photo with him, but I was lucky enough to spend time with him without cameras too. That was more than enough, and I’m grateful for what little time I had… Thank you for your respect and understanding in this difficult time. Goodbye. Xo.”
It’s a restrained and thoughtful response to what must be a horrendous additional suffering. The Williams family has had its privacy trampled over this week and its explicit requests for peace and space cavalierly ignored. They’ve been harassed by the press and trolled by scum who took the time to create and send them explicit and sick images. Yet they’ve responded with dignity and tenderness.
It’s nightmarish enough to lose a loved one under any circumstances. It’s additionally awful when the loss is sudden, and even crueler when the loss was self-inflicted. And anybody who’s adding one iota of additional suffering to that family right now deserves an infinite deluge of pigeon poop. But if there’s any small grace to be found in the whole entire sad, miserable affair, it’s in the example that Zelda Williams has given with her mature and gracious response to it all, and in the outpouring of kind, loving replies to her posts. When you’re accustomed to seeing the most disturbing side of Internet culture on a regular basis, it’s often hard to remember that most people actually aren’t rage-fueled sociopaths. The world is full of decent people who behave appropriately most of the time. Zelda Williams is justifiably taking some time now to grieve for father and be close to her family. And it’s clear she already knows there’s a big community out there of people who adored her father. They just unfortunately swim in the same stream as the creeps who inflict pain for sport.
A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.
Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.
Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya
On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later
Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.
Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!
The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes
Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day
This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.