Maggie Daley, Chicago’s Gracious First Lady, Dies at 68

Maggie Daley, Chicago’s Gracious First Lady, Dies at 68

Maggie Daley, who dedicated herself to children’s issues and the arts, while also zealously guarding her family’s privacy during 22 years as Chicago’s First Lady, died tonight, more than nine years after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 68.

Since disclosing her diagnosis in 2002, for the subsequent nine painstaking years she soothed us with her grace under pressure as a public person making innumerable appearances before crowds and cameras.The news of the death of Maggie Daley sparked memories from many who knew her and saw her handle the role of Chicago’s first lady with such warmth and grace.

Tonight we grieve for the Daley family,” the current Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “Chicago has lost a warm and gracious First Lady who contributed immeasurably to our city. While Mayor Daley served as the head of this city, Maggie was its heart.” Emanuel said her “most treasured role was as a wife, mother, and grandmother.”

Our hearts go out to Mayor Daley, Nora, Patrick, Lally and the rest of the Daley family,” Emanuel said. “Just as Maggie will remain a constant presence in their lives, she will remain a constant presence in our city.  Like Chicagoans everywhere, Amy and I will always hold her in our hearts.Whether you knew her personally or were among the countless more who loved and admired her, all of Chicago will remember Maggie for the grace and dignity with which she served for twenty-two years as First Lady.”

The former first lady proved resilient in the face of the disease, and her friends and admirers noted her ability to rise above her illness. “In the city of big shoulders, her grace and charm made our town a very classy place,” said Father John Cusick, a good friend and priest at their Old St. Patrick’s Church. “I really feel for Rich. He will miss her so much. Being a public family, they were able to be a private family, too. What a great person. May she have eternal rest.”

A Tribute to Maggie Daley (1943-2011)

Statement by President Obama on the Passing of Maggie Daley here.

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Thanksgiving: The Freedom from Want

Norman Rockwell: Freedom from Want

Thanksgiving: The Freedom from Want

Paintings by: Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)

Freedom from Want or The Thanksgiving Picture is one of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings, inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms. Freedom from Want was published in the March 6, 1943, issue of The Saturday Evening Post and later was included as the cover image of the 1946 book Norman Rockwell, Illustrator, written when Rockwell was at the height of his fame as America’s most popular illustrator.

Mary Chapin Carpenter: The Thanksgiving Song

Casey Neistat and His Son Make Thanksgiving Dinner

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Abandoned: The Plight of American Family Farms

Abandoned: The Plight of American Family Farms

Abandoned is a haunting four-minute short film directed by David Altobelli, accompanied by Karen O’s cover of Willie Nelson’s Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys. Chipotle commissioned this short film as part of its campaign to raise awareness about the negative effects of industrialized farming.

The film follows three young boys as they enter and explore a dusty, vacant farmhouse in the quiet hours before dawn. Abandoned works because it feels like a music video, not a message film about the dire straits of family farms. Only at the very end of the film is Chipotle’s branding established, along with a pitch for Farm Aid.

Abandoned: The Plight of American Family Farms

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The Cull: Pain and Beauty All Wrapped Into One

The Cull: Pain and Beauty All Wrapped Into One

The Cull is an acclaimed, powerful short film, directed by English videographer Jonathan Harris at Concept Pictures, which was nominated for Best British Short Film at the 2010 Edinburgh International Film Festival. Soundtracked with the wind, the echoes of manual labor and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, it’s an odd, discomfiting mix in a bleak landscape of pain and beauty, bloodied wool dancing in the wind across a barbed wire fence.

By turns beautiful, austere, and heartbreaking, Harris’ film looks at the tense relationship between a poor farmer in the isolated moors of 1920s northern England, and his sickly, music-loving son. Desperate to continue the family’s farming tradition, the father pushes his son to take on increasingly difficult feats of labor, with devastating consequences.

The Cull: Pain and Beauty All Wrapped Into One

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Let There Be Light!

Let There Be Light!

Light is a mesmerizing two-minute short film directed by David Parker for Sunday Paper. The film was shot over a couple nights in Los Angeles as two friends drove around with a camera exploring the city’s architecture and abandoned landscapes. Their work evolved into a project intended to bring awareness to energy waste. Bleeding, crying lights metaphorically parallel the ways in which we squander our natural resources without much thought. While the original sentiment remains, the film also grew into a poetic statement about a world run wild and the human tendency to exploit that which we hold dear.

Let There Be Light!

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Marcel The Shell With Shoes On Returns!!

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On Returns!!

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, Two is a delightful four-minute animated short film about a teensy-tiny cute little shell, directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp and voiced (untreated & unenhanced) by genius former SNL-actress and comedian Jenny Slate. Everyday life can be very, very hard for the tiny little shell. Marcel’s car is a bug with a mind of its own, his only form of public transportation is an under-the-weather caterpillar and small dogs become menacing giants. Marcel The Shell With Shoes On doesn’t let that get him down though. He invites friends over for festive salad feasts, skis on toenails and enjoys reading store receipts “to get a feel for daily life.”

Adorably voiced by Slate, Marcel discusses the reality of being a shell, including sleeping on a piece of bread, wearing hats made from lentils and the dangers of holding balloons. Slate and Fleischer-Camp have turned Marcel into a miniature multimedia tycoon with two videos, an iTunes app, a possible television show and now a children’s book. The book, titled Marcel The Shell With Shoes On: Things About Me, is full of drawings of Marcel around his home, visiting the aquarium (a fishtank), playing with his dog (a piece of lint tied to a strand of hair) and climbing his own Mount Everest (a sandal). Hopefully the famous talking shell has the energy for all this, since Marcel gets winded just walking across his desk.

Ugh, the tiny shell with two feet and one eye is so darn cute. This may very well be one of the most adorable videos ever made. Fantastic.

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On Returns!!

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Losers: Walking Through a World of Insults

Losers: Walking Through a World of Insults

Losers is a new, emotionally touching two-minute short film by Everynone, with brilliant sound design and an ethereal score by Keith Kenniff. Losers is an anti-bullying film that not only effectively conveys its message, but is visually stimulating as well. The film brings you face to face with how racial slurs, anti-gay taunts, and other insults and actions can hurt others.

Losers: Walking Through a World of Insults

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