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Carson Daly Pays Tribute to Dad as He Returns to Today After Parents’ Back-to-Back Deaths

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Carson Daly made an emotional return to the Today show on Thursday, paying tribute to his stepfather Richard Caruso, who died on Tuesday after a battle with bone cancer – just five weeks after the his mother Pattie Daly Caruso died of a heart attack.

“It’s been a rough month for my family,” Daly, 44, explained while sitting with co-anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah GuthrieAl Roker and Hoda Kotb on the NBC morning show.

“Last time I was here I was talking about my mom, who had unexpectedly passed away. She’d been the primary caregiver of my stepfather, who passed away on Tuesday now. His health was in peril, we know that was a foregone conclusion. Mom had been taking care of Dad. Mom was the one that went so quickly, and then we lost my Dad on Tuesday. It’s just been a crazy month. It’s just been really really hard.”

Daly explained that his biological father died when he was 5, and his mother Pattie married Richard  — whom he affectionately called “Pops” — three years later.

“He took us in,” Daly said. “He’s my role model, my mentor. Incredible guy. Old school — grew up in the depression. One of those guys who knew that life was going to be hard. Led by example, not by words. My mom had all the sayings and isms — you know, ‘You can shoot for the stars!’ And my dad woke up early, went to work, had a great deep personal faith that I later in life would gravitate towards. Again, led by example.”

“Family-first — we always had dinner in high school. He was like, ‘Hey, I don’t care what you do after, but we’re all going to have family dinner at 6 p.m. and then you can run off and go to the movies.’ That was dad,” Daly continued. “Drank Cutty Sark, worked hard, loved golf. Golf would be the sport that brought our relationship together. He taught me so much about life and really the man that I am. I’m grateful that I had 85 years with him. He was an incredible person.”

RELATED VIDEO: Carson Daly’s ‘Hero’ Stepfather Passes Away Five Weeks After the Death of His Mother: ‘He’s Reunited with Mom Now’

When Lauer told Daly that his parents must have been proud of him, the former TLR host got emotional.

“It’s hard to grasp that considering they were both healthy in June,” Daly said. “The enormity of this, the totality of a loss so soon, is still a struggle. But you’re absolutely right, we’re so blessed to have them both. They were incredible.”

“I realize the more pain that I feel losing my parents is testament to how much of an impact they made in my life,” he added. “They clearly equipped me with the tools to be able to handle it, and that’s because they were incredible parents.”

Before the end of the segment, Daly went on to express gratitude to his Today show family. “Thanks again to everybody here,” he said. “You guys are my family, and I love you guys.”

Earlier this month, Daly returned to Today to pay tribute to his mother, who died Sept. 17.

“When she walked in this room, she lit the place up,” Kotb told Daly on the Oct. 4 episode. “There was something special and unique.”

“She also stole everything!” said Daly with a laugh. “I’m telling you, going through her things, it’s an example of how much she loved life. She literally was a kleptomaniac. If it wasn’t nailed down, she took it. I’m talking about wine corks she would write on, ash trays, menus from around the world, rundowns from the Today show. She died at 73, but she lived a life that was passionately twice as much, so she really died at 146.”

“By the way, you guys gave my mom the greatest gift ever by employing me on the Today show, so she could watch me every single morning in her kitchen, and I know that she did,” he added. “There’s no place she’d rather have me be than right back here.”

Today airs weekdays beginning at 7 a.m. on NBC.


PEOPLE.com

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Toddler Pays Tribute To Her Cancer Survivor Grandma In Awesome Photos

Three-year-old Scout Larson has made headlines thanks to her series of adorable photos that show the little girl dressed as as fierce female icons

For her latest shoot, the toddler emulated a special hero in her life: her grandmother, who is a breast cancer survivor.

Scout’s mom, Ashley, told HuffPost that her mother was the initial inspiration behind the famous icons shoot. She wanted to teach Scout about strong, courageous women as her grandmother battled cancer. 

“From the beginning, I was planning on making Scout and my mom (”Nonnie”) each a photo book of all the recreated photos we shot,” Ashley told HuffPost. “I felt like it would only make sense to do photos of my mom as well since she’s the inspiration behind the entire project.”

The grandmother was a bit camera shy at first. “My mom is very selfless,” Ashley explained. “Being the center of attention is definitely not her favorite thing.”

Scout, however, loves posing for pictures and helped bring her out of her shell. The toddler particularly loved the matching shirts, which Ashley and her mom made for the grandma-granddaughter photo shoot. 

“She had such a blast getting to shoot with her Nonnie,” Ashley said. “She was seriously thrilled to get to match with her.”

Today, Ashley’s mother is doing well. “She’s cancer free and back to doing whatever she feels like doing! Her hair is growing back in beautifully and her strength is coming back,” she said, adding that her mom has one surgery coming up, but they’re ready to face this last step together as a family.

“She’s the toughest lady I know,” Ashley added. “My sister and I are lucky to be a part of her. My babies and my nieces have the best Nonnie in the world.”

Ultimately, Scout’s mom wants people who look at these photos to see that women are fierce and strong. 

“My mom, although she was sick, was my rock throughout the entire diagnosis and treatment. Fighting breast cancer, I know she was in pain and she was exhausted, but she never once showed that side to the little people who call her ‘Nonnie,’” Ashley said, adding that the grandmother continued to laugh and play with her grandchildren and took part in a normal Christmas celebration just a few weeks after having a double mastectomy. 

“Being a hero doesn’t always mean you’re saving the world,” Ashley said. “Sometimes, just showing up for life and meeting the problems head on is enough.”

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Chrissy Teigen Casually Pays Off Woman’s Beauty School Tuition

Model Chrissy Teigen just made a North Carolina woman’s dreams come true by paying off her tuition to beauty school.

Mercedes Edney of Charlotte had started an online fundraiser last month to raise $ 5,995 for esthetician school. She had raised about $ 300 by Friday, when Teigen stepped in and paid off the rest, NBC News reports.

In 2012, Edney founded Ixora Botanical Beauty, using her chemical engineering background and knowledge of family traditions to create natural skincare products. On her YouCaring crowdfunding page, Edney wrote that she wanted to “further my skin care knowledge by getting my license in esthetics” but financial aid and scholarships weren’t available.

“I’ve seen this be your passion for such a long time now,” Teigen wrote in a note with her donation. “So excited to see you fulfill your dream!”

She also said she was “really excited” for Edney on Twitter.

Edney tweeted that whens he first saw the huge amount of money come in, she initially thought it was a glitch, and talked about the financial struggles she’d faced since launching her business.

And she said that if she ever met Teigen, she’d give her “the biggest hug on earth.”

We have a feeling that will probably happen sometime soon.

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28 Reasons It Pays To Have A Feminist Marriage

We’re calling it: A feminist marriage, where both partners respect and treat each other as equals, is the very best kind of marriage. (Also, studies suggest the sex is better, so there’s that, too.)

Below, 28 solid reasons to fall in love with someone who recognizes that feminism benefits both women and men.

1. There’s parity in your relationship. You push each other to reach your goals and full potential, because ultimately, you know you’re stronger as a team.  

2. You’re not wedded to outdated gender expectations. Want to be a stay-at-home dad while your wife brings home the bacon? Go for it.

3. There’s no place for “locker room talk” or “boys will be boys” excuses in your relationship. You hold each other to a much higher standard than that.

4. When it’s time to clean the house or do the laundry, you divide up the chores according to preference and workload, not gender. Also worth noting? A 2015 study from the University of Alberta suggested that people in more egalitarian relationships have higher relationship satisfaction and more sex than couples who leave it to one spouse. 

5. Another reason feminist couples have better sex? Feminist men recognize that a woman’s pleasure is just as important as theirs. There’s no rolling over and falling asleep prematurely. (How rude.)

6. While we’re on the subject of sex, your partner would never slut-shame you for your sexual past. Your “sex number” is no big deal.

7. You have the luxury of not having to explain the importance of Planned Parenthood to your S.O. (And if your partner is worried about a weird bump some place down south, you know just where to direct him or her. Thanks, PP!)

8. Mansplaining is not an issue you have to deal with in your own home, thank goodness. 

9. You both know a woman’s place is anywhere she damn well pleases ― and that if you both choose to work, it just means more income.

10. Ideologically, your partner believes that the world is a better place when women are empowered. As noted feminist (and our favorite ginger) Prince Harry once put it, “When women are empowered, they immeasurably improve the lives of everyone around them — their families, their communities, and their countries.”

11. Your partner loves your body but recognizes that the decisions you make regarding it are yours and yours alone. Sexual and reproductive rights matter to both of you.

12. You don’t fret about maintaining relationships with friends of the opposite sex. Your partner knows you can and should have relationships with other men and other women. 

13. If you’re a man, you could get proposed to ― men don’t always to be the one to pop the question!

14. Your wedding can be as heteronormative and traditional or as modern and unconventional as you want. (So feel free to forgo the garter belt toss if you find that awkward as hell.)

15. If your partner’s guy friends start badmouthing feminism, you know he’ll correct them. (Bonus points if he has Chimamanda Ngozi’s definition of feminism memorized because you blast Beyonce’s “Flawless” nonstop.)

16. Your complaints and concerns are never delegitimized because of your sex, and your partner sure as heck would never say, “sounds like someone’s on their period.”

17. You don’t look at each other as a project or someone to “fix.” Men don’t need to be anyone’s knight in shining armor and women shouldn’t feel like they can “love away” a man’s problems. You each take ownership for your own issues and go into the relationship as whole and independent people.

18. If you decide to marry, you can do whatever you want with your last names. Take his surname, have him take yours, hyphenate, create a hybrid/combo last name ― it’s your call. 

19. Your partner is proud ― not resentful ― of your career accomplishments. He or she pushes you to accomplish everything you want in life, on your own timeline ― be it your career, passion projects or having a family (or all three of them).

20. Phrases like “man up” or “don’t be a pussy” are off limits. The beauty of feminism is that it benefits men, too; your partner can be as vulnerable or as emotional as he wants and it doesn’t make him less of a man. 

21. It feels so good to be with someone who appreciates your brain just as much as your beauty. 

21. If you have kids, you can give them the talk about consent and the birds and the bees as a team. (Phew, what a relief.)

23. You both recognize that paid parental leave is good for everyone. (Hopefully, your work places recognize that too and offer paternity leave.)

24. Through your relationship, you get to model what a marriage of equals really looks like to your kids. 

25. But if you were to divorce, you recognize that both parents deserve to be in your kids’ lives. 

26. If your husband is out with the kids and someone says “looks like mom has the day off!” you can both roll your eyes about it later on.

27. Your marriage and definition of monogamy can be as traditional or unconventional as you want it to be. 

28. Your partner understands why you felt compelled to go to the Women’s March. Hell, they probably joined you and wore a “this is what a feminist looks like” shirt. It doesn’t get any sexier than that. 

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Empire State Building Pays Tribute To Endangered Animals, Remembers Cecil The Lion

Cecil the lion, a majestic black-maned beast who once roamed the woodlands of Zimbabwe’s Hwange, was found dead last month on the outskirts of the national park. He had been killed by an American dentist for tens of thousands of dollars, then skinned and beheaded for a hunting trophy.

Cecil’s death has sparked outrage worldwide, as people everywhere lament the damage that humans continue to inflict on the populations of not just lions, but the planet’s many endangered creatures. On Saturday night, the Empire State Building served as a timely, sky-high reminder of this devastating impact, as images and video of threatened animals were projected onto the façade of the iconic New York City skyscraper.

Cecil was one of the animals featured.

For three hours, “insects, sea creatures, mammals, and birds crawled, swam, and flew over” the Empire State Building “as spectators ‘oohed’ and ‘awed,’” said The Verge. Snow leopards, tigers, lemurs, and manta rays were among the creatures on display.

The spectacle, achieved with the help of 40 projectors, was organized by the Oceanic Preservation Society and the filmmakers of “Racing Extinction,” an upcoming documentary about humans’ impact on threatened species.

“I’m hoping with this film and this event, we can raise awareness and start a movement,” the film’s director Louie Psihoyos (of “The Cove” fame) told The Verge.

NBC New York says the projections were a first for the Empire State Building, which is typically lit up with colors or, on occasion, light shows.

In total, 160 species were featured on the skyscraper. The New York Times says the production cost $ 1 million.

Scroll down to see more pictures from the event:

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