Second-Tier Cities Boast First-Rate Job Figures Inc.’s decision to locate new headquarters in the New York and Washington regions highlighted an ongoing shift of economic might toward big coastal power cities. But second-tier cities are thriving, and by some measures they are doing even better than their bigger rivals. US Business


Diabetes prescriptions now cost NHS £1bn, figures show

Experts say the costs reflect a huge rise in the number of people with type 2 diabetes.
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Tesla Faces Deepening Probe Over Whether It Misstated Production Figures

Tesla, with a fresh civil fraud settlement now behind it, faces a new legal problem: a deepening criminal investigation. WSJD


Rise in women having induced labours, NHS figures show

More older and overweight women giving birth is behind the trend, doctors say.
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Google diversity figures show little change

The tech giant’s new reports reveals that fewer than 30% of its global staff are women.
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Prince Charles Has Tea With Fashion Figures in West London

TEA FOR MORE THAN TWO: Prince Charles cut a swathe through west London on Wednesday, paying a visit with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, to Yoox Net-a-porter’s tech hub and to the new Soho House outpost, White City House, to chat with sustainability-minded designers.
The day was all business, however, and there wasn’t a squeak about the forthcoming nuptials between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Yoox founder and YNAP chief executive officer Federico Marchetti led the tour and told the royals how the company is using artificial intelligence to create a personalized future shopping experience. The company created a prototype homepage tailored for royal tastes that included a curated range of luxury fashion pieces, jewelry and watches.
The duo also joined a coding session with 60 schoolgirls, ranging in age from 11 to 13, who took part in a hackathon and other digital games as a part of an initiative between YNAP and Imperial College London.
“Today, our guests had the opportunity to see how Artificial Intelligence can be about warmth, beauty and craftsmanship,” said Marchetti. “There is nothing more human than the desire for uniqueness. One of the great advances of digital technology is the power to personalize products and services on a vast scale.

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Oscars in numbers: The facts and figures for 2018

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Far-right figures lose Twitter ‘blue tick’

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Father Figures

Father Figures Opens Friday, Dec 22, 2017

Kyle and Peter are brothers who believe their father had died when they were young. When they discover this to be a lie, they set out to find their real father, and end up learning more about their mother than they probably ever wanted to know.

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These Star Wars: The Last Jedi Figures are Incredibly Realistic

Hasbro’s Black Series figures continue to set a high bar for Star Wars collectibles, and these new figures from Star Wars: The Last Jedi are no exception.

IGN checked out Hasbro’s slate of notable new Black Series figures at New York Comic Con, including a new look at DJ, Benicio Del Toro’s Last Jedi character, and Rey. Rey, DJ and Rex’s figures will all be available in early 2018, while the new figures for Lando Calrissian, 4-Lom and Dengar will be released later in the year.

These Black Series figures make use of Hasbro’s new face scanning technology that helps make the collectibles look incredibly realistic when compared to their real-life counterparts.

These weren’t the only Last Jedi toys being showcased at NYCC. In addition to the Porg plushie that had previously been released at Force Friday, Hasbro also was showing off these realistic-looking Luke and Rey collectibles. They also have some new addition to the adorable Forces of Destiny dolls. Check them out below:

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John Oliver Figures Out Trump’s Problem: He’s ‘Out Of His F**king Mind’

The “Last Week Tonight” host tore into the president over his DACA repeal.
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11 Comically Ugly Celebrity Wax Figures That Should Be Melted Immediately

Look, we get it. Recreating a celebrity’s likeness in wax, or any material (aren’t some of them 70 percent wax already?), is hard. But it shouldn’t be this hard, should it? See 11 times that wax sculptors missed the mark, from Ryan Gosling, to Justin Timberlake, to Beyoncé, Beyoncé, and well, Beyoncé.

Lifestyle – Esquire


Henry Louis Gates Unveils Africa’s Hidden Figures In New Docu-Series

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is unveiling the hidden figures of Africa’s history in his latest docu-series, “Africa’s Great Civilizations.”

Told through an assortment of analysis, interviews and personal exploration, the three-part, six hour PBS documentary series finds the Harvard professor chronicling 200,000 years of Africa’s history and culture. Five years in the making, the series explores everything from the rise of Shaka Zulu to the transformation of South Africa thanks to gold and diamonds, to King Lalibela’s reign in Ethiopia to the spread of Christianity throughout the continent.

The Emmy Award-winner wanted the docu-series to stand as an accurate exploration into the complex history of Africa’s kingdoms and empires. “Africa has been recognized as the ultimate ‘other,’ the negation of the West,” Gates told The Huffington Post. “And that started when the slave trade reached its zenith and it got even worse when the colonial era started after 1884 and the Berlin Conference, when the Europeans just carved up Africa, as if there was no people living there, and just gave chunks of it to each other. And so they created an image of African people as subhuman, primitive, static, and soulless.”

“People thought not only were Africans primitive and savage, but isolated,” he continued. “And what we show is, over and over again, some parts of Africa were in contact with the larger world. The Africans were just as curious about people outside of Africa, just as much as people outside of Africa were about Africans.”

To help bring Africa’s wealth of untold history into education curriculum, Gates is currently developing an educational site with the PBS network, in addition to writing a companion book to the series with historians John Thornton and Linda Heywood, which will be released next year.

“We’re trying to reeducate the American people. All of us have been let down by the school system,” Gates said. “My goal is to get the history of the people of color integrated into school systems. Whether it’s 200,000 years of African history or the last 500 years of African American history, or the last 50 years of African American history, that’s my dream.“

The three-night premiere of “Africa’s Great Civilizations” airs Feb. 27 on PBS at 9/8c.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Arts – The Huffington Post
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This 13-Year-Old Raised Money For Over 800 People To See ‘Hidden Figures’

At only 13 years old, aspiring astronaut and devoted “Hidden Figures” fan Taylor Richardson is leading quite the philanthropic cause. 

Earlier this week, Richardson was deemed GoFundMe’s February “Hero of the Month” after raising $ 17,000 through the fundraising website for people throughout the nation to go see the hit movie. “Hidden Figures” is centered around three black women mathematicians who played a pivotal role in sending the first American into space.

“I hope [the movie] inspires them to know they can do anything they put their mind to,” Richardson told The Huffington Post earlier this week.  

Thus far, Richardson and her mother have given over 800 people the opportunity to attend a free screening of the movie (with snacks) and ― for a number of them ― receive the Hidden Figures book.

Richardson said her initial infatuation with “Hidden Figures” came after her regal experience attending The White House Hidden Figures in Space Exploration event in December where the movie was screened. 

“It shows me that women, and especially African-American women, can do anything a guy can do and anything a white male can do,” she said of the movie. 

Richardson said her initiative to send people to free screenings initially targeted young girls, but she and her mother later decided to broaden the audience. 

“We wanted to have other groups see not just what three black women did, but just to know [of our] contributions,” Richardson’s mother said. 

While the two know the movie won’t compel everyone to aspire towards having a career in space, like it has with Richardson, they hope that through the Hidden Figures books, kids will at least be able to develop a heightened interest in literacy, something Richardson has regularly been working towards in her community.

When she was nine years old, Richardson said she encountered a young boy at a hospital who didn’t have easy access to books. After that, she decided to hold broke drives in her hometown in his honor called “Taylor Takes Flight With A Book.”

To date, Richardson has collected and donated over 5,000 books in Jacksonville and read to over 300 children. 

She’s also worked on an anti-bullying campaign with the CEOs of Florida First Coast YMCA and Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.

But Richardson’s philanthropic trajectory isn’t what’s made her mother most proud: it’s her resilience. 

“I tell people all the time: what makes me most proud of Taylor is not what you hear and all these success stories, but how she handles her failures,” her mother told HuffPost.

But the persevering spirit of Richardson ― who was bullied, held back in the second grade and once struggled with literacy ― can best captured in the way she turned around her ADHD diagnosis. 

“She calls ADHD: Abundantly Different Happily Divine,” her mother said. “I hope I live to see her go Mars.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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These Upcoming Overwatch Figures Are Crazy Adorable

Overwatch got a lot of love at this year’s Toy Fair in New York, as several new figures based on Blizzard’s team-based shooter were at the event.

Check out the gallery below to see a collection of Funko POP! Vinyl figures, including Reinhardt, D.Va, Lucio, McCree, Mei and Symmetra, as well as Good Smile Company’s previously-announced Tracer Nendoroid figure. The POP! Vinyl figures are currently hand-painted prototypes, so while all of the visors seen on the models in the gallery are opaque, they’ll be clear in the final product.

You can pre-order the Tracer Nendoroid through Good Smile’s Online Shop for 4900 yen (approximately $ 43 USD). Meanwhile, all of the Funko POP! Vinyl figures will be available for $ 10, except for the Reinhardt model, which costs $ 15, and the D.Va figure, which is priced at $ 20. A release date for the POP! Vinyl figures has yet to be announced.

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If Trump Praised Other Historic African-American Figures Like He Did Frederick Douglass

On Wednesday, while touting the United States’ rich African-American history for the start of Black History Month, President Donald Trump praised abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass as “an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.”

OK, sure. … “Really, fantastic job, Fred. Simply top notch.”

Here’s how Donald Trump praised other legendary African-American figures of history. (OK, in our imaginations.)

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Bleacher Creatures Dynamic Duo 10″ Plush Figures, Joker and Tuxedo Joker

Bleacher Creatures Dynamic Duo 10″ Plush Figures, Joker and Tuxedo Joker

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Hidden Figures surprise big winner at SAGs

Hidden Figures was the surprise big winner at the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAGs).
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News


Klutz Cat’s Cradle: A Book of String Figures

Klutz Cat’s Cradle: A Book of String Figures

Ten fingers are all you will need to make the five different string figures in Cat’s Cradle: A Book of String Figures from Klutz. That’s because the fabulously detailed, step-by-step, illustrated instructions and a tie-dyed string loop are included in this 36-page, spiral-bound book which is a great travel book sure to provide lots of back-seat entertainment and diversion. Ages 6 & up. WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD – Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.

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People Across The U.S. Are Raising Money For Girls To See ‘Hidden Figures’

“Hidden Figures,” the hit film that tells the story of three black women who helped NASA send a man into orbit, has been praised for putting women of color in the spotlight. 

That’s why people across the country ― teens, teachers and community leaders ― are raising money through GoFundMe to ensure young girls can see the movie.

One of those people is Taylor Richardson, a 13-year-old aspiring astronaut from Florida, who wants to send 100 girls to see “Hidden Figures” at a theater in Jacksonville, Florida. She also wants to raise money on GoFundMe for the girls to have snacks and get a copy of the “Hidden Figures” book.

Richardson first saw the movie at a screening at the White House and has since seen it three more times. She said the film was “amazing.”

“I cried, I laughed, I got angry and then got determined to not let others’ impressions of me because of the color of my skin impact how my life will be,” she told The Huffington Post. “These black women did something I never knew about, and it’s not in any history books that I’ve studied thus far.”

As of Friday, Richardson has raised $ 2,540 of her $ 2,600 goal. She found the girls she plans to take to see the film from organizations that have impacted her life like the YMCA, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, See The Girl and Journey Into Womanhood. She wants them to go home after the movie feeling as inspired as she did.

“This movie instills that us girls can dream big and make it even when odds are against us,” she said. “Most importantly I want girls to know that, like boys, they too can excel in STEM with hard work.”

Several teachers across the country have also started GoFundMe campaigns to help send their students to see the influential film. After reaching his goal of $ 1,000, Peter Modlin will be taking girls in second, third, fourth and fifth grade who attend the Detroit elementary school where he teaches. Modlin told HuffPost he hopes the students learn to dream big after watching the movie. 

“I want the girls to see this movie in hopes that a lightbulb might go off,” he said. “A lightbulb that signifies a belief in the opportunity to do or be anything they want to be, if they work hard to achieve that goal.”

Like Richardson and Modlin, Phyllis Marshall raised money on GoFundMe so local girls could see “Hidden Figures,” and has since taken them to see it.

On Jan. 7, she took 50 girls from Roberts Family Development Center in Sacramento, California, to the theater. She’s worked with the center, which is in a low-income community and provides after-school care, for years. Through GoFundMe she raised more than her $ 1,500 goal, which provided transportation, snacks and tickets to the movie. Marshall said “they loved it.”

Marshall was glad to be able to show the girls that women can succeed in science, technology and mathematics. She was especially thrilled to show them that women of color and their success deserve a place on the big screen.

“I certainly hope as many young girls get to see that movie as possible.” 

Other teachers and community leaders are raising money for kids to see “Hidden Figures, too. Check out their campaigns below.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Hidden Figures Movie Exposes A New Real Figure

When I saw Hidden Figures, two thoughts entered my mind. I experienced gratitude, and I felt shock. To further explain, Hidden Figures is receiving many stellar as well as controversial reviews. From its Oscar talk to its soundtrack discussions, Hidden Figures is a movie that is stirring up major conversations in the entertainment and science worlds. And it is a film that I personally felt compelled to review. For I am a real life “hidden figure.” I am a real female rocket scientist of color. While watching the film, I was simultaneously inspired and surprised by what I relived through its scenes.


Hidden Figures Movie starring Janelle Monáe, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer

Directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Theodore Melf and Allison Schroeder, the Hidden Figures film depicts the real life struggles of three genius women Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monáe), who were instrumental in launching astronaut John Glenn (played by Glen Powell) to space and changing the way NASA viewed the technical competence of African-American women. The film is set during a time where racial segregation, sexual segregation and educational segregation posed great hindrances to not only women, but especially to women of color. Through the character’s struggles brilliantly portrayed in the 20th Century Fox film, the audience is cleverly hypnotized into fully understanding the racial challenges of three separate segregation stories interwoven into one uplifting plot. The film does an extraordinary job in honoring these three women who helped reenergized the world as the first African-American Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) experts during the American Space Race in the specific year 1961. To add, the math in the film was accurately applied. Naturally, these aspects of the film are inspiring. However, some movie scenes left me unsettled.

I am a young “hidden figure” who is choosing to be exposed. I helped build and launch NASA rockets through mathematical calculations as a rocket scientist for nearly ten years at a major aerospace company. I won many awards as a rocket scientist. And Hidden Figures reintroduced a bit of shock to me. I was surprised that my experiences were almost identical to Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson’s stories. When I watched the struggles these ladies faced in the film, tears ran down my face. I intimately knew how they felt. Despite being a scientist nearly 40 years after these ladies’ stories, I was brought back into time where my experiences were being reenacted in this film. Three personal experiences jumps from the screen onto this page.

1. Women bonded together in the bathroom to for a powerful purpose.


Dorothy Vaughan, played by Octavia Spencer helps women prepare for their technical roles.

A moving scene in Hidden Figures surrounds a bathroom scene. Katherine Johnson is newly assigned to a work group with only white men, and the “colored ladies bathroom” is nearly a half mile away from her work station. She runs there, because no other colored women’s restrooms are near. When she arrives, the restroom is her safe haven. It remains so until she is caught in the rain. She returns to her desk late and soaking wet. From her experience, her NASA boss, Al Harrison (played by Kevin Costner) makes a leadership move to passionately remove segregated restrooms from his NASA locations.

My real life experience is very similar to the bathroom scene which happened nearly 20 years ago. When I was first hired as a rocket scientist, I received the best piece of advice in the ladies’ bathroom. On my second day, this man (who later would become one of my biggest supporters and professional leads) walked passed me and his mouth dropped open. He looked at me puzzled. He began walking slowly around me as if I was a museum exhibit. I was new scientist, and I honestly did not know how to respond to his actions. He circled me again, never saying a word. He looked at me as if I was an alien from another planet. At the time, I was unaware that he was surprised that a woman had been hired into the engineering group. But soon after, I discovered he was one of the “supportive guys.”

Moments later, some of the administrative assistants in clerical roles, motioned for me to join them in the ladies’ bathroom. They introduced themselves and told me that they were supporting me, because they were awaiting to see another female engineer. And they told me that whenever I am upset, never let the male engineers see me cry. When I asked why, they explained that a couple of the men would do anything to provoke emotion from some women. They needed reason to suggest giving a man the job instead of a woman. It was not everyone, but just a few men. These particular men would label the women as “too emotional to handle the work.” These ladies encouraged me go to the ladies room whenever I felt emotional.

I was in disbelief, until I witnessed this fact for myself. Numerous times I saw other women challenged. I was often challenged too. But I always remained calm and took their advice. In the process, I unknowingly turned off my feelings in order to execute the work. I did this action for the sake of science. My love of science overruled any experience, and it gave other women hope. And in turn, these ladies gave me hope. Later, several administrative assistants asked me to mentor their young daughters who have since become young scientist, doctors, lawyers and civic leaders as a result.

2. Extra challenges still exist for women of color in STEM.


Katherine Johnson at her desk at Langley. Photo courtesy of NASA.

There was a scene in the movie where Katherine Johnson is told that “there is no protocol for women to give technical briefings” by Paul Stafford (played by Jim Parsons). Yet through the support of her executive boss, she is invited into a boardroom to explain the last necessary calculations to successfully help the Friendship 7 mission land given its reentry trajectory. When she enters the room, men look at her in shock, because she is a young woman of color. Equally she looks like a deer caught in headlights, until she relies on her mathematical skills to calm her and prove her value on the NASA Friendship 7 program.

When I saw this scene, tears ran down my face. I literally knew how Katherine Johnson felt in the inside. I thought to myself, Katherine went through this too?

Through watching this scene, I relived my character-defining moment as a scientist. After much hard work, I became an expert in knowing how explosions could occur within and outside of rockets. I understood rocket designs and authorized engine tests. I stayed at work for long hours after everyone left because I knew I had to perform twice as hard, like the character Katherine Johnson.


Olympia LePoint performs mathematical calculations. Image courtesy of California State University Northridge Alumni Association.

As an expert, I would attend design briefings with over 200 men. I was lucky if I saw another woman in the room. And the most defining moment is when a program manager suggested that he present my work instead of me. Like in the movie, he said, “There is no protocol for a young woman like yourself to give these technical briefings.”

Thankfully two weeks earlier, one of the more seasoned female African-American engineers took me aside and warned me that there had never been an African-American woman to present the work that I was creating. And fortunately, she gave me empowering words to use.

I said to this program manager, “There may not be a protocol. But I am fully prepared to give the presentation of my work that I have created within the last 6 months. I am the author of the work, no one else.”


Olympia LePoint used mathematics to helped launch 28 NASA Space Shuttle Mission to Space. Image courtesy of California State University Northridge Alumni Association.

He did not anticipate my response, and he miraculously agreed. I gave the presentation to 500 NASA officials. The mathematics gave me comfort as I presented. Later he thanked me for my presentation. And other engineers called me the “Engine News Reporter,” because my presentations were the most organized anyone had ever seen. Through being the first African-American female at the age of 23 to give a NASA briefing of this type, I inspired other program managers to give opportunities to other young engineers.

3. True leaders are individuals who stand up to inequality and promote knowledge in the face of challenge.


Katherine Johnson shakes John Glenn’s hand in the movie Hidden Figures.

All characters give a stunning performance in life-transforming scenes paired with well-placed soundtrack music produced by Benjamin Wallfisch, Pharrell Williams and Hans Zimmer. In the movie, Dorothy Vaughan oversees the calculation area despite not being a supervisor. She foresees that the new IBM machine will replace all her co-workers’ jobs. Courageous, she learns a new programming skill and shares her knowledge within her group. Further, Mary Jackson realizes that in order to become the first African-American design engineer, she must petition a court to attend a segregated school for engineering classes. Al Harrison dismantles segregation activities in his offices to promote team knowledge. And Jon Glenn stands up for Katherine in making sure she returns to the program.

Leadership is standing up for what is right, even though it is easier to run away.

I too had a defining leadership experience through an unconventional occurrence. I am truly thankful for the various managers, directors and CEOs who supported me. They did their best to guide me given that I was unique. But one day, my experience almost turned fearful. Not everyone was excited to promote knowledge. I just won Engineer of the Year Modern Day Technology Leader Award, and I was the youngest from the company to receive that type of award. Then one day after work, I went outside to find my car deeply scratched from end to end with racial slurs, in anger from my award. I reported it. The company did everything it could. Unfortunately the person was never caught. But, I had a choice. I could become angry. Or I could become powerful.


Olympia LePoint supported Mission Control from her R.O.S.C. desk, now an exhibit at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California. Image courtesy of California State University Northridge Alumni Association.

I will always thank my manager Steve for helping me be courageous during that time. He told me that terrible things may happen in life, but I show my strength by how I respond. He said that I was at the company for a powerful reason. And it was my job to keep my head focused on the science. And my work will always speak for itself. He did everything he could to provide access to higher training for me. And I will always be thankful for Steve’s executive mentoring. Although I had to repaint my entire car and be escorted at nights, I realized that sometimes we must go through challenging situations to become the leaders we wish to become. With Steve’s leadership and support, I later channeled my emotions into producing life-changing science that changed how NASA views System Safety and Reliability practices. This work later landed me into a new leadership role where I supported Mission Control during Space Shuttle launches. It was in that room where I was helped launch my dear friend, retired NASA astronaut Robert Curbeam to space, who flew John Glenn on his last mission to space. Sometimes life comes back around in a full circle.

In conclusion, I highly encourage audiences to watch Hidden Figuress. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Jim Parsons and Kevin Costner all give phenomenal performances. They honor the women who made my career as a rocket scientist possible. I honor Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson’s courageous life stories, and I am thrilled that this film was made.

Until next time, find me on and share your thoughts.

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Pharrell Williams, Making Noise for ‘Hidden Figures’ Everywhere

This in-demand star has been deeply involved with the film, a story of representation that he cares about profoundly.
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Review: ‘Hidden Figures’ Honors 3 Black Women Who Helped NASA Soar

The women, part of the giant step for mankind, have their stories told in this movie directed by Theodore Melfi.
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John Glenn remembered by ‘Hidden Figures’ cast at premiere

Octavia Spencer, from left, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae attend the special screening of "Hidden Figures" at the SVA Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)NEW YORK (AP) — John Glenn, depicted in "Hidden Figures" as a space trailblazer who also gave critical support to pioneering black women at NASA who helped him orbit the earth, was fondly remembered by the cast at the movie's premiere.

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Hidden Figures Stars Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons and Glen Powell Open Up About Death of John Glenn

For the stars of Hidden Figures, the death of hero astronaut John Glenn makes the film all the more meaningful.

“He was a brother, he was an uncle, he was a father,” Kevin Costner, who plays NASA manager Al Harrison in the movie, told PEOPLE of Glenn on Saturday at a special screening of Hidden Figures in New York City.

“Then there’s the idea of how a man lived his life and I realized, that man, he lived his life. As a soldier, as an astronaut, as a senator. He was not only in control of the planes he flew. He was in control of his life.”

Glenn died on Thursday, surrounded by family at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, according to a hospital statement.

Glen Powell portrays the astronaut-turned-U.S. senator in the film about three African-American women who provided NASA with the key mathematical data used to get Glenn to space in the program’s first successful space mission.

He told PEOPLE that playing Glenn caused him to see the famed astronaut in a new light.

“I think the more you fall in love with him, the more you start to look at him like a grandfather that you’re really proud of,” he said at the screening.

“It really does feel like a loss. But at the end of the day, in 95 years, there’s not anybody I think has accomplished more in that amount of time,” Powell said.

He added: “ affected so many people, inspired so many millions. It’s a loss. But at the same time, what a celebration of life.”

Jim Parsons, who plays Paul Stafford, said receiving the news of Glenn’s death while promoting such a movie was a “slap in the face.”

RELATED VIDEO: In Memoriam: John Glenn

“I would’ve been saddened and surprised no matter when the news came out,” Parsons told PEOPLE at the event. “But it’s a little ironic for him to pass away just within days of us doing all this stuff for this movie that’s introducing three new faces of the space movement that we’ve never known of before.”

He continued: “The beauty of it is that man, John Glenn, that man who just passed away, has, for our lifetime, been such the face — or at least a face — of NASA and the space movement. He was such an integral part of bringing someone like Katherine Johnson into the room.”

The movie is based on the novel of the same name by author Margot Lee Shetterly. The screenplay was co-written by Allison Schroeder and director Theodore Melfi.

Hidden Figures hits theaters Dec. 25.

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Khan names top tech figures on business panel

London mayor Sadiq Khan has named a number of top tech executives to his panel of business advisers underlining the importance of the sector to the capital’s economy.
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Dominique Dawes On The Historical Significance Of ‘Hidden Figures’

Dominique Dawes wants to help push the stories of three visionary black women to the forefront of America’s history after taking a special interest in a new film.

The three-time Olympic gymnast has shared her celebrity influence in her studio promotion of Fox 20th Century’s upcoming film, “Hidden Figures.” Starring Taraji P. Henson (as Katherine Johnson), Octavia Spencer (as Dorothy Vaughn) and Janelle Monáe (as Mary Jackson), the film highlights the untold true story of three African-American women mathematicians who provided NASA with integral data during astronaut John Glenn’s historical orbit in 1962.

Following her discovery of the trio’s inspiring story in June, Dawes told HuffPost that it was the perfect opportunity for her to promote “such an inspiring” movie. During the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Dawes helped to introduce the film’s trailer on the NBC network. 

“I know I’ve been blessed to inspire thousands of young girls with the desire to step inside the gymnastics gym, just as I know Simone Manuel being the first African-American to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming is going to inspire so many more young African-American girls to jump into the pool,” she said.

“I know this story is going to inspire thousands and thousands of young African-American girls to get involved in science and technology and engineering, and math. I’m excited to promote it, but I’m excited to see it, because I know it’s gonna touch thousands.”

Similar to the trio breaking barriers in their respective field, Dawes has helped paved the way for athletes of color including Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles. During the 1996 Summer Olympics, the Maryland-native became the first African-American to win an individual Olympic medal in women’s gymnastics.

She is also the first African-American to win an individual Olympic medal in artistic gymnastics.

Though there was a lack of black representation in the sport during her milestone journey, Dawes says she is proud to be associated with a film ―by introducing the first trailer ― that will inspire people to pursue their dreams.

“As a young person I didn’t need to see someone that looked like me, or come from the same environment as me to achieve or break a barrier,” she said. “And I think some people don’t need to see people that look like them, but some people do. They need to see someone in the gymnastics gym or someone in the pool, or someone working in NASA for them to say ‘oh, if they can do it, I can do it, too.’

“I love the fact that ‘Hidden Figures’ is going to inspire those group of girls that maybe need that little boost to say, ‘Hey, take an interest in science, technology, engineering and math. You might be able to break down a barrier, as well.’”

In terms of advice for other people vying to break barriers in their respective fields, the 39-year-old says people should embrace and celebrate their “uniqueness” and pursue their talent with passion.

“I think a lot of people do not feel as if they’re special or do not feel as if they’re gifted,” she said. “And I think if you put things into perspective and recognize how unique each and every one of our stories are, hopefully it’ll encourage someone to celebrate that uniqueness about them.”

“Hidden Figures” is set to hit theaters on Jan. 13. Check out the film’s trailer below.

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