HEALTH: George Millers captains community health system. Fron my story in the Statesman: "The night in June 1998 when authorities learned that three white men in Jasper had dragged James Byrd Jr. to his death behind a truck, George Miller was on his way back to East Texas from a conference in New Orleans. "My first thought: What can I do to help?" says Miller, then CEO of the Jasper hospital, now CEO of Austin’s CommUnity Care system of public clinics. "We knew we were going to be besieged by news media because of this horrific murder." As a highly placed and respected African-American administrator, Miller called a meeting of city leaders. "We’ve got to put a face on it," he told the leaders. "We don’t want everybody to think of us as this small, redneck East Texas town." http://shar.es/Ubkf3 (A honor to know the man.)

MOVIES: Austin’s McConaughey, Bullock, Linklater, Heinzerling among Oscar nominees. From the AP story: "The Academy Awards appear to be the three-horse race many expected they would be, with "Gravity," "American Hustle" and "12 Years a Slave" all receiving a heap of nominations. The nominations for the 86th Academy Awards, announced Thursday morning in Beverly Hills, Calif., were led by the 3-D space odyssey "Gravity" and the con-artist caper "American Hustle," both with 10 nominations. The harrowing historical epic "12 Years a Slave" trailed closely with nine nominations. All were among the nine films nominated for best picture. The other nominees are "Captain Phillips," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Her," "Nebraska," "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "Philomena." http://shar.es/Ubkl2(I’m a sucker for it.)

TECH: Google, the new GE. From the Economist story: "At Google they call it the toothbrush test. Shortly after returning to being the firm’s chief executive in 2011, Larry Page said he wanted it to develop more services that everyone would use at least twice a day, like a toothbrush. Its search engine and its Android operating system for mobile devices pass that test. Now, with a string of recent acquisitions, Google seems to be planning to become as big in hardware as it is in software, developing "toothbrush" products in a variety of areas from robots to cars to domestic-heating controls. Its latest purchase is Nest Labs, a maker of sophisticated thermostats and smoke detectors: on January 13th Google said it would pay $3.2 billion in cash for the firm. Google’s biggest move into hardware so far is its $12.5 billion bid for Motorola Mobility, a handset-maker, in 2011. In recent months it has been mopping up robotics firms (see table), most notably Boston Dynamics, which makes two- and four-legged machines with names like BigDog and Cheetah that can walk and run. Google’s in-house engineers have also been busy working on driverless cars and wearable gadgets such as Google Glass. http://econ.st/L957dL(Everywhere.)

ECOLOGY: Edwards Aquifer plan gets high honor. From Neena Satija’s story in the Texas Tribune: "A plan developed by officials across south-central Texas to balance the interests of millions of the state’s water users with a federal mandate to protect endangered species has received a high-profile award. But the plan may not succeed if the most severe drought in recent memory continues. The coveted Partners in Conservation Award is given personally by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to only a few recipients nationwide each year. But those who worked on the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Plan, which was approved in 2013 after several years of work, are accepting the honor at what may be the most turbulent time for the aquifer and the authority that regulates it since 1993. That’s when a judge ordered the state to determine how to better manage pumping from the Edwards Aquifer or face federal intervention." http://trib.it/1eE7Pkn(The battle continues.)

SCHOOL: Is this trend promising … or creepy? From Jonathan Rienstra’s story in CultureMap: "College tuition has gone up 60 percent in the last decade, but some enterprising students are finding financial aid in a creative way — by landing a sugar daddy to the pay the bills. And students at Texas State University in San Marcos are right up there with the best of them. Dating (and we use that term loosely) site SeekingArrangement.com recently examined the fastest growing "sugar baby" schools in the country, and Texas State came in at No. 10. The average Texas student graduates with more than $24,000 in student debt, so the average $3,000 per month that a college sugar baby receives from her "benefactor" can go a long way to ensuring she comes out owing significantly less. But Texas State students aren’t the only ones thinking creatively. The University of North Texas was No. 24 on the list, and the University of Texas at Austin ranked No. 30. UT Arlington and the University of Houston both registered in the top 75, as well. Nice job, Texas." http://bit.ly/K6QCHf(I guess it’s the picture that makes it creepy.)