The Brilliance!

HTTP://WWW.THEBRILLIANCE.COM

We’re really internet and we’re really back. A website about things Benjamin , Chuck , Virgil , and various friends & guests think are interesting. Little-to-no specific focus, a bit odd, speling errors, and incredibly culturally relevant.

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I sometimes think Apple is confusing.

So yeah, I’m a super huge Apple fan right? To a certain extent I evangelize their products a bit too much. I suppose I just really love their attention to detail. That being said, after just scrolling through Engagdet’s live updates on the keynote today and chatting with my friend Adam about this new iPod Nano with a camera…I feel a little confused. I love simplicity, and not just in design, but in business models, etc. I feel like Apple is making some confusing moves by offering, while really cool, odd enhancements to their products. So we’ve got an iPod Nano that can take video now - great. But I kind of can’t believe I just saw Steve Jobs show a picture of a Flip Camera and say “we want to get in this market”.........and then announce it as a new feature on their mid-level music device. A music device that has nothing to do with capturing video. A device thats simplicity, see them brag about the click wheel, made it so attractive. A device that’s whole purpose, music, reinvigorated the public’s image of Apple. Does anyone remember Steve Jobs saying that even just playing video on an iPod wasn’t something they were interested in? Now they’re just cramming features into it - making it harder and harder for me to explain to, say my Grandmother, which iPod would be best for her. It used to be like, you know, small - medium - large. As in, Shuffle - Nano - iPod. It feels like each is its own product but none really fit into a line-up as Apple usually does. To be honest, it feels kind of like the presentation of product lines we’d see from Sony or something, you know? Or, ouch, Microsoft with their 20 different versions of windows. I had the same thoughts with the iPod Touch when that was launched too, like, I couldn’t believe they would do that. Yeah, it sells well, but does it cannibalize other products, does it confuse, is it kind of corny? I always looked at the touch as the C-Class hatchback Benz did a while back with cloth seats. Yuck, what a bad look for Mercedes at the time. It’s funny, when Steve Jobs came back the first time in the 90’s he slashed Apple’s product lines big time, made things simple, understandable and FOCUSED. Looks like they are creeping back to their old ways maybe? I guess it all feels just kind of un-Apple. ***All that said, its pretty awesome to see Steve back on the stage doing his thing, I hope this is the case for a long time to come.

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Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3. I’m listening!!

What a tradition this has become for me. I remember all the way back in high school in my parents Ford Tarus in the parking lot of Best Buy ripping the wrapper off (putting the windows down like he suggested) and throwing in a new Jay-Z album. Before ever having heard any of the tracks, like early internet. I remember making one of my first paid-for websites in high school listening to Jay tell us that if we wanted to get down all we needed to invest was our time. (Paperchase is STILL one of the CRAZIEST songs, seriously.) Man oh man, Jay-Z is a business mentor of mine, indirectly, you know? Like, “I didn’t got to college, I just listened to Jay-Z albums.” I’ll stop gushing. I haven’t even listened past 4 of these new tracks and I know its another one to remember - and like most his works, its not to be compared to a previous album, each one is brand new, listen to it accordingly! Ha, he’s killing me, he said: “If you like my old stuff, buy an old album.” Raise your champagne glass, or diet coke can for me this morning, and toast to Jay-Z lets get it and like he said: “never let ‘em see you frown, even smile when you’re down.”.

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Patrick Blanc’s vertical gardens! I love this.

My friend Rick sent this to me. Super cool. I’ve had this kind of obsession with vertical farming lately too, like how it integrates with cities, etc. This stuff though is pure art. Super, super whimsical - just makes your imagination run, kind of like that post I did on huge indoor jellyfish tanks. So yeah, this guy Patrick Blanc started growing gardens on his walls when he was young, using fish tanks with fertilized water as the base and now he’s doing massive walls for hotels indoors and out. Amazing stuff. I wonder how it makes a room feel when you walk into it - is it humid, refreshing with all the fresh air, how does it smell? I want to do an ivy wall in my loft now - can you imagine ivy creeping up the inside of a loft’s exposed brick? Nuts. Link below is to his official site, but check this great Wired article too.

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Mad Men. I’m so late.

I did a post about Entourage the same way, like 3 seasons after it started I was like “OMG. hav u seen like this awesome show where they r just like rich and live super awesome lives?!11 its called liek Entourage or sumthing. so good!” Ha. Ehh. So yeah, I just wrapped watching the first DVD from season one. Wow, I’ve been missing out heavy. Brilliantly acted, produced, shot, etc. So entertaining but in a low-key, almost relaxing way I suppose. I’ve never worked at an ad agency but all of us here at THE BRILLIANCE either have run, are running our own projects or have freelanced in this arena at some point - so fun to look at the roots of the industry, or at least an interpretation of it. Especially seeing as how..corny ad agencies are now. No more suits, just a ‘cool jeans convention’ at most agencies now, ha. And a competition of who has the squarest, literally in shape, glasses. Ha, I’m sorry - I suppose I just wish it was like it was back with the Mad Men a bit more, a stack of fresh white dress shirts in your drawer to get sharp if you didn’t make it home the previous night before your 9am meeting. Dig. Although, the sexual harassment and lung cancer can stay back in that era, yikes.

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OMG!!1 That stainless steel Sharpie marker!

Man do I love simple stuff. But like, properly simple stuff. In fact, I’m pretty obsessed with the Eames House Bird right now - totally off topic, but I love that thing. Anyway, so I was on The Life Files this morning and they had a post on this stainless steel Sharpie - and even they said they were late on it! I guess it came out the beginning of 09 - and we just never heard about it. There’s something you can’t quite put your finger on when a simple, basic, familiar brand does something like this, isn’t there? A stainless steel Sharpie. And laser etched! Ask my dude Kevin, I was obsessed with getting one of these today, ha. And the price, $6.99?? Super accessible - just waiting to be obsessively placed on my coffee table. Actually, I think I’m taking mine to the laser etching place here in town to get my ‘hello’ script etched into it. Yeah, done and done. POW.

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What’s up with that?!

Ok, ok…It’s time to ask “what’s up with that?!” with your host Charles Charles. And heeeeere we go!!!

•These Palm Pre commercials with the Conan O’Brien/Lt. Data looking girl talking to herself and then using her Pre like its the second coming of Christ. WHAT IS UP WITH THIS. Modernista! does some really awesome stuff but these commercials, while memorable for the simplicity, are way too melodramatic and creepy. Check out this remix of it though
•Jimmy Fallon’s monologue. What’s up!? The rest of the show isn’t bad and all the audience interaction is quite funny…but just cut the monologue altogether. They already made it shorter because it’s painful to watch…figure out a new way to come out and uh, ‘break the ice’.
•Celebrities using Twitter to communicate publicly. You have each other’s numbers. Just text. Unless you’re Gucci Mane
•People still designing sites that open automatically into full-screen windows. Hey, not cool…I can’t believe some sites still do this. Respectable ones too! YO! WAZZZZAAAPPPP WITH THAAAAATTTTTTTTTTT
•You haven’t found a theater to go see ‘ANVIL - The Story of Anvil’ in yet!? Go see it, duh! What’s up with that!? AnvilTheMovie.com - seriously one of the best you’ll see this year
•Hey. Don’t bring your little kids into R-rated movies. You make me feel really, really awkward and make yourself look like a jerk. What’s up with this?! Read on some forum about somebody seeing Bruno and sitting down the aisle from an 8 year old kid. This is not alright.
•On a lighter note…well, I don’t know…weirder. Antwuan Dixon. Dude. What is UP!? Dixon on the cover of Thrasher. On closer look, I guess it’s not that bad. Oh wait, nevermind.
•Me not posting more than once a month lately?!? What’s up with this!? Well, it has been easily the busiest year ever for NoPattern and July was maybe the busiest month I’ve had all year. Almost time for a little vacation next week. Can’t wait. Lots of good things coming up in the fall…that’s all that’s up.

Over and out.

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Hiccup, my favorite Hulu show: Three Sheets!

That ‘Hiccup’ thing in the title is kind of corny. Hulu is like the American Apparel of TV isn’t it kind of? Hipster Voice: “Oh dude, I love Hulu. It’s just so much better compared to like TV or like cable or whatever. I hate TV.” I’m like a little guilty of that statement right there myself man. Anyway, yeah man, I don’t even know how I found this show, Three Sheets, but I’m quite a fan. And maybe a little jealous of this guy’s ‘job’, ha. Quick gist: Zane Lamprey travels around to different cities, towns, etc all around the world to immerse himself in their local drinks and drinking culture. At first I thought he had kind of a corny vibe - but he’s actually quite funny after you’ve watched a couple, he’s got good snaps - kind of the perfect guy for a show like this. Yeah, not too much more to detail on this one - informative, funny, entertaining. I like how its shot/produced as well - like, one camera guy, super simple, etc. Perfect to waste a Sunday away on. I’m watching the Scotland one right now. ***I love how in this one he makes fun of the fact the Camera is already in the place he’s walking into. Always super corny when they do that on ‘reality’ shows.

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THEM THANGS!!!

So, kids are wearing black for a year straight and crazy blogs are taking over. As a kid that can’t wait for something new I am digging this new “badass” era I see bubbling. I am into creative-edgyness. Perfect example of articulating dark randomness the THEM THANGS blog. As you can imagine its so not safe for kids. Pure 18 & up designer/photographer inspiration. Yo, where do you image blogs guys get your pics from. Are your sponsored by a scanner company and work at a Salvation Army? Either way you rock, thanks for the hardwork.

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Zap! Benz confirms they’re doing an electric Gullwing!

Alright, now I should really only have positive things to write about with something like this. And trust me, I think its super cool that MB is doing this. But I’m going to be honest - I think its too abstract. The Gullwing is iconic - a super classic - and I don’t really think that’s a good place to start for Benz with an exploration into electric cars. Fair enough, they’re following the same path as Tesla doing something super hi-end first to grab public attention - but Mercedes isn’t a start-up like Tesla - so I’m not sure if thats teh best approach. Could you imagine them being like ‘oh yeah, we’re doing the new E-class couple in a fully electric version for 2011’??? People would flip out - the orders would be in the 1000’s right off the bat. Seriously, LA would be literally covered with them. I’m stoked on this electric Gullwing - but somebody, please, come out with something thats an entry-level luxury priced purchase and isn’t super over-the-top design wise. Like - let’s just get things rolling, let’s make it normal! Again though, this car is going to be pretty amazing.

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Book report: “Museum of the Missing: A History of Art Theft”!!

Actually, I lied - this isn’t a book report cause I’ve only read like 15 pages of this book. But - it’s a start right?? Seriously though, this was one of those books I was quite looking forward to starting - what a cool topic right? All (or most) of the largest art thefts in history. I don’t read much, if any, fiction so books revolving around the ‘romantic’ crimes such as these always grab me. Chuck and I talked a while back - and didn’t I make a post?? - about art theft and how weird it is. It’s different than bank robbery, jewelry theft, etc in that the product stolen immediately becomes worthless in the public market as its an obvious one-of-one and reported stolen - but, where it gets interesting, is the private market of truly obsessed collectors who don’t mind owning a piece of stolen art that basically can’t be shown to anyone again ever, you know? Anyway, I scored the book on eBay super cheap - I’ve skimmed through quite a bit of it past the first 15 pages, ha, and it’s quite good.