The Brilliance!


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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Only Human – Web 2.Oh my bad…

So we get a decent amount of email here @ THE BRILLIANCE…suggestions, terrible t-shirt companies, shoe collaborations that couldn’t matter less…and tons of amazing stock tips, we are seriously rich from them, amazing. Ha, just kidding…long intro. Jason from Only Human, a fairly new internet start-up, emailed us this morning to let us know what he and his team are up to – quite an interesting new product they have. An email worth posting, ha. So here is the quick rundown: Only Human is ‘a community where people share stories about mistakes they’ve made in life and their advice to others’ Now…in all fairness, the last thing we need is another community site on the web right? Maybe not so. After chatting it up with Jason a bit and playing around the site – I can really see some traction here. The stories range from goofy, serious, funny, simple…but the amount of people posting ‘mistakes’ and interacting with them is impressive – a true show of human emotion on the web. Good stuff. So yeah…if you’ve done anything stupid, funny, or embarrassing lately you might want to post it on Only Human – the rest of the internet would love to know about it. This kind of stuff makes the internet fun…

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Some recent movies…the good and the bad…

There’s good news and bad news here. The bad news is that I actually paid money for Reno 911. The good news is that Zodiac was so good, it more than made up for the time and money I pretty much wasted on Reno. Pretty much. So, Reno 911. Not so good. Nothing memorable about it, except maybe when the guy runs right through the giant whale. That was pretty funny…few chuckles, but mostly just crude, lame humor in a movie that went on for too long. Eh. Zodiac on the other hand… I haven’t been so wrapped up in a movie in a long time. Honestly - it had me completely enthralled. The story is great, acting is great, and you do your absolute best to not get up and go to the bathroom during its almost 3 hour run-time. Really though, check it out if you haven’t already, or if you owe it to yourself after you wasted your $9.50 on Wild Hogs already. Hmm. Just watched Half Nelson last night. I know it got amazing reviews and Gosling certainly deserved the best actor nomination he got for it…but wow, was it depressing. Would have been nice to get a few more laughs throughout, it was just really taking a toll on me about 3/4 of the way through. Kind of like how Pursuit of Happyness did the same thing. It was like, alright, nice movie, but for God’s sake let’s move it along and enjoy ourselves and stop crying for a minute. Eh. I’ll just stick with my recent purchase of The Departed deluxe edition DVD.

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Weekend = Chicago, Clipse, Late Nights, too much fun!

All I want to do is ride around shining… Hell of a weekend. I headed down to Chicago last Thursday to catch up with my parents and hang with Virgil a bit. He already had the Clipse tickets hooked-up for Friday night…jeez…show was perfecto. And hey, that line at the Metro was as vicious as the whipping wind…nothing a little ‘social engineering’ can’t fix, ha. So anyway, yeah – the show was too fresh, they have a great stage presence. After that we hit ‘Undergound’ in the loop…many, many thanks to Curtis for the hook-up – that club was a Diddy video, whoa. Saturday called for some shopping, good stuff as always – one thing I miss living in Grand Rapids. And another great-night-late-night in Wikcer Park on Saturday to round things out…I needed a mental break and this past weekend was medicine…maybe it was all the vodka tonics. Thanks to all the crew, new and old, we met up with – too much fun.

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Fun Productivity!!

Before I got into the architecture game I didn’t put a ton of thought into what makes great space, nonetheless a great space that’s conducive to working. Good natural light and non-cubicle environment is no longer gonna cut it. Typically office space is either sufficient or BANANAS like this link my collogue sent me, Red Bull Headquarters in London. For all those corporate kids, imagine opting for a slide instead of taking the stairs down from level two in your vertical striped button up…ha. If this was my office I couldn’t imagine how different work would be…is it me or is Red Bull under-recognized as super cool company beyond of energy drinks…hmmm. They seem artistic inside and out…

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Googlezon, never old news!

Now I am not sure if everyone has seen this so I am gonna post it anyway. There hasn’t been a piece of information like this that continually pops up in my head month after month especially when internet companies continue to make headlines . Since we’re so internet here at THE BRILLIANCE this is a must have link on our site. I was reminded about this piece because the other week I read somewhere that the publisher of the New York Times doubts they will be printing the physical edition in 5 years….crazy, huh. Basically this short flash video titled Epic 2014 by Robin Sloan that debuted at the Museum of Media History is a timeline of the internet from the recent past to how it will evolve in the near future. Check it out.

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IF you code THEN…

Hmm…a job posting or solicitation of our readers? I usually wouldn’t do this, but I am looking for some good web programmers & designer/developer types…and at this point, I think it would be easier to find some sort of hidden pirate treasure or explain the 4th dimension. Come on, where are all the talented code hustlers?! So with that being said – I am looking for and developer, and even a good web designer that has a grip on all his web 2.0 stuff: AJAX, etc. I got all sorts of projects cooking, that need help here or there so it wouldn’t necessarily be a full time gig, but it could be. So yeah, I am really looking for a hustler/jack-of-all-trades programmer – someone that ‘gets’ THE BRILLIANCE and has some vision, you know? Is that too much ask? It’d also be really cool if you were in our general area. Shoot me an email, hello@thebrilliance, if you this sounds like fun. I promise I’m fun to work with over 50% of the time…ha.

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Tesla motors and the new WhiteStar!

Seriously…seriously. I mean…seriously. So they sold out of their first 100 $90k+ Tesla Roadsters in 3 weeks – and now they have announced the WhiteStar sports sedan project. A 4-door sports sedan that sits 5 people, will hit for about $44k, will be built right here in America (New Mexico)…and it doesn’t use gas, suckers. I love this company to death. And I honestly think I’ll be buying one of these WhiteStars provided it doesn’t look terrible…even if it looks like my first car, 1976 Ford Maverick, I might still buy it. I mean, how can GM or any of these other monolithic, dinosaur companies even fathom competing? This is iPod vs. Zune here, and we are the generation that will kiss pistons in cars good-bye – after them being the mainstay for a millennium (way to innovate guys!). You can just feel a great company in the making…congrats to them, on so many different levels. They are even doing a Technical Center here in Michigan! I seriously can’t wait to see the first renderings of this car…or to drive one.

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Sporting events with the bros!

Good times…always. So it was a blow-out last night, Pistons stepped on them – we left in the 4th when there was a 30 point spread, ouch. Anyway, its about a 2 hour drive to the Piston’s Palace from downtown GR, not too bad…if you don’t take the entirely wrong highway like we did on the way there. The funny thing about sporting events is how little of the actual event you watch – you spend most of the time trying to find the spot with the biggest beer for the buck (pink lemonade for Chuck), people watching, messing with your Blackberry/Treo, goofing around with your friends, making fun of people who get too into it, etc…I probably only caught like 20 minutes of the game. I also got schooled on the art of aggressive parking lot driving practices by the infamous Josh of Premier Skateboarding…hilarious. He taught me how to not let a single car merge into line in front of you – he has such a thorough method. Seriously funny, I’m surprised no one ‘road raged’ us. And then you’ve got all the random conversations that happen late at night driving back home – like how we all think pirate/swashbuckling inspired clothing is the next step in this crazy streetwear scene…think lots of horizontal red and white striped tops and teeth-decaying kits. Keeping it real random. All this and more from a Pistons game…ha.

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For one, I am really interested in commercial architecture, mainly fashion brands because they go above and beyond when building out their retail spaces. Since Marc Jacobs just announced he’s opening up a shop around the corner from my apartment I thought it would be cool to highlight his right hand architect, Stephan Jaklitsch. He’s got a cool boutique firm that specializes in retails spaces all over the world. Just like the Marc Jacobs aesthetic, the retail design is simple and more often than not, on point. Peek around and get hip.

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Julie Mehretu : Black City!!!

Julie Mehretu is an incredible artist. Originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and now living and working in NYC, her paintings are some of the most detailed and fascinating I’ve really ever seen. In short, they are a crazy mash-up of architectural drawings, organic and abstract forms, historical references, graffiti, and from what I can tell, comic book linework. You really have to take a look at her paintings yourself to see and understand all the influences I just mentioned. What blows me away though, as an artist myself, is the level of detail she achieves while still maintaining structure and good composition. It almost feels like a more planned out, purposeful version of Jackson Pollock’s work sometimes to me. Anyways, Julie has a new monograph out called Black City that shows a lot of her work and goes into good detail about it….definitely do yourself a favor and check it out…link below…