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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Jade Mountain - St. Lucia with missing walls!

When your hotel is on the cover of Caribbean T&L with the tag line ‘The most exciting new hotel in the world’ you are most certainly doing something right. This place is honestly nuts. I recommend you grab the latest issue of Caribbean T&L (or ‘read-steal-it’ ha) for a more thorough review with amazing pictures…but I’ll give you a quick-and-short here. First off, its on the beautiful, although somewhat beachless, Caribbean island of St. Lucia – with its amazing Pitons in full view via personal infinity pools in each room…wow. It’s not just a ‘wow-that’s-really-luxurious-and-expensive’ hotel…it really has some amazing architecture, beautifully modern yet warm interior design, an amazing translucent multi-colored glass tile bottom infinity pool that (my favorite part) is half inside your room and half outside…with no fourth wall. Just a plain open view of the Pitons and the Caribbean waters. Seriously beautiful stuff. Of course it’s not cheap – but they have some great packages and I honestly think this one would be worth the money spent. Compared to what $1000 a night gets you in NYC…this place wins without question. Flights to St. Lucia are not terribly expensive either, abut $600 on average from my research. So yeah…another wild island destination vouched for by the brilliance gang.

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Pret A Manger!!!

It’s lunchtime in Chicago and I am starving. If only I were in London I’d he heading to Pret A Manger. Trolling the internet, I came across the fact that they have been slowing taking over NYC. Fast food is a sore spot for me. Continuing with the theme of all things that taste good are bad for you, I would end up with a heart attack if I at Mc Donald’s or any other fast food spot, every time I wanted to. Contrary to that thought, Pret A Manger brings the quality when it comes food an presentation without the guilty greasy feeling you get eating things like Harold’s Chicken a Chicago staple. Pret’s got “proper sandwiches using natural, preservative-free ingredients” and like that two British college friends are turning over 300 million dollars. At least they understand they need to expand in the US market outside of NYC, I’ll just keep hoping they hit Chicago next.

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McRad! Old memories, good times…

Man, I’m getting more and more random with the music stuff. From chopped and screwed, spaced cadet nerd stuff, mellow stuff, ska, & whatever else…I love it all. So this McRad stuff…I was having a much needed ‘shred session’ (I was rusty!) the other night at Premier’s basement-session-skate-park and my guy Josh (owner) throws on some McRad – the track ‘Weakness’. Man, you know how music can just transport you back or to a given place?! It was so perfect, I hadn’t skated in months and on comes one of my favorite tracks from my all-time favorite skate video, Public Domain from Powell Peralta. The next day I grabbed them on iTunes…so perfect. To a certain extent I guess you would have to have been skating during that whole Powell era – but if you were, then you’d knows McRad’s ‘Weakness’ and ‘McShred’ are two wild jams. Gnarly, extra gnarly jamzzz. Introducing the amazing rubber-boys!!

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New NoPattern, 2007!!!

I usually ask Ben or Virgil to do these writeups for me when I do a new site or have something new to announce about my own work…but I didn’t feel like making them try to come up with something this time. I’ll keep this short and to-the-point as best I can…I just put a new site up this past week - NoPattern 2007. Just crisp and clean… Anyways, I’ve also got a new print for sale - “Places You Can’t Imagine, I”. This is the first in a series of prints I’m going to do at this size with this theme. It’s in an edition of 125, 3x2 feet (36x24 in.), offset print for $50. So pick one up if you dig it. If you don’t, I’d advise you to save your money, because what would be the point of buying it if you don’t really like it that much? You follow me?

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Did MCM disappear too??

Nah, Married to The Mob kinda resurrected them. Streetwear evidently doesn’t have to be as depressing as we once thought. With one fell collaboration, we have a reminder theres tons of uncharted waters left. And who else to take the plunge but the originators of their style, MOB. You gotta love how this collaboration they secured leap frogged them into another category most brands didn’t realize. Skip the peers and go for the super lux for collaboration. MCM is such an interesting brand. With an iconic monogram that was prolific with early hip hop kids that were into SPX . Props to MOB for pulling in a nostalgic lux brand and props to MCM for staying relevant, on the street level that is.

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Real-time Emergency & Disaster info service w/ Google Maps!?!

The RSOE HAVARIA Emergency and Disaster Information Service is “a real-time map plotting radio distress signals from the National Association of Radio-Distress Signaling and Info-communications.” (Source: BoingBoing). So basically, if you want to really depress yourself, spend an afternoon playing God and looking down on the Earth, able to pinpoint every horrific disaster happening that very moment! Fantastic! So like…right now…oh - look…damn…there was just an animal attack in Madre de Dios, Peru! Oh - and there - a biological hazard in Nograd County, Hungary! What a feeling, sitting here in my safe little apartment behind my computer, unable to do anything about the terrible things happening around the world. I’m just sitting back like a fly on the wall watching it all happen. Hmm… All depressing sarcasm aside, let me make it very clear that I think this is a pretty fascinating utilization of Google Maps and technology in a forward-thinking way. Pretty unbelievable…Check out the full list of what all the icons mean. Bioterror, cold waves, fire storms, hailstorms, plagues, tsunamis…sheesh… Oh look - a blip on the map up in Grand Rapids…it looks like…wait…could it be? I gotta go…Ben lost the stylus for his Treo…crap…

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JustBlazeTV!!!

Definitely taking the initiative in using Youtube to build an audience. Just Blaze, Hip Hop producer extraordinaire, is not letting up with the awesome behind the scenes footage on JBTV. The latest installment is the making of that new Nike Air Force commercial. Tapping into Nike’s the endless and wisely spent advertising budget, Just Blaze works with concert master Sandy Park, conductor Rob Mathes and a studio full of strings to create an epic instrumental. The collaborative talk between Just and Rob is so interesting. Rob seems very Hip Hop by the sessions end. Gotta love it when different genres collide and mean something at both ends. Testament to what a real collaboration is all about. Stay tuned to JBTV.

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My new Ultimate Ears Super.Fi Pro 5’s!

Long name right? So I made this post a while back about wanting a custom pair…while I haven’t pulled the trigger on those quite yet I am fortunate enough to be the new owner of a pair of the Super.Fi Pro 5’s…the dual driver ones. So yeah…they are really, really good, that’s pretty much all that can be said. Very good in the mids and highs. Like you’ll read anywhere else on the net, getting them to properly ‘seal’ is the key to good sound…and once you do its quite buttery. In fact I’m listening to this crazy drum and bass Robocop remix on my iPod right now with them, sounds amazing…shout to Nat from ASF for sending me this track like a year ago. The build on these things is quite incredible as well…I have gone thru too many pairs of the Sony Fontopias, so these are very refreshing in their quality. I love the clear cord as well – cool touch. Another thing – people are always yacking how iTunes tracks are128kbps and you can really tell with a quality system – true indeed, you can hear nuances with these that I hadn’t heard before. Beautiful set of headphones. Oh yeah…be on the look-out for a little Ultimate Ears + INDISTR project here in the next couple months…yeah.

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So Long Silver!

I think it was around the time when DVD players were just breaking the scene is when all electronics switched over to silver. For a while there everyone had mismatched entertainment systems. So funny. My inspiration for this post comes from my new found desire for rubbery matte black gadgets. Call me weird, but enough of this silver and no more metal. I just switched my Motorola Q over to that rubberized black case and it makes a huge difference in how it looks and feels. Whoever suggested the rubber texture deserve a raise. When Apple released the Black Macbook I almost had a heart attack. You can’t deny its stealth design. And to round out this triplet, this new digi-camera I have my eye on, the Canon Powershot G7. It balances that line between a huge SLR and a trendy myspace camera. Bottom line is you can take a photo and still look like a serious photographer rather than a tourist. What’s even better is having all your gadgets match…call me superficial, and I’d probably agree. Whoops!

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TribeWanted.com, islands 2.0?!

What?! This is crazy…and I think it’s cool, although I haven’t totally made up my mind yet. So I always post various islands I want to visit someday, places that spark my imagination, places that inspire me to day-dream more often…etc. So I have to post on something like this…just have to. Here is the basic idea: It’s a web-based community where you can actually visit and/or interact with a real community of island dwellers in Fiji. Kind of like the movie The Beach except its each member of the real island is also a member of the web based community…and anyone can join the web-based community then become a tribe member, at various different levels, where they actually travel to and participate in the actual island experience. I’m making this sound super confusing. You’re best bet would be to check the site at the link below. I got the info on this from National Geographic’s Adventure magazine. Hmm…kind of a wild idea…what category should I have put this in?!