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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Containers Done Right.

Architects love containers and brands love their retail spaces. Truly, a pop-up store, I think this Freitag project is bringing it. Capturing the process on their Flicker site is fresh way to document it. From shopping for the right containers to furring out them out and stocking them with bags, its cool to see this thing grow. My first thought from a building standpoint is, “doesn’t it look like it’s gonna topple over…I mean whats the foundation look like?” Nerd stuff I know…too many times companies have a tough time extending their brand into a physical space…case and point the Motorola Q temporary retail space that came off more as a rollercoaster waiting area than a representation of the actual product. I am putting this in the art (architecture = art) category, rather than fashion because I am slightly over messenger bags, but I definitely prefer their production methodology to the next bag. Check out how they do it. Nice one Eli.

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Lord Howe!

It’s actually been a while since I’ve done a proper island write-up…if you can call my writing proper. I became familiar with Lord Howe Island by traveling on a mysteriously enchanted journey…to my local Barnes & Noble to pickup the latest copy of Islands Magazine. Ha…enchanted – I wish I had actually gone to Lord Howe. Anyway though…what struck me about this island is that there really isn’t a ton of information on it both on the net as well as in the mags – and it’s billed to truly be one of the last ‘pure’ paradise islands. And I am quite the sucker for tag-lines like that. It’s got a mix of both lush tropical as well as grasslands – actually quite similar to Maui, just minus all the resorts. It also has the white sand beaches that the south pacific is famous for…kind of a nice combo. But from my little bit of research it’s not terribly populated…in fact there isn’t much at all on Lord Howe except beautiful scenery, great beaches, amazing wildlife – and lots of ‘action’ sports as they call them…mountain biking and surfing, etc. I guess the only negative is how far away Lord Howe is from the States…it’s a ways off the southern coast of Australia. Really long plane ride. Actually, maybe that is a positive – no honeymooners or spring breakers. Check Google for more info. ***And check Google Earth for this…check the airstrip, nuts.

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Google pays Rupert Murdoch $900M to be in his top 8!

J/P OMG LOL!!11! So real simple, Google just paid News Corp. $900 Million to serve as the MySpace.com search engine. What?!?! If that doesn’t blow you away…I don’t know man. MySpace was just bought for $580 Million not even what, a year ago? Now just to be the search engine Murdoch got almost a billion? Honestly a bit mind numbing. Good investment right? So yeah…Google will start providing this service by the end of 2006. This whole ‘new web’…so crazy. Most industries take decades to recover. Don’t forget that the whole ‘dot bomb’ was only like 7 years ago. Ha…seriously, that is nuts.

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Sweaty August Ramblings!!

Hi! Before I begin, sorry for the lack of posting from me for the last 10 days or so. I was away on a beautifully relaxing trip with family to Lake Ontario in upstate New York. Nothing like laying by the lake all day, getting tan, eating great food, and, well, doing next to nothing. But back to the grind now. Anyways! I was sitting online last night and realized hey - why haven’t I bought tickets for this Tool tour yet? So I emailed my man Nigel and said ‘Hey - I know you saw Tool not long ago, but Isis is on this tour!’ So long story short, we’re going. Not sure how many people who read our site are into Isis, but to see them in an arena is going to be an experience, to say the least. Easily one of my all-time favorite bands, much respect and congratulations to Isis for landing an opening slot on this tour. If you’re new to them, I’d check out the album ‘Oceanic’ first, then dig deeper into the older stuff from there. Going to be incredible…What else. Have you seen this whole fiasco with Agency.com making a “viral” video and getting blasted for it all over the web? They got some credit too, but mostly made fun of. I’m not going to write about it all here, so check this link to read about the story. The link I really want to post is this video made in response to it all by Chicago’s own Coudal Partners (what’s up Jim!). Seriously hilarious. Watch this video, check the story. This whole Digg.com article in Businessweek is getting a bunch of flack. Apparently Kevin Rose of Digg has not really made $60 Million…Check out the whole thing at 37 Signals. There you have it, three posts in one. Have a good/hot/sweaty weekend!

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Moto’s got it for cheap!

I love simple products man. This is a great example right here. Hats off to Moto, yet again. With a price point under $50, its kind of like you want to buy it ‘just cause its only fifty bucks.’ Love the display. Plus I wouldn’t have minded having a cool phone like this while in Barcelona to throw a quick prepaid SIM card in. Looks durable and convenient…like those travel-size face washes and shampoo things at the grocery store. So yeah, cool phone, I’ll take one please. ***I’m sure it will be quite popular with members of a certain profession as well…anybody see the ‘Mr. Me Too’ video?! Just tossing them on the ground and in the trash…terrible, but classic.

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Virgil & Chicago & Midwestern Goodness!

Man, I forgot to post this up! Virgil runs around the city like P. Diddy in this feature. I’ll let the video do most the talking, but great Chicago ‘niche scene’ coverage – let the outside see in…to a city that doesn’t get as much shine. Coverage of spots like Saint Alfreds, Hejfina(!!!), Quimby’s Bookstore, Uprise Skate shop and more. Chicago will always have a spot in my heart even though I don’t/can’t really rep it anymore…but yeah, I love to see this stuff. Check the video and check MidwesternGoodness.com. Friday…and it’s not so hot anymore.

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Cake Batter Ice Cream!

I love how every time something crazy weather-wise happens; they say it’s global warming. But SNAP they might be on to something with this here heat wave. Chicago is getting rocked, power is cutting out and all. The only good thing about this heat is it’s an excuse to go to Cold Stone. I always wondered why everyone was like, “Ah Cold Stone is crazy good.”…I like how you can mix-in all types of fresh ingredients. They snap Crunch Bars right in front of you and chop it up on the cold stone, mad presentation points. A nice change in pace from those stale looking ground up canisters of candy bars you see at other places. Now I have never been one of those ice cream junkies, but have you tried their Cake Batter Milkshakes?! It’s their Cake Batter Ice Cream cut with chunks of yellow cake actually chopped up in it. Blended with milk, it’s a dream come true. Licking the spoon is no longer necessary.

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Tesla Motors! Finally!

I absolutely love it. 0-60mph in about 4 seconds, top speed of 130mph, built by Lotus, and just amazing looking. Best part…its 100% electric and costs on average about 1 cent per mile to drive!! And you can charge it at home in about 3.5 hours! I mean, honestly, what can I say. Just a beautiful car, amazing performance, great styling, etc…and absolutely revolutionary. Think about complety forgetting about gas, literally, and being able to smash most 911’s and even the cheaper Lambos off the line. I think I’ve even said it in my other posts about these electric cars…they just needed some dot com funding, and that’s what is happening here. Even the google guys are in on this. So yeah, they are supposed to drop next spring and they’ll go for $80k-100k…lot of cash, but its our first step forward. Check the site, they have a great FAQ section. This is nuts!! I need one. Thanks to B Higgens for the FYI.

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Television without Television!

I am positive I am late on this but Yacht Rock is hilarious. Two thumbs up for creative marketing, I only heard about this show a month ago from some airing they did at a local bar. The concept is genius for a show. Take classics records and craft a story with facts and rumors on how the songs came about with uncanny humor. Start at episode 1 and work your way up. Oates from Hall and Oates is my favorite character. Yacht Rock was only on air for a year, but is enjoying some of that extended internet life with over 500,000 downloads. There’s tons of cult movie potential here, all from a cancelled TV show. TV as we know it is on its last legs. Once Youtube skates by this lawsuit and media outlets like Channel 101 gain more exposure it is on. Thank you internet gods!

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Niche: dissected & broken down.

7 pages!? What a wild article. NY Times Magazine just did a whole feature on ‘The Brand Underground’ of which so many of us identify with in one way or another. Predominant commentary by none other than A-ron The Dirty Rotten Downtown Don…well executed A-ron. The whole article/story really, really breaks it down and dissects ‘our’ scene. The shirts, sneakers, blogging, the whole sellout vs ‘Cool Guy’ thing…and so much more. Honestly, it’s like the roof of the underground was kind of peeled back for a moment so everyone can see in and ‘get’ how it all works. And honestly, not in a bad way. I found it quite interesting and insightful on certain things. Good writing, great commentary by The Hundreds, A-ron, Furtura, Stash, and a few others I think. Full story at the link, interesting… Also, check this blog…very nice. ***And yeah, obviously I this off the Glob, respecto!