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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Gosh, I love Scrabble…

I am going to be very disappointed if I don’t get some good emails from people after this post. There had better be a few of you that are really, really into Scrabble as much as I am… you qualify if you recognize these words: Ai, Qintar, Xu, Zax, Yin, Vum, Hm, Mm, Sh, Jo, Qat, Qoph, Mbaqangas…Ok, so that last one I had to look up in my hardcover Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, but I honestly know the others…If you recognize Qwerty as a legit word, you also qualify. Or if you would consider G.I. Joel or Joe Edley to be gods among men…anyways, Scrabble is one of my guilty pleasures. Actually, not so guilty…I really enjoy playing Scrabble, and pretty competitively at that. I play frequently online (ISC - you’ll get addicted) and as frequently in real life as I can find someone to play with me. This is super nerdy, probably my geekiest post to date…I usually leave those ones up to Ben, but I take the cake this week with this one…Tonight I was playing my fiance Holly…she went first and put down WINGS, or maybe it was FLAGS…either way, I somehow drew both blank tiles in my first 7 and used the G in her word to build SMUGGLER onto, for 68 points off the bat. I was like BAM - in your FACE. Anyways, this is a big long post about me playing Scrabble…as Ben says, ‘who cares?!’ But really, it’s a conversation starter. You either get really into Scrabble, or just play it when your aunt busts it out at the family Christmas party. If you’re interested at all, I would strongly recommend getting Stefan Fatsis’ book Word Freak and checking out the movie Word Wars - Tiles and Tribulations on the Scrabble Game Circuit. Tiles and tribulation. Ehhhh…Ha…wow. Next stop: Dungeons and Dragons.

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Pomegranate is the new Purple!

To kick off the holiday weekend I hosted a bunch of friends over on a cocktail party type vibe. The overall favorite of the night came in the form these POM martinis in rocks glasses of course. Have you had pomegranate juice before? Juice to me is like cornerstore snacks to Benjamin. That 2 gallon orange stuff with < 2% natural juice…I am all about it. So the pomegranate citron blend did the trick for many. Pomegranate tastes kinda like a mix between grape and prune juice and tastes great when cut with the key ingredients. I know you’ve seen the POM wonderful bottle, interesting design, but take a look at their website. They kinda manhandled the fruit and branded it as their own. They get real deep with it….from home decorations to health benefits. Their ad campaign is refreshing, pretty crafty. So I definitely won’t be ordering POM martinis at a spot near you on principle, but they are tasty in the comfort of your own home…again…in a rocks glasses.

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THE BRILLIANCE 2.0…kind of, ha. It was a ‘Nerd-out Sunday’ today…I decided to add some much needed user-friendliness to the site. (1) Search the site! We should have had this forever ago. (2) Permalink a post! Another thing we should have had a while back. Makes our stuff easier to share and all that. (3) Got rid of the out-of-control ‘Archive’ thing we had and now it’s just a real simple ‘goto page’ setup. So yeah, I hope our readers and all the trend-spotting firms that check us dig it. I know I personally wasted about an hour searching random phrases to see what came up. Ha. Yeah, we’re also going to do an RSS feed at some point. L@t3r d3wdz.

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Just got that Treo 700p!

I finally got it. Little late to make a post…as it’s been out for a minute and the nerds are already talking about how the Treo 950 should have 3D text messaging, a 1.6 teraflop processor, and be made from entirely from nano-tubes. Anyway, I got the first Treo 600 like literally almost 3 years ago…had the 650 for like 3 days and now the 700p. I love these gadgets…seriously are like ingrained into my life. If there is a signal, I’m using it. I remember one time I was emailing Nat of ASF from the straight-up jungle in Haiku on Maui…ha. Why? I don’t know…I just love mobile email, and there was a signal. Who cares?! Anyway…the phone is nice, and they weren’t joking with the whole EVDO thing. My father and I share one of those EVDO Sprint Cards which are nice…but having it with you at all times right on your phone is nuts. Downloading 1mb comps that chuck sent me in like 30 seconds…then being able to zoom and drag them in full color. Kind of nuts. I mean, sure, I really wanted the Q…but this is the next best thing for the Sprint people. Kind of a pointless post…THE BRILLIANCE loves the Treo 700p.

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My sister put me onto this site…and while it’s not something I would personally use often, it has huge, huge potential and I love it’s direction. Few things: (1) Yes, it’s similar in theory to an eBay as it lets user list their own products, sell it, and the host takes a cut. (2) It’s different from eBay in that its truly a ‘shopping’ experience, an on-line store, very easy for the buyer to navigate and drop things in their basket…eBay is all bidding based for the most part and not focused on a specific product category like Etsy. (3) Companies like have taken the Web 2.0 thing to the retail space, and have done so very well. Quick run-down…it’s a artsy-crafty based site where knitters, artisans, creative-types, etc can sell their product to the public through a well presented, well categorized, and highly searchable site… What makes these guys different from anyone else doing it (see old is the amazing presentation and search capability. Just the ‘Search By Color’ thing blew me away…so nice. I’m into it. And they are funded by the and Flickr crew. So tell your girl to start knitting faster so you can start slangin’ those crazy looking mittens she always makes. 2 for $5s, I got ‘em for cheap!!

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WTF @ Mastercard’s rebrand!?!

Don’t you love it when companies do this? Take a pretty classic logo and turn it into…a…into a… a what? A lens flare gradient orb that is off-center. That’s what. This is pretty bad…I hope they don’t slap this on my credit card when it expires…I’ll have to cover it up with a Verizon logo sticker. Or wait…no…scrap that…anyways, this is just not good. Who approved this? What ad agency did this? You should be kind of ashamed…it’s sort of embarassing. But hey…when the boss says “Make it pop! Make it more hip!”, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? Wah waah. I think it’s actually a Venn diagram?!

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Strangest Lego Creations!!!

Remember when you were a kid and it was a big accomplishment to get past the first 10-15 steps in the directions to build your very own ExTrEmE Lego masterpiece? I remember when I was younger (and as I got older too, I had younger siblings) walking around the house and stepping on a Lego that was inconspicuously hidden on the floor somewhere. And I remember some parents would sort their kids’ Legos out by color too, which was always weird to me…We probably all have some fond memories with Legos…or Build-A-Blocks if you were poor, or Lincoln Logs if you were a budding little backwoods goober…ha…(don’t get me wrong, I had and loved Lincoln Logs…jokes, jokes…) But seriously though - Legos have always been about encouraging creativity and building and unique ideas…but this top 10 list of the strangest Lego creations of all-time takes it to a new level. I mean - come on - a “Lego Difference Engine”?! “One of the most imaginative Lego creations ever. Made by Andy Carroll, this difference engine is able to solve mathematical problems (2nd/3rd-order polynomials) and calculate the answers to 3 or 4 digits.” Could you imagine giving that to a kid on the 4th Christmas of his life or for his 6th birthday or something? ‘Look here little Bobby, this only has 8,000 pieces and requires someone 45+ to create it! Have fun!’ But seriously - how crazy is that?? And this - a Lego air conditioner!? That is probably the funniest one to me… Of course, you can’t go wrong flossin’ around town in your brand new Lego Volvo XC90…do you know how many snap-on-hair-babes you could pick up in that baby?! Anyways, check this list out and take yourself back to yesteryear when you were 9 years old and attempting to build your first Han Solo-Frozen-In-Carbonite-Lego.

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$200 for real fake Gucci!

So I cruised thru the Gucci shop on my lunch break cause I heard something crazy was going on and it was indeed true. I definitely wasn’t rockin’ Gucci as an 80’s baby but I am well aware of those bootleg Gucci shirts you would see in the hood. To my knowledge, I have never seen a real vintage one, so I am assuming they were yesteryears version of ‘AIR’ shoes I see next to the bodega. Anyway truth be told, Gucci is now making real versions of their heavily bootlegged tees. Of course, they are $200 something. Yes $200 bucks for a t-shirt..and no I didnt buy it. I am not rich, but I am immune to sticker shock these days. Hence why I still think the idea is awesome…in their design meeting some lowly intern is like, ‘what if we make our Canal Street version Gucci Tee…give something back to the hood…’ and them being like, ‘Okay!?’ The sad thing is, the $10 fakes are better. Graphic wise, design proportion, and actually cotton t-shirt wise too. The expensive ones are too refined, there’s nothin’ hood about them…but let’s not discourage any intern that wants to send me some Gucci for free. That’s just dumb.

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OMA and the R-O-C.

OMA of Seattle Public Library, Prada epicenters and CCTV fame are like the Rocafella of architecture. Both entities are definitely at the top of their fields and represent whats really going on. Just like this hip-hop analogy I am trying to string together the two heads have split. Rem Koolhaas (Jay-z) and Joshua Ramus (Dame) are now making money on their own. I had to tell the back story because that’s how Star Architects get down. You better believe outlandish rumors float around these guys in the architecture world just like Britney and US weekly. Anyways, as authorship of ill projects gets hashed out this Museum Plaza project attempts to get built. Skyscrapers in Middle America are generally nothing to write home about. The Museum Plaza for Lousiville, KY is in the works and is bubbling in the press. Not only because of the soap opera drama but because the design is off the charts. You gotta check out this animation called “how it will be built” under video clips. It tells the whole story. Reminds me of why I got into architecture. Before you know it these guys are gonna be directing Hip Hop videos “like Whaaaaaaaat?”.

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The Warren Buffet thing…

What can you honestly say? Just amazing, simply amazing. Mr. Warren Buffet is basically throwing in the towel on amassing fortune, and giving all his cash to world. And when I say ‘the world’ it rings pretty true. His gift, as sized right now, is worth roughly $37 billion dollars. But since he is steadily giving it away it will most likely end up far higher than that number. It wouldn’t be outlandish to think that number could look more like $55 billion when all is said and done. So yeah, when I say ‘the world’ it indeed rings true…an amount that large will, without question, have global impact. I’ve always been a bit inspired by his ability to not ‘care’ about the things that wealth the size of his can bring. Hats off to you Warren Buffet, it’s almost hard to put into words how generous, humble, and level-headed you are for this donation to the world. I certainly wish you the best of luck in achieving everything you hope to with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Wow.