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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Remember the Big Tymers?

I swear I post about stuff like this just cause I can. So like, the 1998-2001 Big Tymers…remember this stuff? You know, tracks like: I Rock Ice, Stuntastic, How Should I Ride, How U Luv That, Sunday Night, Get Your Shine On, I Got That Work, and of course classics like Still Fly. The list goes on. Terrible lyric content, or lack there of. Drum slapped-out beats by Manny (was he ahead of his time?). And then the album covers?! Too much. Looking back…its almost surreal. At least they were different and had a coherent brand image. I mean, I have a penchant for this ignorant ‘rap music’ you know? I can’t lie, I like this stuff when the mood is right. They made true riding music. Something to throw in the deck after you applied the final swipe of Armorall (or if you’re like Juve, Black Magic) to your tires…ha. Maybe that was just me. Don’t you ever wonder what people will think 20-30 years from now when listening to this ‘music’? Seriously, how will it be classified? So yeah…a post dedicated to having 50 cars with automatic starters, private jets with Lorinser packages, Helicopters with leather covers, and living rooms with hot-tubs instead of sofa-sets.

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Global Knives look mean and are vicious…

Anything that’s named Cromova 18 Steel sounds like a weapon, huh? These Global Chef knives I just got look like a weapon and are sharper than a tack. Literally, I got cuts to prove it. Check out their special technique for how they sharpen the blades for longevity. Anyway just read the back of the box if you think I am kidding. Straight outta Yoshikin, Japan, the Steel is ice tempered and hardened “like the Samurai swords before them, each knife is carefully weighted to ensure perfect balance.” I am not gonna lie, I just thought they looked fresh but these knives are the business. Any product that has a concept rooted in bringing together Italian design aesthetics, German durability, and Japanese precision is on to something. Now you know the Cutco knives gotta go!!!

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DayJet, like Ikea of private jets!

I found this reading the latest issue of BusinessWeek that I snatched off a clients coffee table…very interesting stuff. DayJet is an ‘on demand, per seat’ private jet service. Basically meaning you can jump on their site, make a reservation for a single seat on one of their new ‘micro’ private jets…the ones that only seat like 6 people and cost next to nothing to operate. The big thing about all this is completely skipping security, lines, check-in, pat-downs (Chuck!), etc. that you deal with at the usual airports. DayJet will offer regional service that is exactly the same as having chartered your own jet, except its only 30% higher than the cost of a regular full-fare coach ticket! Seriously, that’s nuts. Pull your car up to one of their hangers at your local airport, jump in the jet, take off. That’s it. I mean, I’ve never flown on a private jet myself but I have been on a chartered prop-jet for a quick business trip…it was the easiest, most stress-free travel ever. So yeah…these guys haven’t fully launched their service yet, and it looked like its only going to be in the south for the first few months but expansion across the US is their goal. Interesting, the big airlines can’t make money anymore…so the little guys creep in. What is it again? The hogs get slaughtered and the pigs get fat? ***I’m also really into the logo.

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The only bottle water I enjoy buying…

Three years ago I thought those neon-clear Nalgene bottles were lame and now I am all about 2 dollar bottles of water? Yep. “Legend has it the ancient Romans built the only road stretching from Northern to Southern Italy through Scarperia - and past the source - to provide well-deserved refreshment to weary travelers.” Suuure. I am not gonna vouch for story but Panna water is delicious. I first had it at this celebrity saturated alfresco restaurant in LA on a hot January day and have been hooked ever since. Great clean taste, glass bottle, nice label…and you thought Seinfeld was a baller for bathing in Evian, he wouldn’t dare waste this stuff.

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My first Post ‘it’

Boom…I am on board. Ever since I got the word I have been taking notes like crazy. The first Post-it note I grabbed is filled with a good 3.5 weeks of BRILLIANCE posts on it. If you could only see my desk, it’s like a hurricane of Post-it notes. They have even crept into my car. Kinda refreshing experience dealing with Post-it notes compared to syncing my Q with all my email accounts. I don’t have to spin the scroll wheel a million times to get at Post-it note to save as. How rich is the guy that invented these things. Ever wonder why the flagship color is that yellow? Office supplies what a genre of products. I wonder what’s gonna be the next “paper clip” type invention. On that ‘Post-it’ note lets get into it.

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Virgil Abloh, welcome to THE BRILLIANCE!

What can I say…change is good. Really good in this case. For the last 1.5 years that Chuck and I have been running THE BRILLIANCE its been a 2 man show, and we kind of always thought we would keep it that way…but the winds of change blew. Introducing our latest (and only) addition to the writing staff – Virgil Abloh. Chuck and myself are pretty excited about this… Virgil will bring a fresh, always articulate, flavor to our site in the everyday posts as well as some new interviews on the way…and who knows what else. Dude is a futurist and a visionary…he truly represents our culture, an ambassador of sorts you know? So yeah, welcome aboard man…let’s have fun with this! ***Also, of course, check Virgil’s intro interview in our Interviews section

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Earnest Sewn, the switch-up!

Alright, alright…I went back to ‘designer’ jeans. If you’ve read our site, or any of our interviews you know I always spout off about how much I love Levis. Good old 501s. I love the whole Japanese LVC line, seriously…nothing compares. But when they make it damn-near impossible to get them, discontinue most styles, and make the sizing difficult to figure out…it gets a bit pointless. All this, and I just received a pair of ‘Red Loop’ Levis 505s in the mail…that looked awesome in the pic, but fit terribly. Just not good at all. So whatever, money lost I guess (got them on ebay). So I switched it up…I had seen these amazing, literally, all selvedge jeans from Earnest Sewn at my local spot AK Rikks a while back and was really impressed with the craftsmanship. But I’m all about heritage you know, keeping it classic. So I passed. But after all my fiascos with trying to get the ‘good’ Levis I gave up. My 1944 LVCs are certainly getting worn and it was time for something different. So after a bunch of research on the Earnest Sewn site I went and bought the ‘all selvedge’ Filson cut at lunch today. Good stuff. This post was mad ‘metrosexual’…ha, I can’t believe I just typed that. Whatever, I need some bullet-proof jeans I can wear every single day for months…so I take my jeans seriously you know? Check the Earnest Sewn site…specifically the whole ‘process’ section. American Made.

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Junk food!!

First off, I do go to the gym and exercise fairly regularly. Is junk food helping? No. No it’s not. But oh well…some of this junk food is just…so artificial and so terrible for me that it’s actually really good. Let’s start with these Snyder’s of Hanover preztel bites. I had the jalapeno ones before and the honey mustard ones, they even have buttermilk ranch ones. But - wait - wait for it. HOT BUFFALO WING PREZTEL BITES!? I just went to the gas station to get a big energy drink (it’s late and I have to stay up and work) and a snack. After grabbing my usual, Combos, I saw these delececies…I mean…Hot wings are the best food in the world to begin with. But make it $0.99 and in little pretzel pieces and I mean…that’s perfection right there. Junk food at its finest. A quick rundown of a few other gems that you will enjoy eating but feel terrible about after you finish them include Haribo’s gummy bears (the best kind…the other kinds are too mushy or powdery. What’s with powdery gummy bears!?), white chocolate Kit-Kat bars, Charleston Chew bites, leftover frozen pizza that is not reheated…I mean…I could keep going on…Slim jims are another favorite…the occassional Krispy Kreme as a quick snack hits the spot sometimes…anyways, that’s all for this month’s nutrition lesson with THE BRILLIANCE, or as I like to call it, Web 3.0. I’ve never called it that actually. Hey, Ben’s post below is a lot more interesting than this. So read it now, tubby. ***Great topic. I’m big into the 2 for $.99 bag candies…the cherry sours and the cinnamon bears. Mambas are good, more bang for the buck. For chips, don’t skimp and go with the off brands – they taste terrible. For you ballers, the $5.99 bag of buffalo jerky chicken, pretty good stuff. What else – Cow Tails? How could I forget those. Swedish Fish, Screamin’ Sour Gummies from Jolly Rancher, Hostess Apple Pies, Hot Tamales, Apple Powerbars, Shock-tarts…this list could go on. I love junk food, seriously. - benjamin

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Luxocrats and the new, new rich.

I didn’t put the usual ‘!’ at the end of the title…cause this story kind of weirded me out. Chuck and I have been accused of overtly focusing THE BRILLIANCE on wealth related topics in the past…so I guess chalk this up as another one. I always find these articles amazing, just the stats. So I was waiting for prescription from the pharmacy and I grabbed ‘Details’ mag and cappuccino (funny cause I asked for a Frappuccino!) and found this article they had about this new class of wealthy Americans. Most of which are young. And not wealthy/rich like big homes, nice cars, and great incomes…its about the new class of luxocrats…the really rich new guys. The dudes who pull in $100M a year…a year. It used to be all about that old money right? You could never beat old money, it had this bullet-proof image…and it was only held by stuffy/pompous types. Kind of lathered in this mysterious ‘you-can-never-live-like-this’ stigma…at least that was the public’s perception. That’s why I found this article so interesting. This new class of ultra-rich are all under 45…and often times under 30. Just the interest earned from their cash could ensure their families, families don’t have to ever work. All while the median household net worth in the US is $55k (house included!!!) and median income hasn’t moved much in, get this, 25 years. Has stayed around $30k-45k in the past 25 years. Unreal. And college costs, which is supposed to better place you, keep going up?! Doesn’t look like the formula is working right? Point of this post? None really. Check the full article at the link below…

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Nothing much…

Whoa, been a while since I posted. Just an FYI, we have something new cooking up here at the brilliance, stay tuned in the next week or two. Should be fun. So yeah…Google Spreadsheets? Are you kidding me…this is nuts. Hey the Motorola Q is out…but not for Sprint, ridiculous. Summer time is here and in full effect, jet skiing anyone? What else…has anyone seen these new Nikes called ‘Footscape Wovens’ that have fur on them? Chewbacca status. Hey it’s the whole 6-6-06 day today…who knew America was so obsessed with evil, kind of bugged me out honestly. You know those red caps (ha) that come on Diet Cokes now? The whole Coke Rewards thing…I’m addicted to it, I got like 140 points…we’ll see who’s laughing when I get that $5 gift card to Bath & Body Works. Ha. I want to hit-up Barcelona again, I miss it…shout out to all those amazing girls there. I’ve said it before, but we get some really cool emails…and some totally ‘WTF’ emails, maybe we should post them, ha. The whole ‘Juggernaut’ thing is still funny to me…and did anyone see that Power Rangers one? Somebody give these kids a job, they’re brilliant. People are arguing over who coined the phrase ‘Web 2.0’ which is like saying I coined the phrase ‘location, location, location.’ Condos are crack here in Grand Rapids. Oh, I’ve seen the new NoPattern/NP&CO shirts…they remind me of when i first started skating, PUBLIC DOMAIN. Like I was saying, we got something new cooking…and it’s good, stay tuned.