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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Mark Romanek is better than you.

More than any other artist I can think of at the moment, Mark Romanek has inspired me in a tremendous way. I don’t do film at the moment, but my desire to do it after getting more and more familiar with Romanek is through the roof. The way he works, the way he puts things together, uses light and color…just amazes me. Essentially, one of the reasons I believe he is one of the greatest directors alive is the fact that you could freeze frame any single moment of any video he has ever done and it would make a gorgeous photograph. Anyways, Hillman-Curtis has a new little feature on Romanek, his process, and his work. Integrating interviews with him, clips from his work, and some chill music in the background, it’s definitely worth the few minutes to watch it. While you’re at it, you should also buy his Director’s Label DVD. Just search Mark Romanek on Amazon. Brilliant, really. Anybody have a connection with him and want to tell him he has a big fan who’d like to interview him for The Brilliance?

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Alife - The Upset online store!!

We love ALife here at THE BRILLIANCE - especially Jest (check out our interview with him here). So I have to give some love to them for opening a new online webstore - check it out at ALIFE NYC and click The Upset. Got to love the simplicity of their line. And those New Era hats are fresh, and course the lighters and all the accessory stuff. Those giant pills are cool - I should get some and give them to someone who is really sick and see what they say!? Anyways, what else can I say about Alife? Go check out the webstore and buy some stuff. YA RLY!

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Music and some other things…

What a dreary weekend here in the Chicago area. Gray and rainy out…just…eh. Anyways, I like doing these random thoughts posts and now I’m going to tell you some music I’ve been listening to and you’re going to read it and agree with everything I say. So - an old favorite that I rediscovered this weekend. The Bad Plus. The album ‘These Are the Vistas’ is one of my favorite all-time albums. Amazing experimental jazz that is great to work to. Let’s see here, what else. Well - I’ve been listening to a nice mix of Aphex Twin, Botch, Brad Mehldau Trio, and Isis - these 4 on a mix CD together is pretty much a perfect thing. I forgot how good Botch was, shoot. So good. I’m still enjoying Slim Thug a lot - he’s making guest appearances all over the place too…Love that laid back attitude. More rappers need to chill like that. When I want to feel like a huge sissy and get my Myspace on, I am usually listening to Matt Pond PA or Sufjan Stevens. And last but certainly not least, I have been listening to The Sea and Cake non-stop. Perfect music to work to and drive to in my opinion. Also, the new Ghostface will be out soon and I’ve got a bunch of tracks from it - keep your eye out because it’s going to be a hot album. I am going to maybe get Chinese food for dinner tonight

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More deep thoughts…

It’s been a while. I need to do one of these…I’ll just go off on a tangent now.

-Kobe Bryant is officially alright in my book after that 81 point game the other night. But…he hasn’t played me yet…sooo…yeah…
-Kanye West got his Jesus gear on for the cover of the new Rolling Stone. Kanye X Jesus. I don’t really know what to say about this.
-The American version of The Office is likely the greatest TV show ever aired. In my opinion right up there with Seinfeld and Un:CUT on BET…But hey seriously, I can’t get enough. I AM KING OF FORWARDS. It’s how I like to do business. Ha…
-Motorola RAZR’s suck…really, really bad. On my third one already and it will be my last. Keeps breaking and just…I don’t know. Sucks.
-American Idol is too funny…anybody watch tonight and see the chick who got all pissed after they rejected her…in her silver boots and too-shirt white skirt, crazy blonde hair…I mean…wow…that was bad.
-Both me and Ben are traveling a lot this year…As of right now, I have plans to head to New York, Mexico City, Toronto, Barcelona, New Jersey (family), and who knows where else. Maybe someday my Antarctica vacation dream will come true…maybe…
-Last, but certainly not least, on a more personal tip…I got engaged about a week ago. I know Holly wanted me to mention that on here, so…fine. Here you go Holly. Hope you’re happy. Haha…but for real, I’m really excited about it. Great feeling.

Aaaaand that’ll do it!

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Incredible architecture and design 2006

I love interior design and architecture, modern design in residential homes but still with that warm-homey feel, not too sterile…Just the idea of a place that people live in being a piece of art in itself is such a fascinating thing…the best place online to begin, in my opinion, is always MocoLoco. I get a good majority of my information and knowledge from that site when it comes to this topic. Anyways, here are a few sites that really stood out to me and truly feature some homes and places I would love to call my own. First off, A Modern. A Modern is a small firm of architects and builders in the Atlanta area that build, create, and design modern houses and buildings. Beautiful stuff on there, please do yourself a favor and check the 2004 photo gallery… That house looks so fun, so nice. Next, check Krueck + Sexton. Amazing architecture based here in Chicago…they’ve won tons of awards, their work is classy, modern, fresh…all of that…PZY Architects...whoa, check, out ‘5’ on the bottom there…beautiful, clean lines, comfortable living spaces…Last, check Ulterior Mode. I mean, wow…check out everything, but really check out ‘Kinzer’ under ‘A’. You’ll see what I mean when you go there. That’s all…I have to go to bed. I had chicken wings for dinner and a ton of rasberry iced tea while I watched The Aristocrats. It just came out today, pretty funny…but don’t watch it around little kids or anything like that…Bob Saget. Ha.

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Lazy college kids article. Ugh…

Maybe I’m bias, because I skipped college altogether and went straight to my career. So did Benjamin…but I have a lot of close friends and family who are in college and making the best of it, are smart, and do not fit this article. However - this article talks about a study that shows ” More than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.” Read the article. They aren’t talking about kids having a hard time writing novels. They’re talking about kids having a hard time figuring out how to balance a checkbook, do basic math, and figure out what to tip at a restaurant. This makes me - honestly - very sad. I am not afraid or worried for the future of America, honestly - I do believe that leaders will rise up and take charge and get things done…but I do feel a bit uneasy after reading this for future generations…I know people personally who fit right in to what this article is talking about and it does make me kind of sad. Honestly - this country needs more young people getting their act together, taking their schooling seriously, and making things happen. Not calling anyone out, being a hater, none of that…and I know it’s a generalization - but still - I hope this article reaches the right people, you know? I think technology has a lot to do with this. And I do NOT BLAME technology or advances in it - I blame laziness. Video games are a perfect example. What a great form of entertainment - for real…but so many people literally wasting away hours upon hours, days upon days playing video games. Counter-productive…sitting on the internet all day…and the internet is one of the most powerful communications and business tools in history - but it gets abused…TV too…I mean - all these things are great…but what’s not great is the way they are treated and whatnot. This all ties in to the college thing in my opinion. And I was just talking to Ben about this, he made a good point. You don’t have to be a millionaire to be living the/your American dream…It’s not even about becoming wealthy someday but more about making a difference, taking things seriously, being creative…whatever…but if you think you fit what this article is talking about, you need to get up off your ass asap.

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Juve and the 9th ward video shoot.

This is pretty intense right here. I have been into Juvenile for a minute…I remember seeing the ‘Ha’ video thinking ‘whoa, that’s a rough area.’ But I loved how it was shot. Anyway though…he is back in the NO to film ‘Get Ya Hustle On’ for is new album. And it’s not just some stock footage of the area, Juve is actually in the devastated 9th ward. So wild, so, so wild. I don’t even know what the correct way to say it would be but…’props’ to him for doing this. For real. He has been so vocal about his feelings regarding the disaster and his stand-point on federal response. Check the first little clip for the video in the news article at the link below. Just the little clip is nuts…complete devastation and some pretty intense imagery. Our hearts, prayers, and condolences STILL go out to the people of New Orleans.

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Programmers at Cisco Systems drop acid?!

Ha…what a title though. I ran across this article on Wired the other day. And actually, I find it to be quite interesting…very interesting. First I need my little disclaimer: I don’t and have never done ‘drugs’ of any sort with the exception of alcohol. For real, just never interested me. Here is the first part of the article: “It must be changing something about the internal communication in my brain. Whatever my inner process is that lets me solve problems, it works differently, or maybe different parts of my brain are used, ” said Herbert, 42, an early employee of Cisco Systems who says he solved his toughest technical problems while tripping to drum solos by the Grateful Dead. Being in information system design (amongst other things) myself…I found this article interesting. I know that feeling of trying to wrap your head around a particularly difficult problem or task…and how music, relaxation, etc can really help execute the thought process. The idea that this guy uses LSD to help him solve wild difficult programming problems is just a wild concept. If you ever done really complex math related development…or you’re just a ‘tweaker’ you’ll probably feel this article. And no, this article isn’t going to change my personal stance…so don’t email me asking if I want to drop acid and teach you HTML.

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It’s like a small cruise ship that goes anywhere you want!

That title is hilarious to me… If you read the site…you know I have this slight obsession with tropical island destinations. If you don’t read the site, then let me tell you, I have a slight obsession with tropical island destinations. I love the idea of some crazy little island like you see on that one Windows wallpaper. Tiny, stark white sand (with no seaweed or shells!), palm trees, water that looks fake, and maybe water-falls in the jungle or something. So here’s what this post is about: chartering a sailboat. I guess it just never crossed my mind. But I’m loving this concept…seriously. You land in like St. Thomas or wherever, they transport you to the marina, you hope on a HUGE catamaran yacht, go wherever you want, eat whatever you want for 7 days. They take care of everything. They can take you to out-of-the-way beaches, deserted islands, ‘secret’ spots…etc. And you can stay there as long as you want, or move on, or whatever. I mean, I guess this is all kind of obvious to people who know what charters are… What’s crazy, is you could get 6-10 people on a huge yacht for about $1200 per person. Not bad really if you think about it. Check the link below for a cool yacht charter search…pricing, pictures, and everything. Rrrrr…salty sea brine. ***Sorry team, the company I was linked to on this asked me to ‘remove the link to our site’ for no reason. Sorry dewdski, our extremely travel-savvy and well-heeled readers will look else where!

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Forex…trying to make a dollar out of 15 pence!

This is an old Wired article…and the Forex market is nothing new. But I wanted to bring this up, as it’s a really good read. Quick run-down, the Forex market is the foreign currency exchange market that is getting ever more popular with individual investors. Which is basically what this article focuses on…the new (young) traders in the market. What used to be the game of heavy banks and institutions is now looking a little bit like ‘day trading’ did in 1998-2000. And it’s a wild market to trade in. Here’s a quick quote from the article… ’ With a broadband connection, a few thousand in cash and the emotional stamina to withstand losing said cash, anyone can trade foreign exchange. It needn’t even interfere with your day job. Unlike the stock market, forex runs 24 hours a day.’ The idea of a 24 hour market is very appealing. Another wild thing is the margins you can trade on…100x your available balance. Meaning $5k lets you leverage $500k in buying power. Yikes, be careful. Check this article if you get a chance.