The Brilliance!

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#INTERNET Ah, we're back! Like we said, we were just "chilling out" for like 3 years. Feels good to have the team back writing. Still us three: Chuck, Benjamin, and Virgil. Got new interviews coming up, and hopefully we'll be posting on a regular basis, who knows. We also interviewed each other, check: CHUCK, BENJAMIN, VIRGIL...

Favorite quotes Thursday.

The first song on Mogwai’s album “Come On Die Young, “Punk Rock”, contains one of my favorite quotes ever. It’s from Iggy Pop apparently taken from a bootleg Stooges video. I just have always enjoyed this and wanted to share. In my opinion, this speaks not only to a punk rock crowd , but to youth, specifically those who are passionate about something they do to the point where they become numb to what is going on around them. The attitude of a young, passionate person doing what they want with no regard as to what others might have to say about it. This is a portion of the quote:

“I don’t know Johnny Rotten but I’m sure… I’m sure he puts as much blood and sweat into what he does as Sigmund Freud did. You see, what sounds to you like a big load of trashy old noise is in fact the brilliant music of a genius, myself . And that music is so powerful that it’s quite beyond my control and ah… when I’m in the grips of it I don’t feel pleasure and I don’t feel pain, either physically or emotionally. Do you understand what I’m talking about? Have you ever felt like that? When you just couldn’t feel anything and you didn’t want to either. You know? Like that? Do you understand what I’m saying sir? “

Swivel.com, they’ll get bought…

You know I keep my eye on all this stuff - I can’t help it. I’m seriously on Techcrunch hourly. But yeah - lots of stuff going on with mobile/texting stuff, so social networking stuff still, video stuff, etc - but I found this Swivel company to be pretty interesting. I personally can’t see myself using them much, but data is king and the net is of course the best aggregator of it. Real simple, Swivel lets you compare and contrast data - any data. Like consumption of red-wine vs. occurrences of violent crime. Anything random, really. It’s not just some kitschy tool - they are launching a professional version which will be wildly, wildly popular with large Fortune 500 companies as much as it will be with small/medium size companies. The professional version will allow you to keep all your data private while comparing it whatever public data is out there - and like we have seen with sites like this, it will be FILLED with all sorts of data. I can only imagine. And just like how we’ve seen Google Earth used by news stations, I think we’ll see the same here. Honestly, congrats to these guys - really simplistically brilliant stuff. I’m betting it will be a nice 9 figure sum they’ll be purchased for in the next 24-30 months.

Trip Advisor!

Not exactly a new site – but a great site. I used to classify a lot of the travel sites that pop-up on a Google search as ‘randoms.’ They just felt badly designed, too many ads, and too middle-man style. But lately I have been loving TripAdvisor.com and how interactive they let their users get with the reviews and posting of ‘candid traveler photos.’ Also – some of the simplest things like allowing you to directly link to the hotel’s or resort’s website – I love that, not a lot of travel sites let you do that. Either way, simple stuff here, just a great travel site. Very comprehensive – and a good time-waster…in fact I’m actively wasting time on the site while half-listening on a conference call. True story.

Lookin’ cool in the cold!

Its winter again….and man is it cold. I have grown up in this climate for 26 years and I am still not used to it. With the latest artic blast begs the question yet again. “How do you look cool in the cold?” Benjamin dug out this link the other day…ha, the ones towards the bottom are where it at, low profile soles. Hike up the jeans and get straight nautical with it. These slush puddles at every intersection are a pair of Vans worst nightmare. I need a pair of those Gills and I am thinking about getting a pair of these Red Wing boots I had back in the day. Screw tiptoeing around this black salty snow in sneakers. I am sure these will look even better with time. Functionality never goes outta style. Next up, gloves. Stay warm.

Rocio Romero, new LVM Home!

I wrote about these guys quiet a while back…still my favorite prefab company. And they are right here in the USA – all the other cool ones are in Europe or whatever. This new introduction – the LVM Home – is pretty awesome. So unbelievably afforadable, $21k, perfectly designed, just the right amount of glass and all the essential rooms. Bed/living, bath, kitchen, closet space…all packed in to 645 sq ft. I mean, I’ve personally lived in less space than that – I had this fresh loft that was only 555 sq ft. and honestly I loved it, an amazing practice of well utilized space. Anyway – I love Rocio Romero’s stuff (Dwell does too, did you see the cover?!) and it really lets your creativity run on where you could place these pint-sized living spaces. I’m still stuck on doing a gang of these on some tiny islands in the Bahamas as an eco-resort. How cool would that be?

Cocoa Chex Mix!?

This stuff SLAYS. Just absolutely destroys your tastebuds with flavor . General Mills x Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix for the winter.

OMG I CAN HAS TEH INTERNET??!1

Okay…how do you really make a post about all this ‘hilarious internet stuff’ that is so popular? Seriously, it’s like a totally new brand of humor born entirely from a generation who has pretty much been raised on the net…the early net. All these cat pictures, the infamous O RLY ones, these weird-ass but hilarious caption pictures, the whole misspelling and weird grammar stuff, or the ‘IM IN UR’ series?! Seriously – Chuck and I go on forever about these. The weirdest part is…how it can’t really be explained or defined really well. Why is this stuff funny? Why is a picture of a cat jumping with ‘invisible bike’ as the caption enough to make me cry its so funny? No idea. And the terrible fonts, outlines, aliasing on the text…etc. I could go on. So yeah man…check one of my favorite threads below. IM IN UR INTERNET, MAKIN A BLOG. (Please excuse any corny/not-funny/offensive/nice-try examples @ the link below!)

Times New Roman!

Did you know that was THE official BRILLIANCE font? I had to ask before I started my typography binge. It looks fresh bold. But man, typography is addicting. Be careful if your into design and a rookie to typography like me, it’s so consuming and addictive. I can’t drive around anywhere and look at a sign the same again. I made it thru architecture school without being one of those nerds who carries around a sketch book, but now I find myself sketching on the back of receipts and stuff. Truly addictive, but cool. Graffiti started it all for me, but this new phase of being obsessed with typography started on this site, Typohile. I wonder how many graffiti kids are hip to the art. They are playing the same game just two different arenas. Just thought I’d share some typographic internet action.

OMG NYC Real Estate!!

So yes, turkey day has come and gone. I was very, very fortunate to have been invited to the home of some prominent business figures here in West Michigan for Thanksgiving…and what a home it was, sheesh – beautiful right on the lakeshore. It was perfectly designed for entertaining crowds – very ‘Great Gatsby’ minus the illegal stuff. ANYWAY…that’s the theme of this post, great places to entertain. (ONE) Ridiculous price, I know – but look at the ceilings, and the pillars. Beautifully open space, great second level that overlooks a party below – you could pack 100+ in here. (TWO) Don’t really like the furniture choices in this place, easy on the DWR. But check the terrace/outdoor area, unreal. Again, perfect for entertaining – I mean, I might even put on clean pants for a party here. (THREE) I had to pick one that was ‘affordable’ (ha)…what I like about this one is the open-flow thru to the bedroom. It’s not a massive place, but with an open floor plan the party can spread out a bit easier, more comfortable. And the whole place is beautifully executed. Love this one – pack 40+ people in here, bring your own Effen Black Cherry punks.

Song meanings…?

One of my favorite things when I listen to music is trying to understand what the musician is saying in their words. What are they getting at or what is their point? Sometimes things are written in ways that you really have to pick apart and think about it until the pieces fall together. And sometimes you come to a conclusion but aren’t sure if you’re on target with their message. Thank God for the internet though…ha…This site SongMeanings.net is a brilliant concept. I’ve been using it for a few years now and felt like I should post something up about it. I’ve been listening to this new David Bazan (formerly of Pedro The Lion) record a lot lately, really loving it…it’s not brand new, came out in June, but I only just got around to getting it a few weeks ago. Anyways - David’s lyrics are constantly throwing me off, inspiring me, confusing me, or making me think more than I anticipate that I’ll have to. On one hand, I can listen to his beautiful rendition of “Be Thou My Vision” and on the other hand, I can listen to and equally appreciate his song “Backwoods Nation” which is a pretty scathing song about the state of America and Americans…“Calling all frat boys to trade in their hazing. Their keggers and cocaine, and casual date raping. For cabinet appointments and rose garden tapings…” Always intense and controversial…anyways - all this to say, it’s really nice to go to a site where a community of people remark and comment on their interpretation of lyrics. My eyes have really been opened in the past with several different songs, getting surprised when I read what it really means compared to what I thought it meant. Anyways, check it out…and check out the Kevin Federline comments…you know it’s going to be good when “opus” and “Kevin Federline” are mentioned in the same sentence…