I’m experimenting with a new post format: a simple list of things I’ve found useful lately. I hope you find it, well, useful!

Here’s a swingin’ YouTube clip, a classy (but affordable) pen, and a manifesto.

1. Trumpeter Snooky Young on The Tonight Show

Snooky Young (1919-2011) was a musician’s musician.

He wasn’t well-known among the general public, but jazzheads knew him to be among the best of the best. He enjoyed a 70-year career (!) as a lead trumpet player, including 25 years with The Tonight Show.

You don’t have to be a trumpet player (or even a musician) to enjoy his tasty, soulful playing here. If you’re short on time, watch from 2:32 to 3:24. Yes, that is a toilet plunger he’s using.)

2. Zebra F-701 Ballpoint Pen

A really nice car costs $50,000. A great road bike, 5,000. A premium bottle of wine will set you back $100.

Zebra F-701 ballpoint penYou can get an exceptional ballpoint pen for less than $5. I bought a Zebra F-701 just over a week ago, and it brings me joy every time I pick it up. It writes beautifully, and its heft makes it a pleasure to write with.

I’ve already received more than $5 worth of enjoyment from this pen. If you use a ballpoint regularly, you owe it to yourself to pick one up!

3. Seth Godin — Stop Stealing Dreams

If you’re a regular reader, you know that Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors.

I’ve been thinking a lot about higher education lately: what’s right with it and what’s wrong with it. In 2012, Seth published a manifesto about the state of US education: Stop Stealing Dreams.

As the connection economy turns the world on its head, education is struggling to keep up. There have been recent positive changes in education, but in many ways we’re still training students for the world of 20 years ago (or as Seth would say, the world of 150 years ago).

If you’re interested in education, I hope you’ll take a moment to check out Stop Stealing Dreams. You’ll find it worth your time!