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Currents: Chris Clayton, Minnesota Conservation Volunteer editor

September 20, 2018

Today: Chris Clayton is the new editor at Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, the Department of Natural Resources popular bimonthly magazine. Clayton is a former editor at MSP Communications and has been a contributing writer for Outside and other national publications.

Reading

I just finished Yann Martels Life of Pi, which for some reason Id always ignored. Im glad I finally tried it. Its pretty weird a fable-slash-survival yarn about a boy whos trying to tame a tiger while adrift at sea. But these are weird times, and we could all probably benefit from the novels big heart and generous spiritual outlook. Speed round: For smart, funny sports coverage: The Ringer podcast. For deep, often brilliant reporting: Outside, Pacific Standard, the New Yorker and National Geographic. For inimitable takes on the natural world: anything by David Quammen.

Following

I have a personal and professional interest in natural resource issues, including water conservation, and species and habitat restoration. Part of my job at the Volunteer is to deliver good news like our recent story on the return of the peregrine falcon to the North Shore while keeping an eye on hot-button topics that I wont mention here because I feel like were having a good time. Im also interested in cooking, eating and food culture, and Helen Rosner at the New Yorker is Americas foremost tour guide to these activities. Shes incredibly versatile. One week, shell write sharp, nuanced copy on the restaurant industrys #MeToo moment and the next shell break the internet with a piece on how to crisp up roast chicken skin with a hair dryer (it sounds gross but it works).

Listening

Im listening to WTF, a weekly interview podcast hosted by comedian Marc Maron, whos talked to everyone from Obama to Paul McCartney. (It turns out comedians make great interviewers because theyre fearless.) With my kids, Ive been listening to the science and tech [podcast] Wow in the World. In terms of music, I really love the noisy new album by the Duluth band Low. Lee Morgans trumpet has been in the mix as well, along with Princes falsetto and Guided by Voices ragged indie rock.

Doing

Planning a winter trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Helping coach fourth-grade girls volleyball even though I know nothing about the sport. Thinking about fall fishing. Going on runs when I can. Hoping the above answers are even halfway interesting.

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