Welcome to Talking Points, a daily roundup of digital miscellany
FOR CRYING OUT LOUD
Many assumed that Tony Appleton, the town crier spotted outside St. Mary’s Hospital yelling from a scroll that announced the birth of the royal baby, works for Buckingham Palace. “The royal crier delivering the royal news” said CNN’s Anderson Cooper when describing the scene on air. Several other reporters made the same assumption. He certainly seemed believable, with his garb and “hear ye, hear ye” schtick. As it turns out, however, Appleton has no official royal connection. The 76-year-old, who runs a home for the elderly and performs his crier act for promotional events, simply showed up uninvited after reportedly being tipped off by a journalist friend. “I just crashed the party,” he told Yahoo. “I got out of my cab and I stood in front of the steps, because I didn’t think I would be allowed on them, and did my bit. It was great. It was a great atmosphere, it’s like the Olympics.”
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Outdoor activity may help improve mental health, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan. Veterans – more than half of whom reported physical and mental-health problems – who participated in a camping and hiking trip over the course of several days were found to greatly benefit from the experience. They reported greater than 10-per-cent improvement in several measures of psychological well-being, a 9-per-cent increase in social functioning and a nearly 8-per-cent gain in positive life outlook. While those results were recorded a week after the outing, they were found to persist over the next month in some cases. “The findings suggest that extended group-based nature recreation can have significant impacts on veterans struggling with serious health problems,” Jason Duvall, one of the study’s lead authors, said in a release. The Sierra Club, a non-profit environmental organization which provides service members and their families access to outdoor activities, commissioned the study.
“He’s just a 19-year-old boy. And before you criticize him, say, what is my 19-year-old boy doing?”
–Diane Dale. Justin Bieber’s grandmother defended the pop star to CTV Ottawa as his Believe Tour brought him to Canada for performances in Ottawa and Toronto.