The Saturday Miscellany: How to be 'internet famous'; shrinking human brains; Helena Attlee's bookshelf


How to: Be 'internet famous'

By Bip Ling

Get the digital recognition you deserve with a little help from the successful and fabulous blogger, tweeter, 'grammer (and artist, model and DJ), Bip Ling...

* "Think out of the box: do something that nobody's done before. In my case, I wrote freehand on my blog and the way I manipulated my images was unique. The use of my cartoon character Mooch communicates to my reader how I'm feeling."

* "Be yourself. Don't be afraid. If you're short, don't try and be tall. In the social media world, people feel they need to look a certain way, be a certain way, wear what is trending. But if you're doing something unique, people will pay attention."

* "Share everything with your friends and family first and it will just catch fire. I first put my blog on my Facebook and my Twitter, and just kept going and didn't stop."; @BibLing

Rotating column: Headshrinkers

By Bruce Hood

You may be surprised to learn that the human brain has shrunk by about 20 per cent since the last Ice Age. Usually large brains = more intelligence and for most of evolution this has been true. However, 20,000 years ago, the human brain began to shrink. Why? There are a number of possible reasons, but one that intrigues me is that humans have become domesticated. We have been a social species for eons but when the population began to explode in size around this time, we needed to be more cooperative. Warriors were fine for the tribe but the rest of us settled down to get on. This sociability is a feature of domestication where wild animals are bred for traits that make them more placid – dogs being domesticated wolves. Guess what? Domesticated animals also have smaller brains than their wild cousins.

Instant Ethics

By Ellen E Jones

Dear Ellen

Q. My mate has started to repeatedly wear a suit that emits a smell that suggests it hasn't been cleaned since the millennium. What to do?

A. Turn up to meet him in the pub sporting your finest two-piece. Embrace him, then apologise, explaining that you have worn your suit three times in a row without dry-cleaning it. Watch him skulk off.


Micro extract: Houseguest

"Martha Gellhorn hated getting up for breakfast. But when you're someone's houseguest, and someone wants you to have breakfast with him everyday, it's good manners to oblige. Particularly if you're a young writer and your host is HG Wells."

From 'Hotel Florida: Truth, Love & Death in the Spanish Civil War' by Amanda Vaill (£25 Bloomsbury)

Takin' it easy: What I talk about when I talk about leaning

By Larry Ryan

Reader, like me, you've probably received numerous emails from someone you know (or sort of know) who has run or is about to run a marathon, or some other feat of lunacy. Now that the damn deal is done, you're getting updates on how it all went. Not only that, but this feat of Big Running is compounded by a need to do charity. A double-dose of do-gooding and superiority.

Right now, I am feeling the loneliness of the long-distance sitter, and you might be too. But don't fear, there are many of us leaning in the slow lane. We are legion. We're not going to go the distance, we'll find some other way to give to charity and, most importantly, our nipples are not bleeding.

All good things: Dots

Compiled by Charlotte Philby

Piece time

Reconstruct the captivating features of one of Japan's greatest living artists, Yayoi Kusama, with this limited-edition 200-piece puzzle of her work (above), 'Self-Portrait, 2008'. £75,

Skirt around

With a simultaneously full and swishy structure, and embossed print, this ballerina-pink Bubble Jacquard Midi Skirt (above) is perfectly pretty. £48,

Pour thing

This dotty earthenware collection from Fenella Smith (above) includes a mug, breakfast bowl, plate and matching slim jug, and we'd rather like them all From £14.95, Liberty

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