Things To Do In London Today: 20 November 2012

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GIVE BLOOD: If you’re based in the West End, you could give blood today at the mobile donor unit in St James Square. While you’re there, check out the equestrian statue of William III at the centre of the square. See that molehill about to trip his horse? That’s what did for him. Perhaps a blood transfusion could have saved him. Free, just turn up, 10am-12.20pm and 2-4.20pm

PAPER MARIO: Everyone’s favourite mushroom-obsessed plumber takes over the Spitalfields Breakfast Club today and tomorrow, to celebrate the launch of Nintendo’s new Paper Mario game. Artist and designer Camille Walala will transform the cafe into a one-off Paper Mario world. Free (though you’ll need to pay for food and drink), just turn up, all day

UNDERWIRE FESTIVAL: A programme of short films by women begins tonight at the Ritzy in Brixton, preceded by welcome drinks. £10.30, prebook, 6pm (drinks), 7.30pm (films)

LONDON HISTORY: Andrew Saint discusses the monumental Survey of London, a project ongoing since 1894 to describe the entire architecture of London. He speaks in a Gresham lecture at Museum of London. Free, just turn up, 6pm

FREE JAZZ: More gypsy swing from the Giocomo Smith Trio at Ray’s Jazz Cafe, Foyles on Charing Cross Road. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm

SHORT STORIES: Former Londonist writer turned novelist Will Wiles reads a short story at the Review Bookshop tonight, along with Nikesh Shukla, Benjamin Wood, Jim Bob and Sam Mead. Part of the Peckham Literary Festival. Free, prebook, 7pm

DOOM: Dallas Campbell and Lorraine Bowen round up the most popular ways for ending the world, at the Royal Institution, hopefully without a practical demonstration. £10, prebook or turn up, 7pm

POETRY: Carol Ann Duffy performs at Southwark Cathedral, including a new poem written for Southwark. £7, prebook, 7.30pm

DESIGN: Lorraine Justice is at the Design Museum, talking about China’s Design Revolution. £15, prebook, 7.30pm

PING PONG: Shoreditch’s Book Club hosts its monthly Super King Pong tournament in the basement, with a £50 bar tab up for grabs to the winning pair. Free to spectate, £2 to enter, just turn up, 7pm

IMPROV: Comedy seekers could try the Shoot From The Hip weekly improvisation night at the Africa Centre, Covent Garden. Free, just turn up, 8pm

FAKE BUBLÉ: See Michael Bublé tribute act Peet Rothwell play Floridita in Soho tonight. Or don’t. No one’s forcing you. £15, prebook or turn up, 9pm

Random London Fact of the Day

At least two high-profile London buildings carry the scars of IRA attacks. A splinter from the 1991 mortar attack on 10 Downing Street remains embedded in the plasterwork on the first floor. Meanwhile, a sliver of glass from a bombing has been left in the wall of the Old Bailey extension, in the City. We gleaned these two nuggets from the excellent new book London Hidden Interiors, which we’ll be reviewing on the site later on.

Weather

Having wept all night like a jilted lover, the heavens run out of tears ere the break of dawn. The daylight hours will be dry, yet our noctiphobic clouds will resume their soggy mewl at the going down of the sun. A less anthropomorphic forecast can be found on BBC Weather.

Secret Hidden False Rumour of the Day
The BT Tower was originally twice its current height. Unexpected torque generated by the rotating restaurant has screwed the tower deep into the ground. Engineers estimate that the tower will slip below the roofline in about 55 years.

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