Things To Do In London Today: 22 January 2013

Tony Law, comedy at Ginglik.

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GIVE BLOOD: Today’s opportunity to donate your valuable lifejuice comes at Waterloo, outside County Hall. Free, just turn up, 10am-12.30pm and 2-4.30pm

MATHS: Find out why mathematics is ‘the queen of the sciences‘ at a Gresham lecture at Museum of London. Free, just turn up, 1pm

CLASSICAL: Catch a free lunchtime concert at the Bishopsgate Institute, as Cantibile London Quartet present madrigals by Weelkes, Bennet and Passereau and close-harmony arrangements of Gershwin, Ellington and Lennon & McCartney. Free, just turn up, 1pm

SLEEP: Glenn D Wilson examines why we sleep and why we dream, at the second Gresham lecture of the day at Museum of London. Free, just turn up, 6pm

BIRDS: A new series of British wildlife talks begins tonight at the Horniman Museum, where David Darrell-Lambert discusses bird surveys and the range of birds in the UK. Free, prebook (but limited tickets on the door), 6.30pm

GENETICS: Adrian Bird talks genetics, epigenetics and disease at the Royal Society. Free, just turn up,6.30pm

HISTORY: Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. Brush up on your history with a free talk about the causes of the conflict, at London School of Economics. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm

MINGLECaught by the River Social Club gets together at the Queen’s Head pub, Denman Street W1 for an evening of  author and poet readings plus a London-themed sound quiz. £3, prebook, starts 7pm.

FREE GIG: Esben and the Witch launch their second album with a free gig at Rough Trade East. As usual, you can get a free entrance wristband by buying the album any time today. Leftover wristbands will be handed out from 6pm. Free, just turn up, 7pm

POETRY: Niall O’Sullivan hosts the Poetry Cafe‘s open mic night. £5, just turn up, 7.30pm

COMEDY: Head to Shepherds Bush for Laugh Ginglik and chortle at Edinburgh nominee Tony Law, one-third of Jigsaw Nat Luurtsema, James Acaster, Amir Khoshsokhan and MC John Robbins. £8, just turn up, 8.30pm

Random London Fact Of The Day

Only one London Tube station contains a giant swastika. Upminster Bridge on the District Line is decorated with an inverted form of the symbol, which was tiled into the station’s ticket office in the early 1930s. Back then, the swastika was a common decorative element, imported from the east, and yet to acquire its fascist associations. You can see further decorative swastikas in the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s library and on the side of the Foreign Office. This article, and its supporting comments, lists other examples.

Charity Shout-Out Of The Day

Email matt@londonist.com with nominations for this slot.

St Mungo’s estimates that 5,600 people slept rough on the streets of London last year, an increase of 43% on 2011. Rough sleeping is particularly rough when temperatures plummet below zero, so St Mungo’s is running a cold-weather support scheme in areas across the capital. If you are concerned about somebody sleeping on the streets, call the charity on 0870 3833333 or email streetconcern@mungos.org and they’ll send a trained outreach team to check they’re OK, and offer shelter. Of course, call 999 if the situation looks really bad. Click here to donate money to this cause.

London Weather

A little warmer today, but the early morning fog will cling and chill like a shoal of phantom whelks. Fresh snow is unlikely, but there’s still plenty of weekend leftovers should you feel like scrimshanking for a snowball fight. In summary: not very summery.

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