Things To Do In London today: 9 January 2013

Happy birthday to Tube.

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GIVE BLOOD: Your donation options today are Stoll in Fulham and Cathedral Hall in Victoria. Free, just turn up, times vary

TUBE TALK: Oliver Green speaks at the Museum of London (in a Gresham lecture) about the development of the London Underground, on this the 150th anniversary of the first train journey. Free, just turn up, 1pm

BRIDGES: A panel of transport experts field questions on proposed river crossings for east London, at City Hall. Free, prebook, 2pm

SHORTENING ARM OF THE LAW: If you’re concerned about the proposed cuts to police services across London, the first of multiple chances to quiz Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh comes today, as his consultation roadshow kicks off in Lambeth (the Electric, 6pm) and Southwark (City Hall, 8pm). Free, prebook

MUSIC: We don’t know much about The London Dirthole Company other than (a) they have an eye-catching name and (b) they seem to have more drummers drumming than My True Love on the 12th Day of Christmas. They’re playing The Macbeth in Hoxton along with Die Munch Machine and DJs. Free, just turn up, 7pm

COMEDY: Raise funds for the Edinburgh Free Fringe at Bloomsbury Theatre with Phill Jupitus, Kevin Eldon, Robin Ince, Simon Munnery, Norman Lovett, John Otway and Howard Read. £15, prebook, 7.30pm

TRAVEL: Get a taste of seven cities at Rich Mix, with artist led-tours of the current 7 Cities in 7 Minutes exhibition. Free, just turn up, 2pm and on the hour till 8pm

SKATING: Ice skating as a serious art form, with Le Patin Libre at Alexandra Palace. £17/£14, just turn up or prebook, 8pm

QUIZ: The Bigger Boat Film Quiz returns to the Boogaloo in Highgate for an evening of movie puzzling. £3.50, just turn up, 8pm

ELECTRONIC MUSIC: Coup d’Etat, a new night devoted to underground electronic music, launches at the (so-Shoreditchy-it-even-has-Shoreditch-in-its-name) Shoreditch Butchery. Free (before 10pm), just turn up, 8pm-late

POETRY:  Long Poem Magazine showcases its work and opens up a Q&A with its editors in the foyer spaces of the Southbank Centre. Free, prebook, 8pm

MORE COMEDY: Watch Nick Sun, perhaps the most bonkers act we saw all last year, headline ComComedy at the Queen of Hoxton. Also on the bill are Mae Martin, Rob Carter, Ryan Cull, Chris Bett and Grainne Maguire with Luisa Omelian MCing. £7, prebook, 8pm

Random London Fact of the Day
Everyone’s talking about the 150th anniversary of the Underground today (official) and tomorrow (passenger), but it’s not the only London anniversary in town. Raise a toast to Philip Astley, who pioneered the first circus ring in a field near Waterloo 240 years ago today (just behind St John’s church). Astley, a kind of stunt horse-rider decided to prance round in a circle to entertain his crowds, unlike his rivals, who favoured a linear show. The format proved successful, and he later added clowns and other acts to separate his equestrian antics. Astley further developed the idea and eventually opened an enclosed arean on land now occupied by part of St Thomas’s Hospital.

London Weather
Clear blue skies and bright sunshine all day long! That’s the 100% guaranteed forecast if you happen to live five miles above the capital. Those of us on the ground will be greatly vexed by a boundless skywig of cloud, although it should thin out in the afternoon. Wrap up warm, for the cold is a-coming.

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