Things To Do In London Today: 7 February 2013

Ice Age Art at the British Museum (see below)

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GIVE BLOOD: You can donate your red stuff today at the Bishopsgate Institute or the British School of Osteopathy in Borough. Free, just turn up, check site for times

PHOTOGRAPHY: The National Portrait Gallery’s much-anticipated exhibition of Man Ray photographic portraits opens today and runs till 27 May. £14, prebook or turn up

OLD SCHOOL ART: The British Museum’s new biggy opens today, showcasing the best of prehistoric art (that isn’t physically attached to a cave wall somewhere). Runs until 26 May 2013. £10, prebook or turn up

VOLUNTEER: If you’ve got the day off with not much to do, consider volunteering with Thames21 to help green-up the concrete walls of the River Lea. Just turn up at the Bow Lock office (map here) and they’ll kit you up and get you going. Runs tomorrow, too, in case this is too short a notice. Free, just turn up, 10.30am

ART: See work by Sophie Derrick, who paints heads, using her face (her face!), on Vyner Street. Runs till 16 March. Free, just turn up, noon-6pm

HISTORY: UCL’s lunchtime lecture ponders the role the Islamic world played in the development of science and medicine. Free, just turn up, 1.15pm 

CARNIVAL: Be at the Rio Carnival Weekender warm up at Guanabara, marking the start of six night’s worth of caipirinhas, Brazilian treats and lots of dancing. Free or £5 after 9pm, just turn up, 5pm-2.30am.

BOOKS: This month’s Salon event takes place at Foyles on Charing Cross Road and, appropriately, looks at the future of the book, as well as reviewing some of the big themes from last year’s Salons. £10, prebook,6.30pm

COMEDYStand Up For Darwin, hosted by Robin Ince and featuring a troupe of excellent geek comedians, runs at Conway Hall in Holborn. Funds raised go to the promotion of Darwinism, science and rational thinking in schools. £10, just turn up, 7pm

SILLY SONGS: Greenwich Theatre is the venue for the self-explanatory Silly Songs of Shakespeare. £15, prebook, 7.30pm

TWEETBOX: Take control of the music, by tweeting the DJ with suggested tracks on a given theme, at the Book Club’s Tweetbox. Free, just turn up, 8pm

INTERNET ON STAGE: All Your Internet Are Belong To Us at Pub on the Park pulls the Internet kicking and LoLing onto the stage show. £5, prebook, 8pm

ART: It’s First Thursday so go and explore the east London art scene by yourself or on an arty walking tour. Free, just turn up, till 9pm.

BOOKS: Francesca Beard hosts Book Slam at the Clapham Grand, with Tim Key, Dan Rhodes, Katie Bonna, Richard Marsh and Aidan Moffat, all looking at the downsides of love. £6 (advance), £8 (door), prebook or just turn up, 7.30pm

Random London Fact of the Day
Taking the top 150 results in a Google image search for ‘London’, the landmarks represented the most are:

  • Houses of Parliament = 28
  • Tower Bridge = 22
  • London Eye = 20
  • Olympic Stadium = 15
  • Shard and Gherkin (joint) = 8
It should be noted that results may differ depending who and where you are.
Good Cause of the Day

Send ideas to matt@londonist.com 

Fields in Trust works with councils and other organisations to make sure that everyone’s favourite green spots — parks and sports pitches, for example — are saved forever. The organisation safeguards recreational areas through legal means by placing covenants on the land. In London they’ve protected — among others —  the 330 acre Oxleas Wood in Greenwich and 12 adventure playgrounds across Islington. You can nominate a local green space through its web site.

London Weather
Right, weather watchers, we’re going to start a serious campaign today. We want to rescue a very nice word from obscurity and place it in the public realm. That word is ‘nephelauxetic’ (neph-e-lorc-zetic), and it roughly translates from Greek as ‘cloud expanding’. Inorganic chemists use it in a very precise, technical way that we needn’t trouble ourselves with here. We’re going to misuse it in a much vaguer way to describe a gradual expansion of cloud across the skies…as we’ll see from breakfast this morning. So, memorise that word — nephelauxetic — and use it on your friends. “Hey, don’t you just love this nephelauxetic weather we’re having lately?” you might say. Or: “Look at the clouds. An hour ago we had clear blue skies; now it’s gone all nephelauxetic. How sad.” Indeed, let’s see how long it takes before Tomasz Schafernaker (he’s always up for a laugh) and Nina Ridge are using it on the television forecasts. That word again is #nephelauxetic. BBC Weather has a forecast whose most impressive word is ‘Hampshire’.

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