Things To Do In London Today: Monday 11 March 2013

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The Gordon Riots...or are they just taking the advice in our weather forecast (see below)?

GIVE BLOOD: Donate your crimson life fluid at either Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden, or the West End Donor Centre on Margaret Street. Free, just turn up, check site for times and conditions

BOOK SALE: Conway Hall in Holborn is selling off some of its spare library stock today. Free, just turn up, 11am

HISTORY: The Gordon Riots, which swept London in 1780, are the subject of this afternoon’s Gresham lecture at the Museum of London. Free, just turn up, 1pm

CHARITY SEX: Berlin’s F*ck For Forest is one of the world’s most bizarre charities, selling erotic home-made movies to raise funds for forest preservation. See a film about their work, followed by a Q&A, at Curzon Soho tonight. £14.75, prebook or turnup, 6.15pm

TINY MACHINES: David Leigh lectures at The Royal Society, on the recent development of tiny man-made machines and motors that could impact on every aspect of material design. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm

RELAXED DATING: Last Night A Speed Date Changed My Life is the Book Club’s laid-back dating event for 20 to 30-somethings. At the time of writing, there are a few guys tickets left, but girls have sold out. £13, prebook, 7pm

MUSIC: “Genre-crossing compositions, which blend classical, pop and ambient/electronica,” from Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds (with the Britten Sinfonia) at The Barbican tonight. £15-22.50, prebook, 7.30pm

BOOKS: Lucy Caldwell, Kit Caless, Will Storr and Beatrice Hitchman read from their work at literary party night The Book Stops Here at Alley Cat, 4 Denmark Street, Soho. Free, just turn up, 8pm

COMEDY: Andrew Lawrence deserves to be better known. Make a start on that at the Soho Theatre where he’ll be until 30 March.  £10-£17.50, prebook, 9.30pm

Send any tips or suggestions for the following sections to matt@londonist.com.

Random London Fact of the Day
Updates to two of our random facts from last week.

On Thursday, reader Federica Pojaga told us that the first Tube train of a morning is the District Line train leaving Upminster depot at 4.53am, something she’d learnt from a Guardian article by John Lanchester. Au contraire, says Michael Harrison. “The first tube in London is not the 0453 from Upminster at all, it’s the 0449 from Osterley. Indeed that train calls at a massive 4 stations before the District one wakes up.” We’ll let them settle the dispute by heading out before dawn to test the services.

And on Friday we mentioned that Horace Jones, the main architect of Tower Bridge, also designed Leadenhall, Billingsgate and Smithfield markets. Sue Sheath writes in to add “The engineer of Tower Bridge was John Wolfe-Barry who took over from Horace Jones when he died before the bridge was completed. He was the son of the architect Charles Barry (architect of the Houses of Parliament) and one of my ancestors”.

London Weather
As our old gran used to say, it’s colder than a witch’s tit out there (and go fetch me another sherry, my bones are aching). Not only are we waking up to sub-zero temperatures, but there’s also a decidedly wicked wind blowing in from the the north-east. If you want our advice, smear yourself in seal fat, select the thickest wolf pelt that you tribe possess, and light a great fire in the centre of your dwelling place (advice may not be suitable for vegetarians or health & safety fanatics). BBC Weather has a less Neanderthal forecast.

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