Things To Do In London Today: Thursday 9 May 2013

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Delve into the history of alchemy and astrology at the Wellcome Library, details below.

GIVE BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, The Hop Exchange on Southwark Street, and DoubleTree by Hilton hotel by the Tower of London. Free, just turn up, see site for times and conditions

BEER: The Green Man in Paddington celebrates its recent refurbishment, two new ale pumps and a heap of craft beer by holding a week-long beer festival with 10 different ales and plenty of bottles. Free, just turn up, until 16 May

MORE BEER: Combine cricket and beer at The Kia Oval five-day festival, which boasts more than 50 beers and ciders. £10/£5, prebook, until 13 May

ART: Royal College of Art hosts the 20|21 International Art Fair from today — a showcase of modern and contemporary art from around the world. £8, just turn up, until 12 May

OCCULT: Ross MacFarlane is your genial guide to the history of alchemy, astrology and esoteric societies, at an afternoon talk in the Wellcome Library. Free, just turn up, 3pm

MUSIC: The final Station Sessions live gig takes place in St Pancras station, with ‘secret special guests’. (Which, actually, would be a rather crafty name for a band, as you’d appear on lineups all over the place.) Free, just turn up, 5.30-6.30pm

PLAYED TO DEATH: Come and reminisce at Jerusalem Bar, as Night of the Living Dead showcases musicians who have passed away, bands who have split, and one-hit wonders. You can email your song requests in advance. Free before 9pm or £5 after, just turn up, 6pm

SURVEILLANCE: In a Close and Remote event, a panel discussion at Deptford Lounge considers the rise and rise of CCTV, image recording, data profiling and other forms of surveillance. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

SENSIBLE PARTYING: Watch live music, eat tasty burgers, have a good boogie and still be home in time for a good night’s sleep. Raiders of the Last Tube is a new night at The Lexington where sensible party-goers can let loose and still get to bed on time. £5, prebook, 6.30pm

LECTURE IN HAPPINESS: Adam Grant talks at Conway Hall about how generous and altruistic people are much more likely to be successful than those who simply pursue their own success. £15 suggested donation, just turn up, 7.30pm

READING: Bright Club takes to the Bloomsbury Theatre for a night of comedians and academics talking about reading. £8+bf, prebook, 7.30pm

COMEDY: See adorable (and very sharp) Canadian Mae Martin at the Camden Head for just £1, with support from Sarah Campbell. £1, just turn up, 7.30pm

RECORDED LONDON: Rarely and never-heard recordings of daily London life from the 1920s to the 1950s will be played tonight at London’s Lost World Of Sound with the South East London Folklore Society, upstairs at The Old King’s Head in Borough. Expect performing dogs, fortune tellers and the Tower of London’s Ravens. £2.50/£1.50, just turn up, 8pm

Random London Fact of the Day
Old St Paul’s Cathedral, completed in 1310, stood to a height of perhaps 149 metres. Nothing in London would be built this tall again until 1950, when the Crystal Palace transmitter reached 219 metres.

Shameless Londonist Plug of the Day
We’re on FourSquare, too. Follow us there for tips on places to visit, and curious facts about those places when you ‘check in’.

Good Cause of the Day
Applications for Travelling Fellowships are now open at The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. They award travel grants to British citizens from all walks of life to acquire knowledge and experience abroad for the benefit of others in their profession and communities in the UK. In the process they gain a better understanding of the lives and cultures of people overseas and, on their return, their expertise is enhanced greatly. If you think that you would benefit from learning best practice abroad and have the ability to inspire others with your subsequent performance and achievements then why not check your eligibility and apply online at www.wcmt.org.uk before 5pm on 24 September 2013, to travel in 2014.

London Weather
Don’t let the early sunshine fool you. The shortest summer on record is now behind us. Winter is coming. The wind is picking up. The Night Watch report strange movements beyond the Watford Gap. The Baratheon fleet has been spied out in the Estuary to the east. Upstart challengers to our blond ruler are coming from all sides. May the Old Gods and the New have mercy on us all in this coming darkness. In summary: mild, with occasional showers, brisk winds. (Also, have you noticed how King Joffrey looks remarkably like one of the Johnson clan? We all know his parentage has been questioned, and his initials (Joffrey Baratheon) are the reverse of Boris Johnson’s. Coincidence?)

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