Things To Do In London Today: Tuesday 21 May 2013

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Valerie Colin-Russ discusses London's lions at Guildhall Library tonight. Image courtesy of the author.

GIVE BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at Paddington Central Building 3 and Cathedral Hall in Victoria. Free, just turn up, see site for times and conditions

JAPANESE WHISKY: Award-winning Japanese whisky brand Nikka pops-up on Smiths of Smithfield’s newly opened first floor cocktail bar from today, so you can sample 17 of the brand’s single malt and blended whiskies. Free, just turn up, until 31 May

UNICYCLE: Look out for a unique set of unicycle docking stations in London this week. Half hour slots can be booked in advance and come with an expert to help you find your feet (or wheel). Free, prebook, until 25 May

LONDON SIGNPOSTS: If you don’t mind going to Sussex today then you could own your very own London signpost. Westminster council are auctioning off 362 signposts at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurt, West Sussex. Free, register beforehand, 1.30pm

ROAR!: Last year, Valerie Colin-Russ published a book about London’s 10,000 sculpted lions. Now she’s at Guildhall Library to discuss this colossal pride. Free, just turn up, 2pm

DESIGN: Clerkenwell Design Week, one of the capital’s biggest design events, begins today. It runs until 23 May.

GAUCHO POLO: The world’s largest indoor Polo event is trotting (sorry) into London tonight for an evening of sport, wine-tasting, culture and music. The HPA Gaucho Intertnational Polo tournament takes place at the O2 and features a sizzling tango performance by Strictly Come Dancing’s Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace. £20, prebook, from 5.30pm

ART AND ARCHITECTURE: Gazelli Art House hosts a panel discussion on art and architecture tonight. £5/£3, prebook, 6pm

SMILE: Wellcome Collection’s Roy Porter Lecture, given by Colin Jones, tackles a novel subject: how the toothy smile was invented in 18th Century Paris. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

SHORT FILMBar Shorts is a free short film and animation screening that showcases some of the best shorts from award-winning directors. Free, prebook, 7pm

WRITERS’ CLUB: Chris Wellbelove from Greene & Heaton literary agency is the speaker at London Writers’ Club Live. £20/£15, prebook, 7pm

HAPPINESS IS HANDWRITTEN: Make Me Joyful is an initiative to make the world, and the people in it, a bit happier. You can read more about the initiative on their manifesto, but they also put on nights such as Happiness is Handwritten, where to celebrate National Letter Writing Day you can gather with friends and perfect your penmanship by handwriting a letter to a loved one. £12, prebook, 7.30pm

COMEDY: Simon Munnery, Aisling Bea, Ben Target, Kieran Boyd and Beasts are the guests at Monster comedy at Leicester Square Theatre – a great line-up, and all for charity. £8, prebook, 8.30pm

Random London Fact of the Day
It’s The Evening Standard’s birthday today. The newspaper was founded on on 21 May 1827 as The Standard. Confuse a distributor by going up to them, shaking their hand and wishing them a happy 186th.

Unintentionally lewd Dickens quote of the Day
When the throbbing I had seen before, came into it as I looked at her, she absolutely lifted up her hand, and struck it.” – David Copperfield, Chapter 32.

Good Cause of the Day
The NDCS Stolen Futures petition for deaf children is about to close. Please sign and help deaf children today: www.ndcs.org.uk/petition. This is an urgent opportunity to call for a debate about cuts to deaf children’s services. They are 99% of the way to hitting their target of 50,000 signatures – please join in to help with the final push.

London Weather
Bromidic, banausic and doleful are just three of the words you might use to describe today’s monotone skies — if, that is, you were writing an idiosyncratic weather forecast and wanted an alternative word for ‘boring’. Which we are, and do. So thank you. It’s a thoroughly unremarkable day out there, with only a high pollen count worthy of comment. Dress up in your most colourful clothes to counterbalance the leaden skies.

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