Things To Do In London Today: 17 January 2013

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GIVE BLOOD: The donor centre today is in the Sainsbury's car park near East Dulwich station. Free, just turn up, 11am-1.30pm, 3-5.45pm

GREAT OUTDOORS: The London Bike Show (the UK’s largest bike exhibition) returns to ExCeL until 20 January, along with the Outdoors Show and Active Travel Show. £16, prebook or turn up, 10am-6pm

POLITICS: Do you understand how the governance and voting system of the City of London work? We're guessing not — they're more esoteric than British railway fare structures, written backwards, in hieroglyphs, and viewed upside-down in an under-water hall of mirrors. But never fear, for the ubiquitous Tony Travers of London School of Economics is at Barnard's Hall, Holborn for a Gresham talk that will explain all. Free, just turn up, 1pm

BEST TITLE FOR A TALK SO FAR THIS YEAR: Incest and Folk-Dancing: Two things to be avoided is a Gresham College lecture at Barnard’s Inn Hall. Free, just turn up, starts 6pm.

MOVEMENT: Wellcome Collection’s late opening includes talks looking at how our minds perceive the physical realities of the body. Free, prebook, 7pm

KARAUKE: Karaoke meets ukulele (you sing, they play) at the Royal George off Charing Cross Road. Free, just turn up, 7pm

MUSIC: Wanna hear New Order play their first two albums live, to completion and in order? Well you can't. But, next best thing, Peter Hook and The Light will do just that at Koko, Mornington Crescent tonight. £22.50, prebook, 7pm

COMEDY: Anything could happen when you see Nick Sun and his dark, stream of consciousness, inhibition-free, mesmerising comedy. He’s working up a new show about a professional suicide hotline florist at the Soho Theatre until Saturday. £10, prebook or turnup, 7.15pm

LEVESON: Soho Skeptics presents a debate about the Leveson report, with Nick Cohen, Suzanne Moore, Evan Harris, Natalie Fenton and chaired by Helen Lewis. Conway Hall. £5, prebook, 7.30pm

STAND-UP POETRY: Antipoet and Mark Niel are the guests at Bang Said the Gun at the Roebuck, Borough. £5, just turn up, 8pm

London Plaque of the Day
Continuing our series on unusual Blue Plaques, how about this...quite possibly London's only indoor Blue Plaque, unless you know different. It commemorates George Odger, an early trade unionist and promising subject for rude limericks. Originally sited on St Giles High Street, it now resides within nearby St Giles in the Fields church. With thanks to London Remembers for the tip.

Charity Shout-Out of the Day
Please send suggestions to

Wei Du tells us about a charity looking at mental health issues in the UK's ethnic Chinese communities, a topic he says gets practically no coverage from the media and largely slips beneath public consciousness. The work of the Chinese Mental Health Association, which was set up in 1992, is particularly important in London, where at least 100,000 people come from a Chinese background. The communities and individuals within this demographic often face increased barriers to seeking help, such as language problems, unfamiliarity or mistrust of Western medicine, and different cultural attitudes to mental health issues. Stigmatisation of those with difficulties is a problem in most societies, but can be particularly acute in Chinese communities. In addition, the charity tells us that a lack of expertise and understanding of these issues within London's health authorities can also be a problem. The Chinese Mental Health Association helps make a difference through specialist counselling, befriending and a wellbeing club. It also helps with housing issues in the Barnet area. You can find out more about the largely unnoticed work of this charity, or make donations, here.

London Weather
Minus four degrees exacerbated by fog makes for a teeth-chattering commute today. Not a good time to be a beachwear tester or an al fresco classical sculpture impersonator. It should warm up to a balmy zero degrees by mid-afternoon. Don't forget your scarf and hat, unless they were an embarrassing Christmas present from that aunty.