Things To Do In London Today: Wednesday 17 April 2013

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GIVE BLOOD: Today’s opportunity to donate blood is at Stoll in Fulham. Free, just turn up, see site for times and conditions

FUNERAL: Margaret Thatcher's funeral procession is taking place today in London. This will mean various road closures and disruptions to public transport, take a look here to see if your journey might be affected

ART: Saloua Raouda Choucair opens today at the Tate Modern — the first UK exhibition of the Lebanese abstract artist. £11/£9.50, just turn up, until 20 October

DANCE: The eagerly anticipated biannual Place Prize Final starts today, where four dance finalists compete for a nightly £1,000 audience prize and the overall £25,000 jackpot. £17-25, prebook, until 27 April

THATCHERISTIC: To coincide with the Iron Lady’s funeral, ArtBelow open Thatcheristic today at Gallery Different, with 10 UK artists revealing their different depictions in portrait form. Free, just turn up, until 26 April

ARGENTINE FILM: The Argentine Film Festival launches today with screenings of the best contemporary features from and about Argentina. That it begins on the day of Margaret Thatcher's funeral is thought to be coincidental! Check out the website for full listings, until 21 April

HEROICS: John Price explores the stories behind the Watts Memorial in Postman's Park — an entire wall of plaques dedicated to people who died while heroically saving the lives of others. It's at St Botolph’s-without-Aldersgate church, just next to the park. Free, just turn up, 2pm

BOOK CRAWL: Join Foyles and Granta for a pub crawl round Soho, listening to some of the new Best of Young British Novelists. Free, prebook, 6pm

SOLAR CELLS: Neil Greenham leads this discussion at The Royal Society on the difficulties, complexities and options around using solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm

ARTISTS: There is a panel discussion tonight at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on the concept of the artist collective — its recent history, how collective aims are established and the problems of collaboration. £10/£8, prebook, 6.45pm

LITERARY LONDON: Andrew Whitehead, Sarah Wise and Jon Day talk about how London is represented in fiction, at Housmans. £3, just turn up, 7pm

SOUNDLESS SONGS: Beck's 2012 album Song Reader, came out not on iTunes or CD, but the popular music format of 100 years ago — paper sheet music. At Conway Hall, musicians gather to interpret these songs. £10, prebook, 7pm

SPOKEN NERD: This is the second of Festival of the Spoken Nerd’s three nights at Bloomsbury Theatre. Helen Arney, Matt Parker and Steve Mould’s computer says yes – and we’ve seen a demo of the promised computer-made-from-dominos, it’s as brilliant and silly as FOTSN always is. £14/£12, prebook, 7.30pm

NATURAL BORN STORYTELLERS: Join Natural Born Storytellers Michael Kossew, Matt Price, Rob Heeney and others for an evening of tales of unlikely friendships at the Camden Head. Free (though donation encouraged), just turn up, 7.30pm

GIG: Pyyramids, OK Go's side project who we recently spoke with, are playing The Shacklewell Arms tonight. £5, prebook, 8pm

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Random London Fact of the Day
Penge, in south London, sounds odd to the modern ear. Perhaps that's because it's one of the few places in town whose name is of supposed Celtic origin (i.e. pre-Roman). It's thought to derive from Penceat, which means "edge of wood". Other Celtic survivals refer to rivers or geographical features, such as Thames, Lea and Brent. Many origins have been suggested for the name 'London', and nothing is certain, but many scholars have suggested a Celtic or even pre-Celtic basis. The majority of old London place names, however, are of Anglo-Saxon derivation, as you can browse on this little map we put together.

Good Cause of the Day
Dave Hill, one of the foremost commentators on London politics through his Guardian column, is running the London Marathon in aid of Unicef ("even though I'm (roughly) 963 years old"). The charity is the largest global organisation devoted specifically to protecting children and their rights. If you're not already cheering someone on for the big event, then consider getting behind Dave, whose tenacious reporting on London development and housing issues have long been an inspiration for us at Londonist Towers. Good luck, Dave! Donate to Unicef via JustGiving.

London Weather
A wee bit sunnier (in the afternoon), a wee bit warmer, and a wee bit windier. More 'wee', in short, than a puppy on a pub crawl. BBC Weather has a less childish forecast.