Things To Do In London Today: Wednesday 8 May 2013

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GIVE BLOOD: Today’s opportunity to donate blood is at St Olave Parish Hall, Fenchurch Street. Free, just turn up, see site for times and conditions

OOH LA LA: French film festival, Le Long Weekend, opens today with new and classic French cinematic gems screening over the next five days. Prices vary, prebook, until 12 May

ADDICTION: A lunchtime talk at Wellcome Collection ponders what’s going on in the brains of people who are addicted to alcohol or heroin. Free, just turn up, 1pm

GET YOUR BIKE CHECKED: Every Wednesday between now and 3 July, social enterprise Bikeworks, working with Barclays, will offer free, roadside bicycle checks, for anyone who cares to stop. Get your dodgy brakes, tires or gears sorted at bike clinics on Cable Street, Cannon Street, Chelsea Bridge, Kennington Park Road and Eel Brook Common. Free, just turn up, 5-7.30pm

ART: Mayfair gallery Gazelli Art House hosts a talk on contemporary art in the public realm. Free, prebook, 6pm

CREATIVITY: Maggie Gee, Tessa Hadley, Fay Weldon CBE and David Harsent ask whether creativity can be taught, at Foyles. £5/£3, prebook, 6.30pm

LONDON WALK: Join a Trails of the City walk and learn about the first ten dramatic years that Charles II spent on the throne through visiting the sites where the nation-changing events happened. £8/£6, just turn up, 6.30pm

RUDE VENTRILOQUISM: Nina Conti knocked everyone over with two documentaries last year: His Master’s Voice and Make Me Happy. Now she’s back doing rude and outrageous ventriloquism at the Soho Theatre. £12.50-£20, prebook, 7.30pm

HISTORY OF MUSIC: Find out how the string section changed during the romantic period, with live performances at a Music Up Close event in Conway Hall in Holborn. £10, prebook, 7.30pm

COMEDY: Comedian Deborah Frances-White was adopted when she was 10 days old. She's recently been researching her birth family and finding out that you can't half-open a can of worms. She'll tell you all about it at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden. £10/£8, just turn up, 7.30pm

BOGOF COMEDY: Get two for the price of one with Invisible Dot’s Two Previews for Five Pounds. Tonight you can enjoy Jamie Demetriou and Daniel Simonsen on the stage. £5, prebook, 7.45pm

Random London Fact of the Day
The name Fitzrovia is a relatively recent coinage, first recorded in 1940. Until it gained popular currency in the 1950s, the area was often considered to be part of Soho. To suggest that the area should be restyled as Noho, however, goes down about as well as saying Holborn and Bloomsbury should be renamed Midtown.

Shameless Londonist Plug of the Day
Following us on Twitter? We've got over 120,000 followers, more than twice as many as the Evening Standard. Join us on @londonist.

Good Cause of the Day
vInspired helps young people help themselves and others through volunteering and social action. If you're under 25 and want to put something back into society while gaining new skills for yourself, check out the volunteering opportunities. On 6 July, the charity will put on vInspired Live at the Roundhouse, a huge jamboree of music and inspiring talks to inspire change. In the run-up to that, you can nominate the cause you'd most like to see sorted out, over on the vInspired website.

London Weather
Oy! Shirley Manson out of Garbage. Are you happy now? Are you? Really? (#OnlyHappyWhenItRains)