Things To Do In London Today: Tuesday 11 February 2014

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Art Macabre at Hackney Picturehouse. See below for details.


BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at Bishopsgate Institute, Sainsbury's in New Cross and St Agnes Centre in Cricklewood. Free, see site for terms and conditions

LAST CHANCE: Today is your last chance to see London From The Rooftops 2014, a collection of photographs showing London from a skyline perspective, at The Printspace Gallery. Free, just turn up, 9am- 7pm

MORNING LECTURE: Today's Tuesday Morning Lecture at Dulwich Picture Gallery, about people who changed the world, is led by Professor Rob Illiffe and is entitled Isaac Newton's Private Lives: Some New Findings. £10/£9, prebook, 10.30am

FREE LUTE-PLAYING: Head to Bishopsgate Institute for a free concert featuring two of Europe’s leading lutenists. Free, just turn up, 1.05pm

HOLOCAUST STORIES: Marion Davies and Jane Liddell-King present their work, Face In The Void, telling the stories of survivors of the Holocaust, at London Jewish Cultural Centre. £8/£10, prebook, 2.15pm

GENDER TALK: King Alfred School hosts a UKFeminista talk, Why Gender Still Matters In The Modern World. Free, just turn up, 3pm

CELTIC EVENING: Get ready to stomp your feet along to traditional Celtic, Scottish and Irish music at this Jamboree at Cable Street Studios in Limehouse. Free (donations welcome), just turn up,  7pm

SINGLES MINGLE: With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, bag yourself a last-minute date at Mersault Club’s Meet N Match for singles. £20+bf, prebook, 7pm

WRITING: Drink Shop Do hosts That Night Where They Do Writing, giving up-and-coming authors the chance to showcase their work. This month’s writers are Essie Fox, Samantha Ellis, Anna Whitwham and Ben Johncock. Free, prebook, 7pm

PUZZLED PINT: It’s like a pub quiz, but with a difference: you have to solve a puzzle to get to the pub, even better if you’ve got your team. This month’s theme is Spinal Tap: you can find hints on the website. Free, just turn up (if you can!), 7pm

ART MACABRE: Hackney Picturehouse hosts Art Macabre, an evening with a dark theme. Witness a traditional Chinese ghost wedding performed by burlesque artist Odelia Opium, learn how to make Victorian love tokens, or sketch nude and costumed models. £15/£10, prebook, 7pm

POETRY: The Poetry Society hosts Poetry Unplugged, a weekly open mic night. £5/£4, just turn up, 7.30pm

COMEDY: The Star of Kings in King's Cross hosts The Spectacular Spectrum of Now, a comedy night featuring comedian Mat Ewins, comedy storyteller Wil Greenway and sketch queens Birthday Girls. £5/£2, just turn up, 7.30pm

LIARS' LEAGUE: The monthly Liars’ League takes place at the Phoenix, with actors telling new stories written specifically for the night along the theme of You & Me. If that’s not enough, join in the famous half-time book quiz. £5, just turn up, 7.30pm

WWI THEATRE: Ophelia Theatre’s current production Between The Lines is inspired by WWI poetry, including the famous works of Wilfred Owen and Siegfeied Sassoon. It begins tonight and runs until 1 March. £10/£8, prebook, 8pm

FREE GIG: Princess Music comprises five musicians who play with chamber orchestras of varying size. They take their classical techniques and use them to create a charming indie/folk/classical blend, and tonight they're performing at Bedroom Bar. Free, just turn up, 8pm

WITCHING HISTORY: Meet historian Tracy Borman, author of Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal & Seduction, at the London Jewish Cultural Centre. £12/£15, prebook, 8pm

CHINESE ELVIS: The Drunken Monkey in Shoreditch continues the Chinese New Year celebrations tonight with An Evening With Chinese Elvis (yes, really). Enjoy some cocktails or tuck into dim sum while you're serenaded. Free entry, prebook and charge for dinner, performances 7.30pm and 9.30pm

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Good Cause of the Day

The lovely people at Soho Theatre are running the Brighton Half Marathon on 16 February with the aim of raising £20,000 for the theatre. Proceeds will go towards supporting the Soho Young Playwrights Programme, Soho Young Company, and installing a new air cooling system in the theatre. So if fancy watching a play in the cool, or you're just feeling generous, you can sponsor them here - at time of writing they are £7201 towards the £20,000 target.

London Connection Puzzle

A new puzzle starts today, set by last week's winner Michelle Hodge. Your first clue is St Peter ad Vincula. Please wait for the second clue, tomorrow, before emailing in, but have a think about possible themes in the meantime.

From the Archive

Two years ago today, we were celebrating the end of the "snowflakes and icy white sheets that have coated the London landscape" and asking What Signs Herald London Spring For You?


This week's theme is 'bridge oddities'. Today's entry is Macclesfield Bridge, which spans the Regent's Canal north of London Zoo. Its usual sobriquet of "Blow-up Bridge" hints at the reason we're featuring it as a Londoddity.

On 2 October 1874, a barge laden with five tons of gunpowder exploded beneath the bridge, killing its three occupants and demolishing the bridge. The blast was so large that it shattered glass as far away as Hampstead, and could be heard in Gravesend. Panels at nearby London Zoo were smashed, leading to the release of around 20 birds. According to one newspaper, "the giraffes were found huddled together in terrible fear".

The bridge was subsequently rebuilt. If you pass beneath, look closely at the green columns. Deep grooves can be seen on the towpath sides. These were worn by the friction of ropes between horses and barges, but originally faced into the canal. The columns were rescued from the blast and reinstalled at a rotation of 180 degrees from their original orientation. Image by M@.