Nos. 6-10 of our top ten list below; nos. 1 - 5 tomorrow
10 - Macy's Santa tells dirty Jokes, gets fired, winds Up on Leno
John Toomey, a 20-year veteran of the kid-on-knee wars at the iconic department store, dismays an elderly couple by telling them a mildly blue joke. Macy's cans him, causing an uproar in the Santa-loving community and generating headlines as far away as Canada (closer to the North Pole, so understandable). Toomey is then offered a gig at Lefty O'Douls and caps off his 15 minutes in the limelight with a joke-telling cameo on Jay Leno.
9 - Roseville flash mob gets out of control
Lured by Sacramento Choral Society tweets, thousands of singers descend on the Westfield Galleria mall in Roseville, intent on singing the "Hallelujah Chorus." The intended joyous event, billed as a flash mob, turns into a catastrophe, however, after reports of a creaking and shifting floor spur an evacuation order by police. A good time was had by none.
8 - Who will succeed Gavin Newsom as mayor?
San Francisco's mayor wins election as the state's Lieutenant Governor, leaving a vacancy that has every local politician who ever gazed into the mirror while imagining his name on the No. 1 parking spot at City Hall licking his lips. Only Gav, in order to exert maximum influence over the succession process, threatens to stay on into the next year. And it's a threat he makes good on. The penultimate act in this drama may play out next week, when the outgoing Board of Supervisors meets...
7 - NASA announces discovery of new life-form; some underwhelmed
NASA causes a stir by disseminating a cryptic press release that some speculate hints at the discovery of extraterrestrial life. The reality is more mundane yet still significant: Researchers had published a paper announcing the discovery of arsenic-eating microbes at the bottom of Mono Lake in California's Eastern Sierra, expanding the possibilities of just where in the universe life might blossom.
A number of scientists, however, are not convinced, and some claim that the paper should never even have been published.
6 - Jean Quan wins ranked-choice election as Oakland mayor
Councilwoman Jean Quan, who lags former state senate leader Don Perata by 10 points after the first round of voting, mounts a stunning come-from-behind victory, enabled only by the city's new ranked-choice-voting system. Perata and supporters grumble, but Quan becomes both the city's first female and Asian American mayor.