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How You Know the Holidays Are Here: The Puppies Hit the Macy's Windows

Beginning today, a gaggle of San Francisco's cutest shelter cats and dogs will get their shot at the spotlight. In an effort to find warm and loving homes for the holidays, SPCA residents will resume starring roles in Macy’s Union Square's holiday windows. Shoppers can search for the perfect gift--and what's more perfect than a fine furry friend?--in the Stockton and O’Farrell Street windows, where over 200 shelter animals found loving homes last year. Local NBC Bay Area meteorologist, Craig Herrera, will host the unveiling.

Break Out the Bubbly at the Sir Francis Drake

Need an intoxicating way to unwind after an intense day of holiday shopping?

Virgin America Launches New Florida-Bound Flight

Hip California-based airline Virgin America has just added a new stop to its ever-expanding repertoire of flights: Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This land of eternal sunshine marks the 10th destination on Virgins list and will have connections to both San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX). Fares start at $99 each way.

Andre Agassi Makes a Book Tour Stop in Palo Alto

As part of a promotional tour for his new autobiography Open, tennis great Andre Agassi will appear in a conversation with broadcaster Barry MacKay in Palo Alto this Friday.

The eight-time Grand Slam winner's memoir follows a harsh upbringing with his Iranian-Armenian father, a struggle with drug abuse, his personal relationships with ex Brooke Shields and wife Steffi Graf, and of course his 21 years as one of the sport's greatest icons. The founder of the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic athlete has raised more than $85 million for the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, an acclaimed K-12 charter school for underprivileged children in his hometown of Las Vegas.

How Snowboarders Got Their Zen Back: 'Signatures'

Ski and snowboard season is just a stones throw away. And while many a SF resident has visions of Tahoe slope domination dancing in their heads, let us not forget the more zen-like aspects of the sport. Enter the film Signatures, the winner of Best Cinematography at IF3 and currently on its North American tour after a sold out Japanese premiere in Tokyo. The film screens next Tuesday at Sports Basement.

The Exploratorium Goes Adult with "After Dark" Tonight

We're not ashamed to admit it—we love the Exploratorium, the interactive science museum that caters to kids but inevitably delights visitors of all ages. Now that we're grown up, however, we have to confess having some fantasies about hitting the Tactile Dome after knocking back a few adult beverages. Wish granted! Based on the success of the California Academy of Sciences' "Nightlife," the Exploratorium now has a new "After Dark" series, where the fun of playing with their exhibits meets the fun of hitting the bar. Just think: You could meet that special someone while you toy with the Tesla coil.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Hint: Ice Skates Are Involved)

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the day you may (or may not) have been waiting for has finally arrived, the grand opening of Holiday Ice Rinks in Union Square and Justin Herman Plaza. And though you may ask yourself why we need two ice rinks downtown or even why we need an ice rink at all in 60° weather, we think the more important question is, "What are the differences between the two?" Well, we're here to help:

Days Open

Union Square: Nov. 11 - Jan. 18

Justin Herman: Nov. 11 - Jan. 3

Great White Sharks in the Bay: Not an Urban Legend

So, many a wide-eyed surfer could have told you this around a bonfire at Ocean Beach, but now it's been confirmed by some legit research: great white sharks troll the Bay. In what's believed to be the first scientific confirmation of great whites in the area, researchers from Stanford and UC Davis tagged 179 white sharks from 2000 to 2008 and found that five of those bad boys swam beneath the Golden Gate Bridge in 2007 and 2008. Freak. Out.

Hyatt Encourages Travelers to "Spare the Air"

In an effort to fit into San Francisco's green scene, the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf rolled out its "Spare the Air Explore" program on Nov. 1 as a means to encourage reducing enviromental impact while traveling.

The SkirtChaser 5K: A "Social Fitness Experiment"

Not merely a race, but a "social fitness experiment," the upcoming SkirtChaser 5K on Nov. 15 is an innovative concept where the women, clad in skirts (included in the entry fee), all take off from the start line at 2pm promptly, and three minutes later, the men follow (get it? "skirt chaser?"). Regardless of gender, the first person to cross the finish line will go home with $500. Awards will also be given to the second and third place finishers, as well as a special "Skivvies Award" recipient.

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