Why it's trending: As FOS used to say, I'll give you three guesses, and the first two don't count. . . . Right! A solar eclipse is on the way. Tuesday, at 12:30 PM Pacific, our old pal the sun will find itself completely occluded by the moon. Chances are, unless you're a dolphin, you won't see it live, as the path of coolness (official astronomical term, by the way) lies mostly over the Pacific. Perhaps more interesting: Apparently, total solar eclipses look just like big blocks of cheddar cheese:
9. MIKE LEACH
Why he's trending: The Washington State football coach has denied abusing his players.The accusations came from Leach's star receiver, Marques Wilson, who spoke of physical and verbal abuse, but declined to provide specifics. When pressed, Leach acknowledged that practices could get a little rough, but that all players could at any time invoke the "safe word" ('diphthong').
8. DENISE RICHARDS
Why she's trending: In an effort to "do her part" after Hurricane Sandy, she adopted a puppy. Why she chose to adopt a puppy from Nebraske, I have no idea.
No, no, no: The puppy was from Long Island, and the celebrity wanted to promote animal adoptions, especially of pets displaced by the storm (I think Richards is the one on the right). Thousands of Staten Islanders who still have only sporadic electricity service applauded Richards' selflessness.
7. DEREK DOOLEY
Why he's trending: Wasn't that the name of Mark Wahlberg's character from "Boogie Nights"? Anyway, Dooley is the football coach at the University of Tennessee, and he might or might not be on the verge of getting fired. If he IS fired, though, I think he should move to Canada and become a Mountie. He's got the perfect name for it.
6. KAT VON D
Why she's trending: Apparently, she and something called "Deadmau5" are no longer dating. I wonder if she had tattooed--I'll say "his"--name on her--I'll say arm.
Why it's trending: A Danish study has linked acetaminophen (Tylenol) use in infancy to the development of asthma in pre-schoolers. In other news, a study sponsored by Tylenol has linked the intake of Danish to being fat.
4. MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Why it's trending: Because it would be stupid for it to be trending on Thursday! Tonight's game features the Kansas City Chiefs against the Pittsburgh Steelers. To be sporting, the Steelers have agreed to play with only nine men on defense. They are still 19 point favorites.
3. FIRST NFL TIE SINCE 2008
Why it's trending: Yesterday, the San Francisco 49ers played the St. Louis Rams to a 24-24 tie. For those not familiar with NFL rules: In a regular-season game, if neither team is ahead after one overtime period, the game officially ends in a tie. As you can see, this happens quite rarely. I suppose a team would rather have a tie than suffer a loss. Frankly, though, if I had gone to that game and paid good money, I'd want a refund. Look, if I want to see something with an indeterminate endings, I'll just stay home and watch DVD's of "Lost."
2. MCAFEE MURDER
Why it's trending: John McAfee--of antivirus software fame--is being sought for questioning by police in Belize in connection with the death of McAfee's neighbor, Gregory Viant Faull. Faull was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head this weekend. McAfee is described as a "person of interest," not a suspect. Rumors of extensive high-fiving at Norton are unconfirmed.
And the top-trending story at this moment on the space-time continuum. . .
1. TEXAS SECESSION
Why it's trending: Over 25,000 people have signed a petition requesting that Texas be allowed to "peacefully secede" from the United States. No word on what percentage of those signatures came from outside Texas.