Someone on the Naughty List

It’s unfortunately a scene that is not completely uncommon. On a train heading from Manhattan to Long Island this past Saturday, two men began arguing until it culminated into a physical altercation. One man, allegedly drunk, shouted homophobic comments while wielding a knife and stabbed a 22-year-old in the leg. Were it not for a small crew of Santa Clauses the outcome could have been worse. Riding along the train were several men and women partaking in SantaCon — an annual tradition in which revelers bar hop in festive garb — who successfully apprehended the drunken, violent individual. The suspect, a 45-year-old, was arrested by police once the train stopped in Queens and the victim was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

No, I’ll eat you for dinner

A bald eagle in Canada that apparently had quite an appetite — or that overestimated its strength — got more than it bargained for when it attempted to snag an octopus off the coast of British Columbia. As the eagle latched onto the octopus in Quatsino Sound, along Vancouver Island, the octopus in turn ensnared the big bird and pulled it into the water. Nearby salmon farmers said it seemed the eight-limbed creature was trying to drown the eagle. “We weren’t sure if we should interfere because it is mother nature, survival of the fittest,” one bystander told CNN. “But it was heart wrenching.” He and his team did end up pulling the struggling pair apart, leaving octopus and eagle to go their separate ways. Octopus expert Jennifer Mather of the University of Lethbridge said the incident may simply have been a case of animal instinct: From the bird’s perspective, Mather said, “If something is on the surface of the water … it’s food.”

A gift that keeps giving

Some families pass down jewelry, watches, furniture, or even recipes as a holiday gift to the younger generation. But one American family has a unique heirloom: a 141-year-old fruitcake. Indeed, the Ruttinger family, of Tecumseh, Michigan, does not consider the fruitcake the kind of holiday gift that’s become a subject of ridicule for some. This particular fruitcake “is a great thing,” said Julie Ruttinger, the great-great-granddaughter of Fidelia Ford, who baked the cake in 1878. “It was tradition,” she told the Associated Press. “It’s a legacy.” The cake was initially preserved to honor Ford, the family said, as she had established a tradition of baking a fruitcake annually and letting it age a year before serving it during the holidays. But Ford died at age 65 before her 1878 cake could be eaten, and by the time the holidays arrived, the family considered her handiwork a legacy, not food.

Unwanted potty snakes

Residents of Jakarta, Indonesia, were met by some unwanted visitors while on a trip to the john. Over a dozen venomous cobras were found inside the toilets that had crept in from the drainage system. There were 18 cobras, according to fire and rescue chief Eko Sumarno, adding that the average length of the cobras were less than a foot long. It took firefighters about 30 minutes to catch all the snakes, which were transported to a rescue agency. Over the past few weeks, there were discoveries of cobras in other parts of Jakarta and nearby areas making their way into people’s homes.

Airport Christmas tree

An airport in Lithuania has a very distinct type of Christmas tree that’s made out of confiscated items. The “tree,” which has been assembled with hundreds of pairs of scissors as well as knives, box cutters, lighters, and items considered too dangerous to take on a plane, is located at Vilnius Airport. All of the items that make up the fake tree were seized by security officers during screenings.

Festive cows

A farmer in New Jersey dressed up her dairy cows to get them in the holiday spirit by putting festive Christmas sweaters on them. Lodge Farm in St. Saviour, New Jersey teamed up with Visit Jersey, a tourism organization that promotes visiting the state, by donating sweaters for five of the farm’s cows. The cows are named Carol, Holly, Mary, Noelle, and Mariah Dairy, and had custom-made sweaters crafted for them.

Coffee Queen rules

A Scandinavian coffee company wants to pay someone $5,000 and give them a free, one-week trip to a castle in Scotland for a bizarre temporary job — “Coffee Queen.” The company, Gevalia Kaffe, will hire someone to spend a week at Carlowrie Castle in Scotland complete with a full staff of servants as well as a chef and a butler, and also give them an additional $2,000 in spending money. Anyone who is interested in becoming the coffee company’s resident monarch are asked to submit 250-character mini essays on why they’d be an ideal coffee queen.