The Most Amazing Images of the Week, December 19-23, 2011

In honor of this festive holiday season, we've included in this week's roundup of amazing science and tech galleries some festive shots of our own. Pictured above is a nearby spiral galaxy that looks, if you're a NASA scientist who has been recently bonked on the head, like an outer-space wreath. There are also cute baby animals this week. Enjoy, and happy holidays!

Click to launch the gallery.

Passing Narwhal

Ipeelee Itorcheak, a photographer in Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut, one of Canada's northern territories, took this shot of narwhals swimming in the cold arctic waters of Hudson Bay. The photo was the winner of a recent contest.Ipeelee Itorcheak

Lovejoy, From Space

We awarded this picture of the comet Lovejoy as seen from the International Space Station our coveted Today in Pretty Space Pics award for excellence in the field of pretty space pics. Read more about the award-winning photo here.NASA/Dan Burbank via Bad Astronomy

FutureBus

This is a prototype of the new model of the iconic double-decker London bus. This one, rolled out last week, is a hybrid, pleasantly curvy and asymmetrical bus boasting three doors and two staircases for easier boarding. Read more over at FastCoDesign.Thomas Heatherwick

World's Longest Sushi Roll

It may look like some kind of nori-wrapped medusa hair, but this is actually the new world champ in the competitive area of long sushi. The Russian roll is more than 1.5 miles long, though we're not sure how flavorful it is, given its only given ingredients are nori, sushi rice, and cucumber. See more pictures here.via EnglishRussia

OMG Aw

Okay look there's nothing super scientific about this, but it's the holiday season and this is a ridiculously adorable video. This abandoned polar bear cub is so cute that you shouldn't be surprised if you try to hug your computer monitor. See video of it doing adorable things, like stretching, and rolling over, at the Telegraph.via the Telegraph

Turkey Sutures

A team of veterinarians took it upon themselves to find the best way to stitch up your boneless, stuffed turkey for the holidays. The best solution, and the one pictured here? Surgical staples. Read more here.Denis Verwilghen via Science

Nanorust

Spanish researchers have figured out a way to literally rust themselves some nano particles. Two types of corrosion are used to create the tiny objects, which could be used for drug delivery or even to create nanorobots. Read more here.Victor Puntes

Do You See It?

NASA claims this image of the nearby galaxy M74 looks like a Christmas wreath, with sparkling lights in tow. We think it looks more like...well, a spiral galaxy, which is what it is. We might be literal-minded, but we can at least appreciate how beautiful this image is.NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Pinball Building

We've seen projects like this before, but it doesn't stop us from really wanting to play them. This is a still from a video in which a pinball machine is projected on a building in France, the contours of the building becoming obstacles for the ball to bounce cheerfully on. Check out the video here.via YouTube

Kim Jong-Il's Legacy

Well. Kim Jong-Il died this week, which provoked mass weeping in North Korea and some pretty decent jokes on Twitter from the rest of the world. But we shouldn't forget how completely shitty things are there. Even just on a pure technology level: here's a satellite map of the Korean peninsula. Check out the bright lights of the thoroughly modernized, technologically advanced South Koreans. Now look at the north. Read more here.PlantetObserver/Science Photo Library