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Link Love From The Car Connection: Holiday Edition

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creative commons - flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolestjohn/2945220253/

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Here's a list of recent news items we caught just before they slipped through the cracks. Hopefully, they'll keep you busy in-between eggnogs over the next few days. Enjoy your holiday--from work and from us. We'll see you soon!

Toyota is still feeling the crunch: Toyota's second-ever loss is making big headlines (you heard it here first--or second, maybe!), but the automaker's problems don't stop there. Apparently Toyota has called up Subaru and postponed the release of the "Toyobaru", a sports coupe the companies were co-developing for a 2010-ish launch. On the bright side, maybe that will give both sides a chance to rethink the name "Toyobaru".

Japanese freeways are just as crunched as the economy: Judging from some of these pics of Japan's highway system, maybe the country could do with fewer cars. When you're running freeways through office buildings, it's probably time for an intervention.

Gaywheels taps their tops: Our friends at the GLBT-oriented site selected 20 diverse vehicles that are "perfect for us, for families, for dates and clubbing, and cars and trucks notable for their new looks, new hardware and new attitude." Strangely, the Popemobile didn't make the cut--but then, I think it's an older model.

The Jonas Brothers play the Detroit auto show: Because clearly Ford, GM, and Chrysler aren't feeling old and dinosaurish enough already.

Ferrari motorcycle could solve your last-minute shopping dilemma: Yes, apparently there was an officially licensed Ferrari bike manufactured in the 90s, and now someone's trying to unload it. Personally, I know someone who'd love to see that under the tree tomorrow--if only you've got £180,000 to throw around. Yeesh.

Pigeons have expensive tastes: There's no real evidence that pigeons prefer dumping on Corvettes instead of Camrys, but in Arizona last Friday, their droppings did lead to the collapse of a gas station awning, knocking out a BMW and a Hummer in the process. Mercedes owners: you've been warned. [via Autoblog]

Union left out of talks with Bush: UAW President Ron Gettelfinger is complaining that the labor union was left out of the recent bailout negotiations between automakers and the Bush administration. My guess would be that Bush preferred to streamline the talks, but he might have just been concerned about having so many steel-toed boots in one room.

Students use rubber bands for good; paper footballs feel left out: Johns Hopkins students tackle the challenge of locomotion via rubber band, which re-opens an interesting can of worms.

Penske takes a rating cut: Moody's Investors Service came out swinging for auto dealer Penske Automotive Group. The credit agency has given Penske a negative rating, meaning a variety of things for the company--none of them good.

Propellerheads use iPhone, Wii to remote-control toy truck: Just make sure the kids don't watch the video, or you'll spend most of tomorrow morning hacking instead of getting properly sauced.

Change comes to Detroit--and the nation: On a more serious note, columnist Daniel Howes had a very thoughtful piece in Tuesday's Detroit News. He talked, of course, about the Big 3 crisis, but rightly pointed out that the bailout is little more than a band aid; to really solve Detroit's problem, automakers will have to wage a war for the hearts and minds of Americans. Give it a gander after you've finished your third helping of holiday ham. (And don't say you don't take thirds.)

--Richard Read

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