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Our Favorite Stories This Week
READING MATERIAL

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From a top secret iPod to an oral history of the internet's favorite meme, here are our favorite stories of the week. Have a great weekend.

Dolly Parton Is Never Gonna Give Us Up Or Let Us Down

billboard.com

This profile of the country music icon underscores that that very phrase — "country music icon" — is woefully inadequate to describe all that she does. She's a brilliant businesswoman, an insightful artist and, above all else, a thoughtful person. In fact, Dolly Parton just might be the only good celebrity. If you weren't on board already, welcome to Dollywood. —Molly Bradley

A Highly Entertaining Oral History Of The Internet's Favorite 'Simpsons' Meme: 'Steamed Hams'

melmagazine.com

Mel Magazine's Brian VanHooker wrote a thorough oral history of the "Steamed Hams" segment from "The Simpsons" episode "22 Short Films About Springfield" after talking to an original staff writer and numerous other people ostensibly related to the episode.

VanHooker brings us closer to what made that segment so special for millions of people, including the internet hooligans who have made countless memes about it. He even called Universal Studios to inquire about whether the park's Krusty Burger had "steamed hams" on the menu. —James Crugnale

The YouTubers Who Gave Up Their Adopted Son

thecut.com

Myka and James Stauffer's adopted son, Huxley, played a huge role in the couple's social media fame until he disappeared from their YouTube videos this spring. The story of the dissolution of Huxley's adoption is an uncomfortable probe into the intersections of influencer and adoption culture. It also shines a light on what happens when an adoption goes wrong in the public eye. —Pang-Chieh Ho

Cars Don't Kill People, Drivers Do — And They're Staying Behind The Wheel

bostonglobe.com

America has a problem with repeat offenders. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the United States, and cities across the country refuse to prosecute reckless drivers. A Boston Globe investigation reveals how this neglect is taking a literal toll on innocent lives. —Adwait Patil

The Time Apple Helped The Government Build A 'Top Secret' iPod — And Steve Jobs Never Knew A Thing About It

tidbits.com

Writing for the newsletter TidBITS, former Apple software engineer David Shayer reveals for the first time his experience in 2005 helping two engineers from the US Department of Energy build a top secret iPod that, he speculates, would also function as a Geiger counter. The mechanics of the operation are fascinating enough on their own, but more surprising still is just how few people at Apple know about the project — until now. —Jon-Michael Poff

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