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The top 10 BYU news stories of 2013

The year 2013 brought more than 1.5 million page views to news.byu.edu. Here are the 10 most popular stories. 

10. BYU's slowest race car wins big in supermileage competition

What goes more than 1,300 miles on one gallon of gas and looks like a space tube? This awesome supermileage vehicle created by mechanical engineering students. The car set the top mark at the international SAE Supermileage Competition this summer.

9. Graduating economics student thinking twice about the second pair

Popular shoe companies that sell the “Buy One, Give One” concept may not be a great fit for the countries receiving the donations. Read about Brooke Smith's honors thesis on fashion companies that fuse philanthropy and capitalism. 

8. Switching to 'barefoot' shoes can be bad to the bone

Barefoot running has become quite the fad in recent years, but if you make the switch, you better do so slowly, says BYU exercise science professor Sarah Ridge. Her study found that those who transition too fast are more likely to suffer injuries to foot bones.

7. Engineers help dancers shine

The BYU Ballroom Dance Company earned first place and a standing ovation at the prestigious British Championships in Blackpool, England earlier this year, and a group of engineering students were key contributors. They lined the dancers' dresses with LED lights which were choreographed to shine with the music and dancing.

6. Animators win another ‘student Emmy’ with Estefan

The BYU Center for Animation has produced another "student Emmy" winner for Estefan, the world's greatest hairdresser. It was the 12th such award in the past 10 years for the animation program, leading The New York Times to the conclusion "When Hollywood Wants Good, Clean Fun, It Goes to Mormon Country."

5. BYU #21 in an academic ranking of colleges

Here is a new idea for how to rank universities: Watch where the nation’s top high school students choose to enroll. A group of economists did just that in a peer-reviewed journal. 

4. BYU joins elite company in latest U.S. News rankings

Students, alumni and fans celebrated this year when BYU joined Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford as a Top 10 Best Value School in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best Colleges rankings. Other schools on the list included MIT, Cal-Tech, Columbia, Dartmouth and Cornell.

3. Monitor alerts parents if baby stops breathing

A team of students turned heads nationwide when they developed a baby monitor that straps around an infant’s foot and measures heart rates and blood-oxygen levels. The Owlet baby monitor notifies parents of breathing or heart problems by pinging their smart phones.

2. The Killers, Owen Wilson make new music video with BYU students

Killers frontman Brandon Flowers went to a personal friend, BYU alum and director of Napoleon Dynamite Jared Hess, to produce a music video to go with a new Christmas song. Hess pointed him to BYU, suggesting students could create it. They shot and edited a live-action animated video in just three weeks.

1. Feeling sick makes us less social online

A majority of people use the web to find health information, but health science professor Rosemary Thackeray found that very few actually share their own questions and experiences - stifling the wisdom of the crowds. Fittingly, this story claimed the top spot thanks to a surge of readers from the social platform Reddit. 

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Photo by Mark A. Philbrick/BYU Photo

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