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Top 10 BYU news stories: Most viewed of 2008

These are the ten most-read stories from in 2008. The scientifically-proven method of fending off aggressive bears, birth order’s link to quality time, an award-winning animated film with space aliens, and more.

10. Student engineers’ language skills translate into race car for General Motors

BYU lead a collaboration of 20 universities in nine countries in designing and constructing a Formula One race car for sponsor General Motors.

Read the story


9. Student-designed device to help poor East Africans coax oil from coconuts

A team of four BYU students developed a cost-efficient way to extract the oil and then taught Tanzanians how to use and maintain the equipment.

Watch a video clip


8. BYU study shows bear pepper spray a viable alternative to guns for deterring bears

Analysis of close encounters with bears shows you’re far safer with a can of pepper spray, halting aggressive bears in 92 percent of cases.

Read more from The New York Times


7. The merry-go-round that makes electricity from kid power

BYU makes a double dream come true for a school in Ghana: playground equipment and lights in the classroom.

"As children push the merry-go-round, it will generate electricity that will light the school rooms,” says BYU professor Charles Harrell.

Watch a clip from 'installation day' at the school in Ghana


6. BYU students’ invention gives customers ‘happy feet’ in 30 minutes or less

The portable workstation creates custom insoles for shoes in half an hour – a process that previously took days to complete.

Watch a clip from KUTV News


5. Quality time stacked in favor of first-born children

A BYU study found parents spend 30 percent more time with the first-born than with later-born children at the same age, a difference of 3,000 hours.

Parents should be aware of this natural pattern, says BYU professor Joe Price, and try to give their younger children more time.

Watch a clip from NBC’s Today Show


4. Tabernacle timbers tell of severe drought during pioneers’ arrival

A BYU geographer found a new tale of pioneer hardshipin tree rings underneath the Mormon Tabernacle Choir seating.

Listen as Lloyd Newell, voice of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, lends his voice to the story


3. National math champ commits to BYU

This blue-chip recruit picked BYU over powerhouse programs MIT and Stanford, which offered a generous financial aid package.

Here is what freshman Sam Dittmer says when asked why:

“BYU has a lot of great math professors, and I learned that they would have lots of opportunities for me to work one-on-one with them and do my own research,” Dittmer said. “That’s what excited me about BYU. I probably wouldn’t get to do that as an undergrad at a place like Stanford.”

Read more from the Deseret News


2. Pixar president praises BYU animation program at premiere of latest short film

Pixar’s president came to campus to say “BYU has risen to the top” with animation – and thanks to you the program’s latest short film won the Nicktoons’ Viewers’ Choice award.

Watch a preview of "Pajama Gladiator"


1. Slideshow: BYU pays tribute to President Gordon B. Hinckley

BYU remembers the beloved prophet and longtime chair of the university’s board of trustees with images and sound from his many campus visits.

Watch the slideshow

Writer: Brady Toone

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