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Featured Article: Yeti

The Himalayan yeti
The yeti is an alleged ape-like animal said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet. The names yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology.

The yeti has often been compared physiologically to the American sasquatch, as both are large, hold a structural similarity to the great apes family, are covered in hair, have a sagittal crest atop their heads and possess an extremely potent smell. Some have suggested that the yeti is light colored, so as to blend in with the snow, and always walks upright, while others have stated that the yeti is smaller, of darker color, walks on four legs like a bear but stands on all two feet when scared or threatened.

Most mainstream scientists, explorers, and writers consider current evidence of the yeti's existence to be weak and better explained as a hoax, legend, or misidentification of known species. Nevertheless, the yeti remains one of the most famous creatures of cryptozoology. Such representations confirm that the idea of the yeti satisfies some psychological need to believe in myths, legends, and the existence of life that is not limited to the physical world known to scientists.

Popular Article: Utilitarianism

Utility, in a philosophical context, refers to what is good for a human being. Utilitarianism is a moral theory according to which welfare is the fundamental human good. Welfare may be understood as referring to the happiness or well being of individuals. Utilitarianism is most commonly a theory about the rightness of actions; it is the doctrine that, from a range of possibilities, the right action is the action which most increases the welfare of human beings or sentient creatures in general. Of the many moral theories now called Utilitarian, all share this claim that morality ought to be concerned with increasing welfare.

Classical utilitarianism has its historical origins in seventeenth century Britain although its central ideas may be traced back to Plato and ancient Greek discussions of eudaimonia. The most important developers and proponents of utilitarianism are Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), and, later on, Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900). In its historical context, utilitarianism aspired to be a movement of social reform. It was closely tied to its political aspirations, promoted a new conception of morality which eschewed references to God and religion, and took morality to be fundamentally an attempt to bring about as much happiness of pleasure, to achieve the "greatest good for the greatest number."

Classical utilitarianism may be classified as hedonistic act consequentialism. This means that classical utilitarianism is a theory in which the right actions are defined as those bringing about as consequences the greatest net happiness (or pleasure). Hedonism is no longer widely embraced as a theory of welfare, but act consequentialism continues to be influential.