Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. Located just 50 km north of Johannesburg, Pretoria is an attractive city, but does not have the big city atmosphere of other South African cities. Situated at the centre of the city is Church Square, the focal point of the administrative capital of South Africa. After Pretoria became the seat of the Transvaal government in 1860, important buildings were erected round the square such as the Raadzaal and the Palace of Justice opposite to it. Today, there are a lot of restaurants and shops in the area; a short walk west from Church Square is the Kruger House. The residence of former President Paul Kruger has been turned into a museum and a national monument that is worth a visit. Another major attraction is the Zoological Garden, since its inception in 1899 it has grown to such an extent that today it enjoys world-wide recognition. Not only is it the largest zoo in South Africa, but it is amongst the ten best zoos in the world. More than one million people visit it every year. Union Buildings designed by Sir Herbert Baker, is an architectural masterpiece. Sitting on the southern slope of Roberts Heights, is the President's Office and the Foreign Ministry. Pretoria is also a city with many academic institutions, the University of Pretoria is the largest in South Africa and is associated with the world renowned Onderstepoort Vetinerary Research Station. Other must-see sites include the Voortrekker Monument, the Fort Schanskop and the Transvaal Museum.
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13 Interesting Facts About Dreams
Dreaming is one of the most mysterious and interesting experiences in our lives. During the Roman Era, some dreams were even submitted to the Roman Senate for analysis and interpretation because they were thought to be messages. Dream interpreters even accompanied military leaders into battles and campaigns. In addition to this, it is also known that many artists have received their creative ideas from their dreams. But what do we actually know about dreams? Here are interesting facts about dreams!
1. You forget 90% of your dreams – Within five minutes of waking, half of your dream is forgotten and within ten minutes, 90 percent is gone.
2. Blind people also dream – People who became blind after birth can see images in their dreams. People who are born blind do not see any images, but have dreams equally vivid involving their other senses – sound, smell, touch and emotion.
3. Everybody dreams – Every human being dreams, except in cases of extreme psychological disorder. If you think you are not dreaming, you just forget your dreams.
4. In our dreams we only see faces that we already know – Our mind is not inventing faces – in our dreams we see real faces of real people that we have seen during our life but may not know or remember. We have all seen hundreds of thousands of faces throughout our lives, so we have an endless supply of characters for our brain to utilise during our dreams.
5. Not everybody dreams in colour – A full 12 percent of sighted people dream exclusively in black and white, the remaining number dream in full colour. Studies from 1915 through to the 1950s, maintained that the majority of dreams were in black and white, but these results began to change in the 1960s. Today, only 4.4% of the dreams of under-25-year-olds are in black and white. Recent research has suggested that those changing results may be linked to the switch from black-and-white film and TV to colour media.
6. Dreams are symbolic – If you dream about some particular subject it is not often that the dream is about that. Dreams speak in a deeply symbolic language, whatever symbol your dream picks on it is most unlikely to be a symbol for itself.
7. Emotions – The most common emotion experienced in dreams is anxiety. Negative emotions are more common than positive ones.
8. You can dream anywhere from one to two hours every night – Moreover, you can have four to seven dreams in one night.
9. Animals dream too – Studies have been done on many different animals, and they all show the same brain waves during sleep as dreaming humans. Watch a dog sleeping sometime, the paws move like they are running and they make yipping sounds as if they are chasing something in a dream.
10. Body paralysis – Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is a normal stage of sleep characterised by rapid movement of the eyes. REM sleep in adult humans typically occupies 20-25 percent of total sleep, about 90-120 minutes of a night's sleep. During REM sleep, the body is paralysed by a mechanism in the brain in order to prevent the movements which occur in the dream from causing the physical body to move. However, it is possible for this mechanism to be triggered before, during, or after normal sleep while the brain awakens.
11. Dream incorporation – Our mind interprets the external stimuli that our senses are bombarded with when we are asleep and make them a part of our dreams. This means that sometimes in our dreams we hear a sound from reality and incorporate it in a way. For example, you may be dreaming that you are in a concert while your brother is playing a guitar during your sleep.
12. Men and women dream differently – Men tend to dream more about other men. Around 70 percent of the characters in a man's dream are other men. On the other hand, a woman's dream contains almost an equal number of men and women. Aside from that, men generally have more aggressive emotions in their dreams than the female lot.
13. Precognitive dreams – Results of several surveys across large population sets indicate that between 18 and 38 percent of people have experienced at least one precognitive dream and 70 percent have experienced déjà vu. The percentage of persons that believe precognitive dreaming is possible is even higher – ranging from 63% to 98%.
*Precognition refers to perception that involves the acquisition of future information that cannot be deduced from presently available and normally acquired sense-based information.