Ask Mr Brain...all will be explained

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 February, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 February, 2001, 12:00am

Do animals dream?

According to electroencephalograph recordings of sleep states in animals, it is possible to believe that some animals dream.

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, the 'dreaming sleep', has been reported in most studied mammals, for example, rats, cats, monkeys, elephants and birds.

Among mammals, only the echidna does not have REM sleep. Since REM sleep is not recorded in snakes and other reptiles, some scientists suggest that REM may be a process related to warm-blooded animals. REM sleep occurs once every 90 minutes in human beings, and about once every 25 minutes in cats.

Dogs do dream because many owners have witnessed their dogs panting, whining and moving their paws while sleeping - obvious signs of dreaming.

What is Grand Prix racing?

It is car racing on closed highways or other courses simulating road conditions. Such racing began in 1906. It became the most popular kind of international racing in the second half of the 20th century. Grand Prix racing is controlled by car makers under the supervision of what is now known as the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

It sets the specifications for all racing-car classes, including the Formula One. All Grand Prix racing is for open-wheeled, single-seater cars - the engine size, fuel and other elements being controlled by the FIA. The term Grand Prix was first used for a country's most prominent car race. Later it was used for races other than Formula One. The term is also used for events in other sports, such as horse racing.

What is an embargo?

An embargo is the detaining of merchant ships or other property to prevent their movement to a foreign territory. To achieve its objective, an embargo also prohibits shipment by air and, if necessary, by land.

An embargo may be civil or hostile.

A civil embargo is the detaining of ships in home ports either to protect them from foreign plunder or robbery or to prevent goods from reaching a particular country.

A hostile embargo is the detaining the transport or property of a foreign state.

An embargo is sometimes employed either as an act of revenge or for political reasons.

As an act of revenge an embargo is imposed against a country that is felt to be violating its international legal duties. An embargo may also be employed for the political purpose of prohibiting exports of arms and other war materials to aggressive states.



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