My wife Mary is reading Cutting for Stone, a fabulous story I recommend where in the opening scene a nurse crossing the sea revives an incapacitated doctor of seasickness by placing him in a hammock. Mary asked me if the remedy really works, so I asked The Amazing Google, who asked the Journal of the American Medical Association what doctors did before the invention of dramamine:
Park City, Utah, March 19. 1901. To the Editor:—Apropos of the treatment of seasickness given in The Journal of March 10, I offer the following: None seem to have a sure remedy of seasickness, and the main reliance appears to rest on massive doses of nerve sedative. It is a question with many, which they would sooner prefer, the after-effects of the medicines or the seasickness.
Dr. Rawlin’s remedy to “elevate all the limbs” is, for good reason, impracticable, when it is remembered that, on a rough sea, the position of the body is constantly changing. Dr. Brunton’s bandage affords some relief; still, a better remedy is to plant the palms of the two hands on the abdomen and press hard toward the spinal column; but the good effect of either expedient only temporary.
If any one desires to experience genuine seasickness and to try his remedies for seasickness, he should cross the North Sea during winter; compared with the Atlantic Ocean, the waves of the North Sea are short and choppy! I there tried a simple contrivance, which I have never seen mentioned in articles on seasickness, and which served me excellently. I simply made a hammock from a blanket. It matters not how much the ship plunges or rolls, the hammock will practically stand still and keep the horizontal position. As long as I stayed in my hammock I experienced no seasickness, but if I left it when the sea was rough, nausea soon came on; as soon as I returned to the hammock the sensation of illness passed off. E. Viko. M.D.
Everything is amazing (except the government that is suing Google for antitrust) and everyone is grateful that Steve Jobs live long enough to help bring us so many useful gadgets, but it wasn’t obvious to James Randi a couple of years ago that people are thankful: