Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/376

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362
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

The toil and misery, disappointment and mortification of skimming broad acres for meager results must give place to farming for profit. The change, when it comes, will be aided to some extent by professional guides and public men, but the foundation for it is within. The farmer is a near neighbor of hard facts, and living in days when everything is questioned, and nothing is taken for granted—when every institution in the land has to make good its claim to existence by the results produced—he is not likely to be deceived, or to grab any longer at the shadow for the substance. His wealth and happiness consist not in the number of his acres so much as in the principles of his farm practice. He will discover, as many of his confrères have already done, that the future of American agriculture will be determined by the extent to which fundamental truths of science are applied.

 
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THE CAUSE OF SEA-SICKNESS.
By ROBERT W. LOVETT.

WHEN such an apparently simple disorder as sea-sickness exists in the midst of mankind for at least two thousand years? claiming yearly more victims, and all in spite of the best efforts of medical mankind to overcome it, it becomes of interest to inquire whether this is because its true nature has never been understood, or because it is essentially incurable.

The phenomena of sea-sickness are too well known to need detailed description. Violent and persistent vomiting is associated with it in most minds, and is the prominent symptom in most cases; but there are also a cold, clammy skin, headache, continuous nausea, great prostration, and indifference, the whole being accompanied by nervous irritability, and, in most cases, intense mental depression.

Plutarch was, perhaps, the first theorist on the subject. He thought that sea-sickness was caused by the smell of the salt-water; and, following him, men have propounded theory after theory, only to leave us of to-day with a large stock of theories, and but few good results to show for them.

Perhaps the most acceptable theory to-day is the one which places the origin of the trouble in the inner ear. The ear consists of three parts: the outer of these runs in as far as the drum; the middle part is inside of the drum, and contains the chain of ear-bones; while the inner ear is a complicated affair, containing the essential organ of hearing.

As far as we are concerned, the inner ear is a membranous bag filled with fluid, and situated in the solid bone. From the back part of this bag run out three semicircular tubes communicating at both