A few days ago I blogged about how excited I was finding an old magazine from 1969, but there was one page specifically, a collection of interesting scientific worldwide stories compiled by John F. Pearson, that made me realize just how much writing inspiration could be found from this one publication. After I found that one page, so much in the rest of the magazine seemed to become a potential writing topic.
Here's the topics on that page:
New way to prevent cavities is with a laser beam
Omega, called the world's first global, all-weather navigation system
A rare weed that proves a threat to western ranges is under study by the Department of Agriculture scientists
"Moon mud" may be the next cure-all peddled by quacks once our Apollo astronauts return from a lunar landing
Quick recognition of friendly ground troops is a problem for combat pilots
For the first time a pulsar has been put on film
The "pill" is still a controversial method of contraception
Each one of these topics made me think of some really good short stories. I realized as I looked through the pages that the magazine was printed during the Vietnam War. Its mentioned throughout, but not sensationalized or highlighted, only that it's happening.
Some of my favorite topics--the runaway rare weed infecting the west, the potential Moon Mud scandals (especially since this was printed two months before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon...), and the first global navigation system. Now, a global system seems so ordinary, but back then, it was revolutionary. Those were the ones I would choose, if given a choice.
I don't know if I will ever write some of these short stories, but I loved that this old magazine got the ideas flowing.