mail order catalog

Jill Goodacre reading for Victoria’s Secret, early 1990s.

Goodacre was a primary lingerie and hosiery model for the relatively new Victoria’s Secret company in its mail-order catalogs and retail stores in the 1980s, and she appeared extensively in the catalogs. She, Stephanie Seymour, and Dutch model Frederique helped Victoria’s Secret grow from a new company to one of the world’s giants in women’s lingerie, hosiery, swimwear, and clothing.

Most people, gardeners or not, know there is a big difference in taste between a supermarket tomato and one grown in a home garden. What many people do not know is that there is a similar difference between garden-grown potatoes and those bought in a store. Home-grown potatoes, no matter how they are cooked have a silky smooth texture and a mild but delicious flavor-qualities rarely found in store-bought potatoes. And they are relatively easy to grow. 

How to Plant - Potatoes require between 90 and 120 frost -free days to mature. UNlike most other cool season vegetables, their foliage is sensitive to frost. Start with certified, disease-free seed potatoes. These are small potatoes or sections of potatoes that are usually slightly shriveled and coated with fungicide to help prevent deterioration. They are available at most nurseries, seed stores and mail-order catalogs. The variety ‘Liberty’ can be grown from seeds but it’s much easier to start from seed potatoes. Don’t plant potatoes purchased in the produce section of a supermarket. They are often sprayed with chemicals to prevent sprouting. 

Cut the seed potatoes into chunks about 1-1½ inches in diameter. Each chunk should have at least two eyes (small buds). Plant in soil that is loose and rich in organic matter. Work in a general-purpose fertilizer at a rate of about a ½ pound of actual nitrogen per 100 feet of row. Set the chunks, cut side down, 4 inches deep and 12 inches apart, in rows spaced 24 to 36 inches. Do this a week or two before the last frost date. 

The potatoes will sprout in about 2 to 3 weeks. When the sprouts reach 4 to 5 inches high, mound soil up against the stems, Continue to mound soil against the growing stems. Continue to mound soil against the growing stems as long as possible. The tubers will form along the stems in the mounded soil. 

How to grow - It is important to keep the developing potatoes covered because they will turn green if exposed to sunlight. The best way to do this is to apply at least a 6-inch layer of organic mulch such as straw. This will also help keep the soil cool and make harvesting easier because tubers will form closer to soil level and sometimes in the  mulch itself.  Potatoes must also be kept constantly moist. 

Varieties - Varieties are divided into early, midseason and late, and also differ by storage capabilities and by skin color - red, white and brown (russeted). There is even a blue variety that is available in some areas. Most nurseries will carry several locally adapted varieties. They may or may not be labeled. Mail-order catalogs have a larger selection. 

Harvesting - You can begin harvesting new potatoes - small immature tubers - when plants begin to flower. Gently feel around in the upper soil or mulch to find them. If you plan to store your potatoes over winter, they should be allowed to mature fully in the soil. Once the tops die down completely, gently dig up the tubers with a pitchfork or with your hands. Place them in a dark place at about 70F (21C) for about a week to heal any bruised. Then store those that are haled or bruise-free in a humid place at a temperature between 35F to 40F (2C to 4C).


Officially Cheating with the Game Genie,

Perhaps one of the most important accessories to have with the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Game Genie was a device allowing the user to modify the game in order to get certain cheats such as invincibility, unlimited lives, unlimited ammo, and other features.  Peashooter knows the Game Genie well, as he would have never beaten Super Mario Bros 3 without the magic of the of the cheat device.

Use of the Game Genie was simple; the user simply placed the device on the end of the NES cartridge, then inserted the cartridge into the console.  The Game Genie would temporarily negate the code of the game, replacing it with a new code that modified the game. A booklet of cheat codes relevant for each game came with the device.  Before the game started a special screen appeared where the player typed in the desired codes.  The game would then start with the cheats having taken effect.  When new games were manufactured a new booklet of cheat codes were published, for sale by mail order catalog.

Originally the Game Genie was introduced in 1990, produced and sold by a UK/Canadian company called Camerica.  Later they were produced by Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc, then one of the largest toy companies in the United States.  Every Nintendo kid loved the new Game Genie, of course who doesn’t love to cheat? Unfortunately there was one group of people who didn’t like the Game Genie, the employees and managers of Nintendo.  Nintendo claimed that the Game Genie created derivative works that violated its copyrights.  In July of 1990 a court granted Nintendo an injunction against Galoob, preventing the company from selling any more Game Genies.  Galoob then filed a complaint against Nintendo, claiming that he injunction violated its Constitutional rights.  The legal battle went all the way to Federal Court in 1991 with the case Galoob vs. Nintendo.  Judge Fern M. Smith ruled that Galoob did not infringe upon Nintendo’s copyrights, citing that the Game Genie’s modifications were protected under the fair use doctrine.

Five million Game Genie devices were for the NES were sold world wide.  Game Genies were also produced for the Super Nintendo, Nintendo Gameboy, Sega Genesis, and Sega Game Gear.  A new and improved model was planned for 1993, called the Game Genie 2, but development never proceeded past the design stages.

Where did Secret of the Seventh Labyrinth go?

In 1993, MicroProse’s MPS Labs released almost released Secret of the Seventh Labyrinth, a first-person role-playing game.

23 years on, there is almost no information about this game or evidence that it ever existed. The closest I can find is a French abandonware site that, in lieu of a copy of the game, includes screenshots that appear to be scanned from a magazine. It looks like it had a vaguely Egyptian theme…

Almost no other information about the game is readily available. If it wasn’t released, it came very close to reaching store shelves: a few mail-order catalogs list the game, and it had at least one brief review in volume 10, issue 7 of QuestBusters (scan courtesy of The Museum of Computer Adventure Game History):

It’s possible that Secret of the Seventh Labyrinth was canceled at the last minute. If it was released, that’s even more troubling: a game by a major developer would have completely vanished over the course of twenty years.

(Please get in touch if you know anything about this game!)

UPDATE: As @eliott-rust points out, it was canceled, but possibly late into production. See reblogs for more.