Spam holds a place dear in the hearts of many Pacific islanders, a legacy of the canned food rations brought to this part of the world by American soldiers during World War II. In Honolulu, the love stays alive through the annual Spam Jam on Waikiki Beach, where local restaurants come up with recipes for using the canned meat -- with varying success.
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Every event has its draw of mascots, as does Spam Jam.
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Catch the wave...of Spam.
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Spam sushi
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What can improve the common hamburger? Why Spam, of course!
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You know Spam is going upscale when Gordon Biersch brewery wants in on the action.
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An enthusiastic display of Spam cupcakes from the Hard Rock Cafe.
 
 
It's Olympics Fever 2012 in Japan, all the way down to the breaded goods. Here's what the bagel shop named Hoop near my office is offering up: a five-pack representing the Games' rings. Can't wait to try the green tea with white chocolate flavor.  Hoop's staffs are cheer for JAPAN? We all are cheer for JAPAN!!
 
 
My Hefei friend Betsy took me to the Hefei Museum on Sunday, which is a combination historical/natural science museum -- although it did happen to have an exhibit of the  paintings of Pan Yuliang, a Chinese artist who spent most of her career in France in the early 20th century. The highlight of the museum was the collection of dinosaur bones, which are plentiful in the outcroppings of the nearby Yangtze River. And the lowlight was the cheesy diorama room. The ever game Betsy was willing, however, to rescue a wee 'saur from the jaws of a T-rex. (see below)

Later we joined her husband/almost husband/it's complicated and two of his friends for a hotpot meal of spicy shrimp. The meal was better than thumbs up. It was a mealtime victory!
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