Actual list of ingredients from a can of SPAM luncheon meat:

Pork with Ham
Sodium Nitrite

And that's it! It seems almost innocent. But I wonder what "Pork with Ham" means?!

A 2oz. serving of SPAM luncheon meat contains 170 calories, (140 of which are fat calories!) 16 grams of fat, 40mg of cholesterol, 750mg of sodium, and 7g of protien. It has no carbohydrates, fiber, Vitamin A or Vitamin C, and no calcium.

A little SPAM luncheon meat recipe:

Slice SPAM Luncheon Meat into 4-6 square slices. Broil or heat in skillet. Scramble 4-6 eggs. Layer eggs, meat, and one slice American cheese between toasted English Muffin halves. Heat 10 seconds in microwave. Makes 4-6 SPAMBLED Egg muffins.

Mmmm-mmm good.

You can order SPAM luncheon meat "merchandise and apparel" if you call 1-800-686-SPAM. And really, how can you resist any of this?!

spaghetti inheritance = S = spam bait

spam vt.,vi.,n.

[from "Monty Python's Flying Circus"] 1. To crash a program by overrunning a fixed-size buffer with excessively large input data. See also buffer overflow, overrun screw, smash the stack. 2. To cause a newsgroup to be flooded with irrelevant or inappropriate messages. You can spam a newsgroup with as little as one well- (or ill-) planned message (e.g. asking "What do you think of abortion?" on soc.women). This is often done with cross-posting (e.g. any message which is cross-posted to alt.rush-limbaugh and alt.politics.homosexuality will almost inevitably spam both groups). This overlaps with troll behavior; the latter more specific term has become more common. 3. To send many identical or nearly-identical messages separately to a large number of Usenet newsgroups. This is more specifically called `ECP', Excessive Cross-Posting. This is one sure way to infuriate nearly everyone on the Net. See also velveeta and jello. 4. To bombard a newsgroup with multiple copies of a message. This is more specifically called `EMP', Excessive Multi-Posting. 5. To mass-mail unrequested identical or nearly-identical email messages, particularly those containing advertising. Especially used when the mail addresses have been culled from network traffic or databases without the consent of the recipients. Synonyms include UCE, UBE. 6. Any large, annoying, quantity of output. For instance, someone on IRC who walks away from their screen and comes back to find 200 lines of text might say "Oh no, spam".

The later definitions have become much more prevalent as the Internet has opened up to non-techies, and to most people senses 3 4 and 5 are now primary. All three behaviors are considered abuse of the net, and are almost universally grounds for termination of the originator's email account or network connection. In these senses the term `spam' has gone mainstream, though without its original sense or folkloric freight - there is apparently a widespread myth among lusers that "spamming" is what happens when you dump cans of Spam into a revolving fan. Hormel, the makers of Spam, have published a surprisingly enlightened position statement on the Internet usage.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Spam is one of the greatest annoyances on the Internet today. Also known as UCE, bulk e-mail, e-mail marketing, and a host of other less favorable names, spam is a byproduct of the commercialization of the World Wide Web. The word 'spam' has more or less entered the general lexicon as meaning 'that e-mail I don't want'

ISPs contend that spam ties up disk space, wastes bandwidth, and annoys customers. ISPs argue that they must waste time and money implementing filters; and even those aren't very effective. Spammers, for their part, maintain that they are providing the user with opportunities. Outlawing spam, they argue, is de facto censorship. Advertising is everywhere, and there's no reason why e-mail marketing shouldn't exist. In the United States, several states have passed anti-spam laws.

If e-mail marketing is legitimate, by comparison the methods most spammers use are shady. Spammers almost always forge headers to avoid ISP scrutiny and the inevitable surge of complaints after a batch of UCE is sent out. They also utilize open relays, which are mail servers configured to send mail from any source. Most often, these open relays are in foreign countries; for this reason communicating with the mail server's admin is often difficult.

Most spam is fraudulent. The most notorious sales pitches include penis enlargement devices, herbal Viagra, the infamous Nigerian mail scam, "Work at Home", methods to get a college degree Quick and Easy, porn, MAKE MONEY FAST, Ponzi schemes, and weight loss pills. The Federal Trade Commission has set up an e-mail address for you to forward spam that you believe is fraudulent; the address is

The fuel of a spamming operation is e-mail addresses. Spammers utilize a variety of methods to get e-mail addresses, some of the most common being:

  • WWW spiders. These spiders are configured to pick out e-mail addresses from WWW pages, whether it be mailto: links or plaintext addresses like Some also correct address munging: for example, will be corrected to
  • Usenet spiders - By and far the quickest way to recieve spam is to post to Usenet without munging your e-mail address, especially in an active newsgroup. Many harvesters scan newsgroups, looking for e-mail addresses.
  • Dictionary attacks. In this sort of attack, spammers play a guessing game. Common words from the dictionary are used in an attack on a specific high-traffic site; if the mail server replies with an invalid address, the address is no good. If the mail server DOESN'T reply, the e-mail address is good. Sites with short domain names are frequently the victims of these sort of attacks - somehow, is just too long.
  • CD-ROMs Spammers will burn CD-ROMs full of these addresses and sell them to one another, ensuring that your daily deluge of spam is kept up.

A spammer obviously needs Internet connectivity to spam. Most ISPs prohibit spamming of any sort, and will usually clamp down on a spammer the second he starts to spam. The ISPs that tolerate spamming are called spamhausen; as word spreads that the ISP tolerates spam, more spammers use it. Spamhausen are usually blocked at the router level by organizations like MAPS and ORBS; however, this has the side effect of blocking legitimate sites as well, with Peacefire being a notorious example.

Of course, a 'live' e-mail address is worth far more than a dead e-mail address which the owner rarely checks. To verify that you are actually opening your spam, a number of tricks are used:

  • The classic 'REMOVE ME' scam. This is one of the oldest tricks spammers use to verify e-mail address; it consists of a small note at the bottom of the e-mail saying, "If you do not wish to recieve further mail from us please reply to this e-mail with the subject line 'REMOVE'" The assumption behind this is that the reciever will be so fed up with spam that he will actually reply to the message.
  • The 1x1 GIF With the onset of HTML e-mail comes HTML spam. HTML spam will often contain a 1x1 transparent GIF. When you open an e-mail with this GIF, a request is sent by the e-mail client to download the GIF, thus telling the spammer that you have been reading spam
  • False subject lines are often used with the method described above. These can be disguised as a 'failed message' notice from Postmaster, your friend telling you to check this out, blank subject lines, and a lot more

Lawsuits have been filed against spammers, with the most famous being Cyber Promotions vs. AOL. Cyber Promotions was run by a man named Sanford ("Spamford") Wallace, who sent out a staggering amount of spam. AOL, of course, blocked his domain name, but Wallace constantly circumvented AOL's blocking system by registering different domains (, Eventually, AOL sued and won in court. However, lawsuits are a time-consuming and costly option. In some cases, the spammer actually sues the ISP, claiming censorship.

How to deal with spam

If you have had an email account for any amount of time, you are likely to have received a stupendous amount of spam email and a nice variety of viruses. A few nodes here have noted how to avoid spam, but in certain cases, you can't. So, what can you do about it, if you DO receive lots of it?

I will not pretend I am a whiz when it comes to internet and other computer-related issues, but I have worked as a journalist for quite a while now. This means that my email address is probably on every single spam email list that exists in the world, as it is posted with every article I have written that is posted on the internet. Which means that I have received my share of spam email: a quick check puts my main email address ( at about 70-80 spam and virus emails per day. yes, per day. Yes, that is almost 2500 email messages per month that I do not want. But I have gotten quite good at sorting them, and dealing with SPAM takes about 3 minutes of my time per day.

So, here are SharQ's super tips for dealing with spam mail, if you cannot avoid them:

1) Get a large-sized POP account. We are talking approximately 10-15 MBs (mine is currently 5GB, but that's a bit over-kill)

2) Get a couple of aliases pointing to the same POP account. ( and, for example)

3) Get a proper email client. I prefer Microsoft Entourage, but whatever floats your boat.

So, when you have all of this, do the following:

When you need to fill out email forms for companies you do not want email from, then fill in one of your email aliases. Your email will still arrive to your primary POP3 account, but your alias address will be in your to: field. This is a good thing, because it makes the filtering easier.

... Which brings us to the filtering. Or not actually. It brings us to the setting-up-the-email-client. Point one: There should be an option somewhere where you can limit how much of a message gets downloaded from the server. Set this limit to 6K. This means that all emails that are text-only will be received in full, whereas anything that has attachments (including pictures, and viruses) will be truncated at 6 thousand characters.

Now, whenever you get an email with an attachment, have a look at the filename. If it is .exe or .bat, or whatever else that looks dodgy, just erase the email from the server (should be a command for that, somewhere), and you don't even have to bother downloading them. Same goes for all other types of attachment. If you didn't expect it, or can't be bothered reading it, you just get rid of it.

Then, we get to the fun stuff... Filters. 99% of the time, the emails that are of any importance, will be from people you know, i.e people that are in your address book. So set up a filter that copies all emails from people in your address book to a particular email. Or even better: Copy all /other/ emails to a directory by itself, called "potential junk" or something like that. Also, set up your alias accounts to be forwarded to this folder.

If you are like me - i.e you have an email address that has to be freely available on the internet, because of your job - you'll get tons of emails from people that I haven't got in my address book, so go through your "potential junk email" folder every few days. Usually the action will be "delete, delete, delete, skim through then delete, delete, delete, etc".

Now.. This method does nothing to protect you from spam, but it does make it significantly more efficient to get rid of it - and when you are in a hurry and a bit stressed, ignoring your potentially spam mail does help a lot to prioritise your workflow! (Personally, I also organise all my different contact into colours by category. Sources, work / freelance contacts, friends, family, businesses, etc. Anything to make things more efficient.)

S.p.a.m. is the acronym of "Solo Pittori Artisti Mutilati" ("Amputees Painters and Artists Only"), a firm based in Verona, Italy.

They sell paintings, postcards, calendars, jigsaw puzzles and other works of art created by people with physical disabilities, who use the paintbrush holding it with their mouth or foot.

They have been doing business since 1956, and during the holidays they send out free samples of their works - mostly Christmas cards - asking for a contribution.

They seem blissfully unaware of the irony of sending out tons of unsolicited mail with the envelopes clearly labeled as "Spam".

Yes, it’s true, the state of Minnesota has given us many things. Bob Dylan, Garrison Keillor and our own beloved Halspal are the first things that spring to my mind but now those three icons are in danger of being replaced by the discovery and knowledge that SPAM, the meat product, also calls the Gopher State its birthplace and its home.

A Star is Born

I guess things were slow back in Austin, Minnesota back in 1937. The fine folks at Hormel Foods were looking to take a crack at the burgeoning market for canned foods and decided to mix up some pork and ham and other assorted gelling agents and SPAM was born. Its appeal to the public was immediate. Just coming out of the ravages of the Great Depression, Americans took to SPAM right off the bat. It was low to moderately priced, convenient and after standing in soup and bread lines, the taste probably came as a refreshing change. By the time 1941 rolled around over 40 million pounds of SPAM had been sold.

Uncle Sam Wants You!

It wasn’t long after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese that SPAM was called upon to do its patriotic duty. The fires burned deep into the night at the Hormel processing plant and soon 15 million cans of SPAM a week were shipped overseas and fueled American and Allied forces and helped steel their resolve to drive the Nazis back to Germany. Along the way, the soldiers would pass refugees from war torn towns and as a gesture of good will would hand out cans of SPAM to help feed their starving bellies. After the war was over, such esteemed world leaders as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Margaret Thatcher and even Nikita Khrushcev went on to sing the praises of SPAM and the role it played in the Allied victory.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

With the help of radio advertising, SPAM had become a staple of the American diet. It was one of the first products to use the gift of song to promote itself and star entertainers of the day such as George Burns and Gracie Allen began touting it on their weekly radio broadcast. Hormel recognized that they had a good thing in the works and in 1945 put together an act that called themselves the Hormel Girls and soon SPAM was about to embark on a cross country tour to some of the largest cities in America.

SPAM Goes Global

It wasn’t long before word of mouth got out and out and neighbors from around the world began clamoring for their share of SPAM. Soon, locations in Denmark, the Phillipines, Japan and South Korea were built to meet worldwide production demands. Today, SPAM is distributed in forty one countries and six continents.

Milestones (or, that’s a lot of SPAM)

Long before Roy Kroc and his evil empire known as McDonalds ever dreamt of selling “billions and billions” of what they call hamburgers, SPAM had claimed their niche in the market place. Although Ronald McDonald and friends would eventually eclipse the fine folks at Hormel, SPAM’s one billionth can rolled off the assembly line way back in 1959. It would take only another eleven years in 1970 for SPAM’s two billionth can to be produced. Ten years later in 1980, the three billionth can and a mere six years later in 1986, the four billionth can. SPAM slumped in the market place and it took them another eight years to crack the five billion mark when they did so in 1994.

The Times They Are A-Changin’

SPAM had itself a good run for almost six decades but America was changing. Families were getting smaller, there were more and more single folks out there in the market place and sales had begun to slump. Something had to be done. Perhaps they recognized the wisdom of their same state neighbor Bob Dylan and the words in his immortal song when in 1962 the original twelve ounce can of SPAM found a smaller, more compact seven ounce version of the same product next to it on the shelves of your neighborhood grocery store.

By the time the 1970’s had rolled around, SPAM shocked the market place when they introduced a smoke flavored version of the product America had grown to know and love. A few years later, in response to a diet and health conscious wave that was sweeping the nation, SPAM invented a version of itself that contained less sodium. Following in its footsteps, SPAM lite was introduced in 1992 and the amount of fat and sodium used in the original recipe was lowered. The year 1999 saw the birth of SPAM that was made from oven roasted turkey. The spokesman for the company claims that the product is made from 100% lean white turkey meat. Not one to rest on their laurels and to keep up with the changing taste of American families, SPAM teamed up with the folks at Tabasco and rolled out a hot and spicy version of the all time classic. SPAM has also test marketed another two versions, one is “SPAM with cheese” and another is a barbecued flavored version.

A Celebration of SPAM

Stealing a page from the folks at Betty Crocker, SPAM started to hold annual recipe contests. Mostly they were done at state and local fairs and recipes from around the country began to pour in. The winner in 2003 was a delicacy known as Curried SPAM and Rice. SPAM also boasts an official fan club that numbers over 9,000 strong.

To keep up with the ever changing times, SPAM hit the internet when they opened their site at and received an additional honor when the people at the Smithsonian Institution added their original product and unique packaging to their historical archives.

SPAM even has its own museum. The birthplace of SPAM, Austin, Minnesota has erected a 16,500 square foot building that is all SPAM all the time. Not to be outdone, the town also hosts something that they call SPAM Jam and every year about 20,000 SPAM enthusiasts from far and wide converge on the town to pay homage to SPAM and its humble origins.

SPAM on Spam

The following statement was lifted from and addresses the issue of trademark usage of the term SPAM.
We do not object to use of this slang term to describe UCE (Unsolicited Commercial E-mail), although we do object to the use of the word "spam" as a trademark and to the use of our product image in association with that term. Also, if the term is to be used, it should be used in all lower-case letters to distinguish it from our trademark SPAM, which should be used with all uppercase letters.


That's SPAMtastic!

Some other noders have offered up various insights regarding their personal knowledge of SPAM. Here's a random few to whet your appetite.

karma debt says re Spam: Yo.. don't forget that the name SPAM is derived from "Spiced Ham"

RACECAR says I can get you a SPAM tshirt if you want. Also, SPAM is really popular in Hawaii and they also serve SPAM sushi (with pineapple) at some of our Sushi joints up here. Peace in the Middle East and Merry x-mas Bob.

Ouroboros says re Spam: What about the State of Hawaii being the top SPAM consuming area of the country? And there were rumors that Hormel won a governor's award for high technology product, for SPAM, in like 1999.

wertperch says re Spam: This, THIS. This is why I like E2.

DylanDog says re Spam: There is a Frank Lloyd Wright house in lovely Austin, doubtless showing the cultured tastes of SPAM managers.

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