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The National Museum of Health and Medicine, ofLincoln blood and dead fetus fame, is pursuing its mission of making the rest of DC vaguely uncomfortable through its observance of National Hairball Awareness Day. This "holiday," which for the fact-checkers amongst us officially took place on Friday, April 24, exists for reasons unknown to your intern. All that matters, it seems, is that it provides NMHM a reason to dust off the old hairball collection for the general public to fondle. Seriously.


Yes, at LUNCH today, the NMHM will be tenderly lecturing about the how's and why's of hairballs, as well as dispensing cute trichobezoar factoids (for example, hairballs were used as poison antidotes in, for 600 years!). After the presentation, visitors will have an opportunity to actually hold some hairball specimens in their trembling little hands, though the website does not specify whether these will be of the human or non-human variety.

If you miss the exciting lunchtime presentation today, you will likely have to wait until next year (or the next time your cat pukes) to personally caress a partially-calcified hair lump. Do not fully despair, though, as they will still be on no-touchy display through May 4. And the truly lazy/easily nauseated can always check out the online version of a similar 2006 exhibit here -- this site is NOT SAFE to look at while eating. Enjoy!

National Hairball Awareness Day, presentation at 12PM today, exhibit through May 4. [National Museum of Health and Medicine]