Short Shots: Funny Facts, Small Catches

Funny facts, quirky tips and more from Dan Dauw

Dan Dauw is a columnist with MidWest Outdoors. Every month, he presents a column that presents funny facts, historical info, tips, tricks and any quirky thing that catches his fancy. Check out his “Short Shots” column in every issue of MidWest Outdoors.

Poor man’s ice auger

An 18-volt or more powerful battery-powered hand drill, with the right attachments, can drill a 5- or 6-inch hole through the ice. It just depends on the auger, thickness of the ice, and battery life.

Before you rev up that drill, check out our tips on staying silent while ice-fishing


The first number signifies the bore size, .30 caliber (.308). The second means 30 grains of black powder. Some cartridges are so popular that they stick around for a long time. The .30-30 is one of them.

Sow-bosom & eggs

Civil War soldiers called bacon “sow-bosom.” The sewing kit issued to soldiers was called a “housewife.” More Civil War soldiers died from disease than by cannon or musket fire. Approximately 67 percent succumbed to disease.


The main species of hamster found in pet stores is called the Syrian or golden hamster. Most hamsters prefer to live alone. The smallest species of hamsters is only about three inches long. Some species can grow to bigger than 13 inches. All hamsters have poor eyesight.

Pass the cranberries

Over 90 percent of tables at Thanksgiving dinner feature cranberries, in one form or another. Seamen of old who ventured on the ocean looking for whales kept cranberries aboard their ships. The vitamin C in the berries helped to prevent scurvy.


Once in a while, this happens to me when I go to bed. I’ll close my eyes and see images. Actually, this is not real unusual. The experience is called, “hypnagogic hallucination.” It is harmless and nothing to worry about. Still, I think it is quite the phenomenon!

About color

Blue is said to be America’s favorite color. However, it does not seem to be the favorite color for new cars. That distinction seems to be a toss-up between white and silver. We own a 2009 and a 2016 vehicle. We bought them new at the time. Their color? Blue! As for the color pink, it holds the distinction of being the color of “love.” I thought it would be red.

Yes, but the hassle

They say flying is safer than driving in a car. It is probably true, because, at any given time, there are approximately 5,000 commercial flights over the United States.

What a croc!

Did you know that south Florida is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist in the wild? Probably best not to go wading through the Everglades!

Night flyers

The screech owl has keen eyesight and sensitive hearing, which help it target prey in the air and on the ground. The owl is built to fly silently among the trees. The brown bat is also a master flyer and great at maneuvering through the dark to catch a meal. He can also become a meal for Mr. Owl. Owls would rather target mice, but, if a bat flies too close, the owl “won’t even bat an eye,” and grab it for a snack.

Not just squirrels

We all know squirrels like to bury nuts in the fall, and in the spring they find some of them. Funny facts: just like the squirrel, a blue jay might collect close to 5,000 acorns in the fall. The noisy bird will not remember where it buried every acorn, so, like the squirrel, it helps plant new trees for the land.

Stood up

I heard this joke in church. A young lady got herself ready for her first date. She fixed her hair, put on her makeup, and slipped into a pretty dress. Time passed, and her date did not show up. She waited another hour and finally figured she was stood up. She took off her makeup, changed into her pajamas, and sat down to read a book. There was a knock at the door. She went to the door, opened it, and her date said, “Geez, two hours and you’re still not ready?”

Nice smell

Most of us like the smell of certain perfumes. The word “perfume” comes from the Latin words for “through smoke.” There are approximately 30,000 different types of perfumes in the world. It is a $10 billion industry.

Camping tips

A quarter can be used to rotate a screw. Rub cornstarch into knots to untie them more easily. Dip the business ends of matches in wax to waterproof them.

Not in our waters

A lot of ships from many countries enter our ports. That is fine unless they discharge ballast water that contains invasive species. Unfortunately, this happens all too frequently. Combined state and federal controls on ballast water discharges must be enforced.

Check out the Department of the Interior National Invasive Species Council Plan for 2018.

Five “Fs” for birds

The next three months can be tough on our “feathered friends foraging for food.” Feeding birds, especially in the winter months, helps them a lot. Water is equally important for their survival. Niger, safflower and sunflower seeds are among the good choices of seeds for most Midwestern birds.


This might be a way to lose weight more easily. A label of dishwashing soap says: “Dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove!” So, perhaps I should use dishwashing soap instead of shampoo?

The other day I saw an Arab shaking a carpet and yelling bad words. I asked him what was wrong. He said, “It won’t start!”

Number two

Have you ever wondered why baby diapers have brand names like “Luvs,” “Huggies,” and “Pampers?” Yet, undergarments for old people are called, “Depends?” I think this might be the answer. When babies engage in No. 2, people are still going to luv ‘em, hug ‘em, and pamper ‘em. When an accident happens to the elderly, it “depends” on who’s in the will.